Crosslake Travel Guide

Discover the best of Crosslake, Minnesota through our comprehensive travel guide. Find out about the top attractions, hiking/biking routes, food scene, safety tips and more.

Introduction to Crosslake

Located in northwestern Minnesota, Crosslake is a scenic city surrounded by lush pine forests and shimmering lakes. It offers a perfect blend of outdoor adventures, cultural attractions, and historical landmarks. The city is named after the nearby Cross Lake, which is a popular recreational spot for swimming, boating, and fishing.

In this comprehensive travel guide, we’ll take you on a journey through the top attractions, hiking/biking routes, food scene, safety tips, and more to help you make the most of your trip to Crosslake.

List of Places to Visit in Crosslake

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • Historic Log Village: This museum features restored buildings from the early 1900s and offers a glimpse into the lives of early settlers.
  • Crosslake Area Historical Society Museum: This museum showcases the history and culture of Crosslake and the surrounding area through exhibits and artifacts.

Natural Attractions of Crosslake: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Crosslake Recreation Area: This 74-acre park offers hiking trails, picnic areas, and a playground.
  • The Pine River: The Pine River is a popular spot for canoeing, kayaking, and fishing.
  • Manhattan Beach: This beach on Trout Lake offers a sandy shore, a fishing pier, and picnic tables.
  • Crosslake Community Center Trail System: This system has over 20 miles of trails in total, perfect for hiking or riding a bike.

Hiking/Biking Routes in Crosslake

Crosslake has plenty of hiking and biking opportunities to appreciate its beauty. Here are some of the top routes for enjoying the outdoors.

  • Crosslake Community Center Trail System: This hiking and biking trail system in the north woods of Crosslake offers over 20 miles of well-kept trails, including the popular Daggett Brook Trail, challenging Wigwam Trail, and a few winding hills.
  • Cuyuna State Recreation Area: Located just 18 miles away from Crosslake, the Cuyuna State Recreation Area is a popular spot for mountain biking with over 30 miles of single-track trails.

Best Things to Do in Crosslake: Activities and Tours

  • Fishing: Crosslake is a popular spot for fishing with many species to choose from, including bass, crappie, and walleye.
  • Boating: Cross Lake is perfect for sailing and motor boating with access to a number of marinas in the area.
  • Golfing: Crosswoods Golf Course has a beautiful 18-hole course with stunning views of the lake.
  • Tours: For a cultural experience, take a guided tour of the town’s historical landmarks. If you want to experience the natural beauty of the area, take part in a guided wildlife tour.

Week-Long Itinerary for Crosslake

If you’re planning on staying in Crosslake for a week, here is the recommended itinerary:

Day Activities
Day 1 Explore the historic landmarks in Crosslake, including the Historic Log Village and Crosslake Area Historical Society Museum.
Day 2 Hike or bike on the Crosslake Community Center Trail System.
Day 3 Go fishing or boating on Cross Lake.
Day 4 Visit nearby Cuyuna State Recreation Area for mountain biking.
Day 5 Discover the beauty of the Pine River by canoeing or kayaking.
Day 6 Play a round of golf at the Crosswoods Golf Course.
Day 7 Enjoy a guided wildlife tour of the area to experience the natural beauty of Crosslake.

Food and Drink Scene of Crosslake

Must-Try Dishes

  • Walleye Fish Fry: This famous dish is made from deep-fried walleye and usually served with coleslaw and fries.
  • Butterfly Shrimp: These delicious butterflied shrimp are battered and fried to perfection.
  • Bison Burgers: Crosslake is known for its bison burgers, made with locally sourced meat.

Local Beverages

  • Craft Beer: Crosslake has a vibrant craft beer scene, including the popular brewery, Jack Pine Brewery.
  • Wine: Enjoy locally made wine from one of the many wineries in the area.

Where to Stay in Crosslake: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

  • Arrowhead RV Resort: This resort offers cabins and RV sites with amenities such as a beach, a boat dock, and a playground.
  • Whitefish Lodge and Suites: This hotel offers luxurious accommodations with amenities such as an outdoor pool, a fitness center, and a hot tub.
  • Moonlite Bay Family Restaurant & Bar: This restaurant has lodging accommodations with a rustic feel and a scenic location on the shore of Moonlite Bay.

What to Buy in Crosslake: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

  • Wood Carvings: Crosslake is known for its beautiful woodcarvings made by local artists.
  • Canned Goods: Many of the farmers’ markets in the area sell locally made jams, jellies, and pickled vegetables.
  • Local Art: Local artists sell artwork and photographs inspired by the natural beauty of Crosslake.

Local Culture and Customs of Crosslake

Locals in Crosslake are known for their love of the outdoors. Fishing and boating are very popular, as is hunting and camping during the fall season. The city is also known for its lively Fourth of July celebrations, with a parade and fireworks display.

Best Time to Visit Crosslake

The best time to visit Crosslake is during the summer months, when the weather is warm and sunny. The fall season also offers beautiful foliage and hunting opportunities.

Do’s and Don’ts of Crosslake


  • Pack for the outdoors, complete with appropriate clothing and gear.
  • Follow the rules and regulations for fishing and hunting in the area.


  • Litter or damage natural areas.
  • Trespass on private property to hunt or fish.

Safety and Health

Crosslake is a safe area to visit with low crime rates. However, as with any outdoor activity, be sure to take precautions to prevent accidents and injuries while hiking, fishing, and boating.

Safety in Crosslake

  • Always wear a life jacket when boating or participating in water activities.
  • Beware of potential wildlife dangers, such as bears or snakes.

Health in Crosslake

  • Stay hydrated while participating in outdoor activities.
  • Wear sunscreen to protect against harmful UV rays.

Getting to Crosslake: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Crosslake

  • Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport: This airport is located 30 minutes from Crosslake and offers flights from Chicago and Minneapolis.

Bus Stations Near Crosslake

  • Greyhound Bus Station: Located in Brainerd, this station is 25 miles away from Crosslake and offers bus services to major cities in the area.

Other Options

Taxis and rental cars are also available in the area for transportation.

How to Get Around in Crosslake

The best way to get around Crosslake is by car. Biking and hiking trails are also available in many areas.

Where to Go Next from Crosslake: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

  • Brainerd: Located just 25 miles south of Crosslake, Brainerd is home to a variety of cultural attractions, shopping, dining, and outdoor adventures.
  • Itasca State Park: This state park is located 70 miles north of Crosslake and is home to the headwaters of the Mississippi River, as well as hiking trails and recreational opportunities.
  • North Shore Drive: This scenic drive along the north shore of Lake Superior takes you through charming small towns and beautiful vistas.


If you’re looking for a scenic and enjoyable vacation destination, Crosslake, Minnesota, is the perfect choice. With an abundance of cultural attractions, natural beauty, and outdoor adventures, visitors are sure to have an unforgettable experience. Follow the recommendations given in this guide to make the most of your visit to Crosslake.