Outdoor Recreation in Rochester, MN

By AJ Donahue on January 23, 2014 at 5:58 pm EST
Quarry Hill Nature Center in Rochester, MN

PHOTO CREDIT: Photo courtesy of www.olivejuicestudios.com

Winter, spring, summer or fall, Rochester's outdoor activities keep locals on the move.


Rochester has no shortage of splashy swimming options. Choose any of the city’s welcoming public spots, including the Silver Lake Pool & Kiddie Pool, Soldier's Field Pool, the Rochester-Olmsted Rec Center, the Rochester Area Family YMCA, the Rochester Athletic Club, and the Northgate Health Center. In the summer, visitors can take a dip at the lakeside Foster Arend Beach.

Winter Sports

Cold weather recreation includes three outdoor public skating rinks and seven outdoor hockey rinks, as well as indoor ice at Rochester-Olmsted Recreation Center. Parks and Rec maintains several trails for corss-country skiing as well as two hills for sledding.

Indoors and Out

Enjoy a stroll through one of Rochester’s 100-plus park sites and more than 85 miles of paved walking trails, or if the temperatures are dropping, stay warm in the city’s vast network of skyways and subterranean walkways downtown. In addition, the region is packed with local game, including Canadian geese, ducks and pheasant, with several guided hunt services available.

Spectator Sports

Rochester offers plenty of opportunities to take in baseball games with the Rochester Honkers and Royals hitting the diamond in town. Ice hockey fans love catching all the action of MnJHL favorites, the Minnesota Ice Hawks.


With more than seven top-flight courses nearby, Rochester is laden with links. Enjoy city-owned greens, like Eastwood, Northern Hills and Soldiers Field; or explore the fairways at any of the area’s beautiful private courses, including the Rochester Golf & Country Club, Willow Creek Golf Course and the Golf Digest-recognized Somerby Golf Club in Byron.

Nature Attractions

Rochester also has many nature-themed attractions, with the Cascade Meadow Wetlands & Environmental Science Center, the Oxbow Park & Zollman Zoo and the Quarry Hill Nature Center all close by.

From Around the Web
Reader Comments Use a Facebook account to comment. Subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment.