The outdoors publication Wilderness Times recently conducted a study to determine which US cities are the best of the best when it comes to leading an outdoorsy lifestyle.
Minneapolis came in at 3rd place with a total score of 7.58/10, while 1st and 2nd place went to Seattle and Boston.
The factors they took into account to determine the best cities include air quality, weather, nearby hiking trails, nearby national and state parks, local parks and the median house price in each city.
Check out the results below:
Minneapolis might not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of outdoorsy cities, but many of us know here, it actually offers a lot of opportunities for outdoor activities when compared to other cities in the U.S.
It also has one of the lowest median house prices on the list, which makes it a great place for those seeking an outdoorsy lifestyle to relocate to. (In comparison, the median house prices of the top 2 cities are more than double that of Minneapolis!)
It also showed that when it came to local parks, a whopping 96% of local residents living within a 10 minute walk of a park. That means that no matter where you live in the city, you’ve always got a nice open outdoor space close by to take a stroll, let your kids run around or walk your dog.
On top of that, we’ve got 815 miles worth of hiking trails in the vicinity. Not bad, huh?
Plus, with 32 national and state parks nearby, there are plenty of different locations to choose from when you want to spend the day outdoors.
Minneapolis didn’t score very well when it came to weather, but no surprises there.
If there’s one thing that’s for sure, it’s that the past year has made us all more appreciative of the time we get to spend outside.
Spending time out in nature breathing in the fresh air is something we all need more than ever.
So, it’s great to know that Minneapolis is one of the best places there is to get out and explore your surroundings!
Check out all the details of the study here.
How to Make the Most of the Outdoors Here in Minneapolis (and the metro area)
I love the outdoors – especially hiking and checking out new sites and parks with my family and friends!
In the above picture I was checking out the swans at Sucker Lake in Vadnais Heights this past winter. (Yes you can see swans here in the Twin Cities!)
And I’ve put a few resources together here on the blog to help you discover all that you can do outdoors!
Free Entrance Days to all Minnesota State Parks
There are free park days every year where you can visit any of the 75 Minnesota state parks and state recreation areas for FREE. In 2021 the days are:
- Saturday, February 13
- Saturday, April 24
- Saturday, June 12
- Friday, November 26
What better reason to check out state parks in your own state than when they’re FREE?
Free Entrance Days in the National Parks
In addition to free state park days in Minnesota, on six days in 2021, all National Park Service sites that charge an entrance fee will offer free admission to everyone as well.
- January 18: Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.
- April 17: First day of National Park Week
- August 4: One year anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act
- August 25: National Park Service Birthday
- September 25: National Public Lands Day
- November 11: Veterans Day
Get Outdoors More in Minnesota with the 1000 Hours Outside Challenge
Have you heard of the 1000 Hours Outside Challenge? This is a challenge to help kids spend 1000 hours outside in 2021. There is a website and free printables to track your hours outside. Learn more here!
Every Kid Outdoors
Every Kid in a Park was created so fourth graders and their families could discover our country’s wildlife, resources, and history for free.
Now it’s called Every Kid Outdoors.
It was first announced by President Obama in early 2015 because American children spend less time outdoors than ever before, and this program wanted to address that problem.
Since the launch of Every Kid in a Park, hundreds of thousands of young people have had the chance to experience America’s parks and historic sites, many for the first time.
And in case you’re wondering (like I was) – fourth graders were chosen “because research shows that kids ages nine to 11 are beginning to learn about the world around them. They’re open to new ideas, and they are likely to connect to nature and our history.”
The program provides fourth grade students and their families free admission to all national parks and other federal lands. There are 5 in Minnesota. Learn more and sign up here: https://everykidoutdoors.gov/index.htm
What other resources do you know of to help families get outdoors in Minnesota?