Minnesota’s vast array of outdoor destinations, all-around outdoorsy culture, and generous amounts of the white stuff rank it among the best snowshoeing destinations in the United States. Here’s a roundup of some of the best places to snowshoe in Minnesota, from the North Woods to the edge of the prairies! In Minnesota there are so many opportunities for winter fun and a pair of foam snowshoes can be used for more than just a hike. One way we like to use them is for ice fishing! The foam snowshoes are amazing for walking across the ice. They not only give you cleats to prevent slipping, but the also give you an inch or so of insulation between your feet and the ice so your feet stay warmer which allows you to stay out longer!
Snowshoe in Itasca State Park for a Headwaters Winter Wonderland
The oldest state park in Minnesota, Itasca is famous for harboring the headwaters of the mighty Mississippi River, which commences its 2,500-plus-mile journey here at Lake Itasca. The roughly 32,000-acre state park is also a fabulous place to snowshoe in the winter, with almost its entire extent open to the activity so long as you stay off groomed ski trails and roads. Several trails, including the Dr. Roberts, Mary Lake, and Schoolcraft, are maintained for snowshoeing in Itasca.
Fort Snelling State Park is Amazing For Snowshoeing
A fabulous outdoor playground right in the Twin Cities metro area, Fort Snelling State Park is a fine place to hike during the warm season, but you can explore its acreage more fully in winter floating on a pair of snowshoes. The evocative floodplain forest carpeting the bottomlands here at the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers is a mucky, mosquito-swarmed realm in the summer, but snowshoers can explore it with ease atop the wintertime snowpack.
As in other Minnesota state parks, all of Fort Snelling is open to snowshoeing except for the groomed ski trails. Besides cross-country wandering, you can follow the long multiuse trail along the Minnesota River and Gun Club Lake or make a circuit on the Pike Island winter hiking trail.
Three Rivers Park District For a Weekday Snowshoe Hike
Another couldn’t-be-more-convenient option for Twin Cities residents, the Three Rivers Park District offers more than 27,000 acres of parks and green spaces amid the metro area. Under the snow coat of winter, a slew of trails draw snowshoers to units such as the Baker Park Reserve (with its Baker Winter Trailhead), Crow-Hassan Park Reserve, Gale Woods Farm, Mississippi Gateway Regional Park, and Lake Rebecca Park Reserve.
Take Your Foam Snowshoes to Flandrau State Park
An excellent destination for Southern Minnesotas snowshoeing, Flandrau State Park hosts slopeside woods and bottomland hardwood forest along the valley of the Cottonwood River directly outside the town of New Ulm. The Old Dam and Old Island Loop trails are designated snowshoe routes exploring the bluff-edged bottoms of the park’s southeast. You’ve got an excellent chance of seeing white-tailed deer in their gray winter coats.
Chippewa National Forest is an Amazing Snowshoe Adventure
Snowshoers can explore beautiful, snow-swaddled wildlands in more than 600,000 acres of north-central Minnesota on the Chippewa National Forest. That translates to just about endless opportunities for first-class winter recreation. Good options include the Shingobee Hills Recreation Area (staying off the ski trails, of course), the connected Simpson Creek and Cut Foot Sioux trails, and the marvelous “Lost 40” parcel, a rare swath of old-growth forest featuring burly, centuries-old white and red pines—and, for the intrepid snowshoer, plenty of midwinter solitude!
Snowshoe Superior National Forest in Northeastern MN
Some of the finest snowshoeing adventures in the North Woods can be had in the Superior National Forest of northeastern Minnesota, encompassing nearly four million acres of northern hardwood and boreal forest. That acreage includes the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, which offers vast (indeed, seemingly endless) winter backcountry to experienced snowshoers. Other top-notch options include the Superior Hiking Trail and the Devil Tracks and Kadunce River Hunter Walking Trails. Throughout, keep an eye peeled for tracks—maybe even a glimpse—of wolves, moose, lynx, fishers, and red fox.
Voyageurs National Park is a Must-See Snowshoe Location
Another absolutely exceptional place for North Woods wilderness snowshoeing, Minnesota’s only national park presents nearly 200,000 acres of lake-peppered (and wolf-roamed) Canadian Shield forestland for your winter enjoyment. Numerous trails, including Blind Ash Bay, Kab-Ash, Oberholtzer, Sullivan Bay, and the Rainy Lake Recreation Trail, are open to snowshoers, as is the unmarked, snow-hushed backwoods.
Explore Minnesota’s Winter Trails & Backcountry With Crescent Moon Snowshoes
You’ll be perfectly outfitted for Minnesota’s snowy splendor with Crescent Moon! Our top-quality aluminum and foam snowshoes include the cutting-edge Eva and Luna Foam Snowshoes. We also offer a full suite of snowshoe accessories, including headlamps,snowshoe heel lifts, and trekking poles. Get out there and enjoy the Gopher State’s winter-scapes with Crescent Moon!