The Leech Lake, Minnesota Area
Lake is the land of stories. As more and
more people discover this beautiful area
as an ideal tourism spot, their adventures
turn into stories that are told over and
over. Leech Lake, one of Minnesota's largest,
is surrounded by many smaller lakes and
located in the heart of the Chippewa National
fishing continues to be one of the most
popular activities, visitors find this area
holds a stunning array of experiences, activities,
and opportunity. Whether people visit for
a day, a weekend, a week, or even longer,
they leave with a treasury of tales. You
will, too, when you visit us and indulge
in whatever your spirit desires:
for muskie, bass, walleye, northern pike,
jumbo perch, and crappies on Leech or smaller
a sunbath along miles of unspoiled natural
on one of our beautiful courses offering
challenges for all skill levels. Hike, bike,
snowmobile, ski, or horseback ride across
a wealth of trails that make you feel as
though you're the first to discover them.
waterfowl as millions of migrating ducks
and geese pass through our thousands of
acres of lakes and rivers. Take to the aspen
forest, thick woodlands, and open fields
to hunt for grouse and deer.
in the small town friendliness and explore
our many quaint stores that offer unusual
gifts and merchandise.
other points of interest, such as the Museum
of Natural History, Cass County Historical
Society, Sugar Point Battle Monument, and
Itasca State Park.
come to Leech Lake Area to learn, explore,
and have fun together. Couples come for
romantic getaways, and individuals for quiet
respite. Whatever you seek, come to Leech
Lake Area and explore the possibilities.
On these waters, across these paths, and
under this sky, you'll discover a new sense
of adventure and stories of your own.
Activities & Attractions
and Summer in the Leech Lake Area
is a spectacular time to discover what’s
coming to life in the Chippewa National
Forest, or to immerse yourself in all the
luxuries of our many beautiful surrounding
Area lakes suit every desire from small
to large: choose the serene, quiet
waters of a small, hidden lake, or the excitement
of the wider open waters for your fishing
Leech Lake wouldn’t be the same without
its magnificent array of trails lining lake
shores and plunging deep into the woods—perfect
for hiking, biking, and horseback riding
in the spring and summer months. It’s
an ideal time to explore the Chippewa National
Forest or Paul Bunyan and Heartland Trails.
Leech Lake has plenty of campgrounds for
you to choose from—there’s no better way
to top off your experience. Set up
your tent right under the stars, or park
your own camper at a local RV site.
Leech Lake Area is a haven of sunny days,
spectacular sunsets, and nights filled with
the songs of nature. Take an afternoon
for sailing, skiing, or swimming in the
crystal blue waters.
Watching and Spring Wildflowers
Along with budding trees and blossoming
wildflowers, you can see hundreds of different
songbirds, waterfowl, and other birds in
their natural habitat. This area has
one of the largest bald eagle populations
in the state, and is truly a birdwatcher’s
From sophisticated boutiques to charming
craft shops, shopping is great all year
long. Throughout the summer, shopaholics
come from all around to revel in our local
“Crazy Days.” Once a month, the gift
shops and other merchants of our town turn
the streets into a bargain fest you’ll never
forget. See our shopping guide on
While you’re in our small towns, stop into
the unique gift shops and local restaurants.
The restaurant guide on page 8 shows just
a taste of the tempting treats and luscious
dining that await you. Check out the
local airplane rides, airfields, and flying
services. Take a scenic driving tour.
Canoe through quiet waters. The opportunities
in the Leech Lake Area
Leech Lake Area is blessed with many great
treasures, all at their height in the fall
of the year.
The Leech Lake Area holds an awesome array
of forests with hundreds of miles of trails.
Chippewa Grand National Forest surrounds
the Leech Lake Area. Filled with an
amazing variety of trees, this area holds
the most spectacular fall colors imaginable.
The colors on display include glorious yellows,
deep oranges, flaming reds, and vibrant
greens. Take a more in-depth look
at our trail system on page 7.
Fall is a great time for fishing on Leech
Lake and the surrounding lakes. Autumn
makes for a peaceful and perfect time to
enjoy the abundance of fish who have only
become bigger since the early summer.
The fall leaves are also a serene backdrop
for hunting enthusiasts in pursuit of grouse,
deer, and duck.
This is a beautiful time of year to enjoy
the trails through the woods, and what better
way than by joining in on Walker’s annual
marathon or 10K race.
Kids and adults love the Annual Ethnic Fest
that turns our town into a cultural mecca.
Fishing tournaments and music festivals
continue straight through into the fall,
providing fun and entertainment for all.
See the Fishing
Information page for more information
in the Leech Lake Area
time in the Leech Lake Area creates a sparkling
white playground for visitors of all ages.
With the snow comes an abundance of activities
to suit everyone’s tastes: snowmobiling,
skiing, ice fishing, showshoeing, sleigh
riding, sledding, and winter hiking.
Leech Lake is a snowmobiler’s dream—The
Paul Bunyan and Heartland trails intersect
here and provide hundreds of miles of trails.
The area also includes an array of trails
specifically groomed for cross country skiing.
Snowshoers and hikers will enjoy the vast
expanses of wilderness and the continuous
beauty of the area. Winter provides
wonderful photo opportunities of wolves,
deer, fox, coyotes, and other creatures.
Anyone who ice fishes will love fishing
in our area. Rent a house for a day,
and stay overnight in one of our many local
resorts or motels! During the mid-February,
the International Eelpout Festival is held
on Leech Lake. During this popular
three-day festival it is not uncommon to
have up to 10,000 anglers on the ice pursuing
the elusive eelpout.
This September 10th, 11th, & 12th, the
Leech Lake Area Chamber of Commerce will
be hosting the 7th Annual Ethnic Fest Celebration
in Walker, Minnesota. Ethnic Fest
is a “Celebration of Cultural Diversity
which is the American Tapestry” as stated
in their mission statement. The streets
come alive with music and dance representative
of many cultures. The air is filled
with the aroma of various ethnic cuisines
for your enjoyment and the streets are lined
with booths featuring crafts from many cultures.
weekend also includes a parade with participants
from far and near and a Saturday night street
dance. You will be truly amazed at
the cultural diversity represented here.
Ethnic Fest is an experience of new and
old traditions you will remember for a long
time to come.
Every year on the day after Thanksgiving,
the community comes together to celebrate
the beginning of the holiday season and
partake in the true meaning of giving.
This event was created to focus on a way
to “give to those less fortunate.”
Participants and spectators are encouraged
to donate food and toys to be distributed
to those in need during the holidays.
This beautiful event is centered around
the Parade of Lights which focuses on holiday
themes, each lit up to create a festive
atmosphere. Of course, Santa Claus
is there to take pictures with children
and listen to their holiday wishes.
Every Saturday in December through Christmas,
children may take a sleigh ride with Santa
Claus through the streets of Walker.
Systems To Suit All Outdoor Enthusiasts
your passion, the Leech Lake Area boasts
a wealth of trails that can be followed
from Leech Lake all the way to Canada, North
Dakota, Wisconsin, and southward.
Take your pick for fabulous biking, hiking,
and backpacking in the summer, as well as
skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling in
the winter. Some of our most celebrated
Trail: South of Walker
is Minnesota’s oldest paved trail, with
miles of beautiful lakes, forest scenery,
wildlife, and flowers.
Country National Scenic Trail:
Part of the longest continuous footpath
in North America, the North Country Trail
cuts through the Chippewa National Forest.
Bunyan State Recreational Trail, Soo Line
Trail: Built along abandoned
rail corridors, these trails are great venues
for easy-going exploration.
Trail: Four completed,
paved miles of non-motorized hiking/biking
trails in the Chippewa National Forest along
the eastern edge of Cass Lake and Pike Bay.
Road 50 Walking Trail:
8 miles of walking trails along the Shingobee
Erin Interpretive Trail:
This 5-mile walking trail surrounds scenic
Point Trail: 8 miles of
walking trails at the north end of Steamboat
Bay on Leech Lake.
Point Recreational Area Trail:
9 miles of looped forest road for biking
and hiking through the Chippewa National
many, many more! Whether you stick
to the path or blaze your own way, there’s
plenty of room for you to discover new adventures
on the trails of the Leech Lake Area.