Sometimes getting back to nature and getting a good workout is no more difficult than strapping on a good pair of shoes and taking a simple hike. Put on some sunscreen and bug repellent, and enjoy these area hiking hot spots. 

I am asthmatic, so anything I can do to improve my lung function is OK by me. One of the biggest benefits of hiking and walking is getting that cardio benefit. Not only are you improving your lung function, you are also improving your circulatory system, strengthening your muscles, increases bone strength and it’s just a really good stress buster.

The Lake Wobegon Trail stretches from St. Joseph all the way to Osakis. It’s beautiful, all paved and really well maintained. There are also several events all along the trail including the Caramel Roll Ride in June and the Caramel Apple Ride in October. It’s a great trail to hike, walk or bike.

Once you’re done hiking the Lake Wobegon Trail, hop on the Central Lakes Trail. That starts in Osakis and runs up to Fergus Falls. The third Saturday of each month from June to September, you can ride your bike with a DNR Naturalist. Just in time for the cooler weather, September 6, there’s an event called “Quilts Along the Trail” and for two blocks along the trail through downtown Osakis, features exhibits from local quilters, vendor booths featuring arts and crafts, entertainment, food and beverages, and quilts and quilted items for sale.

Don’t forget the Beaver Island Trail right in St. Cloud. I have hiked that a few times and it runs right along the river. Once you’re done on the hiking trail, there’s another bike path that takes you right to downtown St. Cloud.

There’s lots of summer left, so strap on your shoes, grab that bug spray and your sunscreen and head out.