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WCCO Viewers' Choice For Best Place For A Winter Run In Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Just because the ground is covered in snow does not mean you have to hang up your sneakers.

In a state where winter can last forever, is doesn't matter what the calendar says as long as you embrace it!

"It's so quiet. you're out, especially after a snowfall and it's just beautiful," said Jennifer Ringold, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board's deputy superintendent. "And then the second is defying the cold of winter."

Theodore Wirth Regional Park is just the place to avoid the woes of winter.

"Theodore Wirth Park is our largest park within the Minneapolis park system," Ringold said. At over 730 acres, she said it's "similar to the size of Central Park in New York."

Like Central Park, it's tucked right into the city.

Best Winter Run - Theodore Wirth Park
(credit: CBS)

"Whatever type of trail activity you're doing in Theo Wirth ... you end up spying the downtown skyline, and it comes kind of unexpectedly," Ringold said.

The first 64 acres of the park were acquired way back in 1889. Today, it's used year-round for recreation.

"One of the things in Theodore Wirth Park is that we have a lot of different types of trail uses. And it's important that we look at how those uses are complimentary or separate," she said. "A couple of complimentary uses are trail running and mountain biking, also used frequently by fat tire cyclists."

You can find beautiful terrain and run deep into nature on the nearly eight miles of off-road cycling trails. If you want to stay on a paved path, there are 1.35 miles of trails, but those connect to a whopping 51 miles of pavement that wrap around the lakes and parkways of the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway.

Runner or not, Theodore Wirth Regional Park is brimming with activity, especially in the winter months. So instead of succumbing to cabin fever, you should maybe consider lacing up and heading to the park instead.

"Winter running is one of those activities that until you've try it, there might feel like there's a barrier," she said. "But once you dress for it, so a pair of long johns, a pair of windbreaker, tight pants with a nice coat that helps keep the wind off and a hat. Just try it, even if you try it for 15 minutes."

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board plows their trails within 24 hours of a snow event. There is a bar and grill inside the chalet and free Wi-Fi.

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