Take a hike.
You don’t have to go far to find a serene trail in the midst of wildlife and forest when you’re in the Twin Cities. With four distinct seasons that all offer a different take on natural beauty, any time of the year is the perfect time to lace up a pair of hiking shoes, grab a walking stick and hit the trail.
Many of our best trails are hardly removed from downtown areas in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Take the Pine Bend Bluff Scientific and Natural Area in Inver Grove Heights, for example. Hiking high above the Mississippi River through the area places you in one of the last relatively undisturbed ecosystems in the Twin Cities—you’re as remote as you can get within 30 minutes of downtown Minneapolis. Bring breadcrumbs and a cell phone.
Beginning trail runners and hikers like Pike Island in Fort Snelling State Park, with its flat three-mile trail along the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers. If you are looking for more of a challenge, consider Hyland Lake Park Reserve in Bloomington. Its unassuming ski hill is a lot tougher when you’re walking or running up instead of gliding down it. As you break a sweat, enjoy scenery that includes flashes of meadow, forest and lakeside views.
Another hiking favorite worth checking out is located in the southern suburb of Eagan, only a short drive from Minneapolis-St. Paul. With nearly 20 miles of hiking trails winding through forest and past lakes, Lebanon Hills Regional Park is the perfect place for a walk through nature. See waterfowl, herons and more as you explore the area. South of Minneapolis but closer to downtown is Wood Lake Nature Center in Richfield. While the unpaved trails only amount to a few miles in distance, the spotlight at this hiking hot spot are the marsh and the species of birds it attracts.
Get your fall color fix at these enchanting escapes.
The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge top our list for the best Minneapolis and St. Paul fall colors hotspots.
Fall activities in Minneapolis include Caponi Art Park, the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, scenic drives and apple orchards.
It’s not just a history buff haven. Fort Snelling State Park is home to extensive hiking, bike and cross-country ski trails that connect with Minnehaha Falls Regional Park and the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge.
Visit Jay Cooke State Park, Minnesota's seventh largest park for more than 50 trails of hiking, gorgeous views of the St. Louis River and more.
To help you figure out your MEA plans, we've compiled a few short-lists of “must-dos” whether you are planning a weekend getaway, a stay-cation filled with daytrips, or the best “free” activities in and around the metro.
Sitting on more than 1,200 acres of land, the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is home to some of the most vibrant and exquisite gardens one can find in the Midwest.
Home of the famous Falls, Minnehaha Park is also known for its fresh eats and greenery.
The Mighty Mississippi flows through the Twin Cities and provides recreational fun for all skill levels. Whether you hit the water with a guide or prefer taking on the current alone, the steady flow of the Mississippi River is a paddle junkie’s dream come true.
One of the last remnants of a huge stretch of forest, Nerstrand provides the perfect quick trip away from the cities.
All you need for a day of summer fun is this wildlife refuge's sprawling natural landscape.
With all the great things to see and do in the Twin Cities, it can be tough to try and fit everything in during your time here—and easy to miss out on some of the best. So we've compiled a list of the Seven Wonders of the Twin Cities to maximize your time, and to see how Minneapolis and St. Paul set themselves apart from the rest.
A perfect summer day is within your grasp at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.
Where to lace up your running shoes and hit the trail throughout Minneapolis, St. Paul and the surrounding metro.
Hit the trails at 6 regional and state parks around St. Paul for a day of hiking and outdoor fun.