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Where Beauty & Nature Intersect

Winter Activities in Northern Minnesota


Now that fall is upon us it is time to get excited about the changing leaves, the crisp smells in the air and the excitement that comes next: Minnesota winters. Many people shudder at the thought of below-zero temperatures, but Minnesotans relish it.


Whether it brings the thrill of the catch in a fish house, the excitement of hitting the trails on a snowmobile, or taking in the sights and sounds while cross-country skiing, the Park Rapids Lakes Area is your ideal destination.


Conveniently located just 25 miles south of Itasca State Park and 25 miles southwest of Chippewa National Forest, the Park Rapids Lakes Area offers hunting and fishing, snowmobile trails, and winter sports.


Civilian Conservation Corps Discovery Hike

The Civilian Conservation Corps (or CCC) was a work relief program that Teddy Roosevelt formed in the 1930’s to help men find work during the Great Depression.


Bundle up and explore the North Country Trail and the Dr. Roberts Trail and learn more about the Civilian Conservation Corps on November 19. In some areas, the hills of the trail can be challenging. Get more details here.


Thanksgiving Festivities in Park Rapids

Take a trot around Park Rapids on November 24 with the second annual Turkey Trot 5K. Last year, more than 100 people were in attendance and $3,200 was raised for Heartland Homes.  


Be sure to attend the “Light up a Life” community tree lighting on the following day. Learn more about the event benefitting St. Joseph’s Hospice here.


Trails and fishing

For ideal snowmobiling, cross country skiing or snowshoeing you can hit the trails at Itasca State Park.


There are easy to difficult trails for cross country skiing with 13 miles to explore. Trails are groomed for classic and skate skiing.


There are 31 miles of snowmobile trails in Itasca. The trails go around the perimeter of the park. They connect with other trails that lead you to Park Rapids, Bemidji, Detroit Lakes, Mahnomen, Walker and Bagley.


You can snowshoe anywhere in Itasca State Park, except on groomed trails and roads. The trails include Dr. Roberts, Schoolcraft, Brower, Mary Lake and LaSalle.


Remember to pick up your snowmobile registration before you arrive. If fishing is your favorite winter pastime, try Gulch Lake or Mantrap Lake for year-round camping and Muskie fishing.


There are plenty of fantastic activities to take part in this winter in Northern Minnesota. Some folks in the south think that we must be crazy to put up with the winters up here. But knowing all that our winters have to offer, we think you’re crazy not to.


Our year-round lodging partners can be found here.

To learn more about the Park Rapids area, visit!


Park Rapids Lakes Area Chamber, a Partner of Explore Minnesota Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Northwoods Bank, Partner of Park Rapids Lakes Area Chamber Citizen's Bank in Park Rapids, MN Park Rapids Downtown Business Association Park Rapids Lakes Area Convention & Visitor's Bureau