Winter in Three Rivers
Winter can feel like a long haul in Minnesota, but this year, let's pass on hibernation in favor of exploration. This year, let's have some fun! Below, find ways to get outside, see upcoming winter programs and events, and more.
Things To Do
Three Rivers features 80 miles of groomed cross-country ski trails at various locations. Trails are available for skiers of all skill levels. Don't forget to check trail conditions before you head out.
New this season - cross-country ski equipment rentals are available online and are encouraged before arriving at the park.
Off-leash areas are designated sites where dogs are given the freedom to run and interact with other dogs. Parks at Three Rivers have both fenced and unfenced off-leash areas where you can let your dog run while you enjoy the scenic surroundings and meet other owners.
Three Rivers offers abundant scenery for you and your dog to enjoy year round, with paved, turf, regional and skijoring/dog sledding trails that are dog-friendly. Dogs must be on a six-foot non-retractable leash unless in a designated dog off-leash area. Owners must pick-up after their dogs.
Downhill & Telemark Skiing
One of the best ways to explore year-round is to head out for a hike on the extensive trail system in Three Rivers. Trails wind through the woodland, grassland and wetland habitats of many species of wildlife. You’ll be amazed at what you might see along the way.
Please note: In winter, hiking on cross-country ski trails is not permitted.
If you have a horse and are looking for a place to ride, Three Rivers has miles of scenic horse trails to choose from. Natural woodlands and grasslands provide a beautiful setting for horseback riders.
Skijoring & Dog Sledding
If you have a dog with some pent-up winter energy, bring it to Three Rivers Parks for fun exercise where we have designated trails for skijoring and dog sledding.
Snowmobiling is permitted at Three Rivers Park District in order to provide links in state Grants-in-Aid snowmobile trails within Baker, Carver, Crow-Hassan, Elm Creek, Lake Rebecca and Murphy-Hanrehan Park Reserves.
Three Rivers offers trails of varying difficulty for snowshoers of all skill levels. It’s a great way for the entire family to take in the scenes of a Minnesota winter. Please note: Snowshoeing is not permitted on cross-country ski trails unless otherwise noted.
New This Season: Snowshoe rentals require advanced reservations. Availability will vary by location.
If you like sledding, you’ll love snow tubing at the Winter Recreation Area at Elm Creek. Ride a moving sidewalk up a hill 10 stories high and then soar back down on a specially designed inner tube. Once you get to the bottom, do it all over again.
New this season: Advance online reservations are required for tubing.
In Three Rivers, there are countless ways to explore outdoors in the winter. Check out the following ideas from our staff and volunteers, or find your own adventure!
- Our 7 Favorite Winter Activities
- Best Cross-Country Ski Trails
- Where and Why to Try Ice Fishing
- All About Skijoring
- Why You Should Try Kicksledding
- 5 Tips for Taking Stunning Winter Photos
- 5 Ways to #OptOutside on Black Friday and Every Day
- 11 Ideas for Staying Active Outdoors in the Winter
- 5 Reasons to Bike Commute Year-Round
- Tips & Tricks for Winter Biking
- 6 Ways to Beat the Seasonal Blues
- 5 Outdoor Date Ideas
- Top 10 Parks for Snowshoeing
The Nature of Winter
Life goes on after the trees lose their leaves and the snow starts sticking. Find out what's happening around you on the Three Rivers blog.
- How Do Frogs Survive Winter?
- Why Do Some Trees Keep Their Leaves in Winter?
- What Happens to the Medicine Lake Turtles in the Winter?
- How Bats Survive Minnesota Winters
- Do Evergreens Lose Their Needles?
- 14 Best Nature Books to Check out this Winter
Hear more stories from your parks on the Three Rivers podcast, The Wandering Naturalist.
Instagram — #threeriverswinter