Traveler - Best Sledding Hills

Minnesota State Parks and Trails
December 2016

fall colors along lake pepin at frontenac

Frontenac State Park

Located on the Mississippi River and Lake Pepin just south of Red Wing, Frontenac State Park is well known as a birding hot spot in spring and fall.  In addition to the spectacular bird watching, hiking and nearby fishing and boating opportunities, Frontenac a boasts excellent sledding hills for the young and young at heart. Sledders can warm up in the nearby warming house with firewood provided by the park.  

  • Find maps, directions and other park info here.
  • See the beautiful sights of the park with this snapshot tour.

The List - Parks with Sledding Hills

Popular sledding hills, like those at Frontenac State Park, are located at state parks sprinkled throughout Minnesota.  In fact, 12 state parks have great sledding hills, offering winter fun for the whole family.

You can check on winter snow conditions before heading out to a state park or trail by visiting the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources website and clicking on the snow depth report.  

kids sledding
Check out the list of sledding hills at Minnesota State Parks.

daughter and mother snowshoeing

Game Time - Winter Activities Guide

Don't be a couch potato this winter!  There are so many fun winter activities to try.  From fat biking to winter camping and snowshoeing to sledding, the options for outdoor winter fun are endless.  Find more activity ideas using the winter activities guide.

In order to enjoy winter, be sure to dress appropriately and plan ahead, including preparing for winter weather safety.  This also includes understanding how to be safe on or near ice.  


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Find some tips and information on ice safety.

Nature Sightings - Winter is Changing!

If you grew up in Minnesota, what childhood memories do you have of winter?  Did you ever ice skate on a frozen pond or ice fish on a lake?  Do you remember snow days, when school was cancelled but all of the neighborhood kids would be outside all day long building snow forts and sledding on the mountains of piled-up snow left by snowplows? Have you noticed that the cold and snowy winters that define us as Minnesotans seem to be on the decline?

Indeed, one of the leading symptoms of climate change in Minnesota has been rising winter and overnight minimum temperatures.  Winter temperatures have been rising twice as fast as the average annual temperatures, and ten times faster than summer!  So what does this mean for the future of cold, snowy winters here?

State climatologists have observed our Minnesota winters changing.  The cold season is shrinking, even while major snow events seem to be increasing. So we are having a shorter winter period with heavier snowfall. Climate change trends and models indicate our extreme cold winters will continue to rapidly decline beyond the year 2025, and with the much warmer winter temperatures, the frequency of heavy snow fall will also begin to decline. 

With this understanding of changing winters in Minnesota, it is interesting to wonder what winter memories our great grandchildren will have as Minnesotans continue to adapt to a changing climate.  

snow landscape at frontenac
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Learn more about climate change in Minnesota.

family snowshoeing

December Events - Winter Fun

Minnesota state parks have scheduled many upcoming programs designed to introduce families to nature in winter . To discover just how fun winter can be, check out some of these activities. 

Check out the full program schedule for December.