Best Ways To Take Advantage Of The Last Of The Winter In Minnesota

March 2, 2013 7:00 AM

By the time spring rolls around, Minnesotans are sometimes craving warm weather, sunshine and outdoor activities. Just because it is cold though doesn’t mean you have to wait for spring to get outside. Warmer temperatures often mean the end of winter, but you can squeeze in a few more cold-weather activities before the season ends. Consider the activities listed below, and get out there before all that snow melts!
Ice Skating
The Depot Renaissance Minneapolis Hotel
225 S. 3rd Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55401
(612) 339-2253

Ice skating is a simple activity that requires minimal preparation time, and because there are so many lakes in Minnesota, there’s a good chance that you can ice skate near your house. Should you decide to venture onto a pond or lake, take precautions to ensure that the ice is thick enough for the activity. Want to head out to a rink? Look for local community rinks, or consider checking out The Depot in downtown Minneapolis for a unique experience.

Ice Fishing
Various locations

Minnesota is known as the land of 10,000 lakes, so it would be a shame to miss out on this good ol’ Minnesota pastime. Using a house, ice fishing can be done in the dead of winter. Or, with warm enough temperatures, fishers can simply wait for fish in the un-sheltered sunshine. As is the case with ice skating listed above, ice fishers should be sure that the ice is thick enough before venturing out. In addition, keep in mind that ice fishing requires a fishing license from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Most bait shops sell them.

Related: Winter Driving Tips For Minnesota

Cross-Country Skiing
Carver Park Reserve
7025 Victoria Drive
Victoria, MN 55386
(763) 694-7650

Cross-country skiing is a great end-of-winter activity because it will help you break out of those winter blues. Not only will you be able to soak up the sunshine, but you’ll also get some physical activity. Both are great to help rev you up for the coming spring and summer months. Consider checking out local parks for cross-country trails and rentals, such as the Carver Park Reserve. Always check the park conditions website before heading out to ski.

Baker Park Reserve
2309 Baker Park Road
Maple Plain, MN 55359
(763) 694-7860

Snowshoeing will provide many of the same benefits as cross-country skiing — you’ll be able to soak up a healthy dose of vitamin D while experiencing the great outdoors and exercising, all at the same time. Many of the parks in the Three Rivers Park District rent snowshoeing equipment. Consider checking out the Baker Park Reserve for more than five miles of snowshoeing trails. Reference the Three Rivers Park District website for other parks that have snowshoeing trails.

Buck Hill
15400 Buck Hill Road
Burnsville, MN 55306
(952) 435-7174

There are plenty of places to ski in Minnesota, but Buck Hill is a favorite of many locals. Located south of the Twin Cities, the ski hill has 16 runs, including a half pipe and freestyle park, black diamonds and beginner hills. Snow tubing also is available at Buck Hill. Always check the snow conditions on the website before heading out to the park.

Related: Best Places To Ice Climb In Minnesota

Kristyn Gansen is a freelance writer covering all things Minneapolis. Her work can be found on