More than 450 lakes dot the landscape around the town of Brainerd, among them Minnesota’s second largest, the 18-mile wide Mille Lacs. The beginnings of the Mississippi river are also here, in the form of a peaceful, forest stream.
These waters have put the Brainerd area on every fisherman’s map with their teeming fisheries of walleye, northern pike, panfish, bass and trout. Mille Lacs is one of the top walleye destinations in the world, while Brainerd is an especially popular destination for anglers traveling with their families, as the area offers an especially wide range of activities, in addition to the great fishing.
The lakes of the Brainerd area are popular for sailing and boating, while the nearby forests of the Mille Lacs Kathio, Crow Wing, Lindbergh state parks features hiking, biking, and ATV trails, and nature watching. The fall brings with it an explosion of gorgeous colors, while winter turns Brainerd into a frozen wonderland for ice fishermen, snowmobilers, and cross-country skiers.
Lodging options include resorts, cabins, campgrounds, and lodges by the water, as well as hotels and motels closer to the area’s many towns. Stores provide supplies for anglers, as well as hand-crafted jewelry, furniture, antiques, and unique woodcarvings.
Kids will love the water slides and amusement park, while history buffs will definitely want to stop by the mining museum and the boyhood home of aviator Charles Lindbergh. With so much to do, you’re bound to work up an appetite: fortunately Brainerd restaurants offer a range of possibilities including gourmet coffee, fast food, bar & grill fare, and fine dining.
Towns: Aitkin, Baxter, Brainerd, Breezy Point, Crosslake, Crosby, Deerwood, East Gull Lake, Emily, Garrison, Ironton, Jenkins, Lake Shore, Manhattan Beach, Nisswa, Pequot Lakes, Pillager, Pine River, Motley Staples
Bodies of Water: Mille Lacs, Pelican, Whitefish Chain, Gull Lake Chain, Round; Mississippi River, North Long, Edward, Lower Mission, Bay, Hardy, Hubert, Noka, Cuyuna Range Iron Ore Pits, Trout, Roosevelt