Snowshoeing at Fort Snelling State Park

Itching for some time outdoors in the dead of winter lead us to a morning of snowshoeing at Fort Snelling State Park, located quite literally in the heart of the Twin Cities where the Minnesota River forms off the Mississippi. It was a little strange to see the highway from some the trails once inside the park, but the convenience of driving 15 minutes and being able to trek through the woods alongside several fluffy (er, scruffy) deer was a real treat.

After picking up the snowshoe rentals at the visitors’ center, we headed for the winter hiking trail on Pike Island. In the parking lot were several cross country skiers and cyclists with their fat tire bikes. (I definitely need to try that one day soon.)

Once we got out on the groomed trail, we saw a few groups of people (even little kids) out walking—some with ice grippers, some without. While they didn’t seem necessary, I’m sure they’re helpful on the compacted snowy trails. It certainly wasn’t crowded, but it was nice to see people out enjoying the fresh snow.

We clamped into our snowshoes. Opting for the fluffier stuff, we wandered off the trail and through the trees. We found a nice spot to hang the hammock and had a snack. Even if it’s 20 degrees and snowing slightly, I’m all about a picnic. Our body temperatures plummeted quickly and fingers started becoming numb, so it was time to move again.

On the way back to the car, we came across some deer, which I’d seen in lots of IG pics from bed that morning. I didn’t have my camera handy, so we just watched the frisky fellas, who weren’t bothered by the cold one bit.

It was a great morning, and I’m already plotting the next snowshoeing adventure to make the most of this winter business. And I’m looking forward to getting back to Fort Snelling State Park in the summer and exploring some more of the trails and the riverfront—what they call a “beach” here in MN.


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