Winter Activities


For many among us, winter is a rather dull time.  We tend to spend too much time on the couch, too much time eating and munching, and way too little time outdoors observing nature, and perhaps burning up some of those extra calories.  So give some consideration to embracing nature during this winter.

It seems like there are always some hunting or fishing opportunities we can enjoy during the winter.  But with the big white blanket now spread out across most of the state, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and skiing can be a great way to enjoy a little natural North Dakota.  It’s been a long time since we’ve had a mild winter with lots of snow.  Maybe this year is the year.

Snowmobiling can be a good way to enjoy nature during the winter.  Snowmobile North Dakota maintains fourteen snowmobile trails scattered around the state totaling over 2800 miles.  And of course one can enjoy snowmobiling off these trails as well.

I’m partial to cross country skiing.  Cross country skiing, along with snowshoeing, is a great way observe nature and also get some much needed exercise during the winter months.  Most state parks maintain cross country ski trails that are suitable for all skill levels and interests.  They range from three miles of trails at Lake Stevenson and Lake Sakakawea state parks to over eight miles at Lake Metigoshe and Cross Ranch state parks.  And of course if you don’t prefer groomed trails there are many other areas where you can break your own trail.  So if your skis have been gathering dust in the garage over the past few years, consider getting back into skiing this year.   There are also places where skis can be rented.

Winter suffers from a bad reputation that it doesn’t deserve.  It can provide us with some fun and interesting ways to enjoy nature.  So get off the couch!  Go play in the snow!  Just even go for a walk!  And while you’re out there take the time to savor nature in its winter finery.  You’ll like what you see.  Assuming the temperatures and snow will cooperate, it’s like the advertisement says:  “It just doesn’t get any better!”

Click here to access information on snowmobiling, snowshoeing and cross country skiing in North Dakota State Parks.

Chuck Lura

Natural North Dakota is supported by NDSU Central Grasslands Research Extension Center and Minot State University-Bottineau, and by the members of Prairie Public. Thanks to Sunny 101.9 in Bottineau for their recording services.

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