MN Nature in St Paul, Minnesota, wants to help you have the best winter ever. After all, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. Start filling up your calendar for fun in the outdoors — it’s where Minnesotans love to play. If you embark, tell ’em MN Nature (“Em En Nature”) sent ya. Thank you. #MNnature
Q: Where can I go ice climbing?
A: The Sandstone Ice Festival is a great place to check out ice climbing Jan 6–8, 2017. Check it out here!
Q: Where can I go winter dog sledding?
A: There are a few outfitters if you search for “dog sledding minnesota” online, like this place White Wilderness (video). There’s several others, like Chilly Dogs, Wintergreen Dogsledding, and White Wolf. There’s also dog sledding races to watch, like Beargrease in January.
Q: Where can I go winter camping?
A: Great question again! There are many state campgrounds that allow winter camping and you can look up the specific park with the DNR campground list. Sandstone has an Ice Festival winter camping clinic on Jan 7, 2017, where you can learn more about winter camping.
Q: Where can I find a place to ice skate?
A: Visit Rink Finder to find a place near you. There is also ice skating at many city and county winter celebrations, and they rinks are usually maintained before and after the events. Look up your city online! The capitol city of St Paul has free outdoor skating downtown. (The ice skating photos are from the amazing Christina Friedrichsen, check her out!)
Q: Where can I go sledding or snow tubing in Minnesota?
A: Sledding is available at many “open” hills around the state, county/city parks, and on DNR state lands. Also, many ski and snowboarding hills have dedicated sledding areas. Some specialize in tubing, like Eko Backen (shown).
Q: Where can I find snow sculptures or ice sculptures or castles or palaces in Minnesota?
A: You can find sculptures, ice skating, winter parades, and other celebratory winter events at the St Paul Winter Carnival in January 25–Feb 5. The state fair also has a Snow Park in January 27–29. Ely has a Winter Festival with snow sculptures February 2–12.
Q: Where can I go ice fishing?
A: Nearly any frozen lake or pond is fair game. Check out these MN DNR Resources. Rent an ice fishing house from a place like this. Go to an ice fishing tournament to learn more, like this. Join an ice fishing forum, like the Ice Shanty. Explore more courtesy of Ely.
Q: Where can I snowmobile?
A: The DNR is probably the best place to start. Be sure to respect private property. Many ditches are accessible, but always confirm roadway easements with MNDOT and/or the City DOT and nearby landowners (if possible).
Q: Where can I snowshoe?
A: Most state parks allow you to snowshoe, they may even have group hikes and rentals. Check out the DNR for more info.
Q: Where can I go skijoring?
A: Some state parks allow this sport! Check it out at the skijorers club.
Q: Where can I play hockey?
A: Where can’t you play hockey in Minnesota? Seriously, for the Land of 10,000 Lakes there’s 10,000 more pond hockey sites and 10,000 more indoor arenas, so here’s one list to get you started. Also visit official page with affiliated links. Hockey ponds and skate rentals are often at city/county park & rec sites and community centers, so be sure to check in with your municipality.
Just want to watch? This is the State of Hockey! so you can check out a pro game and get a discount w/your hunting or fishing license during DNR days with the Minnesota Wild.
Q: Where can I snow golf? (Wait, huh?)
Q: Where can I winter run?
A: Yes! This is a thing! People run in really cold weather, their beards get little icicles and hair is dusted with snow. Limbs slow down in the cold, so it’s best to stop into a running store to get advice on how to train and dress appropriately. There are many 5ks, 10ks, etc., all throughout the year. Here’s one—it’s the Freeze Yer Gizzard Blizzard Run in International Falls during their Ice Box Days Jan 18–22. There’s even full-blown obstacle courses, like the Iceman Race Jan. 28.
Q: Where can I winter bicycle?
A: Woohoo! So glad you asked! Fat tires biking routes are on the increase throughout the entire state. There are challenges like the Iceman Race and others (oh, so many others) or you can explore and learn more about the sport and gear—Get started here.
MN Nature hopes you are inspired by this list! We’ll keep updating it so check back. Have ideas you’d like to share? Please do! Visit https://www.facebook.com/mnnature