Extreme Outdoor Adventure in Minnesota that you didn’t know you could do

Temperance River State Park

Minnesota has made a name for herself as the Land of 10,000 Lakes (and then some). So water activities abound, but did you know that there is so much more extreme outdoor adventure in Minnesota than just enjoy the water and the lake!? So much so that I put together of 11 more of my favorite outdoor adventure activities in Minnesota (for which you don’t need a lake!)

Extreme Outdoor Adventure in Minnesota that you didn’t know you could do

1. Extreme Mountain Biking

Cuyuna State Recreational Area is well known for it’s amazing mountain biking. With trails ranging from easy and beginner to extremely difficult there is something for everyone!

Bike rentals are available at Red Raven Bike or Cycle Path and Bike.

2. Skydiving

If you’ve ever wondered what it felt like to “float” on the clouds- sky diving is it. A full minute of free fall is incredible as you look out over the plaines of Minnesota before releasing your parachute. Tandem and solo sky diving options are available.

Prices for a tandem jump start at $169.

Southern Minnesota Skydiving
35493 110th Street Waseca, MN 56093
Phone: 507-461-5838

3. Take a Mine Tour.

Not quite pitch black at Soudan Underground Mine

The Soudan Underground Mine tour plunges you a half mile into the earth and shows you what it would have been like to be a miner working there at the turn of the century.

Cost is $12 for adults; $7 for children

4. Climb Mountains.

Ok, so they’re more like bluffs, where the glacier passed by and cut out a big gouge in the earth. But head to Red Wing and Highway 61 for some extra beautiful vistas. Check out John Latsch State Park for a lessor known state park with some of the best views of the Mississippi River in all of Minnesota.

5. Zip Line

Zip line outdoor adventure in Minnesota

There are three places you can zip line in Minnesota: Grand Marais at the Gunflint Lodge, Henderson and Brainerd with Zip Line Minnesota. The steepest line for hand braked zip lining in the US is in Minnesota.

Prices start at $79.

Brainerd Zip Line Tour
@ Mount Ski Gull
9898 County Road 77 SW
Nisswa, Minnesota 56468

6. Get Close to where the Buffalo Roam

If you’ve ever wanted to get as close as safely possible to buffalo, but don’t want to drive to Yellowstone National Park then why not try visiting one of the Minnesota State Parks that they call home. Blue Mounds State Park and Minneopa State Park have buffalo freely roaming on the native prairies. At Minneopa you can even drive on a gravel road through their prairie to get even closer.

Blue Mounds State Park
1410 161st Street
Luverne, MN 56156

Minneopa State Park
On the right hand side of Highway 68 just outside of Mankato, MN

7. Explore Caves.

Interested in the caves that were once used for bootlegging? Try the tour of the Wabasha Street Caves in St Paul. Tour prices start at $8.00

Wabasha Street Caves
215 Wabasha Street South, St Paul, MN

Or head to Harmony, Minnesota for a tour of the Niagara Caves, which even include a waterfall. Do the lantern tour for a truly perspective that will send you back a 100 years!

Niagara Caves
29842 Co Hwy 30,Harmony, MN 55939

Tour prices start at $16.00

8. Ice Climbing

Frozen Devil Track River and waterfalls

When Devil’s Track River in Grand Marais freezes over there are several fun areas to ice climb. Start small and with an experienced climber.

9. Downhill Skiing

Mount Kato in Mankato, Afton Alps in Hastings and Lutsen Mountains in Lutsen are only a few of the options of the great downhill skiing opportunities in Minnesota.

10. Climb Behind a Frozen Waterfall

walking on water

You’ll have to wait until the dead of winter to enjoy this activity. Especially because you want to make sure that the falls AND the water beneath are frozen, but once they are it’s so fun to get up close and explore.

Here is a list of great places to explore frozen waterfalls in Minnesota.

11. Thru Hiking

Judge C Magney and Superior Hiking Trail meet

Did you know that the Superior Hiking Trail is over 300 miles long and full of some of the most beautiful scenery in Minnesota. There are 93 backpacking camp sites along the trail for those that are doing the thru hike. You can find out so much information from this page and it’s always great to connect with others doing the hike so join the Superior Hiking Trail Facebook Group too.

Extreme Outdoor Adventure and things to do in Minnesota that doesn't involve a lake that you need to try this summer and fall.

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14 Thoughts on “Extreme Outdoor Adventure in Minnesota that you didn’t know you could do

  1. KateNo Gravatar on July 26, 2017 at 9:27 am said:

    I’m not much for extreme sports myself, but I do think it’s so awesome that you can do these things in Minnesota!

    • GretaNo Gravatar on July 26, 2017 at 4:48 pm said:

      I can completely understand that Kate! I tried to pull a variety of “extremes” that included some that are less extreme- like the Wacouta Street Caves are on the more gentle side. MN has so many cool opportunities to play outdoors

  2. HayleyNo Gravatar on July 26, 2017 at 9:33 am said:

    Sometimes when you live in one state all your life, you feel like you’ve exhausted all possible activities. Thanks for the wonderful ideas.

  3. Deana DownsNo Gravatar on July 26, 2017 at 9:33 am said:

    Just another great reminder of all the awesome and accessible places the Minnesota has to offer! I am excited about the list of frozen waterfalls to photograph in the winter!

    • GretaNo Gravatar on July 26, 2017 at 4:49 pm said:

      Winter may be my favorite season in MN! I love getting out and exploring all the frozen lakes, rivers and especially the waterfalls! I hope you enjoy yourself!

  4. Maddy KirchenNo Gravatar on July 26, 2017 at 10:19 am said:

    I have been searching for new things to do in MN so this post is so perfect! Thank you!

    • GretaNo Gravatar on July 26, 2017 at 4:46 pm said:

      Aw, so happy to help Maddy! I hope you enjoy doing all of these and more (this list doesn’t even begin to go through all the water activities one can do in MN!)

  5. Angela NoelNo Gravatar on July 26, 2017 at 12:53 pm said:

    I wish I could package this post up and give it to my husband for Christmas (instead, I’ll just email it to him. :)) He loves outdoor adventures and several of these are my speed as well. Thank you for the hints and tricks. I MIGHT actually look forward to winter if I get to see some frozen waterfalls!

    • GretaNo Gravatar on July 26, 2017 at 4:46 pm said:

      Oh my gosh Angela, you made my day with your comment! Wouldn’t all of these be an AWESOME Christmas present?!?! :-) I hope you enjoy exploring the waterfalls this winter!

  6. Wayne MoranNo Gravatar on July 26, 2017 at 7:25 pm said:

    Wow, what a great bunch of ideas Greta. I need to keep going on your list!

  7. HollyNo Gravatar on July 26, 2017 at 8:06 pm said:

    I think the caves look cool!

  8. Jenny AndersonNo Gravatar on July 27, 2017 at 8:23 am said:

    Awesome post! So many fun, adventurous things to do right here in MN. I do love those bluffs by Red Wing and also along the Great River Road. Surprisingly I haven’t even done half of these yet! Put it on the bucket list. Thank you!

  9. Swathi MumminiNo Gravatar on July 27, 2017 at 11:20 pm said:

    I always love your posts about ideas for adventures in Minnesota. I’ll probably be writing about some of these as I cross them off my Minnesota bucket list. :)

  10. Mr AdventurerNo Gravatar on November 14, 2017 at 12:57 pm said:

    Great piece! I love reading and writing about adventures and the outdoors!

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