Where Beauty & Nature intersect

Tired of winter? Embrace it – Park Rapids MN Chamber

Snowmobilers, cross country skiers and those who just enjoy the beautiful landscape are welcoming fresh snow after a relatively dry winter. As the days get longer there’s no shortage of fun in store.

Walleye, pike and bass fishing season has ended in this part of Minnesota, but avid anglers can still enjoy excellent pan fishing here. Subzero nights have kept the ice thick and slick, but safe in most places as March begins.

Ski and skijouring trails have been packed in Itasca State Park and some have been tracked. 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.

Or enjoy a hike to the Mississippi headwaters where there’s open water year round. Some lucky visitors this winter have seen an otter playing there. Snow can bring fun for kids and kids at heart, too. Besides sledding, ice skating, winter camping or a winter picnic, try building a snow fort or snow animals, making snow angels, going on a treasure hunt for ice cubes, making snow ice cream to eat with hot cocoa, making a snow painting or snow lanterns. Or simply measure the snow, find the deepest snow and take pictures.

If festivals are a reason to head out for the weekend, celebrate the Finnish Saint who led the grasshoppers out of Finland March 13-15 in Menahga. St. Urho Days include opening ceremonies and a concert Friday evening, horsedrawn wagon rides, the Changing of the Guards by the “Nytes of St. Urho,” a parade and barstool races Saturday and a snow sculpture contest Sunday. And don’t miss the food, including mojakka and corned beef and cabbage (in honor of that other Saint being celebrated in March).

With the first day of spring approaching March 20, it’s time to plan for the glorious months of summer, too. Our new Discovery Guide counts the ways to Catch a Memory anytime at the lake, in the woods or enjoying a local celebration.Pick an activity and go with it: biking, hiking, bird watching, fishing, water skiing, tubing down the river, ATV riding, playing golf, building sand castles, sitting by the campfire, picnicking or just relaxing. Let your imagination be your guide.Area lodging accommodations can be found to suit your style whether it’s camping under the stars, sleeping within walking distance of a golf course or staying at a cabin on a sand beach. Start here for information on campgrounds, motels, resorts, bed and breakfast inns, vacation homes and a hostel. Most accommodations have Websites so you can peak inside a cabin or read what other guests have to say about their stay. Or, if you prefer, ask for a copy of the 2015 Discovery Guide and page through the information you’ll find inside.You may want to plan a visit when one of the area’s special events is taking place and now is the time to make sure you are not disappointed. The Chamber calendar is a great resource for scheduling your stay with dozens of festivals and other fun events all summer long. If you’re here between June 18 and August 20, grab a chair and head to downtown Park Rapids for an evening of great bands, a beer garden, kids’ activities and more.If you need help planning a memorable and affordable visit, need more information about activities or if you have questions, call our friendly staff at 800-247-0054 to learn more.

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