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Winter fun at Ramsey County parks

two children throwing snowballs toward the camera

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

Ramsey County is home to nine county parks, six regional parks and five regional trail corridors. Find a park or explore our trails.

All parks offer plowed parking or easy street parking, and as always, entry and parking is free. Portable toilets are available at select locations.

Programs

Join in on exciting programming taking place over the winter season. We have several opportunities to try skiing, snowshoeing and sledding throughout the snowy season. Join us at our Winter Recreation Sampler to try a new winter activity or explore parks in a new way.  Tamarack Nature Center provides a variety of ski and snowshoe classes and lessons for kids and adults, among other program offerings this year. 

Winter break fun!

Spend winter break with us at the new ski trails and sledding hills at Battle Creek Regional Park! We will have cross-country skis, sleds and kicksleds to try for free. If you decide you'd like to keep the fun going and want to ski the trails at the park, rental ski equipment will be available at Battle Creek Rec Center for $12/person and we will cover the cost of a daily ski pass!

Open ice skating, hockey and skiing

Sharpen your ice skating skills, try cross-country skiing, enjoy walking indoors or join others for an easy-going pickup game of hockey this season. Dates are set for Open SkateOpen Hockey, Open Walking and Open Skiing! Admission is free and open to the public, and all skill levels are welcome. Ice skate rental is available for just $10 per person at Highland Arena and TCO Sports Garden during Open Skate. Ski equipment is available for free on a first come, first served basis during Open Skiing. 

Books & Sleds

Here's a chance to spend some time on a kicksled! Borrow one during Books & Sleds days at Ramsey County libraries in January. Kicksleds will be available to borrow on a first-come, first-served basis.

Toddler Thursdays at the TCO Fieldhouse

Have a little one that's full of energy? They can enjoy indoor fun at the TCO Fieldhouse (field 2) on Thursdays from 9:30-11:30 a.m. We'll have activities such as a bouncy house, kicking around soccer balls and open field time with room to run. Admission is free and open to the public.

Activities

Cross-country skiing

We've partnered with the city of Saint Paul to offer more ski trails this winter. Enjoy 32 miles of marked and groomed natural snow ski trails at Battle Creek Regional Park, Rice Creek Regional Trail, Vadnais-Snail Lakes Regional Park, Tamarack Nature Center, Como Park Golf Course, Highland 9 Golf Course and Phalen Golf Course. Battle Creek Regional Park West now offers 4 km of machine-made snow trails that are lighted for skiing from sunset until 10 p.m. A Ramsey County and Saint Paul ski pass is required to ski on all trails for skiers age 16 and above. View trail rules, locations and conditions

Snowshoeing

New this season, Goodrich Golf Course in Maplewood will be open for snowshoeing. Snowshoeing is also 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 in December, weather permitting. Hours throughout the season may be dependent on snow and trail conditions.

Sledding & tubing

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

Trails

Take to the trails by foot, snowshoes or fat bike. All regional trails will be plowed and accessible throughout the winter, and each park has opportunities to use plowed, multiuse or natural snow trails. Explore the winding trails that offer a spectacular look at Ramsey County’s diverse landscape. Find a trail.

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.

Ice Castles

Make plans to visit Ice Castles at Long Lake Regional Park this year. The frozen attraction features tunnels, caverns, towers, fountains, slides and crawl spaces built entirely from icicles that are grown on site, harvested, and hand-placed by professional ice artisans. The winter playground will also include an ice sculpture garden and a winter light grove this season. The attraction is anticipated to open January 2023, and tickets can be purchased online through the Ice Castles website.

Other winter fun

County park boat launches will be open and plowed for ice fishing and other lake activities. 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. 

Posted on Friday, October 28, 2022 - 3:50 p.m.