If you want to thoroughly enjoy a Minnesota Winter, then there’s no doubt that you should be outside cross country skiing. After all, Nordic skiing and snowshoeing are two of the most popular things to do when the snow starts to fall. Talk about a unique and beautiful way to explore the state’s stark winter landscapes! If you want to see some of the most beautiful parts of Minnesota, we recommend cross country skiing in Minnesota State Parks. That’s certainly not the only place to enjoy these winter months, though. Ask your local Innkeeper for their recommendations, too!
Minnesota transforms every winter, from the moment the first powdery layer of snow begins to fall. There are a variety of cross country skiing trails around the state, each designed for different uses and experience levels. You don’t have to stick to groomed trails, either. Feel free to strap on a pair of nordic skis or snowshoes, and strike out on your own!
Whether you end up north, south, or somewhere in between this winter, the first step to planning a great getway is choosing one of our Minnesota Bed and Breakfasts. Our member Inns are waiting to welcome you with that traditional Minnesota Nice hospitality you’d expect. Find you’re own quiet corner of Minnesota’s winter wonderland this year, and book a room at a Minnesota Bed and Breakfast today!
6 Great Cross Country Skiing Spots in Minnesota
Minnesotans love to say they have more miles of cross country skiing than a trip from St. Paul to Los Angeles. That’s our quirky way of saying you’ll find an incredible number of trails to explore here. Dare we say limitless, even. There’s no doubt that cross country skiing can be a difficult sport and an exhausting one at that! But while you’re out of breath, take a moment to look around you, and you’ll remember why you started this journey in the first place. There is truly nothing more beautiful than Minnesota in the winter.
It should come as no surprise that more places for cross country skiing that even we know of. Even so, we’ve taken the time to put together a list of some of the most popular places to go. What are you waiting for? Get out there and get skiing!
- We’d be remiss to talk about cross country skiing in Minnesota without mention the most popular trail of them all: The Gunflint Trail in far northeast Minnesota. Spend a day (or more) traversing the trails here, and marvel in some of Minnesota’s most remote and beautiful wilderness in the state.
- Jay Cooke State Park, just outside of Duluth, is an excellent place to spend a winter’s day. The trails here consist of rolling hills, rocky outcrops and a beautiful view of the St. Louis River gorge. It even connects up to more trail networks in the Duluth area, including the Willard Munger State Trail.
- Glendalough State Park, located in central Minnesota, has 8 miles of hilly terrain that’s fun to ski. Nordic skiers will enjoy skating their way through the landscapes, which range from prairie to northern hardwood forest. This State Park is one of the last large tracts of undeveloped lakeshore in western Minnesota, and thus provides a scenic winter backdrop to your cross country skiing adventure.
- Head to Mt. Itasca Winter Sports Center near Grand Rapids, and enjoy the almost 150 miles of groomed cross-country ski trails. Mt. Itasca is a winter playground for everyone in Minnesota. Moreover, they have great snow-making capabilities, so they often open earlier and stay open longer in the spring. There’s plenty of terrain for all levels of skiers, from beginner to expert, too.
- If you plan on staying in the Twin Cities area, there are still plenty of great cross country skiing adventures you can enjoy. Head to Theodore Wirth Park, where you’ll find more than 15 miles of cross-country trails across its 740-acres. Another great choice is the Elm Creek Park Reserve in nearby Maple Grove. Visit at night to explore 3 miles of lighted trails for an unbelievable romantic experience you won’t soon forget.
- In southeast Minnesota, the 60-mile Root River State Trail system offers a stunning backdrop to a relatively easy day of cross country skiing. Here, you’ll enjoy skiing through the deep river valleys and next to the soaring bluffs. They are strikingly beautiful, to say the least.
Cross Country Skiing World Cup in 2020
This winter, there’s even more excitement for cross country skiers in Minnesota. For the first time in nearly two decades, the Cross Country Skiing World Cup will be held on American Snow, and it’s going to be right here in Minnesota. Theodore Wirth Park, near Minneapolis, will host the 2020 Coop FIS Cross-Country Ski World Cup from March 14-17.
In addition to the World Cup event, the festival will also feature downhill “Snowball in Hell” SkiCross and BikeCross races, a Parallel 45 Cup race series for the country’s top junior, collegiate and citizen racers, and a free four-day block party complete with food trucks, beer tents and live music. Talk about an event that is quintessential Minnesotan!
Get Cozy at a Minnesota Bed and Breakfast
When you’ve done all you can do outside and are ready for a break, put your feet up and relax at one of our member properties. Our Innkeepers are thrilled to offer you all the creature comforts that remind you of home. In order to have a great getaway, you first need to book exceptional lodging. That’s why we’re here, offering you a unique collection of Minnesota’s best Inns.
Our Innkeepers are here to help you make the most of your time in Minnesota. Book your next winter getaway at one of our Minnesota Bed and Breakfasts today.