The Winter of 2018/2019 will go down as the Polar Freeze, but now we are on the downward swing of winter and heading into Spring. In northern Minnesota, we enjoy all four seasons in whatever fashion Mother Nature delivers. The warmer sunny days gets us excited for all things spring! We enjoy getting outdoors to enjoy the bright colors, the warm sun on our faces, and the fresh smell of spring and regrowth of green grass, buds and blooms. Here is the situation on the following outdoor recreation in northern Minnesota:
Before the Minnesota Fishing Opener for game fish (Walleye and Northern Pike) you can head up north and catch panfish. The Grand Rapids, MN area has over 1,000 lakes that are great to catch panfish in the spring. Ice fishing is going to drastically changing each day. Check out the MN DNR Ice Out Resource page that highlights when Minnesota lakes are free of ice. It is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to being on open water. You don’t want to get caught on a lake when there is floating ice because the wind could switch and then you are stuck.
Golfers in Minnesota are itching to get out on the course. In northern Minnesota, it will be a while before the snow has melted and the greens are dry enough for play. Now is a great time to book your golf trip to play our Grand Lakes of Golf Courses: three 18 hole championship courses that are all located on beautiful northern Minnesota lakes. Eagle Ridge Golf Course in located just 10 minutes east of Grand Rapids in Coleraine on Trout Lake. Pokegama Golf Course is located in Grand Rapids on Pokegama Lake. Sugarbrooke Golf Course is located at Sugar Lake Resort on Siseebakwet (Sugar) Lake. But, in the meantime, you can always set-up your own course in your backyard. Strap on your snowshoes and play golf! Just remember to yell, “FORE”, for your neighbors safety – of course!
As our resident snowshoe-er, Tom Saxhaug would say, “Snowshoeing is winter’s answer to hiking.” It will be a while before you will be able to hike on dry paths in the woods. So in the meantime, feel free to head north to enjoy over a million acres of public accessible forest land to snowshoe. Places we suggest: Suomi Trails and Joyce Estates both located in the Chippewa National Forest. When the snow leaves the forest floor, wild edibles begin to appear. Foraging in the forest is a great activity to enjoy while hiking in the forest. The wild edibles that you can expect to find here are fiddleheads (ferns), ramps (aka leeks), and morel mushrooms. We found a great video that highlights all of these wild edibles, you can watch it HERE. *Note: it is important to it’s to be positive you know exactly what you’re harvesting. A wrong move could make your skin itch, make you sick, or worse. Anything you bring home should be washed before it’s consumed.
There are a lot of places to bicycle in the Grand Rapids, MN area. Grand Rapids has nice wide sidewalks and designated biking lanes to ride in town. Another place we suggest for paved surfaces is the Mesabi Trail (starting April 2) and the Tioga Recreation Trail in Cohasset. You can access the Mesabi Trail at the Itasca County Fairgrounds. The snow covered trails to consider are at Legion Trail and Forest History Center. Just watch signage and as the trails get soft, lower your tire pressure. Be watching for new development on the Tioga Recreation Area to complete 25 miles of single track in late fall 2019.
1. Four Wheeling
Grand Rapids is a great place for those of you who prefer a motor to foot travel. The Grand Rapids area has over 200 miles of designated ATV/OHV trails, and over 2,000 miles of county and city roads open to ATV/OHV travel as well. In northern Minnesota the ATV/OHV trail opening might be delayed this year due to all of the snow and wet conditions. Grant in aid trails can open as early as May 15th. The old rail road grade trails like Soo Line and Alborn can open as early as April 1st. Keep checking the MN DNR ATV/OHV Page for trail open status. In the meantime, check out the Itasca County ATV/OHV map to help plan your ATV/OHV vacation to Grand Rapids, Minnesota.
As you can see, we have all of the fun spring outdoor recreation opportunities to enjoy, however, this year with all of the snow and ice cover, our spring activities will be delayed a week or two. You can always check out our Trail Conditions page for trail openings and closings, our Events Calendar page to see what is happening in the Grand Rapids area, and our Head North itinerary builder page to get inspiration of things to do in Grand Rapids.