February offers fun outdoors and inside
We love you, February. With Valentine’s Day, a three-day weekend and daylight
stretching the hours to play outside, 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 24th Annual Park Rapids American Legion Fishing Derby and
Raffle on Fish Hook Lake from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4. 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 2022 Polaris General. Eighty-two
raffle prizes, including many cash prizes, will be awarded. Twenty-five thousand dollars
cash tops the list of prizes in four fishing contest divisions: bluegill, sunfish and crappie;
northern, walleye and largemouth bass; perch and rock bass. In conjunction with the
fishing contest, the American Legion also sponsors a Friday night Welcome Dance and
Saturday night Fisherman’s Ball with DJ & The Atomics.” Tickets are available at the
American Legion or call 218-732-3360.
An Open Mic Night is planned from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Feb, 16 at the Armory Arts &
Events Center, 203 Park Ave. So. You will be amazed at the talent and find a charming
space to enjoy it. Admission is free. Call 218-237-3722 to sign up for a time slot. Revel
Brewing and Wine Not? serve at a cash beer and wine bar.
Snowshoe or ski by the light of the stars and kerosene lanterns at Itasca State Park
during a drop-in program between 5 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18 starting at the
Jacob V. Brewer Visitor Center. The illuminated trail will follow the south entrance road
approximately 3.5 miles round-trip. NOTES: Dress for outdoor winter conditions. Bring
your snowshoes or skis. Some portions may be walkable in snow boots. A limited
number of snowshoes will be available for check-out at the Jacob V. Brower Visitor
Center on a first come-first served basis. If snow conditions are poor, the event will
become a snow boot walk. Don’t forget: Bring your own hotdogs, thermos of hot
chocolate, marshmallows and snacks for enjoying 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. The club is offering open houses at
their Nordic Ski Center from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Sundays in February for anyone
interested in cross country skiing or snowshoeing. Members are on-hand to assist with
equipment, and some instruction is available. This is a great opportunity for anyone
interested in enjoying the north woods. The ski center at Soaring Eagle consists of 10m
of marked and groomed trails through balsam and spruce. Soaring Eagle is located at
25467 US Hwy. 71, 8 miles north of Park Rapids, and across from Eagle View Golf
Check the Chamber calendar for many more fun February events, including nightlife at
The 2023 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
https://parkrapids.com/ to see what’s happening all year long.