On Little Mantrap Lake
Phone: (218) 732-5480

Northern Minnesota Canoe Trips

February 2, 2021

Northern Minnesota Canoe Trips: Paddling near Park Rapids

Minnesota, the “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” is a paddler’s paradise, especially for those who prefer the still, azure waters of a deep lake, enclosed by dense forestry and baby blue skies. In actuality, Minnesota boasts nearly 12,000 lakes, but that’s neither here nor there. Most Midwesterners associate a Northern Minnesota canoe trip with a lengthy camping adventure in the pristine Boundary Waters. But not everyone desires five days of roughing it dozens upon dozens of miles from the nearest civilization. Sometimes two or three hours of paddling atop a quiet lake in Hubbard, Clearwater, or Becker County is just what the doctor ordered.

Lake Itasca

Historic Little Norway Resort rests along the northern rim of Little Mantrap Lake, a semi-private body of water a few clicks south of Itasca State Park, the most popular canoeing destination in the region. Lake Itasca, home to the Mississippi River headwaters, provides 1,200 acres of serenity (and no boat traffic). The lake’s calming atmosphere combines flawlessly with its perimeter’s woodland aesthetic and underwater residents, such as muskies, largemouth bass, and brown bullheads. Itasca’s unique three-armed shape, often described as “spokes,” makes for an eclectic journey—one that includes an island, intriguing creeks, and a bevy of hiking trails near the water’s edge.

Little Mantrap Lake

While Little Mantrap Lake isn’t as hearty as Itasca, it’s undoubtedly one of the most unique canoeing experiences near Park Rapids. It’s worth noting that Little Norway Resort has a complimentary canoe rental; it’s first come, first served. The lake itself features an island, three “secret” channels to hidden pools, and approximately 380 acres of prime fishing and wildlife viewing. In the spring, canoeists can enjoy more acreage as the winter’s thaw provides access to a bevy of nooks and crannies that dry up amid summer’s hearth. We are just one of two Little Mantrap Lake resort properties, so you’ll be met with a seemingly endless amount of space, free of heavy boat traffic.

For those searching for even more mid-day tranquility, Park Rapids is near some of our favorite Northern Minnesota canoe trips, including the Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge (chock-full of paddling opportunities) and Two Inlets State Forest’s Duck Lake.

Little Mantrap Lake itself is a serene, crowd-pleasing gem that plays host to only two lodges; thus, boat (and watercraft) traffic always remains at a minimum. While geared toward families, scheduled activities also allure couples in need of some good, old-fashioned fun, such as bingo, beach parties, free ice cream, and scavenger hunts. Most couples partake in a healthy amount of state park hiking, Heartland State Trail bicycling, and, of course, bass fishing on Little Mantrap.

Northern Minnesota Cabin Rentals: Little Norway

Only the best Northern Minnesota canoe trips start and finish at Little Norway Resort, a family-friendly cabin property that’s tailor-made for paddlers, anglers, and casual outdoor enthusiasts alike. Our spacious, spring-fed lake also attracts boaters, kayakers, and parents merely looking for a quiet place to splash and relax with the kids. Lakeside cabins include water views, full kitchens, decks, Weber grills, campfire rings, Wi-Fi, and television. On a typical summer day, the Little Norway team also provides pontoon rides, bingo, coffee and donuts, beach parties, guided hikes, and ice cream socials.

To book a long-awaited summertime Northern Minnesota canoe trip experience at Little Mantrap Lake, please give us a call today at 218-732-5480 (or check availability online).

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