Outdoor Adventures in Rochester, MN

Quarry Hill Nature Center in Rochester, MN
Quarry Hill Nature Center in Rochester, MN

Winter, spring, summer or fall, Rochester, Minnesota, has plenty of outdoor activities for all.


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 Y, the Rochester Athletic Club, and the Northgate Health Center. If the weather’s right, visitors can even take a dip at the lakeside Foster Arend Beach.

Winter Sports

Cold weather fun includes three outdoor public skating rinks and seven outdoor hockey rinks, as well as indoor ice at Rochester-Olmsted Recreation Center. Make the most of the snow with sledding at Ironwood Springs, groomed trails for cross-country skiing, and two local Parks and Rec ski slopes.

Trails, Walks, Climbs and Hunts

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. Visitors can enjoy a climate-controlled climbing experience at Prairie Walls Climbing Gym. 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, A’s, Royals, Patriots and Red Hawks all hitting the diamond in town. The city is also home to MnJHL favorites, the Minnesota Ice Hawks. Finally, if the gridiron’s calling, the Rochester Giants of the Northern Elite Football League feature semi-pro play down at Rochester Regional Stadium.


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 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.

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