Outdoor Winter Activities

outdoor winter activities

 

For those of us fortunate enough to live in a northern climate, outdoor winter activities abound.

Here in Minnesota, most people dream of heading South sometime during our cold winter. Mexico…a Caribbean cruise…Arizona…Hawaii.

I’m not against going somewhere warm. But one of my favorite winter trips is going North instead! Here’s why…

Go North in the Winter? Yes!

I spent my college years in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I once had a fellow student ask me—in all seriousness—”Do you have snow all year ’round in Minnesota?”

Apparently we have a reputation for living on the frozen tundra!

While, no—we also have spring, summer and fall—our winters are legendary. A couple of the coldest spots in the continental US are in northern Minnesota.

Not everyone here likes our winters. But I’ve always said “If you want to love winter, find outdoor activities you can only do in winter—you’ll start to look forward to the cold and snow!”

It’s a different world.

Winter beauty is unique

Have you seen the sun shine on fresh snow? It looks like sparkling diamonds. Walking or skiing through the woods after a snowfall is magical.

outdoor winter activities
Going for a winter walk

Ice makes its own designs, patterns and sculptures, with sunlight adding another dimension of beauty to it.

outdoor winter activities
Ice formed by waves and cold along Lake Superior

Snowflakes are incredible

Snowflakes are a perfect demonstration of God’s handiwork. No two are alike, yet each is a symmetrical crystal.

Such intricacy. Such variety. (Imagine His delight when people finally discovered each snowflake is different!)

(These are the first photographs of real snowflakes, circa late 1800s)

outdoor winter activities

Cold air is invigorating

Breathing in the crisp, fresh air of winter is invigorating and refreshing. The air is remarkably clear on sunny winter days, maybe because the dew points and humidity are lower.

Maybe it’s my imagination, but it seems we can see twice as many stars in the northern winter nightsky, too. They seem close enough to reach out and grab.

outdoor winter activities
Frozen Gooseberry Falls, northeastern Minnesota

Snow sports are awesome

My personal favorites are cross-country (Nordic) skiing and snowshoeing. They’re…

  • Very quiet
  • Slow enough to let me soak in the beauty around me
  • Away from the crowds
  • Relatively inexpensive
  • And a great workout!

Go alone…bring others…make it a family expedition.

outdoor winter activities
Snowshoeing on Swamp Lake in the Boundary Waters, Minnesota

No bugs, no bears

One of the best parts of winter activity—the bears are hibernating and the bugs are nonexistent. Hallelujah!

Give it a try!

If you haven’t yet headed north in the winter, and especially if you live in a warm climate—give it a try! Plan a vacation—just once—to a snowy, wintry place. Rent or borrow some skis or snowshoes. Wrap up and go for a walk after a fresh snow.

You just might get hooked!

outdoor winter activities

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