If you can walk you can snowshoe!!

Snowshoeing is a great way to see the Grand Rapids, Minnesota area. The logging, mining and tourism industries all began in the early 20th century.  Visitors of all ages and abilities can get out in the woods and interpret our history, and get good exercise at the same time!

Itasca County has 1,000 lakes available for winter exploration by snowshoe.  A significant number of these lakes have public landings for car parking and access.

If you’re looking for trails, check out these excellent snowshoeing trails right within the city limits of Grand Rapids!

The accomodations in our area range from rustic to upscale hotelsaffordable motels, family & fishing resorts.  We also have a variety of clean and comfortable bed & breakfasts. It’s easy to kick back and relax with the great amenities offered at these locations. There are great lodging deals to be had for an affordable vacation.

There is a place to stay for everyone in Grand Rapids, MN. You will find the accommodations that fit your travel needs, conveniently located near all of the recreation and attractions Grand Rapids, MN has to offer. it’s your choice whether those amenities include a water park, room service or tasty s’mores around a fire. Come experience the “Grand” hospitality in the heart of Minnesota’s nature.

Hot Lodging Deals

Beginner Trails

The Forest History Center

Situated on 170 acres of land next to the Mississippi River Run and interpreted by the Minnesota Historical Society, they have fifty pairs of snowshoes available to use for free with a paid admittance.  The 4 miles of trails meander through a 1900’s logging camp, as well as pine forests along the Mississippi River.  For detailed information about the Forest History Center snowshoe equipment rentals and the River Run trail call – (218) 327-4482

1 mile west on Highway 2, 1 miles SW on County Rd. 63,1 miles S on Country Rd. 76.


Legion Park Trails

Six miles of trails weave their way through the many forest types found in Northern Minnesota.  The trailhead is located just off the Grand Rapids High School parking lot.  Call the Grand Rapids High School for details –  (218) 326-2500

North on Highway 38.  Watch for signs to Grand Rapids High School on Conifer Dr. Trailhead begins off the northwest parking lot.


Joyce Estate Trails

Located north of Grand Rapids, Minnesota, the buildings that make up the estate had been a retreat for Chicago’s Joyce family who were early loggers in the area.  Today it is managed by the Chippewa National Forest as a non-motorized historic site.  The management staff can be reached at – (218) 246-2123

6 miles N on State Highway 38, E on County Rd. 49 for 8 miles – County Rd. 49 turns left – stay on it for another 7 miles, and then left on County Rd. 326. (Britton Resort Rd) for 1.5 miles to the dead end.

Intermediate/Expert Trails

Sugar Hills Trails

Sugar HIlls was opened In the early 1960’s as a first class downhill ski area. Established by Charles Skinner, Sugar Hills has attracted many visitors to the Grand Rapids area for 50+ years. The downhill runs are gone,  but the abandoned runs are perfect for bushwhacking snowshoers. With some uphill effort, an enthusiast will find her or himself at the highest point in Itasca County – the top of old Big Thunder run. The reward is a spectacular view.  (218) 326-1313

S on Highway 169 for 7 miles, 4 miles W on County Rd. 17, 3 miles south on Country Rd. 449.  Use apartment entrance and start at the tennis courts.

Tioga Trails

Located in the City of Cohasset, Tioga and is managed by the Minnesota DNR.  The trails wind around the mining dump once used by Hanna Mining in their quest for iron ore.  A few trails are challenging, but the snowshoer will be rewarded with excellent vistas overlooking surrounding lakes.  (218) 328-6225

1 mile W on Highway 2, left on County Rd 63 for 2 miles, then left on Hanna Road for ¾ mile, turn right into and through Tioga Upper Parking Lot to Tioga Recreation Area lot.  Enter at Big Rocks.


It is important to note that 90% of Itasca County is owned or managed by local, State and Federal government, as well as by large timber and wood product companies such as UPM Blandin and Rajala Timber.  These private lands are under Conservation Easements allowing for recreation use by the public.

IMPORTANT! Please stay off cross country ski tracks. If you need to cross them, go at a 90-degree angle.

When it comes to snowshoeing, the Grand Rapids area is yours to enjoy.  

Don’t have snowshoes??

The Forest History Center and Itasca Trail Sports offers snowshoe rental, or purchase your own at Grand Rapids Glen’s Outdoors, Itasca Trail Sports or L&M Fleet Supply.

Snowshoe Guide Service

Former MN Senator, Tom Saxhaug, is offering a one of a kind outdoor experience. Tom is very familiar with the Grand Rapids, MN area, and he loves to share his favorite winter sport with people. He will guide you through the our beautiful northwoods to show you how to make your own trails.

Tom Saxhaug

Go Explore