January 2013 It’s a
Winter Wonderland in the Park Rapids Lakes Area A new year begins with snow covered trees, lakes and trails. It’s beautiful, but there isn’t enough yet to open snowmobile trails. Some cross-country skiers have enjoyed time on the trails at Soaring Eagle north of Park Rapids and the Shingobee Recreation Area between Akeley and Walker. We’re hoping for enough to welcome winter recreation enthusiasts to hit the trails soon. 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 with a string of overnight temperatures well below zero. Ice anglers are already out. Bait shop owners can tell you where the best spots are to snag a fresh catch. Our winter lodging facilities are open 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. Menahga’s Family Fishing Derby on Spirit Lake offers $7,500 in 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. 19. In the evening Saturday, Jan. 26, 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 15th Annual Park Rapids American Legion Community Fishing Contest on Fish Hook Lake Saturday, Feb. 2. The contest offers more than $110,000 in prizes. Grand prizes in this year’s raffle are a 2013 Chevy Silverado LS pickup truck and an Ice Castle fish house. Other raffle prizes, including a $5,000 cash prize, will be awarded. Polaris ATVs top the list of prizes in all four divisions: bluegill & crappie; northern, walleye & largemouth bass; perch; and rock bass. 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, www.parkrapids.com 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.