Need an excuse to head north? With Valentine’s Day, a three-day weekend and snow depths up to our eyeballs, it’s a great time to visit.
Hundreds of miles of groomed snowmobile trails will take you places you might never find in the summer time – and there are no mosquitoes. Or explore the forest on groomed cross-country ski trails. 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.
Ice conditions are poor so extreme caution is advised. Does that mean more fish will be waiting to take bait in the spring?
If you time your stay, you can sample one of these fun winter events:
The 22nd Annual Fishing Derby is cancelled due to poor ice conditions, but the raffle and fishing prizes will all be raffled Saturday, Feb. 1. The only other time the derby was cancelled was in 2006. Weekend activities will go on with the fish fry dinner and welcome dance Friday evening, SAL breakfast starting at 7 a.m. Saturday, lunch and door prizes during the day and dance with the band, Front Fenders, Saturday night. People must be present for the door prizes but need not be present to win raffle prizes. Tickets are available at the American Legion or call 218-732-3360. For more information, go to www.parkrapidsamericanlegion.com.
The Itascatur Outdoor Activity Club is sponsoring open houses from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Sundays in February at the beautiful Soaring Eagle Ski Trails. Itascatur volunteers will be on hand to help. The club has adult and children’s skis, boots and poles available at no charge or bring your own equipment. Enjoy the trails and warm up with a cup of hot chocolate in the warming house. The only thing you need is a MN Ski Pass. The open houses depend on weather and snow conditions. Check at http://itascatur.org or on the club’s Facebook page.
Snowshoe at Itasca State Park by the light of the moon and kerosene lanterns along the trail. Snowshoe at your own pace along the lantern lit route during a drop-in program between 5:30 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1 starting at the Mary Gibbs Mississippi Headwaters Center. For added fun, bring along your s’mores fixings or hot dogs for cooking at the campfire. Limited snowshoes are available on a first come-first served basis. If snow conditions are poor, the event will become a snow boot walk. From 6:30 to 8 p.m. warm up as you enjoy music from Jim and Molly Bauer at the Mary Gibbs Mississippi Headwaters Center Cafe.
On Saturday, Feb. 29 a class for beginning snowshoers will be held from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center classroom. It will cover the basics from different types of snowshoes to how to walk in snowshoes as well as great places to visit in Itasca while wearing snowshoes.
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. And be sure to check out the 2020 Chamber Discovery Guide to find out what’s happening all year long.