Brainerd, MN - Hub of 500 Lakes


Brainerd, Minnesota is surrounded by water, including the Mississippi River and nearly 500 lakes, making it the state’s premier lake community. Positioned upstream from the Crow Wing River, this city of approximately 14,000 people and several thousand more in the summertime went through very traditional American transitions over the years being a railroad hub and a lumber milling location. Now it’s all about tourism as thousands of people from the Twin Cities alone head to Brainerd to enjoy everything from boating to dining to camping. But being the home of famous fisherman Babe Winkelman, Brainerd is certainly known for its excellent angling opportunities. With its hilly terminal moraine terrain, Brainerd also draws in the masses for its cross-country skiing and hiking trails and snowmobiling trails. 

Brainard, MVIf you can’t find something to do in Brainerd, MN, then you just are not the outdoors type. And that’s Ok, too. There are many restaurants and resorts situated on picturesque lakes where you can relax with your favorite drink, reading material, and gaze into the sun-painted sky as it rises and sets each morning and night. It makes for a perfect escape from that city life for a while. Interested in history? Brainerd’s railroading and lumberjacking history is sprinkled across the Brainerd Lakes Area. There’s a larger-than-life sized Babe the Blue Ox at an area amusement park. You can also check out an evening show at the Central Lakes College Theatre.They claim that Paul Bunyan is there son, although some communities in Wisconsin may have something to say about that. 


Downtown Brainerd has very few lakes itself.  Most of the lakes are scattered over 25 to 30 miles around the city, but most to the north. The city is the shopping hub of the region.


If you’re coming from the Twin Cities, gas isn’t an issue. Brainerd is only a couple-hour drive from the heart of the cities. But people drive and fly in from all over the world to try their hand at angling one of America’s best fisheries. You can catch nearly any type of freshwater fish in this area from a variety of bass to the great silver muskie. But what attracts most fishing enthusiasts is the fantastic walleye fishing……and eating. Brainerd boasts about it’s incredible walleye fishing. There are countless deep-water, sandy-bottom lakes that are home to what’s known to be the tastiest fish in fresh water.


Downtown Brainard, MN

Fishing is a social activity in Brainerd. The Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener is on Gull Lake at the Grand View Lodge which partnered with the Nisswas Chamber of Commerce. Hundreds of ice fishing anglers try their luck and have a great time just hanging out. The Brainerd Jaycees hosts an ice fishing tournament called the Brainerd Jaycees $150,000 Ice Fishing Extravaganza, also attended by hundreds who come for the fishing and the party. The event actually attracts thousands to the area for all its extracurricular activities.



Looking for a lakefront home or lake access home in the Brainerd Lakes Area? Check They have a list of sold lakefront and lake access homes. The company is Edina Realty. Recently, a lakefront home on Ossawinnamakee Lake’s Breezy Point sold for around $350,000, and a five-bedroom lake access home on Cross Lake sold for under $220,000. Cross Lake is part of the Whitefish Chain.