With warmer weather ahead, winter recreation is ready to go

Ben Henry
Updated: February 14, 2021 09:04 PM
Created: February 14, 2021 11:51 AM

Minnesotans are proud of their winter hobbies — some even pride themselves with running errands in the winter with shorts on. But this week, even in the bold north, the shorts were likely kept in the dresser.

With more weeks of winter ahead, the dangerously cold temperatures will ease and our hobbies will pick back up, and Explore Minneapolis Northwest says they’re ready when they do.

“If you’re planning on going on a weekend, I’d make a reservation on Monday or Tuesday maybe,” Regina Eckes, of Minneapolis Northwest, said about Elm Creek Park Reserve’s classic winter tubing.

Minneapolis Northwest’s area of expertise is Maple Grove, Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center, and Eckes shared more hobbies that will be ready when it gets warmer:

Nordic skiing

Minneapolis Northwest has become a destination for Nordic skiing and everyone from amateurs to pros will enjoy the area’s premier cross-country skiing trails. With over 18.3 kilometers of groomed cross-country ski trails, including 5.8 kilometers with lights and 2.5 kilometers with snowmaking, Elm Creek Park Reserve has plenty of space to enjoy some safe skiing fun. Want your dog to get some winter exercise too? Try out skijoring at Elm Creek which has 4.5 miles of skijoring trails. 

Ice skating trail

If you’re looking for a unique ice skating experience, Maple Grove’s Central Park is skating circles around traditional ice rinks with Minnesota’s first ice skating trail, a more peaceful experience than most public ice skating venues. The ice skating loop requires reservations in order to ensure a socially distanced experience. 

Fat biking 

Elm Creek Park Reserve is considered one of the top fat biking trails in the Twin Cities and the state of Minnesota. The 13 miles of single-track trails range anywhere from beginner to intermediate to advanced riding. 


Experience snowshoeing, one of winter’s most historic sports, in Minneapolis Northwest. Snowshoeing is great for people of all ages and ability levels. Give it a try at one of the trails at Eagle Lake Regional Park or Elm Creek Park Reserve. For some snowshoeing with Mississippi River views, head over to Mississippi Gateway Regional Park, which has 20 kilometers of trail loops.


That’s right — you can golf during the winter! TopGolf is operating in a limited capacity, allowing groups of six or fewer to tee off into the snowy field. Plastic dividers separate each hitting bay, and each group has its own designated server. The unique format makes it easy for everyone to give the sport a try, including kids and non-golfers.

Snow tubing

Enjoy the thrill of riding a moving sidewalk up Elm Creek Park Reserve’s 10-story hill and then soaring back down on a specially designed inner tube. Advance online reservations are required to ensure socially distanced fun. 

Winter events

Finally, many of the area’s parks are hosting outdoor winter classes, including guiding snowshoeing hikes at Eastman Nature Center, and ice fishing programs at Fish Lake Regional Park. 

While Valentine’s Day weekend’s extreme cold was one for the record books, the 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS weather team is forecasting warmer days ahead with highs in the 30s possible next weekend.

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