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Overview

Detroit Lakes’ location in the center of one of Minnesota’s largest concentrations of lakes – 412 of them – makes it a natural for nature lovers. Outdoors attractions include Tamarack and Hamden Slough National Wildlife Refuges, the latter of which is one of the state’s 34 designated Important Bird Areas. Two additional preserves – the Sucker Creek Preserve and the DL Wetland Management District – lie on the outskirts of town. And Dunton Locks County Park, with its system of locks that allow boats, pontoons and personal watercraft to travel between Big and Little Detroit, Sallie and Muskrat lakes, is connected to the city at West Shore Drive ...

Detroit Lakes’ location in the center of one of Minnesota’s largest concentrations of lakes – 412 of them – makes it a natural for nature lovers. Outdoors attractions include Tamarack and Hamden Slough National Wildlife Refuges, the latter of which is one of the state’s 34 designated Important Bird Areas. Two additional preserves – the Sucker Creek Preserve and the DL Wetland Management District – lie on the outskirts of town. And Dunton Locks County Park, with its system of locks that allow boats, pontoons and personal watercraft to travel between Big and Little Detroit, Sallie and Muskrat lakes, is connected to the city at West Shore Drive by the Fish Hatchery Recreation Trail. The area’s dozens of trails, plus the wide, two-lane roads (often with bike lanes) around most of the lakes provide bicyclists, strollers and roller-bladers with more nature-communing opportunities. Boat and pontoon rental firms operate on the larger lakes, too, so sightseeing and fishing are options. The five golf courses within five miles of “D. L.” include the idyllic Detroit Lakes Country Club course, which is open to the public and the site of the Pine to Palm Tournament each year. Annual festivals, such as the Northwest Water Carnival and WeFest are outdoor events as well. The former includes ten days of water-related activities culminating with a two-hour long parade. The latter is a huge event, with top Country Music stars performing for three days in August on an outdoor stage at Soo Pass Ranch, and the surrounding hills converted to recreational vehicle campgrounds.

Connie Emerson
About the Expert

Connie Emerson is the author of more than a dozen books, including The Cheapskate's Guide to Branson, Missouri and Eyewitness Top Ten Travel Guide – Las Vegas.

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Connie Emerson for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Mid-May through mid-September