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10 Fun & Best Things to Do in Walker, Minnesota

10 Fun & Best Things to Do in Walker, Minnesota

Walker, Minnesota, may be a small town, but it’s got a big tourist following. Located in northern Minnesota near Leech Lake, Walker is a destination for families, couples, and groups.

Visitors come to fish, play golf, hike, swim, gamble, and relax! With easy access to Leech Lake, anglers come from all over to fish for muskie, crappie, bass, and pike.

The lake was previously dubbed the “muskie capital of the world,” but if you don’t know what a muskie is or don’t plan on fishing, you’ll find the beaches just as fantastic.

If you’re coming to town for culture, stop at the Walker Bay Theater, where they feature plays and musicals dedicated to Minnesota history and culture. Or, see one of the largest collections of Ojibwe and Dakota beadwork in northern Minnesota at the Cass County Museum & Historical Society.

Shopping is also abundant in downtown Walker, with the unique Walker General Store, coffee shops, and boutiques. You’ll also find various restaurants along Main Street, from BBQ to pizza.

There are many things to do in Walker, Minnesota, whether you’re playing a round of golf at Tianna Country Club, trying your hand at poker at the Northern Lights Casino, or relaxing along the shores of Leech Lake.  

Here are the fun and best things to do in Walker, Minnesota.

Country Inn Walker
1. Country Inn Walker Top Recommendation

Country Inn Walker is a Walker hotel set along the shore of Leech Lake. It offers an indoor pool, daily breakfast including hot waffles and rooms with free Wi-Fi. The well-decorated rooms each have cable TV with HBO movie channels. A microwave, fridge and coffee maker are also provided. Guests have access to the gym at the Walker Community Center and business services are available at this country inn.

Walker Hotel
2. Walker Hotel

Walker Hotel is located in downtown Walker, Minnesota. Local attractions within 6 miles (10 km) of the hotel include Leech Lake, and Northern Lights Casino is 8 km away. Free WiFi is available throughout this pet-friendly property. Cable TV, microwaves and refrigerators are provided in every room at Walker Hotel. For additional convenience, a hairdryer, alarm clock and ironing facilities are also included.

Chase On The Lake
3. Chase On The Lake

Chase On The Lake is a four-story hotel located on the west side of Walker. This family-friendly property offers guests an indoor pool with a hot tub, fitness centre and free WiFi access in public areas.. All rooms feature a coffee machine, kitchenettes and hairdryers.

TLDR

  • Most significant landmark – Circle of Time
  • Best park – Chippewa National Forest
  • Best free activity – Walker City Park
  • Best activity for kids – The Ice Skating Rink at Walker Area Community Center
  • Best activity for adults – Walker Bay Theater
  • Best food – The Boulders
  • Best nightlife – Benson’s Eating & Drinking Emporium
  • Best all-around accommodationChase on the Lake Resort and Spa 

Best & Fun Things to Do in Walker, Minnesota

 1. Leech Lake

Leech Lake Walker Minnesota

Address: Walker City Park, Walker, MN 56484

Located in the Chippewa National Forest, Leech Lake is known for its excellent fishing (both summer fishing and ice fishing) opportunities, but you can also go swimming, sailing, canoeing, or boating.

The easiest place to access the lake from Walker is through Walker City Park and Walker Bay. This boat landing is one of the best and sometimes the busiest.

The abundance of clean, clear water and over 200 miles of shoreline makes it perfect for all types of water recreation. Anglers put lines in the lake, hoping to catch walleye, perch, bass, northern pike, or musky.

You can also rent boats, including sailboats and canoes, or head off for an afternoon adventure with a fish guide service. In the winter, stay warm in one of the many ice houses or cabins for ice fishing.

There is also a campground with a wooded setting and a mooring canal for boats. Campers often hear the tell-tale call of loons on Leech Lake. However, if you’d rather camp in style (or rather, not camp at all), stay at the Chase on the Lake Resort, with private beach access, an indoor pool, a fitness center, and an onsite restaurant and bar.

So whether you plan to catch a muskie, camp (or stay at the resort), swim, or canoe, visiting Leech Lake is easily one of the best things to do in Walker.

See Related: Fun & Best Things to Do in Bloomington, Minnesota

2. Chippewa National Forest

Chippewa National Forest Walker Minnesota
lynn friedman / Shutterstock.com

Address: 200 Ash Ave NW, Deer River, MN 56636

Chippewa National Forest includes over a million acres, and 44% of the forest lies within the Leech Lake Indian Reservation. If you are looking for four-season outdoor recreational activities, you must put Chippewa National Forest on your itinerary! This spot is perfect for a family vacation, with so much to do year-round.

With a local ranger office in Walker, you can see all options available, including hiking trails, biking, hunting, swimming, fishing, water sports, camping, and boating. In addition, the park offers ice fishing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, sledding, and tubing in the winter. 

Chippewa National Forest is great for families, couples, and groups, with grouse and deer hunting opportunities, swimming at Stony Point Beach, Leech Lake, or Mabel Lake, and over 40 miles of trails for mountain bikers. 

If you’re traveling with a group and want the comforts of a home, stay at a beautiful lake house on the shores of Leech Lake.

This beautiful four-season home sleeps ten and is less than a mile away from over 100 miles of hiking trails, snowmobiling, fishing, and local attractions. In addition, it’s less than five minutes from Walker’s fine dining restaurant, The Boulders.

See Related: Best Amsterdam Tours | Walking, Biking, and Boating

3. Ice Skating at the Walker Area Community Center

ice skating at Walker, Minnesota

Address: 105 Tower Ave, Walker, MN 56484

The Walker Area Community Center is excellent for locals and tourists, with meeting rooms, an ice skating rink (during fall/winter/spring), and a fitness center. Located at the top of the hill on Tower Avenue, the Community Center is easy to access.

If you’re traveling with kids, check out the free skate times at the community center’s ice skating arena. In addition, the WACC also offers open hockey during set times, and skate rentals are available at the front desk.

Also, if you need a few hours to work or have a meeting, you can reserve a quiet space at the center. The meeting space has WiFi, tables, and a fireplace, perfect for the colder months.

If you visit during the summer, check the event schedule at the WACC, as you may find a Flea Market, Craft Fair, or Home & Garden Show.

See Related: Warm Places to Visit in US During Winter

4. Cass County Museum

Cass County Museum
Image by McGhieverCC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Address: 205 Minnesota Ave W, Walker, MN 56484

The Cass County Museum & Historical Society is an educational experience highlighting the regional Native Americans that lived around Leech Lake. The exhibits include information on wild rice, harvesting maple sap, and building canoes.

Children will enjoy this small museum, with its interactive one-room schoolhouse, the Huset Pioneer School. They can write on slate boards with chalk, play on a pedal organ, or ring the school bell.

Although it’s not a large museum, it covers a lot of information in its small space. For example, exhibits on the Ojibwe Indians, fur traders, and military displays exist. You can also search for and discover Leech Lake’s history at the museum’s research center.

If you don’t have time to visit the museum, stop by the “Circle of Time” statues just outside the entrance. These 13 bronze statues depict and highlight important regional people in history.

The “Circle of Time” is a perfect spot for a quick overview of the city’s history, as it’s free and there’s a small plaque explaining each statue.

5. Walker City Park

Walker City Park Minnesota
Image from TripAdvisor

Address: Walker City Park, Walker, MN 56484

Walker City Park is on the water, with beautiful views of Leech Lake, playscapes, picnic tables, trees, and tennis courts. But if you’re visiting Minnesota for the first time, you may be surprised to see loons by the boat docks!

There is something for everyone at the park, whether you want to relax, read a book, go swimming, have a picnic, or play tennis. Many people bring food to enjoy at the picnic tables while the kids explore the beautiful lighthouse after playing on the playscape.

If you’re looking for a challenging hiking trail, you may want to try the 22.4-mile loop of the Paul Bunyan Trail and Heartland Trail. It’s popular for biking, dog-walking, and bird-watching. You’ll see beautiful views of Leech Lake and many other ponds and vegetation along the trail.

The park is easily one of the top attractions in the Leech Lake area, with an annual 4th of July celebration and a large number of other annual events. This awesome park is a hit for locals and tourists alike!

After an afternoon outdoors, grab a frosty pint of Comfort in the Fog, a New England IPA, or Coffeecake, a Blonde Ale, from the nearby Portage Brewing Company.

See Related: Visiting the Four Corners National Monument in the USA

6. Tianna Country Club

Tianna Country Club
Image from TripAdvisor

Address: 7470 MN-34, Walker, MN 56484

Tianna Country Club, situated between Long Lake and Walker Bay, is a fantastic place to play 18 holes, with manicured greens and emerald fairways. Not only is the course beautiful, but Hole #2 was rated as the Best Golf Hole in Minnesota. 

Open to the public, Tianna Country Club is great whether you’re an avid golfer or if you want to goof around with friends. Feel free to stop in the Pro Shop to pick up anything you may need before hitting the front nine.

And if you want to improve your golf swing before you hit the course, the club offers private lessons. If you’re hungry before your morning tee time, you can grab a breakfast sandwich on your way to the course.

Otherwise, the restaurant serves appetizers, grilled items, salads, and sandwiches. And if you’re traveling with kids, stay nearby at Trapper’s Landing Lodge, where they can enjoy the free kids’ club.

The cabins provide full kitchens, balconies, and a fireplace. And during the summer, your whole family can cool down at the outdoor pool. 

See Related: Minnesota National Parks and National Park Service Sites to Visit

7. Walker Bay Theater

Address: 609 Minnesota Ave W, Walker, MN 56484

The Walker Bay Theater is located in the heart of downtown Walker, surrounded by the scenic Leech Lake and fertile prairies. They perform musicals and plays about Minnesota’s culture and history. A gallery highlighting local artists and their works is also in the theater.

While most shows may be for adults, the Children’s Theater Company also has extraordinary theater shows for young children.

Past productions include The Sunshine Boys by Neil Simon, The Night Before Christmas, Little Women, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and The Chronicles of Narnia. 

The theater is a hidden gem run primarily by volunteers. The intimate setting and small-town community theater make this the perfect attraction for locals and tourists. 

Stay nearby at the reasonably priced and well-rated Walker Hotel, with a complimentary breakfast and an indoor swimming pool. 

See Related: Best Gunflint Trail Resorts for Lodging in Minnesota

8. Moondance Jam

Moondance Jam Walker Minnesota
Image by Matt BeckerCC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Address: 7050 Turtle Lake Twsh 46, Walker, MN 56484

Many people visiting Walker come just for the Moondance Jam. Held every July, the Moondance Jam is a classic rock festival held at the 300-acre Moondance Events Grounds. The 2023 dates are already scheduled, so make sure to book your lodging as soon as possible, as local hotels will sell out quickly!

As one of the top events in the Leech Lake area, it brings people from nearby cities such as Akeley, Benedict, Laporte, Ah-gwah-ching, Whipholt, and Hackensack.

The July festival begins with a weekend of country music with performances from regional country bands. The following weekend is full of rock music with both national and regional performers. In addition, August brings Deuces Wild Dueling Pianos, and September is the Harvest Moon Festival.

This festival is easily one of Minnesota’s top events, and there are options to camp at the festival site. The camping facilities at the site include showers, ice, freshwater, and portable restrooms. In addition, the site is well-lit and monitored by security staff.

See Related: Most Beautiful Sunflower Fields in Minnesota

9. Northstar Shooting Sports Club

Address: Rifle Range Dr. NW, Laporte, MN 56461

If you’re on the search for something fun to do, head just north of Walker to the Northstar Shooting Sports Club. The club offers handguns, rifles, archery, and trap and skeet ranges.

They also have a sporting clay course with a wooded 1/2-mile walk through a partially open field. All ranges and courses are open to the public during all open club hours.

They also offer Hunter Safety Training and Youth Firearm Safety classes for those just getting started with sport shooting. With the abundant opportunities for hunting in the area, it’s a good idea to learn how to handle a rifle safely. After visiting, you may discover a new passion for archery or trap and skeet!

See Related: Best Things to do in Bemidji, Minnesota

10. Chase on the Lake Resort

chase on the lake 1
Image via Tripadvisor, Chase on the Lake Management

Address: 502 Cleveland Blvd., Walker, MN 56484

Chase on the Lake is your dream getaway on Leech Lake. This rustic and cozy resort brings you true Northwoods style, and modern amenities blend with cabin comforts. A mix of hotel rooms, suites, and private condos make this a perfect choice for every group – whether you’re seeking a romantic couples’ getaway or a large family reunion. Enjoy a bonfire on the lake shore, wade in the water, and watch the sunset with your loved ones close by.

See Related: The Best Resorts On Leech Lake, Minnesota

FAQ 

What are the best things to see in Walker, Minnesota?

If you’re in town during the summer, you should attend one of the many events, like the 4th of July fireworks show or the Moondance Jam. If crowds aren’t your thing, take the 67-mile Lake Country Scenic Byway from Walker to Detroit Lakes to do some leaf-peeping! However, Chippewa National Forest has much more to do outside the car, including exploring its multiple lakes, trails, and wildlife areas.

What are some fun things to do in Walker, Minnesota, with kids?

If you have kids in tow, you should plan a trip to one of the many lakes for water recreation, see attractions such as the ice skating rink at the community center, or explore Main Street (downtown Walker) with its shops and dining options. There are also several parks in the area, but Walker City Park is highly rated and often has summer events

What are the best Walker, Minnesota, tourist attractions?

The top tourist attractions in Walker are the Leech Lake area and Chippewa National Forest. There is a lot to do at both, including camping, viewing wildlife areas, hiking, biking, hunting, swimming, bird watching, boating, and exploring. It depends on what you want to do, but both parks will leave lasting impressions on you.

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