Watch CBS News

Best Winter Hikes In Minnesota

Although winter can last for a long time, Minnesotans traditionally have found ways to stay active and outdoors year-round. Ranked among the healthiest of states each year, Minnesotans attribute that to not letting bad weather ruin their day. With state parks and government programs that support outdoor activity, many areas are plowed daily during the winter to allow for safe activity and hiking during the winter. Check out these parks, complete with packed trails and skiing areas, to stay outside during the winter.

Winter adventures snow
(credit: Megan Valder)

Wild River State Park
39797 Park Trail
Center City, MN 55012
(651) 583-2125

Head out to Wild River State Park for some great winter hiking along the St. Croix River. The trail center is open all year for the comfort and convenience of those adventurous winter hikers. Enjoy the wide trails and packed hiking areas that are groomed daily for visitors. Wild River State Park is actually best to visit during the winter, since they are known for their mosquitos in the summer. Enjoy park programs on maple syruping and bird watching while you're there, or rent some snowshoes to head out on some different trails.

Gooseberry Falls State Park
3206 Highway 61 E
Two Harbors, MN 55616
(218) 595-7100

On the way up to Lake Superior, Gooseberry Falls State Park is a remarkable place for a hike no matter the time of the year. The waterfalls along the cliffs and trails are a stunning sight and draw hikers from all over the world. Enjoy winter beauty along the trails with snow-covered birch trees and the roar of running water. The trails are safely packed and groomed for winter hiking and the visitor center is open all year for any questions or advice on where to hike. Enjoy almost five miles of packed trails, or grab your snowshoes and adventure out for more.

Winter Warmup
(credit: CBS)

Warner Nature Center
15375 Norell Ave. N
Marine On St.Croix, MN 55047
(651) 433-2427

If you are thinking of something a little more structured for a hike, the Warner Nature Center offers guided hikes during the winter months for families and anyone else interested in learning about nature. This beautiful private nature center is supported by The Science Museum of Minnesota and is dedicated to increasing awareness within the community surrounding conservation and the importance of nature. Naturalists guide hikes through the area and lead games and activities to help visitors discover their own passion for nature. Enjoy a cup of hot chocolate with your hike and increase your awareness of the outdoors.

Related:  Best Places For Winter Coats In Minnesota

Lake Minnewashta Regional Park
6900 Hazeltine Blvd.
Chanhassen, MN 55331
(952) 466-5250

Carver County, Minnesota actually has a lot of great options for winter hiking and outdoor activity. Lake Minnewashta Park is among one of the favorites for winter hiking. With special attention to the maintenance of their trails, Lake Minnewashta Park welcomes hikers to come and play in the park without worrying about safety. Off-leash areas are also open for dogs to enjoy the outdoors along with the rest of the family. If you enjoy ice fishing, Lake Minnewashta also offers some great opportunities to try this activity.

Winter Warmup
(credit: CBS)

Baker Park Reserve
2309 Baker Park Road
Maple Plain, MN 55359

Bring the family to the Baker Park Reserve to enjoy the winter wildlife of Minnesota and fun events throughout the winter. Miles of packed trails offer a large area to explore or even go for a winter run along Lake Independence. Family snowshoe events are scheduled to learn the fine art of snowshoeing, and hot chocolate is served after a scheduled outing. Baker Park Reserve also offers winter camping opportunities in their rustic cabins for rent. Enjoy an array of activities this winter.

Related: Best Free Winter Activities For Families In Minnesota

Andrea Wodele is a freelance writer who has lived in the Twin Cities for the last 10 years. Her hobbies include exercising, driving kids around, watching Minnesota sports, and reading self-help literature.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.