Anyone eager to get out cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling will find an abundance of opportunities at many Minnesota state parks and trails, thanks to this week’s heavy snowfall.
"The recent heavy snowfall and the forecast for sustained cold temperatures offers prospects of substantial, enduring snow cover deep into the month," said Greg Spoden, state climatologist at the Department of Natural Resources. "It will be the best start to the winter recreation season since 2010."
Staff from the DNR’s Parks and Trails Division and local clubs will be busy grooming trails in preparation for the upcoming weekend, but the DNR advises prospective park and trail visitors to check the website for trip planning tips before heading out to a winter recreation destination.
Snow depth and trail conditions are updated every Thursday after 2 p.m. throughout the winter months at www.mndnr.gov/snow.
Many Minnesota state parks rent snowshoes, and several rent cross-country skis. For rental locations and prices, check out the “winter activities guide” at www.mndnr.gov/winterguide.
For a schedule of upcoming programs and special events at Minnesota state parks and trails, including the popular candlelight ski and snowshoe events, visit the online calendar at www.mndnr.gov/ptcalendar or pick up one of the new “Programs and Special Events” brochures at park offices.
As always, the DNR urges outdoor enthusiasts to exercise caution around lakes and wetlands, because the early snow might act as a blanket over thin ice. Snowmobilers, in particular, should exercise caution and be alert to conditions.
For more information, contact the DNR Information Center at email@example.com, 651-296-6157 or toll-free at 888-646-6367 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.