Beyond the Pool: Water We Doing Next?


Updated June 2022

You’ve made it a fair way into our beautiful Minnesota summer, and you’ve already checked out the pools featured in the Rochester MN Guide to Summer Swimming. Looking for new ways to get out on the water? We have you covered! These activities are for the whole family, and would also make a lovely date night. Enjoy!

Rent a paddleboat, canoe, or kayak at Silver Lake Fun.  If you’ve used the amazing trail system here in Rochester, you’ve likely seen Silver Lake from shore.  Check out a new vantage point from a paddleboat, canoe, or kayak.  Rentals are available by the hour or by the day.  The Silver Lake Fun boathouse is located off of West Silver Lake Drive, near the intersection with 7th Street Northeast.

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Go tubing on the Root River with Root River Outfitters in Lanesboro. They offer two different tube trips, with the shorter trip ranging 30-45 minutes and the longer trip lasting 2.5-3 hours. *NOTE: Summer 2022 they are only running the longer trip.* If your child weighs less than 90 pounds you will need to bring an appropriate personal flotation device for them. They also have canoes and kayaks for rent.

Check out a Minnesota State Water Trail.  They recommend trips on the website, including some overnight options, as well as whitewater paddling options for experienced paddlers. If you would rather take a guided tour, check out Broken Paddle Guiding based in Wabasha.  Their extensive tour offerings include both kayaks and stand-up paddleboard tours.

Go for a sail on Lake Pepin, with Sail Pepin.  Sail Pepin offers daily morning, afternoon, evening, and sunset cruises from Pepin, WI, and Lake City, MN.  They also offer youth sailing outings as part of a team in their Full Sail Team Programs.

Hang glide over Lake Pepin with Eagle Hang Gliding. My husband and I got the Soaring experience for each other as a gift and it was amazing! From their webpage, “You will have a highly-skilled certified tandem instructor by your side at all times. The glider is towed up to altitude using a platform launch system via Boat. After the pilot and you have reached the desired altitude, he will release you from the tow line. Each flight experience is customized to take advantage of the conditions that exist at the time of your flight, so flight times do vary. We may tow to over 3,000 feet, or we may release from the tow line at 1,500 feet and gain altitude from the thermal lift, or we may soar the upward lift produced from the ridges and bluffs that surround the lake.” The whole crew was a lot of fun and we truly enjoyed our “flights.”

Cruise on the Mississippi River via the Winona Tour Boat (departs from Winona), or the La Crosse Queen (departs from La Crosse, WI).  The Mississippi River played an important role in the history of our region and also offers amazing views of wildlife.

Rent a houseboat from Fun ‘N The Sun rentals in Alma, WI.  Houseboats range in size and can accommodate up to 12 passengers.  Houseboats sail from Great River Harbor, which is 3 miles south of Alma.  Navigate and fish the Mississippi and St. Croix rivers, enjoying the river towns and beaches along the way.


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Kahla hails from Wisconsin, but heard the siren (loon?) song of Minnesota calling as she selected a college. Then, after eight years living in the Boston area for graduate school, her family moved to Rochester in the summer of 2010. Kahla and her husband have two children: one daughter and one son. They enjoy spending time outside, especially on Rochester’s hiking and bike trails. She loves finding inexpensive ways to pass time, and also enjoys her favorite form of recycling: shopping at thrift stores and yard sales. An avid reader her entire life, working as a school librarian is the perfect fit for her outgoing, book-loving personality. She also enjoys running, baking and knitting. She loves spending time with her family, book club, and running group.


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