If you can walk you can snowshoe!!
Snowshoeing is a great way to see the Grand Rapids, Minnesota area. The logging, mining and tourism industries all began in the early 20th century. Visitors of all ages and abilities can get out in the woods and interpret our history, and get good exercise at the same time!
Itasca County has 1,000 lakes available for winter exploration by snowshoe. A significant number of these lakes have public landings for car parking and access.
If you’re looking for trails, check out these excellent snowshoeing trails right within the city limits of Grand Rapids!
The Forest History Center
Situated on 170 acres of land next to the Mississippi River Run and interpreted by the Minnesota Historical Society, they have fifty pairs of snowshoes available to use for free with a paid admittance. The 4 miles of trails meander through a 1900’s logging camp, as well as pine forests along the Mississippi River. For detailed information about the Forest History Center snowshoe equipment rentals and the River Run trail call – (218) 327-4482
Legion Park Trails
Six miles of trails weave their way through the many forest types found in Northern Minnesota. The trailhead is located just off the Grand Rapids High School parking lot. Call the Grand Rapids High School for details – (218) 326-2500
Joyce Estate Trails
Located north of Grand Rapids, Minnesota, the buildings that make up the estate had been a retreat for Chicago’s Joyce family who were early loggers in the area. Today it is managed by the Chippewa National Forest as a non-motorized historic site. The management staff can be reached at – (218) 246-2123
Sugar Hills Trails
Sugar HIlls was opened In the early 1960’s as a first class downhill ski area. Established by Charles Skinner, Sugar Hills has attracted many visitors to the Grand Rapids area for 50+ years. The downhill runs are gone, but the abandoned runs are perfect for bushwhacking snowshoers. With some uphill effort, an enthusiast will find her or himself at the highest point in Itasca County – the top of old Big Thunder run. The reward is a spectacular view. (218) 326-1313
Located in the City of Cohasset, Tioga and is managed by the Minnesota DNR. The trails wind around the mining dump once used by Hanna Mining in their quest for iron ore. A few trails are challenging, but the snowshoer will be rewarded with excellent vistas overlooking surrounding lakes. (218) 328-6225
It is important to note that 90% of Itasca County is owned or managed by local, State and Federal government, as well as by large timber and wood product companies such as UPM Blandin and Rajala Timber. These private lands are under Conservation Easements allowing for recreation use by the public.
IMPORTANT! Please stay off cross country ski tracks. If you need to cross them, go at a 90-degree angle.
When it comes to snowshoeing, the Grand Rapids area is yours to enjoy.
Don’t have snowshoes??
The Forest History Center and Itasca Trail Sports offers snowshoe rental, or purchase your own at Grand Rapids Glen’s Army Navy, Itasca Trail Sports or L&M Supply.