Despite the reputation for being a state that is too cold for outdoor activity in the winter, Minnesota happens to have one of the most active and fit populations in the United States. With the beautiful scenery, numerous hiking and biking trails and the right gear, outdoor fitness can be pursued any time of the year. If you find yourself in Minnesota on a vacation or business trip, many options are available for you to stay active. Check out any of these outdoor and indoor areas to stay fit.
Chain Of Lakes
Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board
2117 W. River Road
Minneapolis, MN 55411
In the heart of Uptown Minneapolis, the Chain of Lakes is one of the most biker- and runner-friendly paths in the state. Encompassing a trail around four beautiful lakes, there is approximately 13.3 miles of exercise to partake in. The Chain is also connected to a larger path called the Grand Rounds if you wish to move your workout away from the lakes and explore a larger part of the city. Seasonally, canoes are available to rent and beaches are open for swimming.
30 S. 9th St.
Minneapolis, MN 55402
Do you belong to your local YMCA? In Minnesota, over 50 YMCAs participate in an away program that allows members from other states to use the facilities for free. If you are not a member, daily passes are available for out-of-town guests to exercise. If you prefer to exercise indoors, the YMCA has a pool, cardio equipment, weight training machines and many other options to stay fit. Visit the website of the community YMCA near you for information on classes and other fitness options.
Superior Hiking Trail
731 7th Ave.
Two Harbors, MN 55616
Minnesota may not be the most mountainous of states, but it still offers challenges for hikers and trailblazers. The Superior Hiking trail is well known for its beautiful scenery along the North Shore as well as captivating wildlife. Waterfalls and scenic overlooks line this 296-mile path that lends itself to fitness for beginner and advanced hikers alike. Bring along your backpack if you have a couple of hours to kill or just go for a quick walk on this popular trail.
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9500 Spirit Mountain Place
Duluth, MN 55810
If you happen to be in Minnesota throughout the long winter, a great way to stay fit and have fun is by skiing, snowboarding or just snowshoeing along winter trails. Spirit Mountain in Duluth, Minnesota offers a ton of options for the lover of snow-related activities. Ski or board over 22 downhill runs or spend some time in the terrain park. Cross country trails are also available for skiing or snowshoeing among a winter wonderland. For the beginner, classes are offered and equipment is available for rent if dragging your skis to Minnesota is not an option.
Nice Ride Minnesota
2701 36th Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55406
Nice Ride is a bike-sharing program that has popped up in major cities to help reduce fuel emissions and traffic. Many stations are located throughout downtown Minneapolis and uptown where bikes are available to borrow. Purchase a subscription for any length of time at the Nice Ride station and use the bikes for transportation or just a quick jaunt around the town. Return bikes to any Nice Ride station after you are finished.
Andrea Wodele is a freelance writer who has lived in the Twin Cities for eight years. She loves covering all things Minnesota and her work can be found on Examiner.com.