Rochester is a town painted with several lakes, woods, and the Zumbro River winds through the center of town. This natural terrain combined with a heavy winter snowfall and dry, cool summers creates an ideal environment for outdoor sports.

The biking and hiking system in Rochester is extensive and begins with a city bikeway and downtown river trails. There are over 75 state trails between the city and outlying region that provide skyline and pastoral views on a safe, sturdy surface.  

The Douglas State Trails are the primary areas suitable for hikers and cyclists. Rowing, kayaking and canoeing are local pastimes and favorite visitor activities along the Root River and other water trails.

Although it is too cold to swim in the winter, outdoor activities continue from November to April. The Rochester Recreation Center offers ice skating and numerous outdoor rinks spring up around the city. The Douglas State trail and Southern Minnesota contain cross country skiing trails that are up to 30 km.

Travelers who prefer to watch sports can join the avid spectators  in nearby Minneapolis sports venues.  Watch major league basketball, football, or ice hockey battle in their own seasons. The Timberwolves , Vikings , and Wilds are the local following.