With so many fantastic options for outdoor activities in Grand Rapids, the hardest part of planning your visit might be deciding which ones to try! To help narrow it down, we’ve compiled a list of our 10 favorite ways to enjoy the outdoors in Grand Rapids. Read on for all of our tips!
A day of cross-country skiing gives you the chance to take in the beautiful winter scenery of the Grand Rapids area while enjoying the fresh air and exercise! With over 19 well-groomed trails to choose from, you’ll find plenty of options for all levels of experience. Even better, the “Great Minnesota Ski Pass” gives you access to all these trails, all season long, for only $20! You can find more details on our Skiing page.
Downhill Skiing / Snowboarding
Looking for more of an adrenaline rush? Hit the slopes at Mt Itasca! The Mt Itasca Winter Sports Center is open from December 1st – March 17th, and offers “Learn to Ski” programs for anyone new to the slopes. Cross-country trails are available at the Winter Sports Center as well, making it a great destination for groups and families!
Of course, skiing isn’t the only way to zip down a snowy hillside! Younger (or young-at-heart) winter enthusiasts will have hours of fun sliding downhill at Mt Itasca’s dedicating tubing area, or at some of the prime sledding hills within the city, including Newton Sledding Hill and Maplewood Park. Find more details on our Sledding page!
Fat Tire Biking
Snowy weather doesn’t mean the end of bike season — with a fat-tire bike designed for winter conditions, you can pedal the trails year-round! There are a number of biking organizations in the Grand Rapids area that help maintain the trails and offer events and resources. Find more information on our Fat Tire Biking page!
Feeling a serious need for speed? Fire up your sled and enjoy the best snowmobiling in Minnesota! With hundreds of miles of trails and plenty of snowmobile-friendly lodging and fueling options, the Grand Rapids area is the perfect choice for your next snowmobile trip. Find maps, trail conditions, and more on our Snowmobiling page!
What better way to truly appreciate the natural beauty of the Grand Rapids area than a snowshoe hike? Experienced snowshoers will love our advanced trails that reward your efforts with breathtaking views. Newer showshowers can take advantage of our local snowshoe guides, as well as plenty of options for snowshoe rentals. Learn more at our Snowshoeing page!
No Northern Minnesotan winter would be complete without a little time for ice fishing! With so many ideal fishing spots to choose from, it’s no surprise that the Grand Rapids area has been called “The Ice Fisherman’s Paradise.” But don’t just take our word for it — come experience it for yourself! Fishing guides and lodging options can be found on our Ice Fishing page! Photo credit: Weisguy Images
It’s any winter sportsman’s dream: top-quality fishing and abundant, well-maintained hunting grounds, all located in the same pristine natural setting. If you need some guidance in finding the perfect deer hunting location, stop by the offices of the Minnesota Deer Hunter’s Association, located right here in Grand Rapids! Archery season is Sept 15-Dec 31 and Muzzeloader is Nov 24-Dec 9. More details can be found on our Hunting page and the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association page. Photo credit: Elhardt Family of Marcell, Minnesota.
The Chippewa National Forest boasts nearly 300 miles of non-motorized trails, many of which pass through ideal grouse habitats. Plentiful resources to plan your hunting trip are available, including interactive maps, downloadable trail data, and more! You can hunt ruffed grouse from middle of September to first of January. Find all the details you’ll need on our Hunting page and the Ruffed Grouse Society page. Photo credit: Meadow Kouffeld.
Ready for a truly unique winter adventure? A dog sledding trip will make memories that last for a lifetime! Local dog sledding guide, Joel Kersting, has decades of experience and thousands of miles of sledding under his belt. Check out his website for details on how to book a tour!
These are 10 of our favorite ways to enjoy Minnesota’s nature up north in Grand Rapids. Of course, there are countless other ways that you can experience the Grand Rapids area, whether on your own, with a group, or with your family — but we hope this list gave you some great ideas you can use to start planning your trip!