Explore Winter

Cold, snow, ice. They dominate several months of Minnesota's year, but it's not a time to be caught indoors. Get out on your own or join us for winter activities such as snowshoeing, ice fishing, winter hiking and many other activities and enjoy the cold.

Below are a few suggestions for getting outdoors and, for those extra cold days, ideas for indoor activities. Be sure to check our Calendar for park and partner programs. Call the Mississippi River Visitor Center at (651) 293-0200 to explore even more ideas with a ranger.

Eagle Watching
Eagles concentrate below Mississippi locks and dams in winter where open water provides prey for these fish-eating birds. Among our favorite spots for viewing these majestic birds is below Lock and Dam 2 at Hastings, Minnesota. Take the trail in Hasting's River Flats Park to the observation platform, which is a good location from which to watch eagles roosting, fishing, and interacting with each other.

Geocaching is always a fun activity and provides exercise as well. Strap on a pair of cross country skis or snowshoes and go geocaching. Check our geocaching page for places to go.

Ice Fishing
What sport is more quintessential than ice fishing in Minnesota? Learn how to ice fish, get questions answered, and find some hot spots for cold days on our website.

Museums and Visitor Centers
For those that prefer indoor activities in winter, there are a number of museums, cultural centers, and visitor centers that are scattered throughout the Park's 72-mile long corridor. Use this winter to learn more about our history, the Mississippi River, and the wildlife that surrounds us!

Be sure to check hours of operation as some organizations may have abbreviated winter hours.

Resources and Other Activities

The Great Minnesota Ski Pass
Find out how to obtain a Minnesota Ski Pass and learn about locations to experience the best Minnesota has to offer in groomed cross country ski trails.

Having Fun with Minnesota Fish
Dig out those crayons and give the kids something to both do and learn on cold winter days. This coloring book has pictures of some of our favorite Minnesota fishes to color and some tidbits of information about each.

Project Feeder Watch
Help scientists track changes in bird winter populations by watching and recording what birds are at your backyard bird feeders.

Find more Things to Do.

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