Attractions

  • Walker, Minnesota

    When planning your Leech Lake vacation, make sure you plan a day to explore beautiful Walker, MN. This Minnesota town is known for its shopping, festivals and strong sense of community.


    Casinos

    Northern Lights Casino
    6800 Y Frontage Road
    Walker, MN 56484
    1-877-544-4879
    Northern Lights Casino

    The Palace Casino & Hotel
    Cass Lake, MN
    1-800-228-6676
    Palace Casino and Hotel

    White Oak Casino
    Deer River, MN
    (218) 246-9600
    White Oak Casino


    National & State Forests

    Chippewa National Forest
    200 Ash Avenue
    Cass Lake, MN 56633
    218-335-8637
    Walker District mailing address
    201 MN Ave E.
    Walker, MN 56484
    Walker District phone
    218-547-1044

    Hours: Year round.
    Headquarters: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. M-F
    Free admission.

    Established in 1908, the Chippewa National Forest was the first National Forest established east of the Mississippi, and originally was known as the Minnesota National Forest. The Forest offers a wide array of resources for all, as well as the opportunity to observe a working forest. Recreation developments, wildlife habitat projects and timber harvesting all are evident. Visitors interested in historic sites may wish to travel to Camp Rabideau, the only standing Civilian Conservation Corps camp in the country. Wildlife enthusiasts can scan the sky for the abundant bald eagles; others can revel in the color and sound of American Indian art and music. Open year-round, the forest has many camping areas and access to a variety of resort communities.

    Itasca State Park
    HC05 Box 4
    Lake Itasca, MN 56460
    218-266-2100 800-246-2267
    Campground Reservations
    Fax: (218) 266-3942
    Open Year-Round | Entry Fee Charged

    Walk across the headwaters of the mighty Mississippi as it starts its winding 2,552-mile journey to the Gulf of Mexico. Stand under towering pines at Preacher's Grove. Visit the Itasca Indian Cemetery or Wegmann's Cabin, landmarks of centuries gone by.

    Lake Itasca, off State Route 71, is famous as the birthplace of the Mississippi River and for the wild rice that grows along its shores.

    The 32,000-acre state park embraces several lakes with outstanding boating and fishing, and a wilderness sanctuary. A natural history museum contains excellent wildlife displays.

    There are extensive foot trails in the park, the most spectacular leading to Bohall Lake. Twenty-seven varieties of orchids grow along the forest path. There is one bike trail, which dips into an ancient stand of Norway and white pines.

    The paved path on the western edge of the park reaches around a 2,000-acre wilderness area past lakes, towering pine groves and an ancient bison kill site.

    Most overnight visitors to the park camp out at Pine Ridge and Bear Paw Campground, Lake Itasca State Park

    Itasca State Park

    Leech Lake Area Parks
    Chippewa National Forest / Walker Ranger District
    201 Minnesota Ave. E
    Walker, MN 56484
    (218) 547-1044

    Deep Portage
    2197 Nature Center Drive N.W.
    Hackensack, MN 56452
    (218) 682-2325
    Deep Portage

    Paul Bunyan State Forest

    Deep-Portage Conservation Reserve
    2197 Nature Center Dr.
    Hackensack, MN 564522431
    (218) 682-2325
    Hours: Year round.
    Mon.-Sat.8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.;
    Sun. Noon-4:30 p.m.
    Rates: Call for admission fee.
    Free parking.

    Approximately 6,300 acres of forest with self-guided nature trails through a wildflower garden, forest and bog; hiking, ski and snowmobile trails; interpretive center with displays. Programs on Saturdays. Programs offered for groups interested in outdoor and environmental activities. Summer Camps offered for youth interested in outdoor experiences and conservation.
    portage@uslink.net

  • Golf

    Long Bow Golf Club
    Located 6 miles North on Hwy. 371
    P.O. Box 1027
    Walker, MN 56484
    (218) 547-4121(877)
    881-GOLF (4653)

    Tianna Country Club
    P.O. Box 177
    Walker, MN 56484
    (218) 547-1712
    1-866-482-2465
    Tianna Country Club Golf
    tianna@tianna.com

    Wedgewood Golf Course & Driving Range
    PO Box 1606
    Walker, MN 56484
    (218) 547-2666


    Museums

    Cass County & Walker Museum Historical Societies
    Hwy. 200 & 371 Box 505
    Walker, MN 564840505
    (218) 547-7251
    Hours: Memorial Day thru Labor Day, Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
    Rates: Family $6; adults $3;
    children $1; includes admission to the Walker Museum of Natural History.

    Cass County history, historic schoolhouse, research library, Walker museum portrays animals in their natural habitat, replica of an American Indian village, Ojibwe and Dakota
    bead work.

    Sugar Point Battle Monument
    Eight miles southwest of the village of Federal Dam Boy Bay, east side of Leech Lake.

    Site of the generally overlooked last Indian battle. In October, 1898 a group of 19 Pillagers stood off and defeated 100 troopers sent north from Fort Snelling. It was not a stereotypical Hollywood battle. Because of its location, some of the conflict involved unusual scenes such as exchanges of gunfire between Natives on shore and troops aboard a pair of steamers and one barge that had come all the way from Walker across Big Leech Lake.

    Cass Co. Museum/Hist. Society, Pioneer School, & Wildlife/Indian Arts Museum
    Box 505 201 Minnesota Ave. W.
    (218) 547-7251
    Walker, MN 56484


    Recreation

    Shingobee Recreation
    Area Hwy. 34, six miles southwest of Walker Chippewa National Forest, Walker District
    Mailing address: HCR 73, Box 15,
    Walker, MN 56484
    (218) 547-1004

    The Shingobee Recreation Area showcases a geologically unique region south of Leech Lake. Known locally as the area's "little Grand Canyon" (in the 1930's, it was home to one of Minnesota's first downhill ski areas), it is characterized by steep glacial moraine, virgin white and red pine forests, land faults, diverse plant and animal life, and marvelous collection of hiking trails and nature areas. The Shingobee River valley is believed to have been created by the cataclysmic collapse of the giant glacier that covered and created Leech Lake (Minnesota's third largest lake) 10,000 years ago.

    Paul Bunyan State Recreation Trail
    Splitting the north central part of the state in a 120-mile sprint between Brainerd and Bemidji along an old railroad embankment, the first paved portion of the Paul Bunyan Trail (now Minnesota's longest paved recreation trail) opened along a 50-mile stretch between Baxter and Hackensack in 1996. It offers hiking, biking or rollerblading along its beautiful corridor. And, in the winter, extraordinary snowmobiling.

    The Paul Bunyan Trail makes for either an easy day's outing or a challenging weekend long trek, depending on your inclination, physical condition and type of equipment. Because of its railroad heritage, the trail's pathway is relatively flat and safely straight.

    Every eight to ten miles along the way, expect to find a great northwoods community, offering up food, lodging, camping and intriguing shopping and, of course, juices, treats and the like.

    The trail is closely paralleled by and regularly accessible to Hwy. 371, with its own very wide, paved shoulders. Many marathon bikers choose to cross back and forth at will between the two.

    A favorite location is the unpaved portion (bring proper equipment if biking) north of Walker, along Leech Lake and the southern shore of Kabekona Bay to the hamlet of Benedict. There are spectacular views of lakeshores, river crossings and even a large blue heron rookery.

  • Parks, Theatres & Music

    Moondance Jam & Jammin Country Fest
    7050 39th Ave NW
    Walker, MN 56484
    218-836-1055
    Moon Dance Jam
    Jammin Country

    Pine River Riding Stable
    530 County IE (218) 587-5807
    Pine River, MN 56474

    Woodtick Theatre
    Main Street
    Akeley, MN 56433


    Winery/Brewery

    Forestedge Winery
    35295 State Hwy 64 (218) 224-3535
    Laporte, MN 56461
    Forestedge Winery


    Trails

    Heartland Trail
    Near Walker, the Heartland Trail is northern Minnesota's oldest paved trail and its most recently resurfaced. The 27-mile long Walker-to-Park Rapids segment reopened in the fall of 1997 with a fine, new blacktopped surface, making it again one of state's premier recreational trails all year long...including winters, when it
    attracts snowmobilers with its phenomenal rides.

    The segment southwest of Walker is praised not only for its beautiful and rugged lakes and forest scenery, its frequent wildlife, and native flowers, but also for its accessibility to a maze of exceptional, interconnecting system of trails and recreation areas. Foremost among these is the Chippewa National Forest's Shingobee Recreation Area about six miles south of Walker, and just across Hwy. 34 from the Heartland Trail.

    Between the Recreation Area and the City of Walker, the Heartland offers a beautiful chain of lakes, available for canoeing, and often accessible for a lakeside respite or picnic. The Heartland's (paved) trailhead is located just west of downtown Walker. Bike rentals are available about two blocks north of the trailhead on Co. Rd. 12.

    The Heartland extends some 21 unpaved miles above Walker, splitting off from a highly scenic and also unpaved, portion of the Paul Bunyan Trail, before crossing the historic railroad trestle at very beautiful Kabekona Narrows on Leech Lake (about 4 miles above the city). The trail continues due north, skirting Leech Lake's Steamboat Bay, and crossing the beautiful bottomlands of the Steamboat River, before passing Steamboat Lake.

    North Country National Scenic Trail
    Fortunately for Leech Lake Area visitors, the Cass County portion of the North Country National Scenic Trail is complete. The entire trail, when finished, will be a magnificent 3,200 mile long walking trail connecting the Lewis & Clark Trail in western North Dakota with the Appalachian Trail in upstate New York. It will be the longest continuous foot path in the United States. Here, though, it is ready to be enjoyed.

    It enters Cass County from the west, traversing the Chippewa National Forest along its southern, and most scenic, boundary and intersecting Minnesota's Heartland Recreational Trail. It next passes through the National Forest's beautiful and unusual Shingobee Recreation Area, before meeting Minnesota's Paul Bunyan Recreation Trail on the other side. From there it wanders east across the county, along beautiful, pristine, wilderness lakes and wetlands, and through glorious, hundred year-old stands of white and red pine forest.

    Lake Country Scenic Byway
    Highway 34 southwest from Walker through Park Rapids and on to Detroit Lakes was recently added to the list of Minnesota Scenic Byways. The drive takes in the north woods lake country along the way, and a spur about midway leads to Itasca State Park.

    Other Trails
    Soo Line Trail
    Connected with the Paul Bunyan Trail, and also built along an abandoned
    rail corridor.
    Mi-Ge-Zi Trail
    Four miles of paved trails for non-motorized hiking and biking along the east edge of Cass Lake and Pike Bay.
    Country Road 50 Walking Trail
    Eight miles of walking along the Shingobee River Valley.
    Cedar Bog Trail
    Hike or bike through natural cedar bogs. Twelve miles of nature at its finest. Public access is through Moondance Campground, south shore of Leech Lake.
    Lake Erin Interpretive Trail
    A five-mile trail surrounding the lake after which it is named.
    Oak Point Trail
    At the north end of Leech Lake's Steamboat Bay, 12 miles of
    walking trails.
    Stony Point Recreation Area Trail
    Nine miles of looped forest road for biking and hiking in the Chippewa National Forest. Shingobee Trail.

 

Skier smiling

Attractions
Recreation