Better late than never. Minnesota’s record month of February snow is a boon to winter sports enthusiasts.
With more than 18 inches of snow covering two-thirds of the state, there’s still time for people to register their snowmobile and ride the state’s 22,000 miles of trails before the snowy winter melts into spring.
Cross-country skiing opportunities this season are also excellent and purchasing the Minnesota Ski Pass provides access to more than 1,100 miles of state and grant-in-aid cross country ski trails at more than 90 state, regional and local locations.
“Trail grooming is in full swing,” said Kevin Johnson, Department of Natural Resources Parks and Trails supervisor in Two Harbors. “The amount of snow and cold temperatures created excellent trail conditions. It doesn’t get better than this.”
For information on snowmobile registration, visit mndnr.gov/licenses/snowmobile. Skiers age 16 and above can purchase a Ski Pass at the more than 1,500 electronic licensing agents in Minnesota and at most state parks that have ski trails. Passes may also be bought online at mndnr.gov/licenses.
Snow depth and groomed trail conditions are available at mndnr.gov/snow, which is updated each Thursday afternoon. A detailed interactive snowmobile trail map is available at mndnr.gov/snowmobiling/interactive_map and an interactive ski trail map is available at mndnr.gov/skiing/skipass/map.html.
DNR staff provide detailed commentary about trail conditions under the comments section of the snow depth and trail conditions page. For example:
Wild River State Park: The park received almost 10 inches of snow on Feb. 20. The packed, tracked trails were Mitigwaki, Old Logging, River, Trillium and the Nevers Dam Link. The River Terrace Loop was packed for skiing, snowshoeing or hiking. The Dry Creek, Deer Creek, Pioneer and Little Highland Hills trails have been packed. Trails designated for hiking and snowshoeing are the River Terrace Loop, the Amik’s Pond Loop, and the Windfall Trail, with connections to the Trail Center or Visitor Center. Ski and snowshoe rental are available weekends and holidays at the park trail center.
Tettegouche State Park: The north end of the park has almost four feet of snow; skiing conditions are excellent on the hilly trails through birch, aspen and conifer forests. Snowshoeing conditions are superb.
Many parks will rent skis and snowshoes but supplies are limited. Call the park to check for availability.