If you've ever marveled at the untamed, majestic power of waves and waterfalls, wait until you've experienced them encased with a white veneer, frozen by a greater force: winter. Here are some places to see northern Minnesota's icy wonders in a new way.
See Vermilion Falls on a trip to Voyageurs National Park. A short hike (1/4-mile roundtrip) along the Vermilion River will take you to a spot where the water pours through a 10-foot-wide gap between granite walls, a vision to behold in any weather. The river then passes through the Vermilion Gorge before it empties into Crane Lake, where you can continue your winter adventure as the roads end and the nation's waterways begin.
Take in the sight of mighty Lake Superior from the rare vantage point of a kayak. When conditions are right, Duluth Daytripper offers iceberg kayaking with seasoned guides. You'll embark from Duluth's iconic Canal Park or Brighton Beach for a once-in-a-lifetime paddle in the icy waters of the big lake.
If you've never driven on a frozen lake, the ice roads of Voyageurs National Park are the perfect place to have this thrilling experience. The Rainy Lake Ice Road or the Kabetogama Ice Road can be a great introduction to the frozen wonders of winter. Just be sure to follow the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' safety tips and rules.
Know Before You Go
A vehicle permit is required to enter Minnesota state parks and many regional parks. Save time by ordering one online before you arrive at the park.
For comfort and safety on the trail, be sure everyone has appropriate footwear (tennis shoes, not flip-flops).
Bring a water bottle for each hiker as well as plenty of sunscreen, bug spray and snacks.
Pick up a paper map at the park office or load a GeoPDF map before you leave (don’t rely on your phone to navigate because cell and Internet service may not be available in the woods).
The accessible trails at Minnesota state parks are stroller friendly as well as wheelchair friendly.
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