5 Family Fun Winter Activities in Leech Lake
It’s hard to believe with this unseasonably warm weather that winter is right around the corner. But before you know it, we’ll be bundled up and shoveling snow. But that doesn’t mean you have to be trapped inside your house all winter. Here are some of our favorite winter activities to keep you busy and get you out of the house.
1) Ice fishing
Leech Lake is the third largest lake within Minnesota’s state boarders. It is great for walleye fishing and the expansive lake won’t make you feel crowded while out on the ice. Ice fishing doesn’t just have to be for adults, it can be a great family outing as well. The Minnesota DNR has a great ice fishing activity book to get your little ones familiar with ice fishing terms and safety. Be sure to check in with the weekly fishing reports, so you know what to expect when you are out on the lake.
With miles of trails groomed specifically for snowmobiling, Leech Lake is a perfect place for your next trip. We love snowmobiling on the Heartland and Paul Bunyan State Trails. Those two trails alone have over 150 miles of trail to be explored by you this winter, and connect to multiple other trails. After a long day of snowmobiling, warm up while checking out some of Leech’s Lake local restaurants. Many restaurants will cater to riders with parking and even have a heated spot to store your gear. Check the trails before you head out so you can get enjoy the best of snowmobiling.
1) Cross Country Skiing
The hundreds of miles of trails in the Leech Lake area offer cross country skiing to all levels of skiers. We love to go cross country skiing on the Chippewa National Forest trails as it offers skiing of all levels. In the Walker area alone, you can enjoy miles of groomed trails on the Heartland trail, the Shingobee Recreation Area and the Goose Lake Hunter Walking Trail. You may just even see a red fox or a white tailed deer. Remember, if you are 16 years old or older you must purchase a ski pass to ski on any trails in Minnesota state parks or forests. Get moving this winter and enjoy the beauty of winter from the woods.
The Shingobee Recreation Area isn’t just for cross country skiing. The Shingobee Hills was originally one of the first downhill ski areas in Minnesota, but is now enjoyed in the winter by sledders. The hill is fairly steep, so you can start closer to the bottom of the hill and work your way up as you are feeling a little more adventurous. On the weekends, you can warm up after sledding in the chalet at the bottom of the hill.
3) Ice Skating and Hockey
If it’s too cold to go spend the day outside, but you are still looking to get moving and out of the house, The Walker Area Community Center has you covered. You can watch a youth hockey team, participate on an intramural team, or skate for fun. Rental skates are available for just one dollar and you can purchase a skating card (good for 12 sessions) and use the indoor rink for $50.
Many of our Leech Lake resorts are open year round, and are looking forward to see you this winter. Plan your winter vacation now!