Within the last few years, Minneapolis has gained recognition from several national publications as one of the top places to live for outdoor athletes. Most recently, Outside Magazinepublished an article called The 16 Best Places to Live in the U.S.: 2014and Minneapolis made it to #3, based on the city’s “access to adventure, healthy eating options, bike lanes, and green space.” And with more parks per square mile than in any other city and with more than 70 miles of well-maintained trails, no wonder Minneapolis was ranked so high.
In 2010, Bicycling Magazine put Minneapolis on the map by naming it USA’s most bike-friendly city. Two years later that Forbes Magazine recognized Minneapolis as one of “America’s 10 Best Cities for Runners.”Forbes also named Minneapolis its number one pick for America’s Top 20 Healthiest Cities in 2014.
Trail: Not only does Minneapolis offer great hiking and trail running trails within the city limits, but just outside the city are dozens of state parks that offer their visitors majestic river views, ridgeline climbs, and scenic prairie trails. There are more than 50 trailheads within 45 minutes of downtown, which offer trail running, hiking, mountain biking, and backpacking. Interstate State Park features all of the above. Or for the intrepid hiker, the Superior Hiking Trail is an epic backpacking adventure.
Water: Minneapolis’s name translates to “water city” from the Dakota Sioux term “mni” for water and the Greek term “polis” for city. Dividing the Twin Cities in two, the Mississippi River offers paddlers flat-water opportunities. There are also several scenic water trails only a 45-minute drive from downtown Minneapolis. These include the Rum River, Root River, and Cannon River. For urban paddling, the city offers some great options, such as the Chain of Lakes and Minnehaha Creek.
Rock: Minnesota may not have any mountains, but its sheer dolomite cliffs and sandstone outcrops offer some of the Midwest’s best climbing routes. For those outdoor climbers who want a challenge, the routes found at Tettegouche State Park’s Palisade Head are a local favorite. For climbing routes that are a little closer to the city, Red Wing’s Barn Bluff and Interstate State Park offer fantastic top roping and bouldering options.