Outdoor enthusiasts will find Hinckley a great place for their recreation and sport of choice.
ATVing and Snowmobiling
The area surrounding Hinckley MN is great for off road vehicles. With several state forests in the area and the close proximity to the Gandy Dancer Trail, Hinckley is a great place to stay and play! Make it a day or weekend trip to four-wheel beautiful country in east central Minnesota.
St. Croix State Forest – Located approximately 28 miles east of Hinckley, the St. Croix state forest has approximately 45 miles of four wheeling trails and also connects to the Gandy Dancer Trail.
The difficulty rating for these trails is rated as a blue square (more difficult). https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/ohv/trail_detail.html?id=28
Gandy Dancer Trail – Starts in the St. Croix State Forest just east of Hinckley and travels north 31 miles. Connects the St. Croix State Forest and the Nemadji State Forest. Level of difficulty for the Gandy Dancer is rated as a green circle (easiest). Additional info at www.dnr.state.mn.us
Nemadji State Forest – Located in Northeastern Pine county the Nemadji State Forest offers riders 100 miles of ATV / Off-road vehicle trails. The rating for these trails is green circle (easiest). Additional Info at https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/ohv/trail_detail.html?id=33
Chengwatana State Forest – Located southwest of St. Croix State Park the Chengwatana State Forest offers 11 miles of ATV trails rated as a blue square (more difficult). Additional Info at https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_forests/forest.html?id=sft00012#homepage
General Andrews State Forest – Located 20 miles north of Hinckley, near Willow River. This state forest, although smaller, offers over 39 miles of ATV trails. The difficulty rating for this trail is blue square (more difficult). Additional Info at https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/ohv/trail_detail.html?id=12
Hinckley offers many opportunities for biking. The 5th longest continuously paved trail in the U.S., The Willard Munger State Trail starts here along with St. Croix State Park and Banning State Park.
Willard Munger State Trail – The nation’s 5th longest continuously paved trail starts in Hinckley and travels all the way to Duluth. Beginning in Hinckley you can travel along the same route that engineer James Root took with his crew on September 1st, 1894 when they rescued more than 300 people from the Hinckley Fire. The trail takes you through several towns along the way with many great scenic views and unique towns and shops to visit. The trail starts in downtown Hinckley, take Hwy 48 west off I-35, go about 5 blocks to stop sign, take a right on old Hwy 61, then left on Hwy 18. Trail will be on right just past railroad tracks. Parking is available at trail head. https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_trails/willard_munger/index.html
Looking for a great place to hit the waters canoeing or kayaking in this area? Explore the exciting waters of the Kettle and St. Croix Rivers near Hinckley. These rivers provide challenging waters for all skill levels. Well known for its rapids at Hell’s Gate and Blueberry Slide, Banning State Park is a favorite for many kayakers. The Kettle River was designated as the first Wild & Scenic State River in Minnesota in 1975.
The St. Croix River follows the boundary between Minnesota and Wisconsin offering a quiet and intimate look at nature’s beauty.
While visiting the area take some time to do some fishing in one of our many area lakes or rivers. The St. Croix and Kettle Rivers, Pokegama, Cross, Pine and Big Lakes offer great walleye fishing. Try Grindstone Lake for rainbow, lake and brown trout. Check out Pine and Sturgeon Lakes for bass and Cross and Pokegama for muskies. Area bait shops offer all the supplies and area lake maps for your angling needs. For additional information on fishing in the area contact the Hinckley Area Fisheries 320-384-7721 or visit https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/fishing/index.html
Grand National Golf Club (Hinckley)
Grand National Golf Club provides golfing enthusiasts with the opportunity to play on one of the most beautiful and challenging 18-hole courses in the state. Rolling hills and deep valleys create a unique setting for even the most experienced golfers. Grand National Golf Club is an 18-hole championship golf course right in the heart of Minnesota’s vacationland. Grand National is consistently ranked among the best courses in Minnesota by local and national publications .http://www.grandnationalgolf.com
Pine City Country Club
Experience Pine City CC, a public 9 hole, par 36 regulation length golf course with driving range and banquet facility located in Pine City, Minnesota. www.pinecitycc.com
Sandstone Area Golf Course
A pristine 9 hole, 2,608 yard, par 34 golf course with luscious greens and spectacular fairways.
Aging oaks, maples and pine trees line the fairways, along with water hazards. A 120-seat capacity Clubhouse and patio, a pro-shop with wide array of goods, a variety of food choices are among the amenities.
Moose Lake Golf Course
Located 1 1/2 hours north of the Twin Cities and 50 miles south of Duluth on beautiful Sand Lake, just minutes off of interstate 35E. A 9-hole golf course with a clubhouse overlooking Sand Lake. Offers a full service bar, expansive menu, big screen TVs. Happy Hour daily from 4 to 6 pm and from 4 to 7 pm on Fridays.
Ice Climbing- Winter Sports Adventure at Ice Festival
Every year, Sandstone holds its Ice Festival, a vibrant festival which celebrates the best of winter adventure sports from ice climbing to skinny skiing, winter camping and snowshoeing. It is a gathering of kindred spirits who share a love for all things cold, appealing to winter lovers from around the Midwest and Canada. One can also register at “Climbing Clinics” prior to the Ice Festival, such clinics being organized and conducted by the Minnesota Climbers Association and the Hard Water Sports Rafting & Climbing Guide Service.
Children and Youth Outdoor Activities
Youth Summer Camps/ Wildlife & Outreach Programs at Osprey Wilds Sandstone
Baseball at Brennan Field
One of MN’s most scenic ballparks, nestled in the pines along historic Highway 61. Brennan Field is one of 27 Minnesota town team baseball fields featured in a new book Town Ballparks of Minnesota by Todd Mueller.
Westside Park &Pavilion Playground
Located at 102 Dunn Ave. S. in Hinckley, it’s a great place to take the kids to play. The Pavilion beside it can also be rented for parties, by contacting City Hall at 320-384-7491 to make reservations.
Find answers to other Outdoor Recreation questions through these useful links: