This snow’s for you
February is for snow lovers. The days are getting longer, the average temps are rising and more than 500 miles of snowmobile trails are groomed and ready to ride.
Our forest and lake trails connect directly to restaurants, gas stations and lodging where you can put your feet up by the fire or warm up in the pool, hot tub or sauna at the end of the day. And you will find fine dining, fun shops and more to do, too.
Groomed cross-country ski trails also invite exploring. Skiers at Soaring Eagle will find a warming house and at Itasca State Park the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center is open.
Our lakes have a thick layer of ice so pull up a shelter and stay awhile.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources updates snow and trail conditions in weekly reports updated after 2 p.m. every Thursday at www.dnr.state.mn.us/snow_depth/index.html. And our 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.
You can also link to our local snowmobile and cross country ski associations for the latest news on trail conditions and grooming.
Forest Riders Snowmobile Trails, approximately 300 miles of trails. The Forest Riders Snowmobile Club was formed approximately 30 years ago and started grooming trails mainly in the Two Inlets State Forest. Over the years, trails have been added and now the trail system connects to Park Rapids, Smoky Hills, Paul Bunyan State Forest, Lake George and all through Itasca State Park.
The trails which would not be possible if not for private property owners. Please respect all signs. For more information see: https://www.forestriderstrailclub.com/winter/about_the_club/ and https://www.forestriderstrailclub.com/winter/maps/
Itasca State Park, 31 miles of snowmobile trails circle the park’s perimeter and connect with other trails that lead to Park Rapids, Walker, Bemidji, Bagley, Mahnomen and Detroit Lakes.
For more information see: https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/itasca/trails.html
Heartland State Trail, a 49-mile multiple use, paved trail between Park Rapids and Cass Lake. The Nevis Trailblazers Snowmobile Club grooms the east-west alternate portion of the Heartland Trail to Sno-Way 1, 5 miles west of Walker. The entire Heartland Trail is groomed for snowmobiling, however studded tracks are prohibited on the asphalt. Altogether the Trailblazers Club grooms approximately 245 miles of trails in the Paul Bunyan State Forest and Wilder Trails.
For more information see: https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_trails/heartland/index.html or https://www.nevismn.com/trailblazers/trailmaps.htm.
Grant-in-Aid Trail System
Paul Bunyan State Trail, Snowmobiling is the primary winter use along both the paved and undeveloped sections of the 110-mile trail; however studded tracks are prohibited on the paved surface. The trail provides connections to many miles of groomed snowmobile trails in the county Grants-in-Aid trail system. The Heartland Trail and Paul Bunyan Trail connect 3 miles east of Akeley at the Hubbard/Cass line on Highway 34.
For more information see: https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_trails/paul_bunyan/index.html and https://www.nevismn.com/trailblazers/trailmaps.htm
Huntersville State Forest and trails south of Park Rapids are maintained by the Menahga Trail Breakers.
For more information see: https://files.dnr.state.mn.us/maps/snowmobiling/map16.pdf
Chippewa National Forest Snowmobile Trails. Over 330 miles of snowmobile trails provide snowmobilers access to 1,300 lakes, scenic woodlands and frozen wetlands. Trails connected to nearly 200 miles of routes surrounding the forest. The Soo Line Trail, an old railroad grade extending from Cass Lake to Moose Lake, is the longest motorized recreation trail in Minnesota. Snowmobilers may also travel on unplowed National Forest roads unless posted closed to recreational motor vehicle use. Cross-country travel off forest roads is prohibited.
Happy Trails to you!
Everyone who heads outdoors will find breathtaking scenery the perfect backdrop to whatever activity they choose. With Valentine’s Day on February’s calendar, a winter getaway “up north” may be the way to win your Valentine’s heart.
If you time your stay, you can sample one of the following fun winter activities:
It’s not too late to buy a ticket for the 12th Annual Community Fishing Contest on Fish Hook Lake from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 6, 2010 featuring $110,000 in prizes! The grand prize in this year’s raffle is a 2010 XLT Ford Truck. Sixty other raffle prizes will be awarded. Fishing prizes – for the 10th largest fish caught in any category – are an Ice Castle Fish House. 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.parkrapidsfishingderby.com.
The Trailbreakers Snowmobile Club will sponsor a radar run on Spirit Lake in Menahga Sunday, Feb. 7. You’ll have plenty of time to participate or watch and still make it back in time to watch the big game.
Two fun events are planned Saturday, Feb. 13. Akeley will host Audrey’s Purple Dream Fishing Tournament on 11th Crow Wing Lake. Or step back in time and watch an old-time ice harvest on Lake Itasca. Parking will be at the Lake Itasca boat landing in Itasca State Park.
Wolf Lake’s Winter Fest Saturday, Feb. 20 provides fun for the family, including sledding and contests for all ages.
And in the evening, head to Itasca State Park for a Lantern Lit Ski and Snowshoe Hike by the light of the moon. Marshmallows will be available for roasting around the fire!
If you need help planning a memorable and affordable visit, need more information about these and other winter activities or if you have questions, call our friendly staff at 800-247-0054 to learn more.