MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — When the snow falls and temperatures drop, we all grumble a bit. But as a whole, Minnesotans embrace the winter weather, and now there’s a statewide scavenger hunt to encourage it.

“We are ready to encourage winter travelers to get out there and explore some of the most iconic destinations throughout all of Minnesota,” said Alyssa Ebel of Explore Minnesota Tourism.

Ten sites throughout the state now have “Checkpoint Minnesota” signs posted near them. The sites range from Lutsen and Grand Portage in the state’s northwest corner to Pipestone National Monument in the southwest corner, with Babe the Blue Ox and Lake Mille Lacs in between.

“We want folks to go to as many checkpoints as they can throughout the state,” said Ebel. “The more checkpoints, the more prizes people earn.”

There is $40,000 worth of prizes available, including $1,000 gift packs for the first four people to hit all 10. You simply register on the CheckpointMN.com website, and post a picture. And every check-in is eligible for some kind of prize.

Three of the check-points are in the Twin Cities, including the Midtown Greenway Bike path in Minneapolis, the John Rose Ice Oval in Roseville, and the Hyland Cross Country ski trail in Bloomington.

“Minnesota doesn’t shut down for the winter,” said Tom Knisely or the Three Rivers Park District, where the ski trail is located, “and neither does Three Rivers Park District.”

The ice oval expects extra visitors from the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota.

“Where else can you have all of these unique facilities other than Minnesota,” said Brad Tullberg of the Roseville Skating Center. “It’s a great opportunity.”

The Checkpoint Minnesota contest runs through Feb. 7.


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