Best Outdoor Activities in Blaine: Blaine, MN Outdoor Activities & Recreation Guide
Located just 12 miles north of downtown Minneapolis, the city of Blaine is part of the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area. With a population of about 67,496 residents, Blaine is a growing community that offers an abundance of recreational opportunities and outdoor activities.
There are four named lakes within Blaine, which was once an area of sandy soils and wetlands before post-WW II residential and commercial development. The city is home to an Olympic-class sports training facility and serves as host to the annual 3M Open of the PGA Tour. The community also offers 65 parks and 140 miles of walking trails.
Those looking for outdoor activities in and around Blaine can consider the following options.
Visit the Blaine Wetland Sanctuary
Blaine Wetland Sanctuary Amenities
- 500 acres of wetlands
- See endangered species
- Boardwalk trails
- Great for biking and walking
Hours: 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily
The Blaine Wetland Sanctuary consists of over 500 acres of wetlands and upland, offering a glimpse of the topography that dominated the Blaine area prior to residential and commercial development.
Visitors can enjoy viewing the wildlife from the sanctuary's boardwalk, which extends from the parking area alongside Lexington Avenue North through wetlands and uplands. The boardwalk then intersects with the paved trail, leading to East Lake Park.
Preservation of wetlands are vital to natural ecosystems. They provide food and habitat for living things, including endangered species. Wetlands also help to reduce the impact of flooding and erosion on the surrounding landscape.
Because it is an environmentally sensitive area, visitors are asked to observe several rules to ensure the wetlands' continued preservation. Visitors must stay on the boardwalk and designated trails. Pets are allowed, but must be on a leash and owners are responsible for cleaning up after their pets. Visitors are asked to respect the integrity of plant life and ensure animals and insects are left unharmed.
Future plans for the sanctuary include adding additional walking trails as well as opening a visitor's nature center at a Lexington Avenue North location.
Attend the National Sports Center
National Sports Center Amenities
- 50 grass soccer fields
- Soccer stadium
- Golf course
- Schwan Super Rink
- Herb Brooks Training Center
Hours: weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; closed on weekends
Amateur sports enthusiasts won't want to miss a trip to the world's largest amateur sports facility, the National Sports Center. The center's programs and events attract approximately 4 million visitors yearly, making it Minnesota's most-visited sports facility.
The multi-sport complex covers 600 acres and includes over 50 full-sized grass soccer fields, conference facilities, a soccer stadium, a golf course, and an arena for track cycling. Additionally, the National Sports Center is home to the Schwan Super Rink, an eight-sheet ice rink that is the largest ice arena worldwide. The rink includes the cutting-edge dryland and ice hockey Herb Brooks Training Center.
The National Sports Center hosts the Schwan's USA Cup, known as the largest soccer tournament in the Western Hemisphere. Over 1,100 teams from 19 countries participate.
The complex was built by the State of Minnesota, but is maintained by its own non-profit corporation.
Visitors are welcome to bring an RV or camper to the Center's campus, but must park in the area designated for NSC events that allow RV camping.
Go Fishing at Lochness Park
Lochness Park Amenities
- 20-acre stocked lake
- Walking trails
- Disc golf course
- Picnic shelters
Hours: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily
Anglers can drop a line at Lochness Park, Blaine's 89-plus-acre park that features a 20-acre lake and fishing pier, along with miles of trails and a disc golf course.
Visitors coming to the park to fish can expect to find bluegill and green sunfish in abundance at Lochness Lake. They may also hook black crappie, black bullhead, hybrid sunfish, pumpkinseed sunfish, and white sucker, though these species are present in lower numbers.
Although regularly stocked with bluegill and black crappie, the lake is occasionally stocked with northern pike of catchable size. Lake depth is about 16 feet, although the water level can fluctuate. Most often, lower depths are due to higher vegetation found midsummer.
Lochness Lake features a peaceful setting with a surrounding walking path that provides easy access to the fishing pier. The park also has picnic shelters, grills, and a children's playground. There is no park entry fee.
Visitors can enter at the south end of the park from Lexington Avenue, just beyond 109th Avenue or from the north at Hupp Street. Parking is accessible from either entrance, and portable restrooms are available in the park.
Play Golf at the TPC Twin Cities Golf Course
TPC Twin Cities Golf Course Amenities
- Award-winning course
- 27 bodies of water
- Dining rooms
- Banquet facilities
- Full-service locker rooms
Hours: 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily
TPC Twin Cities Golf Course is an award-winning par-72 golf course in Blaine. The 7,468-yard championship course was designed by golf legend Arnold Palmer, whose goal was to mesh the area's natural rolling terrain with a challenging course.
The course is known for its statuesque stands of pine, spruce, and mature oak, which line the course. It also features 27 bodies of water, as well as bentgrass tees, fairways, and greens. Golfers will also enjoy native prairie grasses and picturesque wetlands.
Considered a challenging course for world-class players in the 3M Open, the course provides multiple tees on each hole, allowing golfers of all skill levels to enjoy the course.
Additionally, the grounds include a 27,000-square-foot, double-tiered and double-ended practice facility with over 12,000 square feet of putting greens. Members and guests can also sharpen their game with bunker and short-game practice areas.
The TPC Twin Cities Golf Course is a private course, fully owned and operated by the PGA Tour.
Membership invitations are extended at the discretion of the club and subject to application approval. Those interested should contact the club for a private tour and more information about the current membership opportunities.
Relax at Lakeside Commons Park
Lakeside Commons Park Amenities
- Picnic areas
- Beach with swimming
- Volleyball court
- Splash pad
Hours: 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily
There are many opportunities to enjoy walking trails and parks in Blaine, but one of the more popular places to enjoy the outdoors is Lakeside Commons Park, full of amenities that include a children's playground and multiple picnic areas, as well as a sandy beach and children's splash pad.
The beach is open to the public, but there is no lifeguard on duty. There is also a beach house, volleyball court, and a boathouse that offers concessions. Lake-goers can also rent canoes and kayaks to further enjoy the water.
The park's pavilion can be rented for private events, has space for up to 150 attendees, and features a serving counter and grill with electrical outlets available. Restrooms can be accessed at the boathouse nearby or the beach house.
Admission to Lakeside Commons Park is free, but non-residents must pay $5 for parking or $25 for a season parking pass.
Enjoy These Outdoor Activities in Blaine Today
Located within easy access from the Twin Cities, Blaine has many outdoor activities to offer its residents. Many of these recreational opportunities take advantage of natural topography and wetlands.
The City of Blaine operates an extensive park and trail system, including over 60 parks that represent a combined 638 acres. Many of Blaine's parks are found within or near its residential neighborhoods. No matter where you live, be it in a townhouse or a split-level, there's bound to be one nearby.
However, nature is not the only option for outdoor activities in Blaine. The city is also home to a PGA Tour-owned private golf course and practice facility, and a mega sports center for amateur athletes, which attracts millions of visitors every year.