Spring Hiking in Chippewa National Forest

Hike Grand Rapids, MN

The Chippewa National Forest is a wonderful place to enjoy spring hiking. In the Chippewa National Forest, there are 298 miles of non-motorized trails to hike, and there is no better way to see the Chippewa Forest than on foot. Highlighted for you are four of the trails located in the Chippewa National Forest that are perfect locations for spring hiking. The Chippewa National Forest has several locations that are perfect for day hiking. Learn more about additional places to day hike HERE.

Simpson Creek Ave of Pines Scenic BywaySimpson Creek Trail

In 1907, Sam Simpson’s crew built the first tote roads and trails in the Cut Foot Sioux area. Today, this system makes up the 13-mile Simpson Creek Trail. Enjoy rolling topography through pines and along glacial eskers, with overlooks onto Cut Foot Sioux Lake and journeys into the cedar swamp.

The Simpson Creek Trail system winds through towering pines, around a great walleye fishing lake, and into the rich history of the Cut Foot Sioux area. Enjoy the beautiful drive on the Avenue of the Pines Scenic Byway where the Simpson Creek Trail is located.

Directions: Access is at the Cut Foot Sioux Visitor Center or Eagle Nest Road (FR 2198) 23 miles northwest on the Avenue of the Pines Scenic Byway.

Suomi Hills TrailSuomi

The remote and stunning Suomi Hills has nineteen miles of hiking, biking, and ski trails and is part of a semi-primitive nonmotorized area. The rolling topography offers mountain bike trails for intermediate and advanced cyclists.

The Suomi Hills Recreation Area is named for the small Finnish community of Suomi, Minn., situated on the northern edge of the Suomi Recreation Area located near Grave Lake, Minn. The area was logged from 1905 to 1910, with people settling in the area about 1916. The Day Lake Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp, a prisoner of war camp during World War II, is located on the north end of Suomi Hills.

Directions: Access the Suomi Hills area 26 miles north of Grand Rapids on Highway 38, Avenue of the Pines National Scenic Byway.

Edge of the Wilderness Discovery Center MarcellEdge of the Wilderness Discovery Center

Learn why this northeast corner of the Forest is called the Edge of the Wilderness. Check out interpretive displays and area information. Hike the short trail to the fishing pier and picnic area or enjoy a program at the Center or amphitheater.

You can rent kayaks to paddle around on Ranier Lake or bring your fishing pole and fish from the fishing pier.

The flat terrain dirt path makes for an easy hike. Perfect for families with young children. Kids of all ages love learning about the native wildlife, trees, plants, and flowers that are on display at the Discovery Center.

Directions: Take Hwy 38, Edge of the Wilderness Scenic Byway, 44 miles north out of Grand Rapids to the north of Marcell, Minnesota.

 

Spring Hiking -Visit Grand Rapids, MN
Photo Credit: Kelli Goodson

Scenic State Park

The park has 10+ miles of easy/moderate hiking trails. The best trail for visitors to hike is Chase Point Trail. It is known for the stunning views of Coon and Sandwick Lake. As you hike along look for bald eagles, loons, jays, woodpeckers, and a variety of songbirds.

During your spring hike at Scenic State Park check out the interpretive signage and historic Civilian Conservation Corps Camp sites. The signage gives information about the history and landscape of Scenic State Park

Rentals such as boats, canoes, paddleboards, and kayaks are available at the park office.

Directions: Take Scenic Hwy 7 for 10 miles then turn onto Scenic Hwy 75 for 33 miles.

 

 

 

For more hiking in the Grand Rapids, Minnesota area click HERE.

Spring Road Trip Girlfriend Getaways to Grand Rapids MN

It is the perfect time to book your Spring Road Trip Girlfriend Getaways to Grand Rapids, MN. The springtime of the year allows you to get outside more to enjoy warmer weather, fresh buds on the trees and flowers starting to appear, and northern wildlife starts emerging from a long winter’s sleep. So, get your girlfriends together and have them check out the reasons why you should consider Grand Rapids, Minnesota as your next Spring Road Trip Girlfriend Getaway destination.

Spring Road Trip Girlfriend Getaway Grand Rapids MNLodging

Grand Rapids is a perfect up north destination that provides a wide variety of places to stay. The Grand Rapids Area Resorts offer cabins and Lake Home Rentals to rent for a couple of days or more. This gives you multiple bedrooms with twin to king size beds, pull out sofa’s, and futons to expand sleeping options. Cabins can sleep 2-12 people. Many resorts have newer up-to-date cabins that offer full kitchens with dishwashers, wifi, and cable or satelite TV. Many of these properties are located on the lake or have lake views. You can also select from a variety of Grand Rapids Hotels/Motels that are conveniently located in town and close to restaurants, spa services, theater, night life, and walking/biking trails. Our quaint and charming Bed & Breakfast or Air B&B’s downtown which are also close to town to trails, shops, area lakes and places to eat & drink. Book at one of our 32 Grand Rapids Cozy Lodging Properties.

Girlfriend Getaway Be Pampered Grand Rapids MNGet Pampered

at our local Spa Service Providers in town. True North Salon is located within Historic Central School Marketplace in the center of downtown. They offer facials, manicures and pedicures, hair services (cuts, blowouts, styling, etc), and make-up services. They are an exclusive Aveda salon. Sukha is a location that houses four businesses under one roof. There is Salon Brad which offers full-service hair and waxing services.  Bala Skin and Laser offers laser hair reduction & skin resurfacing, dermablading, Botox, fillers, chemical peels, micropen, massage, body scrubs, manis, pedis, facials and skincare. Center Fitness is a Mind and body fitness studio dedicated to providing intelligent instruction so that you get more out of every workout.

Places To Eat & Drink Grand Rapids MNEat & Drink Local

Start your day out right at one of the local coffee shops like: NoPo Coffee Company is an adorable cafe that has great coffee, tea, and also offers a full drink and food menu.  Brewed Awakenings is located in historic downtown that offers Minnesota based coffee, teas, homemade bakery items, breakfast sandwiches and fast and healthy luncheons to go. Bixby’s is located in the Itasca YMCA which is perfectly located if you want to get a one-day pass to join an exercise or water class.  For dinner enjoy our two craft breweries where you can dine-in at Rapids Brewing, order take-in or order from a Food Truck at Klockow Brewing Co, or order in or to go at Unwined Up North Wine Bar. Or select from several other wonderful places to dine like: Sammy’s Pizza, Forest Lake Restaurant, Pickled Loon, Zorbaz, Florio’s, Boulder Tap House, El Potro, or Cedar Creek Grille. Or maybe, you are looking to cook with your Girlfriends. With two locations for SuperOne Grocery Stores you can shop local from fresh produce, bakery, deli and meat to cook at your own cabin or vacation home rental.

girlfriend weekend sizedCreate Memories

A great way for you and your girlfriends to spend time together is creating something to take home as a memory of your time together. In Grand Rapids we have a rich artistic culture to create art in a natural setting. MacRostie Art Center offers a wide variety of art classes for beginners to advanced students. They can also connect you with an artists that would be interested in coming to you to teach a class. Classes range from painting, pottery, jewelry making, paper making, etc.

Seek Outdoor Adventure

Take advantage of the natural setting of Grand Rapids, by getting out into nature andHiking Grand Rapids MN experiencing something unique like Paddling the Mississippi or Hiking the Lost Forty, or bicycling the Mesabi Trail or Mississippi River Trail. Paddle Hoppers offers guided paddles of the Mississippi River and rents paddle equipment for you to take to the resort you are staying at. Ardent Bicycles offers mountain bike rentals. Grand Rapids also has a Bike Share Program. You can check out a bike at the Grand Rapids City Hall, Library or Itasca YMCA. All you need is a photo id.

Be Entertained Grand Rapids MNBe Entertained

If after-hours entertainment is something your group desires, check out our Things To Do page. Grand Rapids, Minnesota offers wonderful weekly live music at our craft breweries: Klockow Brewing Co and Rapids Brewing Co. The Reif Center has weekly performances September through May of each year that include Broadway style productions, live music concerts, and comedy shows. Check out the Events Calendar to view the daily and weekly line-up of nighlight in Grand Rapids.

Downtown ShoppingBoutique Style Shops

Grand Rapids is filled with little boutique style shops that offer one-of-a-kind unique items that you cannot find anywhere else. You will find clothing & shoes, up-north finds, Minnesota made, antiques, vintage, or home decor. Here are some of our favorites: Bender’s Shoes & Gifts, Wings & Willow, Lake Lover VintageCentral Square Mall, Itasca County Historical Society Gift Shop, Forest History Center Gift Shop, Judy Garland & Children’s Museum Gift Shop, Thousand Lakes Sporting Goods, Lake + Co Shop, Annabella’s Antique Mall, Shaw Florists, MacRostie Art Center Gallery ,Thirteen Main, Frame Up 218, Red Willow Co, and Clara Cupboard & Closet.

We hope that we have given you inspiration for you to want to book your Spring Road Trip Girlfriend Getaway to Grand Rapids, Minnesota! Download the 2022 Grand Rapids Visitor Guide for even more Girlfriend Getaway inspiration.

Late Winter Ice Fishing Report 3-16-2022

Grand Rapids MN Winter Crappie

The warm weather is a very welcome change and bringing the snow depth down to manageable heights will make late winter-season ice fishing a bit easier to get around. With several opportunities available for Crappies, Bluegills, Tullibees, and Perch, late ice fishing won’t last long with warmer weather upon us. Make sure when venturing out you bring along or wear higher boots because of increased water on the ice.

Perch fishing, especially in the late winter, can be some of the best ice fishing opportunities of the winter. Perch start to move shallow prior to spawning and are schooled up in big bunches. They are nourishing their bodies and eating several different critters that are available. As the melting water seeps into the cracks and holes of the late ice, perch will go on a feeding binge right up into ice out.  Looking at your lake maps try to target areas that come out of deeper water to flats that are adjacent to shallower rocky areas. These are key locations to contacting late ice perch with consistency. Make no mistake you will still have to drill several holes to stay on them, but it’s worth the effort.

Yellow Perch are one of the best-eating fish available and that is why many anglers have learned their food value. The firm, sweet flesh of perch are like no other species. For generations in Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, and Illinois, perch have been part of the “Friday night fish Fries” that many have grown up with. The reason is they are very tasty and fun to catch. We in Minnesota for many years never knew the value of perch until the last 20 years or so. Now there are many anglers targeting perch like never before. Limits were reduced to preserve the perch and now it has rebounded in several lakes where it was decades ago.

Small baits, like Northland Tackle’s Forage Minnow and the Forage Minnow Spoon, are deadly on late winter ice perch. Attach a minnow head or a couple of wax worms and subtly jig it until you get bit. Plastics also work excellent at times and the Impulse Bloodworm can be a bait that will put perch on the ice.   Good electronics and an Aqua Vu underwater camera can be all-important ingredients in finding and staying on the perch. Much of the same tackle you use for other species of panfish are well suited for perch fishing also. Lite line in 4# test and a lite action rod is sufficient for perch and loads of fun.

Some of the good lakes in the Grand Rapids area are Big Winnie, Pokegama, Bowstring, Sand, Big Ball Club, and Jessie. Contact local bait shops for updated information on where the perch are biting. It can help in making your decision on where to fish.

To book a last-minute late winter ice fishing trip or book an opening fishing vacation, click HERE.

Top 10 Spring Adventures in Grand Rapids, MN

The perfect spring road trip to seek spring adventure up north in Grand Rapids, MN. 

Let’s be honest, winter has been great this year, but we all have a little cabin fever. That feeling of being cooped up inside is leaving all of us seeking Spring Adventures in Minnesota. Grand Rapids, Minnesota is the perfect up north spring road trip where you can get outside, seek adventure, and also enjoy a little rest and relaxation as well. Below is a list of Top 10 Spring Adventure you can find in Grand Rapids, Minnesota…

Grand Rapids Hiking Legion Trail1. Hike

Everyone gets a little, or a lot, of cabin fever around the transition from winter to spring. Grand Rapids, Minnesota offers over 1 million acres of public forest land made up of the Chippewa National Forest, UPM Blandin Foundation, George Washington State Forest, and the Scenic State Park. These are all great places to hike on well-maintained trails. We suggest the following: Simpson Creek (Easiest) is located in the Chippewa National Forest 45 miles northwest of Grand Rapids, Minnesota on the Avenue of the Pines Scenic Byway. This trail is a nice entry-level that is perfect for families of young children. Enjoy rolling topography through pines and along glacial eskers, with overlooks onto Cut Foot Sioux Lake and journeys into the cedar swamp. Legion Trail (Easy/Beginner to More Difficult Level) located north of town inside the City limits of Grand Rapids is a 7-mile hand-cut trail that is fun, flowy, and twisty in a mixed forest that wraps around Hale Lake. Suomi Hills (More Difficult Level) is a remotely located hiking and skiing trail located twenty-three miles north of Grand Rapids up the Edge of the Wilderness Scenic Byway. An interesting site is The Day Lake Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp remains, a prisoner of war camp during World War II is located on the north end of Suomi Hills. Learn more about places to Hike in the Grand Rapids, MN area.

Itasca Historical Museum Grand Rapids MN2. Explore Minnesota’s History

Grand Rapids, Minnesota was established in 1872 and has rich forestry, logging, and mining history to learn about. You will want to check out the Itasca County Historical Society Museum.  The Museum is FREE, houses a lot of interesting Minnesota artifacts, and houses a genealogy center, gift shop, and escape room. The Judy Garland Museum and Children’s Discovery Museum are two museums under one roof where you can learn about the life of Judy Garland, born as Frances Ethel Gumm on June 10, 1922, in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. Find the largest Judy Garland and Wizard of Oz artifacts in the nation. Walkthrough the home Judy grew up in. The Children’s Discovery Museum offers hands-on educational exhibits, activities & programs for kids, plus a gift store. Learn more about Grand Rapids, MN area Historic Attractions.

Grand Rapids MN Off Road Adventures3. Four Wheel Forest Adventures

Grand Rapids, Minnesota has over 300 miles of ATV trails to ride in the Spring. ATV/OHV trails open April -middle of May. The ATV trails that are located on old railroad beds open first (Alborn-Pengilly (39 miles), Blue Ox (74 miles), and Thistledew (25 miles). With Alvwood/Squaw Lake (159) and Island Lake Connection Trail (2 miles) opening May 2nd. The rest of the Itasca County ATV/OHV trails open middle of May (UPM-Blandin (21 miles), Balsam to Bigfork (33 miles), Little Moose (18 miles), and Northwoods Regional Trail (19 miles). All of these trails are well maintained and offer a wide variety of easy to moderate riding levels. All of these trails will take you through mixed forest, tamarack bogs, across boardwalks, and around lakes, rivers and streams. This is a wonderful way to get deeper into Minnesota’s forest on designated trails. Download the Itasca County ATV Map.

DSC0914 HDR 14. Explore Grand Rapids Public Art & History Tour

Take a walking tour around Grand Rapids and visit different murals, sculptures, and historic buildings. The art and history around Grand Rapids represent what Grand Rapids was founded on and you can find different art pieces that represent the Ojibwa culture, forestry, logging, and mining history, and the splendor of surrounding Minnesota’s nature. Also on the tour is MacRostie Art Center and The Reif Center which have rotating art exhibits and galleries. The new walking bridge across the Mississippi River is a wonderful place to start this self-guided tour. Download the Grand Rapids Public Art & History Tour.

 

Grand Splash Water Slide Grand Rapids MN5. Indoor Water Fun

Many Grand Rapids lodging properties like Timberlake Lodge Hotel, AmericInn, Country Inn & Suites offer pools and hot tubs. This allows kids of all ages to enjoy pool time while the parents relax in the hot tub. Timberlake Lodge Hotel has a Grand Splash waterpark, which offers a 98-foot slide, 20-person hot tub, and kiddie pool. A wonderful way for the kids and adults alike to burn off some energy and the parents to relax in comfort. Find Grand Rapids, MN places to Stay with pools and hot tubs.

Mesabi Trail Grand Rapids MN6. Bike Mississippi to Boundry Waters

The Mesabi Trail is 145 miles of mostly paved bicycle trail that runs from the Mississippi River in Grand Rapids to the Boundry Waters in Ely. Cutting through the forests of northeast Minnesota, your adventure will take you past lakes, creeks, and ponds, by vast red pits of old iron ore mines now filled with emerald, green water.  Learn more about the Mesabi Trail and purchase a wheel pass. The Tioga Recreation Area is a 25-mile single-track trail that was created for mountain biking and fat-tire biking. Playground Pathfinder will also be officially opening sometime in the Spring of 2022. Learn more about the Tioga Recreation Area.

 

Reif Center Grand Rapids MN7. Be Entertained

Mother Nature sometimes brings showers so our spring flowers can bloom. If this is the case, don’t fret, we have several indoor locations that can keep everyone entertained. The Reif Center is our hidden gem of a theater that brings the stars to northern Minnesota. Another place to relax and be entertained indoors is Mann’s Cinema Theater. Take in an afternoon matinee or evening show. They offer comfortable theater-style seating and a full-service concession stand. Thunder Alley XL offers a bowling and indoor adult-style arcade game area, an onsite bar that serves great pizza and other concession snacks. Find Grand Rapids, MN Area Attractions.

Klockow Brewing Grand Rapids MN8. Eat, Drink & Shop Local

Check out the two craft breweries and Minnesota wine bar. At Klockow Brewing Company you can order or bring your own food in and enjoy live music every week. Rapids Brewing Company located in historic downtown offers wood-fired oven cuisine and live music and events occurring weekly. Unwined Up North is also located in historic downtown and serves Minnesota wine and craft beer, charcuterie boards, flatbreads, salads, and sandwiches. In Grand Rapids, you will find many locally-owned restaurants, bars, and grills that offer one-of-a-kind up north cuisine like hearty wild rice soup and juicy bar burgers. Find Places to Eat & Drink in Grand Rapids, MN. Downtown Grand Rapids is best known for boutique-style shops that offer one-of-a-kind gifts, home decor, clothing, shoes, jewelry, local art, and Northwood memorabilia to take home with you as a memento of your visit to Grand Rapids. Grand Rapids, Minnesota area has several other retail shops and vintage boutique-style shops where you can shop to your heart’s delight.

Pokegama Golf Course Grand Rapids MN 10 spring adventures9. Grand Lakes of Golf

Three 18-hole championship golf courses make up the Grand Lakes of Golf: Eagle Ridge Golf Course, Pokegama Golf Course, and Sugar Brooke Golf Course. Each course is beautifully manicured with different degrees of difficulty. All have cart rentals and restaurants on-site. Whether you want 18 or 9 holes, to take an extended vacation, long weekend, or just get in a few holes after work, Grand Rapids has many options, and won’t disappoint. There are four additional 9-hole courses located in the Grand Rapids, MN area as well that are perfect for entry-level golfers and families. Find more information and book a tee time for Grand Rapids, MN area Golf Courses.

Cozy Lodging Grand Rapids MN10. Seek Rest and Relaxation

Grand Rapids, Minnesota offers a wide variety of cozy lodging options where you can find rest and relaxation while up north. You will find conveniently located in town Hotels/Motels and Bed & Breakfast. You will also find Minnesota Resort cabins and Vacation Home Rentals where you will have the opportunity to make your own meals and gather together. And we also offer in-town Air B&B’s as well that are hosted in a mixed commercial and residential area that is close to being able to walk to shops, restaurants, and breweries downtown. Find Places to Stay in Grand Rapids, MN.

 

 

 

Ice Fishing for Bluegills in the Greater Grand Rapids Area

Ice fishing continues to play a major role for visitors to the Grand Rapids area. There are some of the best-groomed snowmobile trails in the state and breathtaking cross country ski areas as well, but ice fishing opportunities for several panfish species are a good choice. Until the snowpack recedes it seems the best travel out on the lakes is to stay on plowed roads, snowmobiles, or track vehicles to access the ice. Smaller lakes seem to be good choices for there is far less traffic and less slush and water pockets. There is plenty of ice and most lakes report anywhere from 20-30 inches of ice under all the snow.

 

Ice fishing for bluegills has been targeted by many anglers for they are less picky during the day and usually once found, can provide action the entire time on the ice. Crappies seem to be more active early and late in the day, but bluegills will provide action consistently. Most good bluegill anglers will provide a lite presentation when chasing bluegills. 2-4# test monofilament line is almost a must for many times the most subtle of bites you will experience. Over the years anglers have switched from spring bobbers on the tip of their ice rod to the softest tip that will detect the slightest bite that bluegills will give you when they inhale your bait. St. Croix Rods have developed a series of panfish rods that will help you to see the bite and even with the lightest of baits. Small tungsten jigs like Northland Tackle’s Punch Jig and Mud Bug are super bluegill baits that will consistently put fish on the ice. Tip them with a waxy or a couple of euro larvae and you’re in business.

 

Electronics when ice fishing bluegills is essential because of their tendency to be indifferent depths of the water column. As the season gets closer to spring, bluegills will start to relate to transition areas from mud to harder bottom and old weed edges. Their primary food sources are tiny larvae that live in these softer bottom areas and will most often suspend during the day. Having a good underwater camera can be a key ingredient to seeking out schools of bluegills that you might not have seen. Many times there are crappies mixed in with them and that’s always a bonus to include a few in your catch. Pay attention to limit changes the DNR may have implemented and check the new regulation book when purchasing your license. Several trophy bluegill lakes have gone to a 5 fish limit, so make sure you check before going out on the lake. Most public accesses will have any changes in limits for all species on that particular lake, posted near the landing.

 

There are over a hundred good ice fishing for bluegill lakes within 40 miles of Grand Rapids that can provide you with great opportunities. A few lakes to give a try are Graves, Little Turtle, Little Ball Club, Dunbar, Bellow, Gunn, Clubhouse, Pokegama, and Big Rice. All have good populations of bluegills and crappies. Some of the best ice fishing for panfish is coming up in the next month and warmer weather is on the horizon.

To book a fishing trip, click HERE!

ice fishing for bluegills -Visit Grand Rapids, MN

Family Friendly Spring Break Trip to Grand Rapids, MN

We know how busy families are. Parents work 40+ hours a week. Kids are scheduled in multiple activities, sports games, and tournaments and then there is school work and school schedules. Parents have a hard time getting their paid time off to coordinate with kids’ school and activity schedules. With Schools Spring Break coming up in February-April, we thought we would give you an few ideas of things to do on Spring Break in the greater Grand Rapids, MN area.

Family-Friendly Outdoor Adventures

We have heard of many reasons why people should spend time outdoors, one of them being a natural cure for stress. There is something very special that happens when you allow yourself to just be in nature. Un-tap you and the kids from their phones and other electronic devices to get out on our snow trails. Some activities to try are, and trails and locations to consider:

  • Snowshoeing– Ardent Bicycles has snowshoes to rent. Check out our Snowshoeing resource pages for information on all of the snowshoe trails in the greater Grand Rapids area.
  • Snowmobiling – Grand Rapids has over 1000 miles of groomed snowmobile trails. If you do not have your own snowmobiles. No worries, R&R rents snowmobiles. You can snowmobile right from some of our lodging properties!! See the 2021-2022 snowmobile map by clicking HERE!
  • Fat Tire BikingTioga Recreation is just a few minutes away from downtown Grand Rapids. Enjoy 25+ miles of groomed fat tire bike trails and after enjoy local bike-friendly breweries. There is almost always live music at Rapids Brewing Co.
  • Ice Fishing – The Grand Rapids area has over 1,000 lakes to catch fish on in the winter. If you do not have your own fishing gear, don’t worry, we have professional fishing guides that have all of the equipment, ice fish houses, and know where the fish are biting so you can catch fish. Check out our Ice Fishing resource page for more information.
  • Skiing, Snowboarding, and Snowtubing – Mt Itasca is a winter recreation area that is located 5 miles east of downtown Grand Rapids in Coleraine. Here you can enjoy downhill skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing. For more information check out our Skiing and Sledding resource page.

 

Ice Fishing- Grand Rapids, MNSnowshoeing- Visit Grand Rapids, MN

 

Family Time Indoor

  • Itasca Historical Society- Try to solve the mystery of Grandpa’s Workroom at the Itasca Historical Society Escape Room. You have one hour to follow the clues and escape. After, talk a stroll around the museum exhibits and learn a little about the Itasca area, the Mississippi River and so much more.
  • Judy Garland & Children’s Museum- The Children’s Museum now has extended hours! Don’t forget to ask about getting passes for both museums. One side is perfect for kids 12 and under and the other side tells the story of Judy Garland. Get a guided tour on Saturday by calling the museum.
  • Manns Cinema 8 Theater- There are great movies currently out. Enjoy a family night after a fun day. Unwined with popcorn and a movie.
  • Thunder Alley XL- Who doesn’t love bowling? Thunder Alley XL has neon bowling, bumpers for young kids, an arcade, and a bar. Call to reserve a lane and learn about their bowling specials.
  • The Reif- There are some unique upcoming performances and musicians coming to the Reif. Check out their website for a full list of events and to book tickets.

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Get Cozy

There are many lodging options for you to come together as a family. You will find conveniently located Hotels and Motels that offer a wide variety of onsite amenities such as pools, hot tubs, and a water slide! We also have one charming Bed and Breakfast located on Pokegama Lake. In winter is always a great option to cozy up at a Resort or Vacation Rental with the unique amenities of staying up north.  Spring Break is just around the corner. Book your trip and enjoy family time reconnecting in Minnesota’s nature.

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Head North To Catch Winter Crappies

Head North Catch Winter Crappies
Grand Rapids MN Winter Crappie
Tom Neustrom with a nice winter crappie caught on a Grand Rapids, MN area lake

Tom Neustrom, owner of MN Fishing Connection, encourages to head north to catch winter crappies now. Read the Grand Rapids area ice fishing report below.

The walleye-northern pike season has ended until May, and the pursuit of panfish will take center stage. Crappies, Bluegills and Yellow Perch will be fished by serious ice anglers looking for late season opportunities. Some of the best ice fishing of the season for these species will be in the next few weeks while ice is fishable. Grand Rapids has numerous lakes within twenty-five miles that support all three of the mentioned species. Check out the MN DNR Fishing Regulations page for more details.

Now is the perfect time to head north to catch winter crappies! Crappies are one of the three that bring special attention to local anglers and visiting ones as well. Being prolific in so many lakes, and a great tasting fish, it’s no wonder this is one of the favorites of ice fisherman throughout the winter. Locating and catching them is always an issue, but as spring and late ice approaches, they tend to school up tighter and are fairly predictable. Throughout the winter deeper soft bottom locations will hold crappies and can be temper mental and many times hard to catch. As the melting starts to take place and the sun burns brightly, crappies as other species know that changes are taking place. There is more activation of bottom critters and the different larvae that live in these soft bottom areas are just what crappies and other panfish are looking for. The reproductive cycle is soon to happen, and fish need additional nourishment to survive through the rituals. They will feed more often during the day and mayfly and other larvae are their choice of diet.

Lite tackle and small baits are needed to target crappies throughout the winter, and it is essential to use these tactics during late ice. Two of my favorite late ice baits are Northland Tackle’s Gill Getter and Tungsten Punch Fly tipped with a couple of euro larvae or a single wax worm. Use your electronics to find the depth crappies are occupying and you’re in business. My Humminbird Helix 7 is so sensitive I can pick up small clouds of suspended larvae and crappies right there dining on them. Remember to keep your bait just slightly above them when dropping your bait to their location. Don’t jig your bait too erratically to spook them. Just a slight twitch and pause will usually do the trick.

Some of the preferred lakes in the Grand Rapids area that hold good numbers of crappies are Big and Little Splithand, Little Moose, Pokegama, Graves, Big Rice, and Loon. Any of these lakes offer good opportunities to provide good opportunities for excellent crappie fishing late in the ice season. March is the perfect month to head north to Grand Rapids, MN to catch winter crappies and panfish.

Watch this short video where Lyle Unger, Grand Rapids Guide Service highlights his ice fishing success for winter crappies this week.

Book Your 2022 Fishing Trip Now!

This summer head north for the perfect fishing trip. Now is the time to book your fishing trip in the Grand Rapids, Minnesota area. Hiring a professional fishing guide for your trip will ensure that you have the trip of a lifetime. Check out our Lakes/Fishing page for a list of professional fishing guides to consider.  Professional fishing guides are licensed and insured, they know the Grand Rapids area lakes, they provide the state-of-the-art fishing equipment and technology, and they can get you on fish faster and with more success. Make fishing memories on our lakes in Minnesota’s nature. Consider Grand Rapids this year for your fishing trip destination. With over 1,400 lakes in the Grand Rapids area, you are sure to catch fish! Consider bringing the entire family. Grand Rapids offers over 2,000 miles of trails to bike, hike and ATV. Grand Rapids has two craft breweries, boutique style shops, great place to eat & drink, nightlife entertainment, public art, and area attractions to discover MN history. Grand Rapids is also the perfect place to recharge, reconnect and relax. Stay in Grand Rapids where you will find an abundance of cozy lodging options.