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Where Beauty & Nature Intersect

February Blog

February 2022
Celebrate all that is winter

Need an excuse to head north? With Valentine’s Day, a three-day weekend and an abundance of snow, it’s a great time to visit. A snowmobile woods race the last weekend in January showed how great conditions are on our hundreds of miles of groomed snowmobile trails. They will take you places you might never find in the summer time. 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 .

Want to go ice fishing? It’s easy to see where other people have accessed the ice – whether it’s footprints, snowmobile tracks or a post on social media. But never assume you’re good to go just because someone headed out before you. Ask a bait dealer or someone else with experience on the lake you’re eyeing for advice. If you time your stay, you can sample one of these fun winter events:

Tickets are on sale for the 23rd Annual Park Rapids American Legion Fishing Derby on Fish Hook Lake from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, February 5. The contest offers more than $125,000 in prizes. Your $40 ticket gives you access to the ice fishing contest and the raffle. The ice fishing contest grand prize for the 20th largest fish of the day is an Ice Castle Fish House. This year’s raffle grand prize is a $30,000 Park Rapids Ford Gift Certificate. Seventy-one raffle prizes, including $1,000 cash prizes, will be awarded. Five thousand dollars cash top the list of prizes in four fishing contest divisions: bluegill, sunfish and crappie; northern, walleye and largemouth bass; perch and rock bass. The awards presentation starts at 5 p.m. at the American Legion. In conjunction with the
fishing contest, the American Legion also sponsors a Friday night Welcome Dance and Saturday night Fisherman’s Ball with the “Midbros.” Tickets are available at the American Legion or call 218-732-3360.

And / or head to Itasca State Park and snowshoe or walk by the light of the moon and kerosene lanterns along the trail between 5:30 and 8 p.m. Saturday, February 5. Start at the Mary Gibbs Mississippi Headwaters Center. Lighted trails include Schoolcraft Trail and the trail to the Mississippi Headwaters. If you don’t have snowshoes, they will be available for rent at the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center during the time of the event. And bring your own hot dogs, Thermos of hot chocolate, marshmallows and snacks to enjoy around the outdoor campfire before or after the walk (don’t forget your roasting stick). The Itascatur Outdoor Activity Club grooms the beautiful Soaring Eagle Ski Trails. The only thing you need is your skis and a MN Ski Pass.

On Saturday, Feb. 19 a class for beginning snowshoers will be held from from 10:30 a.m. to noon at Itasca State Park. Participants will learn the basics of snowshoeing as well as great places to visit in Itasca while wearing snowshoes. Meet outside the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center. Registration is required. For more information or to register, email Naturalist Sandra at or call 218-699-7252. Reserve a pair of snowshoes or bring your own.

The 2022 Chamber Discovery Guide is out so be sure to pick one up or ask for one when you call to plan your visit: 218-732-4111. Or order the new Guide online at to see what’s happening all year long.


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