Minnesota was made for outdoor adventure. In the land of 10,000 lakes, there are exciting nature outposts at every turn. Water activities abound (naturally!), surrounded by immense forests full of trails and wildlife. The scenic natural landscape is dotted by pristine lakes and pockets of dense green woodlands, which combine to create a playground for your next vacation.

Nature junkies flock to Minnesota to experience a rugged wilderness that is still close to urban settings. Untamed natural beauty covers much of the terrain, particularly around Gull Lake and the greater Brainerd Lakes area. The great outdoors is encapsulated in each of the region’s diverse state parks and recreation areas. Scenic hiking and biking feature panoramic views and cascading waterfalls, while birding and wildlife viewing never disappoints.

Throughout Minnesota, native species can be found virtually everywhere. Bald eagles, loons, moose, and bears are prevalent, and Minnesota is also home to the largest timber wolf population in the lower 48 states.

At Gull Lake Beach Resorts, our favorite days are lake days, of course! But when we’ve exhausted our fun on the water, we pass the time with other nearby Minnesota activities in the great outdoors. Our two recent favorites are the Paul Bunyan Trail and the Brainerd Zipline Tour…


The Paul Bunyan State Trail is a multi-use recreational rail trail in Central Minnesota, running from Baxter and Brainerd to Bemidji. Named after the giant lumberjack of American folklore, this hot spot offers more than 120 miles of relatively flat, paved trails to deliver on hiking, biking, running and rollerblading fun.

You can catch a trailhead just a few miles from Gull Lake in Crow Wing State Park, and from there, explore the longest paved rail-to-trail power trail in the United States. This trail connects with the Heartland Trail, the Blue Ox Trail, and the Cuyuna State Trail.

With trail towns located about every 10 miles along the length of the trail, there are ample opportunities for pit stops to rest or explore. These towns are loaded with trailside amenities such as bike rentals, picnic areas, restaurants, rest stops and swimming access.

Biking dominates the Paul Bunyan Trail in the spring, summer and fall, but the trail doesn’t go dormant in winter. It becomes a haven for snowmobiles with miles and miles of groomed trails for every skill level.

For a high-tech twist, try geocaching on the trail. With over 1,000 caches hidden high and low along the trail, this GeoTour is recognized among sport enthusiasts as a power trail adventure due to the close proximity of cache hides along every trail mile.

If you reach the end of the trail in Bemidji, you’ll enjoy views of Lake Bemidji as the trail skirts its shoreline, crosses the Mississippi River, and arrives at the trailhead in Lake Bemidji State Park.


To add a dash of thrilling adventure and a load of bird’s-eye scenic views to your Gull Lake vacation, don’t miss the Brainerd Zipline Tour located on Mount Ski Gull. Once the snow melts away in spring, the famous snow-skiing destination transforms into a 15-mile zipline tour.

The 2.5 hour guided outing is comprised of seven different ziplines of varying lengths and speeds, a suspended sky bridge, and an optional 50-foot free fall jump. This outdoor adventure allows you to see the Brainerd Lakes and surrounding forest like never before.

To be eligible to get the zipline adrenaline rush, participants must be at least 10 years old and weigh between 70 and 250 pounds. Don’t forget, closed-toed shoes and reservations are required. Brainerd Zipline Tour also hosts groups and periodic special events.

The zipline operators draw their passion for the outdoors from their grandmother, legendary Minnesota pioneer Justine Kerfoot. The Northwoods enthusiast owned Gunflint Lodge from the 1920s through the 1960s, where she learned how to hunt, trap, fish, guide, dog sled, and survive in the wilderness. Her love of adventure lives on as visitors fly through the woods and valleys, exploring and connecting with nature.


If you’re looking for a fun, family-friendly place to escape from reality and soak in the great outdoors, Central Minnesota can’t be beat. Located right on Gull Lake’s best beaches, and in the heart of the best adventures nature has to offer, Gull Lake Beach Resorts is ready to host your next exciting vacation getaway.

Minnesota invites you to discover something new in the world and within yourself. Somewhere that feels wild and pure; somewhere that leads to your True North. Contact us today to book your lakeside cabin and begin planning all outdoor activities the Gull Lake area is famous for.