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Area Attractions

Those seeking to relax and get away from the hectic, everyday grind will delight in the possibilities of Staples, MN. Don't let this small town fool you though - there's always plenty to see and do. Relish in the fresh air, bountiful nature, and simple pleasure of being active - just without the lines or crowds.

Need ideas to plan your stay? Take a gander at our Things to Do suggestions or the calendar of Events.

Husband and wife kayak on the Crow Wing River.

Crow Wing River

On the northern edge of Staples, the Crow Wing River beckons to nature enthusiasts.  The river offers opportunities to fish, kayak, canoe, and tube in its clear running waters.  Or maybe just take a picnic and relax next to the scenic waterway. There are many landings along the Crow Wing including the easily accessible one at McGivern Park. 

Cube Lattice barn quilt displayed on the side of a barn near Staples, MN.

Central MN Barn Quilt Trail

The Central MN Barn Quilt Trail winds through 4 counties - Wadena, Todd, Cass, and Morrison. These unique and colorfully painted squares have a rich history in rural areas throughout the United States. Each barn quilt tells a story - about its owner, the property's history, or a memory. Almost 80 barn quilts are currently listed on the trail with more being added all the time.

Central MN's trail weaves right through the heart of Staples.  This open-air art gallery is available all year round. Walk through downtown for a pleasant afternoon of discovery or take a drive to explore scenic parts of this beautiful area. Make a weekend of it and find all of them!

A conversation area inside the Staples Campus of the CLC.

Central Lakes College

1830 Airport Rd, Staples

The newly renovated Central Lakes College Staples Campus provides course offerings in agriculture, energy, manufacturing, and heavy equipment. CLC's Ag and Energy Center maintains approximately 2,000 acres for research on crop production, water management, and nutrient/fertilization management. The Ag and Energy Center hosts Field Days each year on the Friday of Railroad Days. 

Men's league plays pickleball at the Staples Community Center.

Community Center

425 4th ST NE, Staples

Searching for some indoor exercise? The Staples Community Center offers a competition-length indoor swimming pool, fitness center, indoor basketball court, senior citizen center, and community meeting rooms. Get involved in a volleyball or pickleball league. Hours vary by season. 

A picturesque view of the fishing pier at Dower Lake.

Dower Lake Recreation Area

24615 Thunder Rd, Staples

Dower Lake Recreation Area (DLRA) is the perfect summer destination - for a day or for the whole season. Enjoy the many amenities: public lake access, swimming beach, softball complex, disc golf, basketball court, picnic shelter, picnic areas, horseshoe pits, sand volleyball court, and nature trails. Dower Lake is also home to Minnesota's longest fishing pier (measuring 612’). Even Paul Bunyon would be impressed! 

Camp your way with 14 Seasonal Sites, 20 Electric Sites, and 11 Rustic Sites available for rent. Campers have access to free firewood, hot showers, and full-utility services.  

Yellow and pink flowers growing at Living Legacy Gardens in Staples, MN.

Living Legacy Gardens

26505 County Road 2, Staples, MN 56479

The Living Legacy Garden is a public garden established in 2001 at the Central Lakes College Ag Center. This 10-acre garden was established to demonstrate plants suitable for growing in Zone 3 as well as to provide a relaxing spot to enjoy nature's beauty.

Visitors are welcome to enjoy the gardens at any time. Guided garden tours may be arranged during summer months by calling (218) 894-5123.  Tours include information on how the garden began, its history, and the opportunity to ask questions about plants and growing conditions.  

Old Wadena Bog Walk

Old Wadena Park

Old Wadena Cir, Staples

Rich in history, this environmental park is open to the public for hiking, rustic camping, and events. There are many walking trails and a footbridge crossing the Leaf River. The park also features a Bogwalk stretching from one side of the bog to the other. Educational learning stations on wetlands animal and plant life are stationed throughout the Bogwalk. 

The annual Old Wadena Rendezvous festival is held the 2nd weekend in August.

The benches inside the Staples Historic Depot.

Staples Historic Depot

First Avenue NE and Fourth Street NE, Staples

Immerse yourself in local history at the newly renovated Staples Historic Depot. The Staples Historical Society recently made $400,000 of improvements to the building's structure while retaining its rich and beautiful past. It's open to the public - visit anytime. For those who love history, this is a "must see."

The Staples Depot is the only Amtrak station between St. Cloud and Fargo. The building also houses the Staples-Motley Chamber of Commerce office.

A man tees off at The Vintage Golf Course in Staples, MN.

The Vintage of Staples

27923 McGivern Dr, Staples

The Vintage is a Joel Goldstrand designed 18-hole public golf course located just north of Staples along the Crow Wing River.  The course works well for all play levels and is family friendly. The Vintage hosts various annual tournaments throughout the summer including their Father's Day tournament, the Izzy Cup, and the MGA Senior Tour. It's scenic location and well-kept grounds make it a favorite spot for weddings and events.