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Winter fun at Ramsey County parks

Person skiing at Vadnais Sucker Lakes Regional Park

Ramsey County Parks & Recreation offers a wide variety of outdoor activities for all ages all year round! Head to the park and embrace the fun of winter – go sledding, skiing, snowshoeing and more. Here's what you can expect to find during the upcoming season.

General information

Parks and trails are open 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset. Find a park or explore our trails.

Select parking lots at county and regional parks will be plowed. As always, entry and parking at all parks is free. Portable toilets will be available at select park locations through November 23, and are expected to return mid-April. Portable toilets will be available and serviced at Tamarack Nature Center throughout the winter.

Activities

Trails

Take to the trails by foot, snowshoes or fat bike. All regional trails will be plowed throughout the winter, and each regional park will have at least one walkable trail. Other trails will remain open, but are not maintained by Parks & Recreation staff. Explore the winding trails that offer a spectacular look at Ramsey County’s diverse landscape. Find a trail.

Sledding & tubing

Fly down the snowy slopes of our designated sledding areas at Battle Creek Regional Park, Vadnais-Snail Lakes Regional Park and Tamarack Nature Center. 

Cross-country skiing

Enjoy 25 miles of marked and groomed cross-country ski trails at Battle Creek Regional Park, Vadnais-Snail Lakes Regional Park and Tamarack Nature Center. Battle Creek Regional Park West offers lighted trails for skiing until 9 p.m. A Minnesota State Ski Pass is required to ski on all trails for skiers age 16 and above. View trail rules, locations and conditions

Snowshoeing

Snowshoeing is permitted in all parks except on designated and groomed cross-country ski trails or areas plowed for pedestrians. Visit the designated snowshoe trail at Tamarack Nature Center, or see why the multi-use groomed trail at Vadnais-Snail Lakes Regional Park is a local favorite.

Ski and snowshoe rentals

No skis or snowshoes? No problem. Cross-country ski rentals are available at the Battle Creek Recreation Center again this year. Call 651-501-6347 for more information. Tamarack Nature Center also offers on-site cross-country ski and snowshoe rental. The Winter Recreation Rental Shack will outfit you with everything you need for a scenic winter trek through the snow-covered prairie and woodland. The rental shack is anticipated to reopen on December 19, weather permitting, with COVID-19 modifications in place. Hours throughout the season may be dependent on snow and trail conditions.

Dog parks

Don’t forget about your canine friends! Visit one of our four off-leash dog parks to give your dog a chance to romp, pounce and play in the snow too.

Other winter fun

County park boat launches will be open and plowed for ice fishing and other lake activities. Additionally, winter can be an excellent time to bird watch, and the parks are a great setting for this activity, with about 35 species to look out for this time of year.

Programs

Join in on exciting, organized programming taking place over the winter season. Tamarack Nature Center provides a variety of ski and snowshoe classes and lessons for kids and adults, among other program offerings this year. 

Try out kicksledding, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, sledding and more. Winter Recreation Event is a program series complete with free equipment rentals taking place between late-December to mid-February. This popular program has been expanded to three park locations this year. Beginners and all experience levels are welcome. 

COVID-19 information

Stay active and enjoy the outdoors while preventing the spread of COVID-19. Stay home if you are sick, keep your distance and avoid crowds. Masks are encouraged especially for when social distancing is difficult, including when hiking on trails that may be popular or crowded.

All formal programs will follow public health guidelines to slow the spread of COVID-19 and are subject to change or cancellation based on the status of the pandemic.

Posted on Wednesday, October 21, 2020 - 12:18 p.m.