• HDT Team

Become a Tourist in Your Own Backyard

Have you ever noticed that when you're planning your vacation, you can search for events, locations, tourist spots, and other notable things to do? You'll often find so many ways to spend your time, you'll have to pare your "must-see" list down to be able to fit it all in, right?! So, what's stopping you from doing the same thing in your own home town?


The summer is hitting its full stride and there's no shortage of outdoor adventures with which to pack your warm days. We're lucky enough to be in the Brainerd Lakes Area which is centrally located to so many trails, lakes, parks, and beaches. You'll be able find something that suits your fancy. And since you're in the area for so much longer than any tourist, you've got time to maybe check off ALL the things on your "must-see" list.


We've put together a list of things that are happening now and places that you can go to...you know, whenever.


Events

Don't miss out on the festivities this year.

The Independence Day holiday is this weekend and our community shows no signs of anyone taking away it's crown of "4th of July Capital". With four parades, three fireworks shows, and non-stop celebrating, you can *literally* go wild all weekend long. The Brainerd Dispatch put together a handy dandy calendar for your reference if you're up to doing everything.


Biking

Red up those tires!

Paul Bunyan Trails

If you've ever wondered what the biking situation around here was like, well, you're in for a bit of surprise. Miles of trails abound the area for the adventurous and for those just getting started. You can't go wrong with the paved trails all through Brainerd, which happen to connect with other paved trails, which crisscross the entire state! Here's a more thorough map of the layout, but seriously, finding the space to just pedal about is easy enough. Just be sure to follow traffic laws, wear a helmet, and bring a friend!


Cuyuna MTB

If you're looking for something a bit more adventurous, you'll be pleasantly surprised at the infrastructure built around the Cuyuna MTB area. They have trails for the beginner, but they have advanced vertical trails with tons of tech and altitude changes to keep you interested for years. Not only have the red tires and adrenaline junkies helped bring the mine pits of Cuyuna back from a location seldom thought of, they've helped to also revitalize the local towns. It's beautiful.

Jim C. and Colin M. share their experiences with both systems in a blog from 2018.


Beaches

Splash about to beat the heat.

We ran a blog series a few years back of all the local beaches in the area and, to be sure, these beaches have only gotten more lovely.

Beach Review Part 1: Gull Lake and Whipple Beach Recreation Areas

Beach Review Part 2: Serpent Lake, Cuyuna Lakes Mine Pits, and Lum Park

Beach Review Part 3: Pine River Dam Park, Sand Peach on Pelican Lake, and Pelican Lake Beach (South Tip)

Beach Review Part 4: Dower Lake (Staples)

These reviews don't even cover the resorts and private beaches in the area. With a little research, you'll be able to find travel to a beach a week for the rest of the summer


Lakes

You can do almost anything on the lakes around here.

They don't call Minnesota the "Land of 10'000 Lakes" for nothing. There are over 400 lakes, 75 rivers, and an astounding 2,000 miles of shoreline in Crow Wing county, alone. That's a lot of water! And on this water, you can do a ton of stuff! Kayaking, canoeing, stand-up boarding, and not to mention fishing are the names of the game you can do on all these bodies of water. You will be hard pressed to be bored on water around here. As a regional community, we've developed our brand, so to speak, around the lakes.

Check out the Brainerd Lakes Adventure Club. They've put together a fully, in-depth list of water paths and public lake accesses so you can get your wet on. I want to do a shout out for this little group as they are finding new things to do around the area and are hosting events that you'll want to participate in. Give them a look.


This list isn't nearly as comprehensive as it could be. If you have ideas or events or locations you'd like to share with everyone, please leave a note down below. We love to add to our beautiful summer schedule. See you out there!