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When it comes to outdoor adventures, you might first consider the Rocky Mountains with its majestic peaks and miles upon miles of hiking, or whitewater rafting down the rushing waters of the Kennebe and Penobscot Rivers in Maine. While those are great destinations, it's an oversight to not list Minnesota among them. Northern Minnesota is practically an unexplored gem for outdoor adventures with its many lakes, thick forests, and even mountains. It might not be the Rockies, but from the Lutsen Mountains surrounding Lake Superior to the beautiful Boundary Waters Canoe Area, which encompasses over one million acres of pristine lakes, islands, and wilderness, Minnesota sets the stage for endless outdoor activities. Whether you're here to cast a line, paddle through the BWCA, or stretch your legs on a hike in the Superior National Forest, this list of adventure resorts and vacations will make it easy to plan your next trip.
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Known as the "Land of 10,000 Lakes," it's hard to beat Minnesota when it comes to quintessential lake vacations.Northern Minnesota especially is a treasure trove when it comes to sparkling lakes, lush natural... read more

Known as the "Land of 10,000 Lakes," it's hard to beat Minnesota when it comes to quintessential lake vacations.

Northern Minnesota especially is a treasure trove when it comes to sparkling lakes, lush natural surroundings, and endless outdoor adventures. In the heart of this magical place awaits the incredible Lake Kabetogama. With over 100 miles of shoreline, 25,000 acres of beautiful waters, and encompassed by the magnificent Voyageurs National Park, this is a top spot for outdoor adventures of many kinds. Right at the edge of the lake awaits Northern Lights Resort, Outfitting & Youth Quest, your homebase for Kabetogama getaways. Lake Kabetogama is one of four large lakes in the national park and Northern Lights Resort grants you easy access to explore over 65 miles of water right from their dock. With hundreds of uninhabited islands, gorges, and coves throughout, you're sure to discover something magical on your trip. Fishing is a must here, but you can also enjoy ranger-guided kayaking adventures in the park and boat trips to the historic Kettle Falls.

Address

10176 Bay Club Road Kabetogama, MN 56669

Highlights

Fishing at Lake Kagetogama is an unforgettable experience. The lake is teeming with a variety of species including walleye, northern pike, smallmouth bass and pan fish!

Related activities

Top off your northern Minnesota vacation with a chance to experience the Northern Lights in person! The stunning natural phenomenon occurs around 200 times a year here so you're sure to catch sight of it during your stay!

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+1 (866) 552 - 1914
If Bluefin Bay had a middle name, it'd undoubtedly be "adventure"!Your experience at Bluefin begins and ends with Lake Superior- it's certainly a benefit having the world’s largest and most awe-inspiring lake in... read more

If Bluefin Bay had a middle name, it'd undoubtedly be "adventure"!

Your experience at Bluefin begins and ends with Lake Superior- it's certainly a benefit having the world’s largest and most awe-inspiring lake in your front yard! Boating, swimming, and so much more are just a stones throw away- kayak around the coastline, investigating the many nooks and crannies Superior is known for. Afterwards, catch some much-needed relaxation in the signature outdoor heated pool and hot tub overlooking the lake. You deserve it, intrepid explorer!

Address

7192 MN-61, Tofte, MN 55615

Highlights

Soak in the relaxing indoor pool and whirlpool with lake views at Surfside after a luxurious spa.

Related Onsite Offerings

Take a stroll along the moonlit lakewalk after a romantic dinner at the onsite Grille!

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+1 (855) 762 - 9351
The Boundary Waters Canoe Area is such a popular destination for Minnesota adventures, we can't provide you with only one resort in the area on this list. Here comes Timber Trail Lodge, a four-season resort that... read more

The Boundary Waters Canoe Area is such a popular destination for Minnesota adventures, we can't provide you with only one resort in the area on this list. Here comes Timber Trail Lodge, a four-season resort that rests on the south side of Farm Lake.

The beautiful lake is connected to the White Iron Chain of Lakes, a beautiful water haven that encompasses nearly 11,000 acres across four lakes. To top it all off, they are surrounded by over one million acres of Northern Minnesota wilderness that's just waiting for your arrival. Easily hop into your boat and ride out onto the gentle waves for unbeatable Minnesota fishing adventures. The connected waterways offer you plenty of space to cast your line for walleye, smallmouth bass, northern pike and crappies, while the resort also has experienced fishing guides you can reserve who will take you to the best spots on the lakes for the ultimate trip. Canoeing at the BWCA is a must; the waters are accessible right from the resort and you can plan day-trips that take you out to historic sights in the area such as the Native American Pictographs which were painted over 500 years ago!

Address

629 Kawishiwi Trail Ely, MN 55731

Highlights

Hiking is another popular pastime in the area and you can find plenty of local trails that being right onsite and take you through the thick surrounding forests. For even more adventure, hike the Secret Blackstone trail that lets you enjoy incredible overlooks and small lakes!

Related Onsite Offerings

The Marina at Timber Trail makes it totally easy to rent your watercraft for your Minnesota lake adventures. The marina offers not only fishing boats and pontoons, but canoes and kayaks, and paddle-boats!

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Gunflint Lodge

Grand Marais, Minnesota

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+1 (866) 241 - 3983
Gunflint Lodge is known as "the jewel of Grand Marais" for a reason- come and see for yourself!Whether you're staying in a classic cabin, Gunflint lake home, or romantic cottage, your experience will ooze adventure.... read more

Gunflint Lodge is known as "the jewel of Grand Marais" for a reason- come and see for yourself!

Whether you're staying in a classic cabin, Gunflint lake home, or romantic cottage, your experience will ooze adventure. Gunflint Lodge's Wilderness Adventure Program in summer is the ideal way to explore the gorgeous surrounding area, but every season brings its owns charms. Paddle hard in the new 20' Voyageur canoe, wrangle some fat lake trout mid-September, or cross country ski under the snow globe of stars in a traditional Minnesota winter. Let Gunflint Lodge and their superior personal service show you what a Minnesota adventure is all about!

Address

143 S Gunflint Lake Rd, Grand Marais, MN 55604

Extra Stops

The resort is also 11 miles from the Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center.

Highlights

Free amenities include bird seed and duck feed, hiking/snowshoeing trails, and use of a 16-ft canoe, kayaks and tubes at the waterfront.

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Glenwood Lodge

Tower, Minnesota

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+1 (218) 753 - 5306
Whether you're on a romantic getaway or a family vacation, Glenwood Lodge serves up adventure (and unforgettable experiences) in heaps!There's seemingly no end to the list of things to do in and around sparkling... read more

Whether you're on a romantic getaway or a family vacation, Glenwood Lodge serves up adventure (and unforgettable experiences) in heaps!

There's seemingly no end to the list of things to do in and around sparkling Lake Vermilion! From hiking to biking to water-skiing, you'll certainly never want for something fun to do. However, the main draw and activity at Glenwood Lodge is, of course, fishing. Get out and try your luck at landing a giant walleye, northern pike, muskellunge, smallmouth bass, crappie, or panfish. While doing so, you'll see just how beautiful Vermilion can be, first-hand!

Address

5266 Mud Creek Rd, Tower, MN 55790

Highlights

There are a total of eight cabins available to rent!

Getting there

Driving North thru Tower-Soudan on Highway 1 & 169 continue another 9 1/2 miles. At the top of a small hill you will see County Road #408, also known as Mud Creek Road. Follow this road to the end, about 9 miles, and you're here!

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Timber Wolf Lodge

Ely, Minnesota

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+1 (877) 570 - 1180
The Boundary Waters are the ideal place to have an adventure. It's full of beauty, challenges, and fun. Let Timber Wolf Lodge help you on the way!Before you head out, spend a little time at Timber Wolf and enjoy... read more

The Boundary Waters are the ideal place to have an adventure. It's full of beauty, challenges, and fun. Let Timber Wolf Lodge help you on the way!

Before you head out, spend a little time at Timber Wolf and enjoy yourself! Fishing is always a popular activity, and the adjacent lake is full of Bass, Pike, and more. You'll stay in one of the many lakefront and lakeview cabins, each featuring one to five bedrooms, comfy Sleep Number beds, and many include cozy fireplaces or wood stoves. When you DO head out for your adventure, the friendly staff at Timber Wolf will gladly recommend and equip you with the finest camping and hiking equipment they have and send you on your way.

Address

9130 Escape Rd, Babbitt, MN 55706

Getting there

The lodge is 6.9 miles from Babbitt.

Related Onsite Offerings

A campsite and RV slots are also available.

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+1 (218) 346 - 6040
With "adventures" in its name, you can rest assured that Moose Track knows exactly how to have a good time!Resting in Minnesota's famed Boundary Waters Canoe Area, Moose Track Adventures Resort & Outfitter... read more

With "adventures" in its name, you can rest assured that Moose Track knows exactly how to have a good time!

Resting in Minnesota's famed Boundary Waters Canoe Area, Moose Track Adventures Resort & Outfitter brings together rustic living with unforgettable outdoor activities. With your own charming lakeside cabin to call home and exceptional outfitting and guide services brought to you directly by the resort, there is no place better than this for your BWCA vacation. It's no wonder then that Moose Track is ranked as the #1 TripAdvisor Outfitting Resort in the Ely and BWCA area. Their experienced staff is ready to help you make the most of your Minnesota adventure, whether that's a canoe retreat or guided fishing trips. Moose Track will happily equip you with the top-quality camping gear you need for your adventure, along with food to keep you energized along the way. Their various packages let you choose the trip that's just right for you, but no matter what, you're sure to experience something truly magical here. Paddle out onto the calm waters of the BWCA right from their dock and bask in the views, or fly-in via float plane to remote locations for some of the best fly-fishing you will find in the state. The surrounding area is teeming with smallmouth bass and northern pike so you're guaranteed to reel in a trophy catch!

Address

593 Kawishiwi Trail Ely, MN 55731

Highlights

Moose Tracks provides you with the best brands when it comes to equipment and gear. Expect items from North Face, Marmot, and Mountain Hardware, and quality Kevlar canoes, paddles, life jackets, and tents so you're not only well-equipped but safe on your travels.

Related activities

If you need a break from the waters, the surrounding area features plenty of hiking trails that will let you experience the BWCA in a different way. The Basswood Hiking Trail and Kawishiwi Falls Hiking Trail are both nearby and offer fantastic views!

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