Life is only fully lived when we get out to explore. Minnesota offers endless outdoor experiences; however, there are many wild adventures to be had in other beautiful places across the country. If you prefer indulgence to roughing it, five-star hunting, fishing, horseback riding and culinary experiences await you at these luxurious sporting lodges.
If there’s one family that knows how to build a wilderness experience, it’s the Morris clan, who owns Bass Pro Shops. First founded in the 1920s, Big Cedar Lodge is rich in history. The Morris family spared no expense restoring this 4,600-acre property hidden in the Ozarks. From private log cabins to ultra glamping, this resort has it all. Available activities touch nearly every aspect of the outdoors, including guided fishing trips, bow fishing, boat rentals, waterski school, five PGA golf courses, horseback riding and the Bass Pro Shops Shooting Academy. There’s definitely something for everyone in your family at Big Cedar Lodge.
Upland bird hunting more your style? There is opulence to be experienced on the pheasant-filled plains of South Dakota. Paul Nelson Farm is a top-of-the-line lodge that sits on 5,000-plus acres of prime hunting land just east of the Missouri River. The property has just 35 guest rooms, meaning the fields never feel overcrowded. If you don’t feel like lugging your gear along, not to worry; complimentary shotguns and ammo are provided. And if you want to keep shooting after the hunt, unlimited sporting clays await you. New to the farm is a long-range rifle shooting facility. Targets are set up to 2,000 yards — if you can hit that, your marksmanship bragging rights will go through the roof.
In the language of the Ute people, “rawah” means “abundance,” and that is exactly what this historic dude ranch has to offer. Fishing and fitness are two activities that stand out at this property nestled into northern Colorado’s wilderness. The legendary fly-fishing takes place along a private stretch of the Big Laramie River. And more than 15 beautiful hiking trails will satisfy fitness fanatics. Of course, no ranch experience is complete without a trail ride or two. Guests can saddle up and ride through thousands of acres of undisturbed peaks and valleys of high country. Nine cozy cabins ensure you’ll have all the comforts of home, including gourmet cuisine that’s made from scratch daily, honoring the cowboy way of life.
Old West living appeals to even the most contemporary city slickers. There’s just something about riding horses out on the frontier that puts us in touch with our ancestral roots. At Triple Creek Ranch, guests can partake in cattle drives, whitewater rafting, guided fly-fishing, ATV adventures, dogsledding, snowmobiling, archery lessons, cooking classes and more. Your stay includes all-inclusive gourmet meals, and the menu changes nightly. The atmosphere here is first-class, yet so is the comfort level. The dress code is “ranch casual,” meaning boots, jeans, shorts, sandals or whatever feels best. Just don’t forget to pack your cowboy hat and bring along your best yee-haw.