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10 Isolation-Friendly Getaway Spots in Minnesota

In this day and age, you may be hesitant to plan a trip to somewhere crowded, like a theme park, sporting event, or beach resort hot spot. Thankfully, Minnesota is home to some of the most secluded destinations in the country, providing the perfect place to get away from people. If the recent pandemic has affected your travel plans this summer, there are still plenty of places to travel in Minnesota that you can consider – just look to these 10 isolated getaway spots throughout the state. Remember to follow state and local health laws in terms of social distancing and personal protective equipment. Find more information about the effects of COVID-19 in Minnesota here:

1) Esther Lake

Nearest Airport: Grand Marais Airport (CKC)

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Grand Portage State Forest, well known in Minnesota for its lush wilderness and expansive forest, offers a campground with three primitive campsites. These sites have only the basic essentials, from a fire ring to vault toilets to garbage cans. Campgrounds also include swimming, water access and hiking trails. Boaters also have plenty of lake access to enjoy water sports and fun in the sun.

2) Hok-Si-La Park

Nearest Airport: Red Wing Regional Airport (RGK)

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With over 250 acres available to explore, Hok-Si-La Park is a fantastic option for those looking for a secluded getaway. Located along the Mississippi River, the park provides breathtaking views of the river valley’s bluffs and natural scenery. For those that want to camp, tent options are available. Otherwise, a number of sleeping cabins are located throughout the grounds. Access to a sandy beach, public boat ramp and recreational activities are also just a short walk away.

3) Flandrau State Park

Nearest Airport: New Ulm Municipal Airport (ULM)

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At Flandrau State Park near New Ulm, you’ll find more than 1,000 acres of grassland, marshes and wooded areas along Big Cottonwood River. With quiet spots abound, there’s a “beach” – a chlorinated pool with a sandy bottom – as well as eight miles of hiking trails, volleyball courts, children’s playgrounds, 88 campsites and two camper cabins. Plus, it’s located the right distance from downtown so you can take advantage of local amenities like grocery stores and gas stations if you wish.

4) Lake Winnibigoshish

Nearest Airport: Bowstring Airport (9Y0)

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Lake Winnibigoshish is a massive 88-square mile lake located in Chippewa National Forest. This secluded destination is perfect for boating enthusiasts, whether you enjoy water sports or fishing. The northern shore of the lake is a majoritively primitive beach, supplying the perfect spot to get away from crowds of people. Plus, dispersed camping is allowed throughout the area, so you can truly get away from it all.

5) Pelican Lake

Nearest Airport: Pelican Rapids Municipal Airport (47Y)

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Western Minnesota is home to some beautiful scenery and wide open spaces, and Pelican Lake is one of the top places in the region to visit. With plenty of accommodation options, including private cabins at Birch Forest Lodge, you’ll have more than enough space to practice social distancing. Guests can lie out on the beach, rent canoes, paddle boards, paddle boats, or catch a fish and grill it up right off the shore.

6) Judge C.R. Magney State Park

Nearest Airport: Grand Marais Airport (CKC)

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Judge C Magney State Park, famous for being the location of the Devil’s Kettle waterfall, is the perfect isolated retreat in northern Minnesota. From the mysterious water formations, unbeatable fishing and an extensive trail system to stunning views of the North Shore and Brule River, you can enjoy your trip in solitude at this historic park.


7) Snowbank Lake

Nearest Airport: Ely Municipal Airport (ELO)

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Ely, a popular entry point for Boundary Waters, is known for its quiet lakes among untouched wilderness. And it doesn’t get much secluded than at Wilderness Bay Lodge, where guests must take a boat ride to get to their cabin. With nine private spaces available, for two to eight guests at a time, the private resort provides the perfect escape from society. Available boat rentals and a sauna on the grounds also boosts the overall experience.

8) Baptism River

Nearest Airport: Weideman Airport (63MN)

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Baptism River in Tettegouche State Park, is home to the highest waterfall in Minnesota. But that’s not the only thing that’s great about the area. With plenty of primitive campsites along the Superior Hiking Trail system, visitors will find trail difficulties from easy to hard, with a huge payoff once they reach the rushing, 60-foot waterfall.


9) Jay Cooke State Park

Nearest Airport: Sky Harbor Airport (DYT)

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Duluth is popular for many reasons, but Jay Cooke State Park stands out as one of the best places to avoid people in the area. With 50 miles of hiking, eight miles of biking and six miles of horse trails, not to mention the dramatic views across vast valleys and vistas, the park offers a large swath of things to do. Choose from a variety of camping options, from tent sites to RV lots to camper cabins that include bunk beds, electricity and heat, table with benches, screened porch and outdoor picnic table and campfire ring.

10) Sibley State Park

Nearest Airport: Willmar Municipal Airport (BDH)

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Sibley State Park, home to Mount Tom, the highest bluff in Kandiyohi county, offers visitors an array of activities. Among a backdrop of open prairies, lakes and streams, visitors can enjoy everything from camping, hiking and birdwatching to canoeing, swimming and more. Plus, guests can rent private cabins – providing the perfect place to isolate.

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