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Outdoor Fun Tour

Minne-Roadtrip is an outdoor adventure playground, perfect for fishing, hiking, biking, skiing and canoeing and more!

Here you'll find something special, with qualities like charming small towns, quiet trails and plenty of fresh air that combine to ensure your play date with the great outdoors is nothing short of blissful.

Cannon River Wilderness Area - Northfield 

151st St. E., Northfield, MN 

Beginning five miles south of Northfield along Highway 3, this park stretches across 850 acres and nearly 14 miles of wooded river valley. It features a self-guided nature trail and easy access to the Cannon River for your canoe or kayak. 

Cowling Arboretum - Northfield 

Open to public use year round, Cowling Arboretum at Carleton College is an ideal place to hike, run, ski, fish or simply enjoy being outdoors. The upland and lowland forests along with the 150-acre prairie restoration provide excellent bird and wildlife watching. The extensive 15-mile trail system has been ranked by Runner’s Magazine as the top place to run in Minnesota and one of the top 10 in the country. In winter, trails are groomed for both classic and skate skiing. 

Golf Owatona Courses

For the passionate golfer, spend a day at Brooktree Golf Course, an 18 hole championship public course. Wind down and relax on the patio next to the fire pit. Also check out the Owatonna Country Club, an 18 hole private course with a “call for playing privileges” guest policy. For a 9-hole public Par 3 course, play a round at the Havana Hills Golf Course. Water's Edge Mini Golf is a great way for the entire family to enjoy a round of golf on a smaller scale. 

Jo-ryo-en Japanese Garden: Northfield 

There’s no need to venture far to feel like you’ve escaped to the Far East. When visiting Northfield, nature lovers can enjoy one of the country’s most praised Japanese botanical gardens. Tucked away behind Carleton College, Joryo-en Japanese Garden has an idyllic and serene vibe, plus hosts several events celebrating nature and Japanese arts. It’s a great place to relax and unwind in tranquil atmosphere while enjoying Minnesota’s summer in Japanese style.  Carleton College (Behind Watson Hall) 

Kaplan’s Woods Parkway & Lake Kohlmier: Owatonna 

18th Street SW/Mosher Avenue, Owatonna 

One of the city's most popular recreation areas is Kaplan's Woods Parkway, which offers 225 acres for hiking, biking, jogging, in-line skating, and cross-country skiing. Within this scenic parkway, Lake Kohlmier offers a beach facility for swimming, canoeing, kayaking and docks for fishing. The Kaplan's Woods Parkway contains over 6 miles of hiking and cross country skiing trails, and nearly two miles of hard-surfaced, handicapped-accessible trails. Restrooms and facilities located at Morehouse Park. Maps are located along the trail. 

Mill Towns Trail - Northfield 

Northfield’s Mill Towns Trail features an abundance of varied terrain and scenery for the bicyclist in you. The trail winds through historic downtown and around the serene Sechler Park, offering views of both the Cannon River and the railroad. Northfield also features occasional criterion and road races for both novices and advanced bikers.

Nerstrand Big Woods State Park - Nerstrand
9700 170 St. E., Nerstrand, MN 507-333-4840 

Nearly 3,000 acres of wildflowers, wildlife, trails and campgrounds are found just a short drive from Northfield. The park is also the world’s only home for the endangered dwarf trout lily. 

Outlaw Trail Tour - Northfield 

Retrace the route taken by the James-Younger Gang as they blazed through Northfield in 1876. 

Owatonna City Parks: Owatonna

Parks throughout the city not only preserve the small-town appeal of nature with prairie grass, trees and wildflowers within city limits, but offer volleyball, basketball, tennis and horseshoe courts, ball diamonds, in-line and ice skating rinks, and exciting playgrounds. Over 17 miles of trails connect the parks throughout the city. They offer a variety of activities including fishing, geocaching, disc golf, skating, skiing and much more! 


Rice Lake State Park - Owatonna 

8485 Rose Street 


Long ago, American Indians harvested wild rice from this lake where today, the shallow waters and marshy edges of Rice Lake attract many waterfowl during migrations. Rice Lake is a major wetland in the area. Visitors enjoy photographing spring wildflowers, picnicking, and bird watching. Winter activities include cross-country skiing and snowmobiling on the trails. For a more secluded camping experience, paddle across the lake and camp in a canoe campsite. Located 7 miles east of Owatonna, the park is open for camping and day-use activities year-round. 

River Bend Nature Center - Faribault 

Rustad Rd., Faribault 

The River Bend Nature Center encompasses 750 acres and features a variety of public programs, from photography lessons to bird watching tips. 

Sakatah Singing Hills Trail - Faribault 
(White Sands Trail Head Facility) 

900 Lyndale Avenue 

45 miles of paved trail with a new trail head facility. Plenty of parking and easy access to the 
state trail will have you enjoying nature within minutes. 

Sakatah State Park - Faribault 

Sakatah Singing Hills State Trail runs through Sakatah Lake State Park and stretches 39 miles from Mankato to Faribault. The paved trail offers hikers, bikers, skiers, and snowmobilers beautiful scenery through Minnesota's hardwoods. Sakatah Lake, a natural widening of the Cannon River, lures canoeists to paddle the calm waters, and anglers to catch walleye, large mouth and white bass, northern pike, and panfish. Whatever the season, visitors enjoy camping and picnicking. 

Steele County, Buxton & Muckle Trails: Owatonna

Owatonna's multiple-use trail system has been created to provide a variety of recreational opportunities for city residents and visitors. The Muckle Trail runs along the Straight River in the heart of Owatonna, connecting Morehouse Park to the Buxton Trail. The Buxton Trail begins at North Street, traveling adjacent to Maple Creek and winding its way through Dartts Park, Brooktree Golf Course and Mineral Springs Park, before reaching its conclusion on the city's eastern edge. 


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