MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — All summer long, we’re embracing lake life across Minnesota and western Wisconsin.
In this week’s edition of Goin’ To The Lake, Frank Vascellaro and Mike Max hopped in the Mobile Weather Lab and headed west to Hutchinson!
It’s a short drive from the Twin Cities — but it feels like you’re a world away.
Located right along the south fork of the Crow River, Hutchinson has more than 14,000 people residents.
Crow River & Hutchinson’s Trails
The south fork of the Crow River flows east for 104 miles from Little Kandiyohi Lake near Willmar right through Hutchinson, and on to the Wright County and Hennepin County line.
On a nice summer day, this part of the river is perfect for canoeists and kayakers. It’s typically gentle with only a few rough patches, which can be great for beginners.
And it seems just about everywhere you look along the Crow River in Hutchinson you’ll find a park or a trail to enjoy. The city is home to 20 different parks.
The Luce Line State Trail also runs right through town, which gives people access to the 63 mile trail that starts in Plymouth. Folks can bike, hike and even ride their horses along the trail
A Visit To York Farm
The best part of coming to a town like Hutchinson is finding those places that most people haven’t heard of.
Mike and Frank found York Farm. A family grows organic fruits there, and they give people a chance to see exactly what life on their farm is all about.
They also host an outdoor concert series in the summer, which wraps up this Friday. Live music starts at 6 p.m. in the barn.
Downtown Hutch & Les Kouba
If you haven’t been to downtown Hutchinson, it’s worth the trip.
It’s just a short hour drive from the cities, and you can find all kinds of hidden gems from shops to restaurants.
In 2003, the city made the decision to revitalize and enhance the downtown area of Hutch, and you can tell.
Since that time, there has been $12 million in new, public and private money invested here — and we’re told more is on the way.
Here’s a name you’ll see a lot of here in Hutchinson: Les Kouba.
The renowned wildlife artist grew up in Hutchinson, and the McLeod County Historical Museum owns the largest collection of his original work.
You can see it on display at their art gallery. It include work from Kouba’s high school days, some murals and even art he did for companies like Old Dutch Potato Chips.
That gallery is open Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
When you come to Hutchinson, you’ll find all kinds of great little shops and restaurants off Main Street, but we found a hidden gem just outside of town.
Just four and half miles outside of town, you’ll find a great pottery studio that’s been run by the same family for almost 25 years now.
Once a month, Clay Coyote hosts an event they call “Coyote After Dark.” It’s a special event where folks can meet the artists and even try to throw a pot on the wheel for free.
If you’re looking for pottery, the gallery at Clay Coyote is open every day and they’ve got items from 15 different artists from across the country.
Hangin’ At Zellas
Mike and Frank hung out at Zellas Thursday evening, one of the gems you’ll find in downtown Hutchinson. The guys and the crowd enjoyed some live music.
Zellas serves up home-grown local food, and that means the menu is always changing.
But if you make a stop, you have to try their famous apple meatloaf. It is not exactly the item you would expect to order at a place like Zellas, but it is delicious. Everyone in town told Frank and Mike that they had to try it — and the guy say it was well worth it!
Batting Practice With The Hutchinson Huskies
When you’re in a town like Hutchinson in the summer, you have to check out their local ballpark.
Lucky for Mike and Frank, the Hutchinson Huskies were practicing Thursday afternoon.
They are in the middle of state playoffs right now, so they called in Frank and Mike to get them properly warmed up before they headed to Delano to play in the state qualifier!
The Huskies have two players that have been with them since high school — and they’re still playing at age 49. Pretty cool!