The Willmar Lakes Area is “where the lakes begin” in West Central Minnesota. Located just 90 minutes west of the Twin Cities in beautiful lake country, the Willmar Lakes Area is the perfect place to get outdoors, enjoy beautiful fall foliage, and make memories this fall.
Hit The Trails
The Willmar Lakes Area is home to some of the best trails in the state. Load up your bike to make the most of the fresh air and fall foliage, surrounded by lakes, native trees, and grassy vistas.
Local bike trail favorites include the Glacial Lakes State Park, Eagle Lake Trail, Robbins Island Trail, and the scenic road route around Green Lake. If you don’t have your own bike, take advantage of the BikeWillmar bike share to get out on the trails quickly and easily. You can also rent fat tire bikes at Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center and enjoy their 4.5 miles of mountain bike trails or 7 miles of hiking trails through their 500 acres of rolling glacial terrain.
Hiking enthusiasts will also enjoy 18 miles of trails at Sibley State Park, one of Central Minnesota’s top attractions. These easy-to-moderate trails offer beautiful vistas and wind through the woods, hilltop prairies, and savannas. Hike to the top of Mount Tom to see the colorful patchwork of forest, farmland, prairie knolls, and lakes.
Kayaking provides a unique viewpoint for enjoying fall colors. The Willmar Lakes Area waterways provide you with a variety of paddling opportunities. A local favorite is the upstream trail on the Middle Fork of the Crow River. You will see spectacular scenery along this paddling route and may even catch a glimpse of a variety of wildlife. In addition to river paddling, the area is home to over 100 lakes for a variety of options.
Get out on the links at five local golf courses. These scenic courses offer 90 holes of golf to play. From beginners to the seasoned golf pro, you will have a great time in the Willmar Lakes Area.
On The Town
After enjoying the outdoors, spend the afternoon shopping at local boutiques. In Willmar, find unique home décor and jewelry at Shoppe 14, and pick up a sweet treat at Mr. B’s Chocolates. For the latest in fall fashions head to Urban Escape in Spicer or Ali J Boutique and The Happy Sol in New London. Leave time for a stop at the Lucky Duck to bring out your inner child with games, puzzles, toys, and more.
At the end of the day, grab a beverage at Willmar’s Foxhole Brewhouse or New London’s Goat Ridge Brewing Company. For dining, visit one of the area’s local eateries or grab some international cuisine reflecting Willmar’s diverse and dynamic population. You won’t be able to do everything in one day, but no worries—there are many great hotels, campgrounds, and resorts where you can stay.
Visit Willmar Lakes Area’s website for more information and to plan your next getaway to the area.