Theodore Wirth Park trailhead

Things to Do at Theodore Wirth Park

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Theodore Wirth Park trailhead  / Waqar Ahmad

Things to Do at Theodore Wirth Park

By Rachel Yang

Located in the heart of Minneapolis, Theodore Wirth Regional Park is a gem for outdoor enthusiasts. Clocking in at over 740 acres, it’s the largest park in the public park system and is a haven for winter sports enthusiasts, hikers, bikers, golfers and more. Find something to do in all four seasons with these activities.

2 Fat Bikers in Theo Wirth Park, Minneapolis

Fat Biking in Theo Wirth Park, Minneapolis / Waqar Ahmad

Winter Sports 

Just north of downtown Minneapolis, Wirth is the Twin Cities’ cross-country skiing hub. During the winter months, the park’s lush golf course transforms into 20 miles of groomed cross-country ski trails to explore featuring rolling hills, tranquil meadows and charming views of the Minneapolis skyline for competitive and recreational skiers alike, all winter long.

Skis and poles are available for rent at The Trailhead, the park’s entry point for all things winter sports. This is also where you can purchase a day or season pass, which you’ll need to ski any Minneapolis trails. First-timer? Sign up for a ski lesson; The Trailhead offers them for adults and kids. When you're done skiing, refuel and relax with food and drinks at The Trailhead's in-house restaurant, Mill Valley Market.

Just behind The Trailhead, hop on a snow tube and take a ride down the hill. During the weekend, there is an operating tow rope to bring you back to the top. Free sledding is available on the tenth fairway of the golf course on the large hill next to the Chalet. You can bring your own or rent a loaner sled from The Adventure Shop.

Biker at Trail Head at Theo Wirth Park

Bikers and skiers converge at Theo Wirth Park / Waqar Ahmad

Skiing and snowboarding are available at the Alpine Hill and equipment rentals are available.

Lace up your boots or snowshoes and explore the parkway along its paved and plowed trails. There are also multi-use trails available for hikers, snowshoers and bikers. Snowshoes are available to rent at The Trailhead.

Fat bikers can ride 3 singletrack trails, Area 36, Conundrum and 45 North. Riders must use a true fat bike with 3.7” tires or more and less than 10 psi tire pressure.

Theodore Wirth golf course

Theodore Wirth Golf Club


The Theodore Wirth Par 3 18-hole disc golf course has tree-lined fairways, rolling elevations and views of downtown Minneapolis. Tees are available for beginner and intermediate players.

The Theodore Wirth Golf Club is available for 9-hole or 18-holes and is open daily with rentals for clubs, pull carts and golf carts. The course is one of the oldest public courses in the state with the front nine set around Bassett Creek, a few man-made lagoons and views of the downtown Minneapolis skyline. The back nine offers rolling hills and mature trees to challenge any golfer.

White showy lady's slipper at the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden, Minneapolis

A showy lady's slipper, a.k.a. Minnesota's state flower  / Melanie Mahonen

Gardens and Birding

In summer, the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary is a sight to see. The garden is home to more than 600 plant species and 130 bird species. The garden is the oldest public wildflowers garden in the U.S and is a top spot for wildflower viewing and birdwatching.

A hiker on the Quaking Bog trail at Theodore Wirth Park

The Quaking Bog trail at Theodore Wirth Park / John Yuccas, courtesy of Meet Minneapolis


With 740 acres, there is plenty of room to roam at Theo Wirth. Hikers can explore paved paths along the parkway, including the North Wirth Hiking Trails that contain scenic sections along Bassett Creek and access the Luce Line Trail. Along the Central Wirth Hiking Trail find a 1.25-mile paved path along Wirth Lake, including a boardwalk across the north side. The South Wirth trail offers miles of scenic woods, rolling terrain and wildlife sightings.

A biker in Theodore Wirth Park

Augustus Isaac, Courtesy of Meet Minneapolis


For mountain biking in the city, there is 12 miles of off-road, singletrack multi-use and mountain bike trails throughout the park. Traditional cyclists can ride the miles of paved trail that weave throughout the park.

Cross country ski racer at Theo Wirth Park

Cross-country skiing's elite athletes converge for the World Cup  / Paul Vincent


The City of Lakes Loppet Winter Festival is a must-see in early February. The park and other parts of Minneapolis transform into a winter wonderland with cross-country skiing events, lit-up luminary walks, live music and more.

Cross-country skiing at Theo Wirth will also be in the international spotlight during the COOP FIS Cross-Country World Cup on February 17 – 19, 2024.

Find more things to do in Minneapolis or a spot to eat.

Rachel Yang

Rachel Yang is a writer and audio producer based in Minneapolis. Follow her on Twitter: @rachelayang.