Spring Into Summer
The ice has cleared and water craft of all sorts pepper the lake once again. Lush green foliage spreads across the towering bluffs. The Mississippi River Valley gives birth to a flourish of new life on the land and in the water. Springtime in Lake City. A breath of fresh air laced with tranquillity and the mild scent of sweetness. During the spring, breezes blow through the valley just strong enough for wind surfers and sailboats to skim the lakes surface, yet gentle enough to suspend hang gliders on flowing currents over the bluffs. The perfect time to indulge in the great outdoors.
Lake Citys three area campgrounds offer modern and primitive camping sites and a variety of activities nearby.
Camouflaged in its own small forest of wildlife and vegetation just north of Lake City, Hok-Si-La Municipal Parks 250 acres overlook the vast expanse of the Mississippi. Enjoy a primitive camping adventure in the park complete with nature trails, picnic areas, rock hounding, environmental education, playground, swimming beach and boat launch.
Just up the road, popular Frontenac State Park rests on the edge of Lake Pepin and offers miles of hiking and biking territory in the spring and summer. Interpretive nature programs and walks are hosted throughout the season, with a guided wildflower tour on the calendar the first Saturday of May.
Lake Pepin Campground, conveniently located at the north end of town, provides a beautiful view of Lake Pepin and easy access to fueling facilities and dining establishments.
Over 85 species of fish swim the waters of Pepin. Because the Mississippi is a boundary water between Minnesota and Wisconsin, anglers can try their luck at a variety of trophy-size game fish year-round. For those who like to showcase their fishing talents, the Frontenac Sportsmans Club holds its annual fishing contest in mid-August, with the Lake City Sportsmans Club sponsoring its annual angling competition on the ice in February. Whether you like bobber fishing, trolling, gigging, or casting, Lake Pepin provides the conditions for all of them.
The Lake City Marina has 625 boat slips, electricity and water on each dock and offers overnight guest dockage. There is also standby VHF-16, a 35-ton crane, launching ramp, slip rentals, gasoline pumps and night security. Most lodging establishments offer transportation to and from the marina.
Three miles wide and 21 miles long, Lake Pepin itself promises a vast array of activities to enjoy - from sailing, power boating and jet skiing, to fishing, swimming, canoeing or just plain relaxing on a houseboat. If strapping on a pair of water skis or hanging onto an innertube and skidding across the water isnt for you, pack up a grill and tent, beach your boat on one of the many cascading white sand dunes along the lakes edge, and sleep under the stars.
Lake City is also home to three beautiful golf courses tucked into the bluffs of the river valley. Spend a relaxing day on the links taking in the breathtaking views and a challenging game of golf. All three courses are complete with clubhouses, lounge, carts, clubs, and dining facilities.
Fall Into Winter
Aleisurely drive along the Great River Road skirting the edges of Lake Pepin, late September through October, will leave you breathless. Picture-perfect neon oranges, golden yellows, and scarlet reds with just a dash of deep lime cover the blufflands in the Mississippi River Valley.
A vast array of wildlife can be spotted migrating down the Mississippi in search of warmer winter months, or feeding on area crops to bulk up for the cold season ahead. The land here is host to white-tailed deer, tundra swans, turkeys, bald eagles, various water fowl species, fox, pheasants and much, much more.
During this time of year, beauty begets the bounty. The seasonal metamorphosis that creates the gallery of colors across the land also prompts the time of harvest. Lake City apple orchards produce nearly one-quarter of the 700,000 bushels of apples grown in Minnesota each year. This area is also the nations largest producer of Minnesotas most popular apple, the Haralson.
Wildlife abounds in the bluffs and river valley. If its the thrill you are after, Lake City and its surrounding areas are prime habitat for an abundant variety of game species. White-tailed deer and wild turkeys roam the wooded bluffs and rolling hills of the Mississippi River Valley. As acres and acres of corn ripen and dry in the fall, brilliantly colored ring-necked pheasants leave the safety of their brushy homes to feast on the harvest. The Mississippi is the migratory fly way for millions of ducks and Canada geese traveling south for the winter.
Winter months in the Mississippi River Valley are a heart warming experience. Flocks of graceful tundra swans can be observed flying from their northern homes, following the Mississippi south toward warmer winter territory. Bald Eagles gather in the river valley November through March, feeding on fish from the edges of ice-covered Lake Pepin. Fifteen miles to the north and five miles south, the ice gives way to open water, where these glorious raptors hunt for the winter.
If the natural beauty of it all isnt enough, approximately 500 miles of marked and groomed snowmobile trails wind through the river valley area. There are several miles of groomed cross country ski trails at both Frontenac State Park and Hok-Si-La Municipal Park, not to mention the expanse of hills perfect for toboggans and sleds.
A few minutes north of Lake City, is the Mount Frontenac Ski Area, complete with chalet, equipment rental, 10 different runs, a 420-foot vertical drop, moguls, snowboarding play park and ski lessons available.
Things to do!
If you are looking for something to do, you wont have to look past downtown because there is always something going on in Lake City.
Take the day to enjoy our Historical Walking Tour, winding through our city streets, to appreciate the centuries-old architecture. While visiting our local businesses, you will enjoy a full day of unique shopping opportunities.
Stop in to our local coffee houses that welcome you with your favorite refreshments and an opportunity to chat with friends, neighbors, and visitors. You will be entertained by a wide variety of musicians, enjoy local artwork and a comfortable place to sit back and relax, read the paper or meet friends new and old.
Visit the Wabasha County Museum, displaying wonderful artifacts that will take you back to pioneering days and the charm of life in an old river town.
Take a break from your busy day at one of our many wonderful restaurants. You will enjoy a memorable dining experience of great food, from regional to international cuisine, in a relaxed atmosphere.
Stroll through the art gallery of Wild Wings, beautifully displaying the fascinating work of artists that capture exquisite wildlife in the form of prints, sculptures, and unique furniture.
As night falls, venture into our lounges, bars and pubs for a fun-filled evening. Bands, disc jockeys and jukeboxes keep the music and dancing going all night. You can play darts or pool, bowl, or watch a sporting event while you enjoy a little social life in Lake City.
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