Featured Photo by We Found Adventure

Snowshoeing Trails by the Minnesota River Valley!

 As the winter season approaches, snowshoeing is one of the best ways to stay active and get outside. Easy to learn and fun for all ages and abilities. The Minnesota River, a tributary of the Mississippi River, is just over 300 miles long and is surrounded by many parks and trails that are open all year, and some are equipped with trails for snowshoeing. For those who like to stay energetic during the colder months of the year, here are snowshoeing trails by the Minnesota River.

Snowshoeing Trails by the Minnesota River Valley!

Photo by Leslie Cross

This state park is located in the heart of the Twin Cities. It offers a variety of hiking, biking, and skiing trails. Fort Snelling State Park offers 18 miles of hiking trails, 5 miles of biking, and 15 miles of ski trails. The state park is also connected to Pike Island where the Mississippi River and Minnesota River converge. The state park has Native-American heritage with interpretive exhibits on display in the Visitor’s Center to educate visitors on the history and resources of the area.

Turtle River Winterfest

The word Minneopa means “water falling twice”. This is referring to the beautiful waterfalls of Minneopa Creek. Situated 5 miles west of the city of Mankato, Minneopa State Park is open year-round for hiking and snowshoeing. It has 4.5 miles of hiking trails and snowshoeing is allowed anywhere throughout the park. The trail encircles the waterfall with a limestone staircase leading into the valley below. This state is also known for its bison viewing opportunities.

Snowshoeing Trails by the Minnesota River Valley

Photo Photo by Greg Rosenke

Fort Ridgely State Park is known for its historic ruins from the U.S – Dakota War of 1862, and is a State Historic Site. Located in the city of Fairfax, this state park offers an extensive number of trails for winter activities. You can enjoy 8 miles of hiking trails, 12 miles of horse trails, 4 miles of cross-country skiing, and 8 miles of snowmobile trails. These trails range from easy to challenging. Snowshoeing is allowed everywhere throughout the park with the exception of the ski trails.

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Flandrau State Park is nestled in the valley of the Big Cottonwood River, which is a tributary of the Minnesota River. Placed in southern Minnesota, in the town of New Ulm, this state park is known for its wooded river bottom and scenic hill prairies. This state park consists of 8 miles of hiking trails and 6 miles of groomed cross-country ski trails. Though snowshoers are asked to stay off groomed trails, this state park has a lot to explore through snowshoeing.

Off Roading with ATVs and UTVs
This state park is located in the southern part of a reservoir that was formed through the damming of the Minnesota River. Known as “the lake which speaks”, La Qui Parle is a dominant feature of the state park that is situated in Watson. It was named due to the thousands of geese that descend on the lake during the spring and fall seasons. With 7 miles of hiking trails and 5 miles of horse-riding trails, the trails are easy to hike and have access to the backwaters within the park. The park is open for snowshoeing anywhere in the winter seasons.

I’m a senior at Winona State University majoring in advertising. I love anything related to arts and culture like dance, music, and visual art.

Carissa Chin

Writer , River Travel Magazine