Outdoor Spring Bucket List Ideas for Minnesota

Spring is full of life and splendor, get out there and watch the world come alive! Add a few of these activities to your spring bucket list and get a jump start on your adventuring this season.

Spring has arrived and it’s time to enjoy all it has in store for us. Aside from it being a muddy, slippery, and sloppy mess; Minnesota is beautiful in the spring. Or maybe it’s because we’ve had one really long winter month after month. Either way, we’re happy to see it, here are some ideas to get you out enjoying the gorgeous weather this spring.

Waterfalls of the North Shore

When the snow begins to melt in northern Minnesota it has but one place to go; Lake Superior. The many rivers leading to the giant lake will be rushing with their newfound water source in the melting snow. It’s the perfect time to catch a glimpse of just how powerful these waters can be.

**Warning: The currents in these rivers are particularly strong in the spring. Be especially careful to keep children in hand near the rivers edge. The water flows fast, and can be quite dangerous for youngsters.

State Park Waterfall Ideas:

Garden Center Visit

Find inspiration for your own outdoor space at your local garden center. Improving your own outdoor space helps to keep the great outdoors close to home. Find a new tree to plant, some ferns to add to your outdoor collection, or some flowers to add a splash of color. This is great fun for the kids too, my daughter likes to find the flowers that have fallen off of their plant to make a bouquet while we peruse the selections.

River Hikes

With winter fading away, the ice gives way to open water. This draws in ducks and geese making their way back to the Northland. A hike along a rivers edge shows evidence of summer’s return, even in these lengthy winters. While ice out may be a longer ways off, rivers shine early. Bring your binoculars and camera to capture some great moments on the water.

Landscape Arboretum

Don’t miss peak tulip bloom at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. My grandma grew up on a property just outside of what is now the MN Landscape Arboretum. We get our very own tour guide when she’s along, it’s truly wonderful. The tulip bloom varies from year to year so check in on their webpage for the most updated information. Over 40,000 tulip bulbs are planted by the folks at the arboretum. It’s a great opportunity for photographers to get clients in a beautiful spring setting.

Maple Syrup

March is Maple Tapping season. The Minnesota State Parks Service hosts classes and demonstrations for this event. Check the events calendar on the DNR website for the schedule and sign up early, they fill up fast.

Have an abundance of maple trees? You can find tapping kits online and make your own syrup!

Full “Pink” Moon Hike

Aprils full moon is called the “Pink Moon.” This name is from the the pink ground phlox that grows in in April. The MN Landscape Arboretum hosts an event in honor of this full moon. The Pink Moon Hike begins at 7:30pm and ends at 10pm. Check out the MN Landscape Arboretum for more details.

Bike Rides

In late spring, when the snow is finally fading away, it’s time to dust off the bikes and hit the trails. Minnesota has amazing trails and traveling by bike will get you seeing more spring action. Here are some great paved trails to witness the state in bloom.

  • Heartland State Trail (Park Rapids Area)
  • Willard Munger State Trail (Dulut)
  • Gateway State Trail (St. Paul)
  • Brown’s Creek State Trail (Stillwater)
  • Blazing Star State Trail (Albert Lea)

Minnesota Zoo Visit

Many of the smaller zoos in Minnesota close for the colder months of the year, the Minnesota Zoo stays open all year round. There are some new arrivals to visit in the spring that are great entertainment for all, especially the kids. Checkout the baby chick, piglets and numerous other babies arriving in springtime at the zoo.

Bear Center Visit

Head up to Ely to say, “Good morning,” to the bears. The Bear Center closes for the winter season to let the bears sleep and reopens at the end of April. We visited the bear center mid-May last spring to greet the bears with my daughter’s girl scout troop. This was such a unique experience and very informative. We even had a minor bear encounter that weekend, it was a great learning experience for the ladies and a perfect way to kickoff camping season. Bear Head Lake State Park is a perfect place to make a weekend trip out of it.

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