David Ohnstad enjoys hitting the slopes in the winter season. Amidst the glistening snow-covered trails and towering pines, David Ohnstad reveals the magic woven into the fabric of this winter wonderland. In the following article, David Ohnstad unravels the captivating allure of skiing in Northern Minnesota, where each glide on the snow becomes a dance with nature, and every descent down the slopes is a symphony of exhilaration and natural beauty.
Rainy Northern Minnesota turns into a winter wonderland during the winter season.
As soon as the first powdery layer of snow starts to fall, locals and visitors alike flock to the region to enjoy some winter sports, with cross-country skiing and snowshoeing being the most popular. Whether one is into downhill skiing or cross-country skiing, North Minnesota has various attractions and trails that cater to both amateur and pro skiers.
Below, David Ohnstad highlights Northern Minnesota’s best skiing destinations and cross-country trails, highlighting the state’s unique charm of winter activities.
David Ohnstad Notes the Top Downhill Skiing Destinations
Situated in the suburbs of Duluth, the majestic Spirit Mountain is tucked between Lake Superior and a towering forested ridgeline.
Skiers can enjoy incredible views of the lake as they ski in any of the four freestyle terrain areas. Spirit Mountain houses mountain villas and has two nearby hotels, a range of good restaurants, and a vibrant nightlife.
Sawtooth Mountains, located at the North Shore of Lake Superior, is abundant in waterfalls, rivers, wildlife, and nature parks. David Ohnstad says that it houses the Cascade River State Park, Judge C.R. Magney State Park, Superior Hiking Trail, and Temperance River State Park.
When it comes to skiing, the Lutsen Mountains Ski Resort is a must-visit here – visitors can enjoy skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, dog-sledding, and many other activities. From the resort’s mountain inns to its sea villas, families will enjoy a great winter getaway!
David Ohnstad Pinpoints Giants Ridge Recreation Area
Located in the northern part of Duluth, Giants Ridge offers 35 runs and 60 km of trails for cross-country skiers. Visitors can relax at villas with a crackling fireplace and cozy hot tub, where they can ski right outside their doors.
Other amenities include an arcade for children, a restaurant, a bar, a salon, and a spa.
Top Cross-Country Skiing Trails
Located in Cook County, Gunflint Trail is considered to be the Holy Grail of cross-country skiing in the state. It houses three groomed cross-country trails namely Central Gunflint, Banadad, and the Upper Gunflint, which span more than 130 miles.
Jay Cooke State Park
Located in Carlton is the Jay Cooke State Park which consists of cross-country ski trails of rolling hills and rocky outcrops. The park, which connects to the Willard Munger State Trail, offers a stunning view of the St. Louis River gorge and plenty of winter activities enjoyable for the whole family including winter camping and lodging.
Trails range from easy to difficult – the further the skier goes from the park, the more challenging the trails get!
Staring Lake Park
David Ohnstad notes, situated in Eden Prairie, a southwestern Minneapolis suburb, Staring Lake Park is ideal for skiers who enjoy peace and quiet. Eden Prairie High School grooms the park’s numerous cross-country trails which offers skiers some great, low-impact workout.
Staring Lake Park also features one of the largest sledding hills in the area which is 700-foot tall, providing all-around family fun for guests.
David Ohnstad of Minnesota says that family-owned Maplelag Resort features more than 40 miles of trails for cross-country skiing. The resort has numerous groomed trails as well as skating trails. Every year, they host many Nordic ski camps and competitions that people flock to watch.
Fort Snelling State Park
Advanced skiers love cross-country skiing in Fort Snelling State Park, particularly the trail leading down to the park. Situated in St. Paul, Fort Snelling boasts of more than 12 miles of groomed ski trails.
One can view the joining of the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers from the park’s Pike Island loop. Amenities include a visitor center, a gift shop, a warming house, and equipment rental.
Rydell National Wildlife Refuge
Nature lovers will love Rydell National Wildlife Refuge – apart from its over seven miles of groomed cross-country trails spread across five trails, visitors can encounter wildlife, from rare birds to white-tailed deer.
David Ohnstad of Minnesota explains that skiers can enjoy exploring the refuge’s pristine, rolling terrain which consists of maple-basswood forests, wetlands, and savannahs. The Round Lake and Golden Pond trails are ideal for traditional skiers while the rest are for more advanced ones.
If anyone wants to enjoy skiing, cross-country skiing, and other winter sports or activities, Northern Minnesota is the best place to visit.