Snowshoe anyone? There’s no place like Minnesota for Winter Fun!
Exercising in Minnesota in the winter is extra great since we carry around twice as much weight with all of our snow gear. What with boots, snow pants, scarves, mittens, hats, coat, three layers of sweaters, two pairs of socks, etc., walking into the backyard drops 2 pounds.
With that said, there are many activities that require more movement than that and are lots of fun.
One of those activities is snowshoeing. I never really understood snowshoeing when I was a kid. I thought you wore the snowshoes and could walk atop powdery drifts. That’s not so much it. What it is is more trudging along trails through the woods and your foot may not break through the snow. There is a good possibility that you will break through and get your leg stuck in the drift, snowshoe and all. And then you need to pull your snowshoe out except that it broke free from your foot so now you have to dig it out.
So you wanna go? It is a lot of fun and you do get some great exercise out of it! And it would be a fun experience to have as a family.
Where to Snowshoe in the Twin Cities
Here are some places to go snowshoeing (and rent snowshoes if you need them).
- 16 Three Rivers Parks offer snow shoe rentals. Advanced reservations are required this year. Reservations can be made online or by phone up to 7 days in advance:
- Baker Winter Trailhead, Maple Plain
- Bryant Lake Regional Park, Eden Prairie
- Carver Park Reserve, Victoria
- Cedar Lake Farm Regional Park, New Prague
- Cleary Lake Regional Park, Prior Lake
- Crow-Hassan Park Reserve, Hanover
- Eagle Lake Winter Trailhead, Plymouth
- Eastman Nature Center, Maple Grove
- Fish Lake Regional Park, Maple Grove
- French Regional Park, Plymouth
- Gale Woods Farm, Minnetrista
- Hyland Lake Park Reserve, Bloomington
- Lake Rebecca Park Reserve, Rockford
- Mississippi Gateway Regional Park, Brooklyn Park
- Murphy-Hanrehan Park Reserve, Savage
- The Landing, Shakopee
- 16 Parks in the City of Minneapolis – In 2021, Minneapolis Parks has designated these parks as “Adventure Hubs” where winter gear, like snowshoes, can be borrowed for free
- Bottineau Field Park – 612-370-4958
- Bryant Square Park – 612-370-4907
- Creekview Park – 612-370-4965
- East Phillips Park – 612-370-4888
- Folwell Park – 612-370-4917
- Fuller Park – 612-370-4963
- Keewaydin Park – 612-370-4956
- Kenwood Park – 612-370-4941
- Lake Nokomis Park – 612-370-4923
- Longfellow Park – 612-370-4957
- North Mississippi Regional Park – 612-370-4844
- North Commons Park – 612-370-4921
- Powderhorn Park – 612-370-4960
- Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Park – 612-370-4908
- Stewart Park – 612-370-4932
- Whittier Park – 612-370-4966
- Minnesota Landscape Arboretum
- REI — Bloomington
- Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge
Why Snowshoes May Be The Best Winter Sport Investment
It has occurred to me that the best time to go snowshoeing would be on snow days, when getting out to a park with a car may be difficult. However, put them on, and you can snowshoe anywhere before the plows come through. Investing in snowshoes for the family is quite a bit cheaper and more practical than skis. Moreover, snowshoes don’t require a special permit like skis, so, once the snow is plowed, your family can snowshoe spontaneously at any park with a snowy terrain.
In case you were wondering, modern snowshoes do NOT look like tennis rackets. The amazon affiliate link** below shows an example of a modern snowshoe and poles.
**FFTC receives a small commission on items purchased through our affiliate links. If snowshoeing is going to be a once-a-year or less experience for you, you may be better off borrowing or renting shoes from one of the park programs.
Published January 26, 2015 by Gianna Kordatzky
and updated annually