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

Archery

Archery

A woman aims a bow and arrow at a target.

Stationary ranges at Elm Creek and Carver Park Reserve offer targets at a variety of distances, as well as a shooting tower. Or test your marksmanship with a walk-through range featuring multiple shooting stations. Open year-round.

Cross-Country Skiing

Cross-Country Skiing

Two women cross-country ski on a sunny day.

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.

Dog Trails - Off Leash

Dog Off-Leash

A dog without a leash stands in an open area.

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.

Dog Trails - On Leash

Dog Trails

A man walks two dogs on leashes on a paved trail.

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 Ski Area

Downhill and Telemark Skiing

Skier mule kicking in the air

Hyland Hills Ski Area and the Winter Recreation Area at Elm Creek offer downhill ski areas for all skill levels, from training hills to Olympic-level training jumps. The downhill ski areas feature snowmaking and well-groomed hills for unbeatable winter fun.

Fishing / Fishing Pier

Fishing

A man and his son fish from the shore of a lake.

Throw a line for your own catch of the day. In Three Rivers, you might reel in muskie, northern pike, sunfish, bass or even walleye.

Geocaching

Geocaching

Two girls using a GPS unit

Geocaching is a family-friendly, high-tech treasure hunt that combines respect for the environment with a sense of adventure.

Hiking

Hiking

A turf trail passes by a sign that says "hiking trail."

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.

Horse Trails

Horseback Riding

a person on a horse

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.

Mountain Bike Trail

Mountain Biking

A mountain biker rides on a dirt path through tall grasses.

If you’re looking for your own adventure, give mountain biking a try in Three Rivers. There are designated mountain bike trails at Elm Creek, Lake Rebecca, and Murphy-Hanrehan parks and other paved bike/hike trails of varying terrain and difficulty for mountain bikers of any skill level.

Skijoring and Dog Sledding

Skijoring & Dog Sledding

Women on skis with dog pulling

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.

Sledding

Sledding

girl sledding on her stomach with her arms extended like an airplane

It’s easy to feel like a kid again in Three Rivers, where you'll find some of the best sledding hills in town. Just bundle up and grab a sled for hours of exhilarating fun.

Snowboarding

Snowboarding

a snowboarder in the air after a jump

Snowboarding is just one more way you can enjoy the wintry Minnesota outdoors. From group or private lessons to equipment rental to impeccably groomed hills for every skill level, the Hyland Hills Ski Area and the Winter Recreation Area at Elm Creek have everything you need to carve up the slopes. 

Snowmobile Trail

Snowmobiling

Snowmobilers on wooded trail

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.

Snowshoeing

Snowshoeing

four people snowshoeing on a sunny day.

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.

Tubing

Tubing

Children waiting at the top of the tubing hill

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. 

Three snowmen along the side of a trail.

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.

 Hear more stories from your parks on the Three Rivers podcast, The Wandering Naturalist.

Climate change has affected the way we experience winter in Minnesota. In Three Rivers, we've experienced everything from shorter ice fishing seasons to increased reliance on snowmaking to sustain winter sports. 

Instagram — #threeriverswinter