Take a Hike This Winter

By Explore Minnesota

Winter HikeLove to walk? There's no reason to stop in the winter. In fact, if you like to hike, it's a great way to enjoy the special beauty of the season.

Because of the increased popularity of winter hiking, many of Minnesota's state parks have designated trails for this activity. Winter hikers should avoid walking on trails set aside for cross-country skiers.

Numerous state parks plow or pack down the snow on walking trails to make it easier for hikers during the winter. At Gooseberry Falls State Park along the north shore of Lake Superior, winter walkers can take in spectacular views of frozen falls. Among the other parks with miles of packed trails are Buffalo River near Moorhead, Wild River and St. Croix, both along the scenic St. Croix River, and Afton, farther south along the St. Croix.

Many other state parks have unplowed trails designed for winter walks. Hikers can take in great views of the frozen shore of Lake Superior at Split Rock Lighthouse State Park, peaceful valley views at Beaver Creek Valley and Whitewater state parks, and snow-covered trees in the woods at several others.

Another option is to hike by snowshoe. Several parks rent snowshoes and offered guided snowshoe treks to teach you how. For more information on hiking and snowshoeing in state parks, visit the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' winter hiking page.