Traveler - Discover Winter

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parks and rec


A monthly e-newsletter to encourage “I Can!” program participants and other families to continue learning about the outdoors.

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January 2018

Park Highlight:  Tettegouche State Park


ice on north shore


Known for its spectacular overlooks at Shovel Point; rocky, steep cliffs and inland bluffs; the cascading 60-ft. High Falls of the Baptism River; and the historic Tettegouche Camp where visitors can stay the night, Tettegouche State Park is worth the drive up the North Shore any time of year!  Located approximately 58 miles northeast of Duluth, visitors to Tettegouche enjoy trout fishing, birdwatching, rock climbing and hiking miles of trails that overlook the Sawtooth Mountains and wind down to inland lakes accessible only by foot.  In winter, visitors snowshoe, hike and ski out to view unique sites such as the frozen shoreline of Lake Superior.  Snowshoes are available for rent and camping is available year round.


Mother and daughter snowshoe

The List:  Snowshoe Rentals


Snowshoeing is a fun winter activity that gets all ages outdoors exploring the beauty of winter. You can snowshoe anywhere in Minnesota's state parks and recreation areas, except on trails that are specifically groomed for another activity, such as skiing or snowmobiling.

In addition to Tettegouch State Park, snowshoes are also available for rent at 30 other state parks including;

  • Afton State Park, a short drive southeast of St. Paul and overlooking the scenic Saint Croix River. 
  • Fort Snelling State Park, located in the heart of the Twin Cities and linked to an extensive regional trail system. 
  • Frontenac State Park, located just southeast of Red Wing where hikers, snowshoers and skiers enjoy spectacular views of the Mississippi River Valley.
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Find more information about snowshoeing at Minnesota State Parks and Trails

mother and daughter winter hike

Game Time:  Hiking in Winter


Don't let a little cold weather keep you from staying happy and healthy. Plenty of state parks and recreation areas plow or pack miles of trails for winter walkers! Winter hiking in Minnesota is beautiful, rewarding, and a great family activity.

You can use HikeFinder to see recommended hikes for all parks, like the Snelling Lake Trail at Fort Snelling State Park.  And you can get rewards for completing hikes when you join the Minnesota State Parks and Trails Hiking Club.

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Learn more about winter hiking.

ice sculptures

Nature Sightings:  Icy Sculptures


Do thoughts of winter make you feel blue?  Finding beauty, awe and joy during our six-month winters can be challenging but also essential to preserving our physical and mental well-being.  If we slow down and look closely, extreme beauty can be found in every tiny crystal of snow and ice around us.  And when compounded together, nature transforms those tiny crystals into towering natural sculptures.

Below are some awe-inspiring ice sculptures you can find in Minnesota only during the cold winter months.

  • Frozen waterfalls are all the hype, but what about the simple beauty of a frozen stream?
  • Ice stalagmites often form near the entries of small caves in southeast Minnesota.
  • Hoarfrost forms when fog freezes on vegetation and other objects.
  • Snow drifts can be quite dazzling in both size and shape.  
  • Large ice dams along the shores of big lakes are testament to the forces of wind, water and ice combined.
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View amazing ice images and learn how climate change is affecting Great Lakes ice.

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Traveler Tip:  Wear Life Jackets on Ice!


Ice is never 100% safe. You can't judge the strength of ice just by its appearance, age, thickness, temperature, or whether or not the ice is covered with snow. Strength is based on all these factors -- plus the depth of water under the ice, size of the water body, water chemistry and currents, the distribution of the load on the ice, and local climatic conditions. Wearing a life jacket while on foot, ATV or snowmobile (not in a vehicle) is your best chance of surviving an unexpected fall through the ice and into frigid waters.

It is important to teach your kids the dangers of ice so they know to always take precautions around any body of water during the cold water season.

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Get more information on ice safety.

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Discover:  Take a Kid Ice Fishing


Every January, Minnesotans celebrate the Take-A-Kid Ice Fishing Weekend (TAKIF).  This year from January 13 to 15, Minnesota residents can fish or spear fish for free when accompanied by a child age 15 or under. 

A number of TAKIF events will introduce participants to the sport of ice fishing and provide families with information about ice fishing topics including choosing the right clothing to keep warm and dry, basic safety gear for ice fishing, and how to avoid accidents on the ice. 

The Take Kids Ice Fishing page on the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources website has great information and helpful tips, such as how to make a set of ice rescue claws.

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    Find out more about ice fishing.

    Kid and adult ice fishing

     January Ice Fishing Events


    Catch some quality family time and plan a special ice fishing trip during the Take a Kid Ice Fishing weekend January 13-15, 2018.

    Not ready to ice fish on your own?  No problem! Check out some of these family-friendly ice fishing programs:

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      Check out more programs and events.

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