It’s the perfect time of the year to stay active and explore Minnesota’s great outdoors! Participating in activities outside is a great way to get your body moving and stay physically healthy. In addition to physical health benefits, spending time outside can significantly reduce stress and positively benefits people’s mood. There are a plethora of outdoor opportunities awaiting those who can only spare a couple of hours as well as those interested in weekend adventures. It’s simple. Get outside and explore!
Here are 4 great outdoor activities in the Twin Cities area:
- Spend time at parks. Minneapolis and St. Paul have many parks with a multitude of landscapes and amenities. You can check out these links for more information about parks within the metro area: Minneapolis (https://www.minneapolisparks.org/parks__destinations/) or St. Paul (https://www.stpaul.gov/departments/parks-recreation/parks). Nearby state parks, such as Afton or Interstate Park, offer great opportunities for day trips to picnic, hike, or camp. Both of these parks offer gorgeous views of the St. Croix River while hiking on a large network of trails. Check out this link for a map of MN state parks and more recreational opportunities (https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/map.html).
- Biking is another great way to explore many trails throughout the Twin Cities while enjoying some fresh air. Whether riding along the magnificent Mississippi River or around the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes you are sure to experience awe-inspiring scenery! Don’t own a bike? No problem, Nice Ride rents bicycles at locations all over the city! Click here for biking route ideas: https://www.exploreminnesota.com/article/bike-51-mile-grand-rounds-scenic-byway-minneapolis.
- Hiking is an excellent way to explore Minnesota’s impressive lakes, rivers, forests! Check out AllTrails (https://www.alltrails.com/us/minnesota) for ideas on hiking routes in the greater Minnesota area or use this link. In the heart of the metro area there are numerous options for hiking; click here (https://fitt.co/twin-cities/articles/hiking-spots-twin-cities) for ten hiking trails in the Twin cities. The easily accessible Winchell trail is one of my personal favorites and a relatively unknown gem of the Twin Cities!
- Kayak on the Mississippi River. If you are feeling up for an adventurous day, investigate the river paddle share (https://www.paddleshare.org/). Kayakers can choose from a number of starting and endpoints as they paddle to a Mississippi downriver destination. This is sure to be a memorable experience!
Be safe, healthy, and enjoy the many opportunities the great Minnesota outdoors has to offer!
Pilar Dritz is a third-year physical therapy student at the University of Minnesota. She attended Luther College in Decorah, Iowa where she earned a Biology degree and swam competitively. Pilar is passionate about the outdoors and loves to swim, hike, and canoe! She is an outdoor enthusiast committed to promoting wellness, particularly in the outdoors, for all people.
Reuben, Aaron. “Science’s Newest Miracle Drug Is Free.” Outside Online, Outside Magazine, 1 May 2019, www.outsideonline.com/2393660/science-newest-miracle-drug-free.