Welcome to the land o' lakes, where a Superior-ity complex isn't such a bad thing.
Minnesota isn't called the Land of 10,000 Lakes for nothing. Whether you're exploring the wilds of northern Minnesota or venturing just outside Minneapolis, there's always water nearby. Besides the lakes, you also find 60 state parks with over 5,000 campsites and wilderness cabins, plus four national parks and two national forests. Boating, fishing for walleye, swimming, and hiking the endless trail systems are just a few ways to enjoy the north woods. Lake Superior's north shore is a must-visit with its red lake cliffs and unspoiled wilderness. Hike part of the 310-mile Superior Hiking Trail, or see the cascades at Gooseberry Falls. The vast Superior National Forest offers access to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Here, you can paddle across more than 1,000 lakes with rustic canoe-in sites. If you're starting from the Twin Cities, you can also find canoe campgrounds along the St. Croix River. For a hassle-free trip, find a lake campground on Lake Mille Lacs, Gull Lake and hundreds of others. There are some watercraft rentals, but for many campgrounds, it's strictly BYOB (Bring your own boat). If you want to cast a line, remember to grab a fishing license. Wherever you choose to camp, don't forget the bug spray—there's a reason Minnesotans jokingly call the mosquito the "state bird." One notable exception is Whitewater State Park in southeastern Minnesota. This haven in bluff country is famous for its lack of mosquitoes and other biting bugs. Summer boasts the best camping weather hands down, but if you don't mind chilly weather, September and October are great months to beat the crowds and see spectacular fall colors. Even if you're traveling in July, be sure to bring a light jacket—Minnesota is known for its unexpected cold spells. The state's long, frigid winters are reserved for the most experienced winter campers, with temps dropping well below 0 degrees Fahrenheit. If you want to enjoy snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and ice fishing, a heated cabin is your best bet.