Recreation in Winona has always been an important part of life for residents and visitors alike. Through conservation and the development of the Park & Recreation Department, many of these riches are still ours to enjoy. The Mississippi Blufflands is an outdoor playground enjoyed year-round. A major part of preserving our recreational history in Winona were the gifts from John A. Latsch. He provided the area with more than 3,000 acres of park land. His gifts live on in the form of a golf course, athletic fields and numerous parks.
The popular trail around East and West Lake Winona was constructed in stages over approximately 12 years, beginning in 1971 under the direction of Bob Welch, Park & Recreation director at the time. His vision for the City and recreation led to the widely popular path as well as the Bob Welch Aquatic Center, the East Recreation Center and several other recreational assets.
The recreational culture in Winona still stands true to the visionaries who recognized the importance of leisure time and health benefits to our community. The area offers several opportunities, including:
• Lake Winona, a great site for canoeing and kayaking. Lake Park surrounds Lake Winona and has a bandshell, walking paths, playgrounds and Veterans Memorial Park
• Garvin Heights Park, which overlooks the City and river valley, affording beautiful scenery and local bird watching
• Over 20 miles of hiking, biking, snowshoeing and nature trails
• Thousands of acres of park land and open spaces
• The Lake Lodge Recreation Center and East End Recreation Center
• Prairie Island Campground, Deer Park and Mississippi River access
• The Bob Welch Aquatic Center
A dozen golf courses and clubs are positioned within a 30-minute drive from Winona, with two located in the City. The Bridges offers an 18-hole, par 71 golf course. Westfield Golf Club features a public, nine-hole, par 36 golf course.
Further recreational opportunities include the Bud King Ice Arena, offering a full-size hockey arena and outdoor rink; the Minnesota Equestrian Center, home to numerous horse shows; cross-country skiing trails; and numerous hiking and biking opportunities.