Located in Lyon County, Marshall has several, fun attractions and activities for families and people with different interests. If you’re in town for a visit or are a new resident, you’ll enjoy exploring this amazing area with our list of 8 fun and exciting things to do in Marshall, Minnesota.
What Is Marshall, MN Known For?
Named after Governor William M. Marshall, Minnesota’s fifth governor in 1866, the city experienced rapid growth and development beginning in 1872 when the railroad extended to the area. It officially became a city in 1901 just as the city’s population began increasing beyond the 2,000-mark.
Today, Marshall is home to over 13,000 residents. It is the regional center located in the southwest of Minnesota. It is a suburban area with a family-oriented community and above-average schools. The city has many working-age adults who are in their 20s and early 30s. In terms of diversity, the city is above average when compared to the state and national averages.
Marshall offers various indoor and outdoor activities. It’s a popular location for outdoor hikes as well as historical points of interest. The city also features a number of local restaurants with a variety of cuisines so it’s a great destination for foodies too!
If you’re new to the area or are planning a visit, here are 8 of the best things to do in Marshall while you’re here.
Things To Do in Marshall Minnesota
1. Visit the 9/11 Memorial
September 11 was a turning point for America. Located in downtown Marshall, the Memorial Park was erected to honor the people who lost their lives that day and to salute the bravery of first responders. The park features a beam acquired by the local fire department from ground zero in New York City.
The park and the special memorial are a somber celebration of our country’s response in the face of adversity and serve as a reminder to survive and overcome. The landmark symbolizes the resolve displayed by the numerous public safety personnel who were martyred on that fateful day.
The park is conveniently located a few minutes away from nearby downtown shops. The beautiful flowers along the way add to the park’s beauty. You can take a quiet walk through the park, or relax with a book as you take in the fresh air. Whatever you choose to do, it’s definitely a memorable place to visit when you come to Marshall.
2. Take the Downtown Marshall History Walking Tour
To highlight the important cultural and historic points in Marshall, the Lyon County Historical Society started a history walking tour for the public. You can take the tour on your own by taking note of 4 areas located in downtown Marshall. All you have to do is look for the markers that provide you with additional information. Here are the stops to watch out for:
- The first stop is at the 9/11 Memorial Park at the corner of Main Street and East College Drive.
- From the 9/11 Memorial, cross the street until you reach the Bello Cucina Building.
- The third marker is in the heart of downtown Marshall, in front of the Marshall Gambler.
- For your final marker, cross the street until your reach the east side of the road and find yourself in front of the former Marshall Hotel building. It’s located right next to Marshall City Hall.
3. Try Out the Mountain Bike Trails
While history is an important part of Marshall, it’s not all the city is known for. There are multiple bike trails that you can traverse during your visit to this city. Off of Highway 23, on the east side, is Victory Park which is situated on the Camden Regional Bike Trail.
If you’re looking for a mountain bike trail, go over the bridge to Redwood River. This trail is perfect for adults and children who are just starting out with mountain biking.
If you’re looking for a more challenging mountain bike trail, head to Camden State Park. Here, you will find approximately 4.25 miles of biking trails. These biking trails not only test your skills but also give you a breath of fresh air in the middle of nature. It’s the perfect spot for those looking for adventure and a bit of an adrenaline rush.
4. Take a Hike Along the Camden Hiking Trails
Next on our list of great things to do in Marshall is to take an exhilarating hike. It feels great to stretch your legs in natural surroundings. For all the hiking enthusiasts out there, Marshall has the perfect spot for you. The Camden Regional Trail connects the city to Camden State Park and is great for a day of hiking whether you’re going alone or are with friends and family.
The park has a recreational and multi-purpose trail which is also open for cycling. This trail extends from Southwest Minnesota State University and goes through the city. The long, paved trail also has plenty of benches where you can sit and rest during your hike. Kiosks with maps along the trail talk about the natural and historical significance of the region.
5. Visit the Loyalty Dog Park
Do you have a furry best friend who loves running around in open spaces? If so, then the Loyalty Dog Park in Marshall is the perfect spot for you and your four-legged buddy! The city offers an off-leash fenced park that you can visit with your dogs. The Loyalty Dog Park also has different designated areas for large and small breeds.
Other amenities include watering stations, comfortable benches, tables, and shaded areas where you can spend a chill afternoon with your dog. We’re sure your dog will love this park as much as you do as they get to meet and interact with other pets in the park.
6. Bike Share Program, Anyone?
If you love biking but can’t bring your bike with you or have yet to own one, Marshall offers a bike-sharing program that allows you to borrow bikes for free. Whether you want to spend a quiet afternoon in one of the city’s parks or experience the biking trail at Camden State Park, you can easily visit one of its three stations to participate in the Bike Share Program.
The three spots where you can borrow a bike are AmericInn, The Bike Shop, and the Marshall Area YMCA. Don’t forget to bring a valid driver’s license, or two valid identification documents to borrow a bike. The program flexibly allows you to borrow a bike for up to 3 days at a time so you can take your time exploring the various attractions and trails while you are discovering all of the fun and exciting things to do in Marshall.
7. Enjoy Public Art With the Marshall Art Experience
Are you more of an art connoisseur than an outdoorsman? Fret not because you’ll find opportunities to explore your artistic side with the Marshall Art Experience. The Marshall Art Experience is a series of public statues, galleries, and murals that line the streets and walls of downtown Marshall and stretches to the campus of Southwest Minnesota State University.
Painted by local artists, the various works of art highlight the significance and beauty of Marshall’s culture and history. It also underscores the importance of public art in the community for generations to come.
8. Visit Popular Places To Eat and Drink
Bring your appetite for these savory things to do in Marshall. All those activities are bound to make you hungry for some delicious local fare, especially at the end of the day. If you’re looking to fill your tummy and satisfy your appetite, Marshall provides you with a selection of different dining options from local restaurants, bars, pizza chains, ice cream, and dessert shops, coffee shops, fast food, and more.
Grab some pizza from Bello Cucino, have a juicy burger at Wooden Nickel, or have a sit-down family dinner at The Hitching Post. Whatever you’re in the mood for, you’ll find a venue for your gustatory pleasures in Marshall.
After a filling dinner, go out with friends and grab a drink at the Brau Brothers Brewing Company, one of the best breweries in Minnesota.
Rest and Recharge
From visiting historical points of interest, bike trails, art installations, scenic parks, and delicious eats, life in Minnesota offers a variety of activities and simple pleasures. While it’s far from the hustle and bustle of big cities, many find joy and satisfaction in the charming places and simple attractions the city offers.
If you’re looking for a place to rest and recharge your batteries, life in Marshall may just be what the doctor ordered. Its close-knit and friendly community combined with various outdoor activities are a warm welcome for most newcomers and guests. It also features safe neighborhoods with low crime rates and has a thriving agricultural community.
If you like wide-open spaces, fresh air, and community-oriented events, you might just like it as much as we do.
Have you been to Marshall lately? Tell us about your experience or if you know of other points of interest that we haven’t mentioned, share your discoveries with us in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!
- About the Author
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Born in Madelia, MN, to a now 5-generation Minnesota family, Ryan’s MN roots go deep.
A painter by day, Ryan founded Life in Minnesota in 2013 with his wife Kelly to chronicle their musings on everything Minnesota. Ryan and Kelly are raising their 7 kiddos in Maple Grove, MN.
When he’s not shuttling his kids around to hockey practice, you might find him in the shop working on his leatherwork. Undoubtedly, there will be a family trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area every summer, and of course weekends at Grandpa’s cabin up north in the summer.