Battle Lake

Filed in Destinations by on August 9, 2015



Story and Photography by Heidi Kratzke


Specialty shops, outdoor recreational activities, a vibrant arts scene, and a growing farmers market make the Minnesota lakeside community of Battle Lake a delightful place to spend a summer day. The city’s main thoroughfare recently underwent a major renovation, beautifying the entire downtown area.


Mosaic art reflecting life in the Battle Lake area is creatively installed on benches and planters throughout the downtown area. These works of art were created with the assistance of more than 130 community members over a period of eight months in 2014.


“We are so grateful to Lake Region Arts Council and the people of Minnesota for the Legacy grant that gave us the opportunity to come together as a community and create beautiful art for our downtown,” says Reba Gilliand, project manager and member of the Art Advisory Committee.


The revitalized streetscape also includes artistic bicycle racks created by local metal artist Paul Boyum. Four bicycle racks were designed to follow Battle Lake themes of corn stalks, fishing poles, cattails, and family.


While checking out the city’s beautiful new downtown area, Stella’s Bistro and Wine Bar is the perfect place to grab a drink or settle in for a delicious lunch or dinner. Indoor booths and tables offer a pleasant ambiance. There’s also an inviting outdoor patio that’s perfect for a relaxing summer day.


In addition to impressive wine and beer offerings, Stella’s is known for its creative menu. Wood-fired pizzas are among the most popular menu items, with options ranging from a spicy Thai chicken pizza to a pesto pizza topped with artichokes and sundried tomatoes. The restaurant is open March through December.


0815LAHM-Battle-Lake-7Follow up your meal with a visit to Granny’s Pantry. With 39 flavors of ice cream and one flavor of yogurt, Granny’s Pantry is a must-see destination for anyone with a sweet tooth. The old fashioned candy and ice cream shop draws crowds of locals and tourists throughout the summer season.


Homemade fudge and chocolates glisten behind glass counters and across the room are tables piled high with all sorts of basket candies. The shop has an impressive inventory of salt-water taffy, including some crazy new flavors like chicken and waffles and maple bacon.


Granny’s is known as the “home of the granny cone,” a delectable waffle cone offered at the shop. “We make all of our own waffle cones every day,” explains Meg Haviland, who owns and operates the store with her husband Terry. She suggests trying their new brownie extreme ice cream flavor in one of the homemade cones.


“This is our 25th year that my family has owned Granny’s Pantry,” Haviland notes. “My mom and dad purchased the building in 1990. My husband and I bought the business in 2009.” From Memorial Day until Labor Day, Granny’s is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week.


If you are in the mood for an active day of fun, plan a family bicycle ride on the new 12-mile Glendalough bike trail. The asphalt trail is designed as a loop, with trailheads located in the city of Battle Lake at the Lakes Area Community Center and at Glendalough State Park. The scenic trail is rated easy to moderate and is wheelchair accessible.


Lakes on the trail include West Battle, Annie Battle, and Molly Stark. Benches, restrooms, shelters, picnic tables, and drinking water are conveniently located along the trail. The trail’s level terrain is perfect for riders and walkers of all ages and abilities. Bicycles are available for rent through Galloping Goose Rentals in downtown Battle Lake. State park permits are not required if you bike in to the park. Only non-motorized traffic is allowed on the trail.


One final item to add to your summer day in Battle Lake is a visit to the local farmers market. “My husband and a friend started the farmers market four years ago,” explains Gretchen Boyum, who operates Boyum Farms with her husband Pat Crepps. “We focus on locally grown foods and locally produced items. All of us vendors really enjoy working together.”


A typical day will draw between six to ten vendors, with products ranging from baked goods to jams, vegetables to handspun alpaca yarn. Stop by this growing market at the Lakes Area Community Center from 4-7 p.m. on Tuesdays and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturdays.

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