Our Top 5 Fun Summer Activities
Although we love Cook County all year round, there’s something inherently special about summer up north. Its sunny and warm (but not too warm, thanks Lake Superior!). It’s peaceful, but there are lots of things to do. We have hundreds of thousands of visitors in Cook County every summer, but somehow, there’s room for everyone to breathe. Everyone can do their own thing and find fun summer activities to experience and enjoy.
Hit the Trails
One of the best, and most fun, things to do in Cook County in the summer is to get out on the trails. Whether you’re on foot – running or hiking – or on a mountain bike, we’ve got hundreds of miles of trails to explore. You could come every summer and not hit the same trail twice.
Hiking Trails to Explore
With so many trails, it’s hard to pick only a handful to recommend. We truly believe you can’t go wrong. Year after year, the following trails have been visitor favorites: Superior Hiking Trail, High Falls, Eagle Mountain Trail, Border Route Trail.
Bike Trails to Explore
Biking has taken Cook County by storm. Our visitors (and our residents) love exploring our region on two wheels. There’s so much to see and such varying terrain. It’s no wonder so many visitor vehicles come fully-loaded with bikes and gear. For ideas and an awesome trail map, check out of biking webpage.
Visit State Parks and National Monuments
Minnesota is home to many wonderful state and national parks, many of which are located within the borders of Cook County. If you’re planning on camping in a state or national park, be sure to book your trip early – campsites fill up quickly. For popular weekends, like the 4th of July, many campgrounds are booked over a year in advance. Plan accordingly!
These parks make for fantastic day trips, too. Pack your hiking boots, binoculars and plenty of water, because you’re going to want to be out and about from sunup until sundown – and beyond.
Learn more about state and national parks in Cook County.
Get In (or on) the Water
The best way to beat the heat of summer is to head to the water. And in Cook County, there’s no shortage of water-related fun to be had. Lake Superior will certainly cool you down, even on the hottest days. Our deep lake holds three quadrillion gallons of water – that’s 10% of the earth’s fresh water – and it stays quite cool throughout the summer.
For a real adventure, go canoeing in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW.) Over 1 million acres large, the Boundary Waters extend almost 150 miles along the international boundary of Canada’s Quetico Provincial Park. National Geographic named the BWCAW one of the world’s “50 Places of a Lifetime.” And here in Cook County, we have 48 entry points into this vast watery wilderness.Try Something New
Ever heard of an Alpine Slide? If you haven’t you’re not alone. If you have – you’ve likely already experienced this thrill! The Alpine Slide at Lutsen Mountains is one of our most unique and fun summer activities. You won’t believe just how much fun you can have thundering down a mountain at the height of summer. You control the speed, so things only get as exhilarating as your comfort zone allows, but the laughs and sights you’ll experience will last a lifetime.
Download Our Summer Vacation Guide
This list is the merest tip of the metaphorical iceberg when it comes to summertime adventures in Cook County. The opportunities that await are endless, limited only by the bounds of your imagination. Whether you’re seeking high-thrill adventures, a chance to connect with nature, or a fun-filled stay that’s a little bit of everything, Cook County is the ultimate summer vacation destination.
Download our Summer Vacation Guide eBook to learn more about Cook County and uncover some trade secrets that will take your next vacation from good to great.
See you soon!