In winter, northeast Minnesota is synonymous with outdoor adventures like snowmobiling, skiing, fat biking and playing in the snow. But what happens when the snow doesn’t cooperate? No snow, no problem. We’ve got some great ideas for your next winter getaway to the north.
Hit the Trails in Orr/Pelican Lake
Winter is a magical season to visit Pelican Lake in Orr. Ride your fat tire bikes just 4 miles south of Orr on the Gheen Hill Trails. This multi-use trail and is open to hikers, mountain bikers and hunters. These trails are groomed and tracked in the winter with marked intersections. Visit birdvnp.com for a complete listing of the numerous trails in the Orr area and experience northeast Minnesota’s unspoiled beauty.
Experience Icebox Days in International Falls
Icebox Days is the zaniest winter festival in North America! Come to International Falls, where “Only the Bold Run the Cold” during this famous border town’s Freeze Yer Gizzard Blizzard Run. The festival includes other wacky events, such as frozen turkey bowling, smoosh races, frozen golf and boot hockey. Find your winter fun in the Icebox of the Nation, Jan. 17-21, 2018.
Go Four-Wheeling in the Iron Range
The Iron Range OHV State Recreation Area is open weekends year-round. This time of year, you can only ride ATVs in one place, and that's the Off Highway Vehicle Recreation Area in Gilbert. Plenty of trails to explore, every weekend.Get your motorized groove on in Gilbert. The Mesabi Mountain Jeep trail in Eveleth is also open year-round. Vrooom!
Take a Hike in Silver Bay
Numerous hiking possibilities are just an agate’s toss from Silver Bay. Walk the Superior Hiking Trail to Bean and Bear lakes, hike to the easily accessible High Falls at Tettegouche State Park, or enjoy a shoreline hike at Split Rock Lighthouse State Park, capturing beautiful photos of the iconic lighthouse. If there’s no snow, you can see the pebbles, sands and rock formations at the uniquely beautiful Black Beach Park.
Go Fat Biking in Proctor
Just a short drive from the Twin Cities, Proctor is the primary entrance to the Spirit Mountain Bike Park, with amazing trails and challenges for every biker. Home to the only lift-accessed fat biking in the region, Spirit Mountain’s Bike Park allows fat bikers to cruise down a snow-covered trail or hill. No snow, no problem, since the trails and challenge course are open year-round.
See a Show in Grand Rapids
The Reif Center is a hidden gem of a theater located in the middle of Minnesota's north woods. With over 50 performances this season, there is a show for every taste, from country musicians and children's performances to ballet and pianists. Theater Lodging Deals are available to save on ticket and lodging packages.
Mush a Dogsled in Ely
Dubbed one of “16 Unexpected Adventures You Need to Experience” by Expedia, dogsledding in Ely is a winter must-do. Ely-area dogsled outfitters offer a wide variety of options; there are day trips, overnight yurt trips, and trips for ice fishing. Best of all, no experience is required, and anyone can participate. Explore the wilderness by dogsled for a unique winter adventure.
Get Your Hygge On in Grand Marais
Offering winter beauty, adventure, relaxation and coziness for miles, this beautiful little harbor village on Lake Superior is the ideal hygge destination. This winter, Grand Marais will celebrate its second-annual Hygge Week, Feb. 9-15, 2018. Visitors will find dogsledding, snowmobiling, stargazing, fireside gatherings, cross-country skiing, with the added bonus of unique events to encourage the celebration and enjoyment of winter on the North Shore.
Experience Bentleyville in Duluth
Discover the magic of America’s largest free walk-through lighting display, with more than 4 million lights surrounding Bayfront Festival Park along the Duluth waterfront. Be amazed by the themed displays, the 128-foot LED tree and the free hot cocoa, popcorn, cookies and roasting marshmallows. Bentleyville runs Nov. 18-Dec. 26, 2017.
Enjoy the Off Season in Crane Lake
The snowmobile trails may not be open yet, but you can still enjoy the cool temperatures outside. The Crane Lake area offers hiking and ATV trails, miles of stargazing, or simply a new place to visit and relax, crowds not included.
Discover even more reasons to explore Northeast Minnesota this winter, and find places to stay, eat and play, at NEminnesota.com.