Kids and adults new to snow sports can discover snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, geocaching and other winter activities from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12, at Fort Snelling State Park. The event, which brought over 1,000 people to the park last year, will take place on Winter Trails Day, a national effort to increase participation in outdoor recreation.

Throughout the day, experts from national outdoor retail co-op REI, Fort Snelling State Park and local outdoor nonprofit organizations will demonstrate winter activities. There will be opportunities to:

  • Try snowshoes.
  • Take naturalist-led hikes along scenic park trails.
  • Learn how to use a GPS unit and go on a high-tech treasure hunt to find a hidden geocach
  • Sip hot chocolate around a big bonfire.

To help with planning future winter outings, information will be available on winter camping, skijoring, how to build a winter shelter and much more. Visitors can pick up free copies of the winter Minnesota State Parks and Trails Programs and Special Events brochure, which lists dozens of things to do in state parks and on state trails between now and April, including candlelight ski and snowshoe events, photography excursions and maple syrup-making demonstrations.

There is no charge to participate in any of the Winter Trails Day activities, which will take place in and around Picnic Shelter A, but a vehicle permit ($5/one-day, $25/year-round) is required to enter Minnesota state parks. Those who don’t already have a permit can purchase one at REI stores in Bloomington, Roseville and Maple Grove or at Fort Snelling State Park when they arrive.

For more information about Winter Trails Day, call Fort Snelling State Park at 612-725-2389 or the DNR Information Center at 651-296-6157 or 888-646-6367 (TTY: 651-296-5484 or 800-657-3929) or visit www.mndnr.gov/fortsnelling.

Logo courtesy Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

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