Much To Do in Wadena County This Summer

Much To Do in Wadena County This Summer Main Photo

14 Jul 2022


Wadena County offers excellent family recreation year-round, but the local communities come alive each summer! Folks seeking to explore central Minnesota outdoors can find many activities, events or relaxation throughout the quiet neighborhoods. 

Float the river

The Crow Wing River Canoe Trail runs over 90 miles through Wadena County. The river’s depth limits motorized boating, so it's the perfect trail to canoe or tube. Numerous put-ins allow for a simple day trip, while multi-day excursions are possible with the many riverside parks allowing camping. Area businesses like Huntersville Canoe Outfitters, Outpost Bar & Grill, Gloege’s Canoe & Kayak Outfitting and Wahoo Valley Bar & Grill serve clients’ needs, from rentals to meals and supplies. 

Tee off

Learn the secrets that locals know - Wadena County is home to high-quality golf with small crowds! Public courses like Vintage Golf Course, Blueberry Pines Golf Course and Whitetail Run Golf Course match challenging links with beautiful surroundings.

Throw a disc

Frisbee golf is rapidly gaining in popularity and Wadena County is right in line with that popularity. Wadena’s Sunnybrook Park has a challenging course, with an online map of the nine-hole course. 

Peddle away

Biking enthusiasts have multiple options in Wadena County. Those seeking a more relaxing bike trip head to the Leaf River Recreational Trail, a four-mile paved path, or Staples’ Legacy Trail, each with moderate grades that appeal to all.

Catch a Concert

The headliner for outdoor concerts in Wadena County has to be the Midsummer Music Fest, a country music festival drawing national artists to Menagha in late July.

Barn Quilt TrailsTour the barn quilts

Much of the Central MN Barn Quilt Trail runs through Wadena County. Barn quilts are quilt blocks painted on wood squares and mounted on barns. Each is carefully crafted to display the history of local farmers and sponsors. Visitors can take a leisurely drive through the rolling landscapes to view more than 35 quilts in 30 minutes.

Experience the community 

Nothing showcases a community's highlights like a summer festival. Wadena County’s various communities all have their special gatherings beyond the many Fourth of July celebrations. The Wadena County Fair runs from June 22-26. The 42nd annual England Prairie Pioneer Days in Verndale keeps early farming techniques alive in Verndale from August 26-28 with antique tractor pulls and plowdowns. Verndale is also home to the R&J Arena, which hosts many summer equine events. 

Play in a park

Wadena County has a beautiful county park conglomeration, many of which sit along the Crow Wing River. Each offers unique characteristics like rustic camping, a pavilion perfect for family events, historic battle sites or a simple open green space for a relaxing family picnic. 

Grab some culture

One of the best characteristics of Wadena County is the prevalence of unique artistic culture. The Murals of Minnesota is considered the largest picture puzzle in the world. More than 20 murals painted by local artists decorate buildings in downtown Wadena and reflect the area’s cultural history. The Green Island Preserve is an outdoor nature preserve built on artist Kent Scheer’s childhood family farm., filled with nature trails, sculptures, experimental orchards, wildflowers and a special hut for meditation, termed a Kuti. Finally, Wadena’s Northern Pacific Passenger Depot is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was a railway station operated by Northern Pacific Railway from 1915 to 1971.