Snowshoeing & Cross-Country Skiing: A Walk or a Glide in the Park

By Explore Minnesota

Long ago, snowshoeing in Minnesota was a means to navigate the snow for hunting and trading. Today, some enthusiasts make and use traditional snowshoes, featuring a wood frame and rawhide laces, while others trek on contemporary snowshoes made with aluminum and neoprene.

The sport of snowshoeing is accessible to anyone who can walk. Poles help with balance, and snowshoe design follows function. Various sizes and shapes can accommodate casual trail walking, hill-climbing, or even running. Minnesota's state and regional park trails provide endless options for snowshoers.

Gunflint cross-countryThere are also miles of trails for classic cross-country skiing, skate-skiing, and even skijoring (skiing with dogs) in picturesque settings. Cross-country skiers and snowshoers can go at their own pace, but the constant movement of both activities provides a healthy workout.

Many parks offer snowshoe and cross-country ski rentals, candlelight events, and workshops to teach snowshoe lacing and beginning hiking and skiing techniques. Visit the DNR website for a list of state trails and check out the Winter Activities Guide for snowshoe and cross-country ski events and resources.

Find Minnesota cross-country ski trails: