Cabin fever reliever
Snow is falling as 2012 begins and we’re hoping for enough to welcome winter recreation enthusiasts to hit the trails as we glide into a new year. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources updates snow and trail conditions in weekly reports posted after 2 p.m. every Thursday at www.dnr.state.mn.us/snow_depth/index.html.
The ice on area lakes is thickening. Fish houses dot the ice near shore and will spread farther out as temperatures fall to more normal winter digits.
Our winter lodging facilities are open as a cabin fever remedy no matter what Mother Nature brings. Warm up by the fire or in the pool, hot tub or sauna and enjoy the area’s fine dining, fun shops and more to do.
If you time your stay, you can sample one of the following fun winter activities:
Lantern lit skiing/snowshoeing events and naturalist programs are on the January calendar at Itasca State Park. For details about winter activities in the park, call 218-699-7251 or go to www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/itasca/index.html.
Open houses are planned Sundays, Jan. 8 and 22 and Feb. 5 and 19 at Soaring Eagle Ski Trails north of Park Rapids. Bring your own skis or check out the club’s ski equipment. The Park Rapids Area Library and Itascatur Ski, Bike & Run Club are working together on a free Legacy program at 1 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 12 at Soaring Eagle Ski Trails. Charlotte Wolf, musher and veterinary technician, will do a brief presentation on the history of Minnesota dog sledding and offer dog sled rides. Depending on the size of the group, part of the program may take place in the warming house. For more information about Soaring Eagle Ski Trails, visit itascatur.org.
Menahga’s Family Fishing Derby on Spirit Lake offers prizes, including $500 cash for the third largest fish caught, and a day of fishing fun from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21. Boy Scouts will serve food on site and the Menahga VFW will host a fish fry in the evening.
In the evening Saturday, Jan. 28, the Forest Riders Snowmobile Club hosts the annual SnoDeo Weekend Dance at the Eagles Club in Park Rapids.
And remember to buy tickets for the 14th Annual Park Rapids American Legion Community Fishing Contest on Fish Hook Lake Saturday, Feb. 4. The contest offers more than $110,000 in prizes. Grand prizes in this year’s raffle are a 2012 Ford XLT truck and an Ice Castle fish house. Other raffle prizes, including $5,000 cash prizes, will be awarded. Polaris ATVs top the list of prizes in all four divisions: bluegill & crappie; northern, walleye & largemouth bass; perch; and rock bass. In conjunction with the fishing contest, the American Legion also sponsors a Medallion Treasure Hunt, starting Wednesday, Jan. 4. Tickets for the fishing contest at $40 each are available at the American Legion or call 218-732-3360. For more information, go to www.parkrapidsamericanlegion.com.
The Chamber Website provides information about trail riding and cross country skiing possibilities as well as available lodging, dining and other things to see and do while you’re here. If you’ve resolved to celebrate winter and need help planning a memorable and affordable visit or if you have questions, call our friendly staff at 800-247-0054 to learn more.