Lake Lodge offers students outdoor recreation activities year-round

Zach Bailey

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Zach Bailey/Winonan

As the heat wave in Winona finally comes to an end, Winona State University students are able to step outside and enjoy the outdoors.

With Winona’s bluffs and scenic landscape, the only question to be asked is, what should the next Winona adventure be?

Less than half a mile from campus, nestled in the middle of the pathway around Winona’s “Big Lake” sits Winona Park and Rec’s Lake Lodge.

For $10 students are given a year of unlimited outdoor fun. For students who enjoy warm weather activities, Lake Lodge offers canoeing, kayaking and paddle boarding. If they enjoy cold weather as well, the lodge also features ice skating and snowshoeing during the winter season.

This past summer Lake Lodge estimated an average of 10,000 people taking part in the activities at the lodge, and with the rest of the season left, they are on track to have numbers in the 12,000s, according to fourth-year coordinator Zack McKinney.

Overall, the summer months are by far the lodge’s busiest season. July leads as the lodge’s busiest summer month, averaging 100 people a day in 2015. This also includes rain days, McKinney said.

“Though winter does have its busy days, overall it’s much more mellow,” McKinney said. “Some winter days are busy, but it’s a different kind of busy. People stay much longer in the winter. While people stay around 45 minutes in the summer, people sometimes stay up to two hours in the winter.”

In it’s fifth year, kayaking and canoeing is a somewhat new adventure to Winona’s outdoor lodge.