Turtles continue to saunter to the finish line in Nisswa

Nisswa's Turtle Races continue to attract big crowds on Wednesday afternoons through summer

turtles (4).JPG
Though his turtle did not win the race, this young boy seems happy to have participated in the July 20, 2022, Nisswa Turtle Races.
Travis Grimler / Echo Journal
We are part of The Trust Project.

NISSWA — Wednesday, July 20, was no special holiday, but that didn't stop throngs of people from crowding the turtle racing track.

turtles (1).JPG
A splash of water is sometimes all it takes to coax a turtle toward the finish line. Spectators at the July 20, 2022, Nisswa Turtle Races tried that tactic.
Travis Grimler / Echo Journal

The nearly 60-year tradition of racing turtles in Nisswa is alive and well and attracting spectators from California or farther. Participants choose a bucket with a small amount of water and a turtle, place the turtles on a yellow line on the circular race track and watch them race at turtle speed to the finish line.

The event, which begins with registration at 1 p.m. and races at 2 p.m. every Wednesday, featured more than 300 racers on July 20 alone.

turtles (6).JPG
People of all ages get involved in the weekly Nisswa Turtle Races, including this pair of adults on July 20, 2022.
Travis Grimler / Echo Journal

Travis Grimler is a staff writer for the Pineandlakes Echo Journal weekly newspaper in Pequot Lakes/Pine River. He may be reached at 218-855-5853 or

Travis Grimler began work at the Echo Journal Jan. 2 of 2013 while the publication was still split in two as the Pine River Journal and Lake Country Echo. He is a full time reporter/photographer/videographer for the paper and operates primarily out of the northern stretch of the coverage area (Hackensack to Jenkins).
What To Read Next
Musical, cultural talks, ice fishing contest are coming up
Event is Feb. 2 at Chalberg Theatre at Central Lakes College in Brainerd
Named to President's or Dean's lists
Murel Backman, Richard Behary and Suzanne Henk take oaths of office