Do Winter Differently

Brainerd, MN, is well known as Minnesota’s Playground with good reason. Nestled in trees and lakes of Central Minnesota and situated along the Mississippi River, there are many outdoor activities to enjoy.

Here are seven ways to get out and win at winter:

  1. Cross Country Skiing: Brainerd offers a great selection of Minnesota Cross Country Ski trails. These trails wind through beautiful hardwood forests filled with scenic landscape and abundant wildlife.
  2. Ice Fishing: There are more than 400 lakes and rivers within 25 miles of Brainerd/Baxter with trout, walleye, northern pike, panfish, and bass to fish for. Whether you want to go alone, with a guide, or attend an ice fishing tournament, there are options to consider.
  3. Ice Skating: A trip to the rink is a great way to get outside during the winter. There are five city parks with outdoor ice skating and ice skate rentals.
  4. Mount Ski Gull: Located 15 minutes north of Brainerd/Baxter in the heart of the scenic Brainerd Lakes Area. The tubing hill is considered Minnesota’s largest at over 1,200 feet and offers a high-speed tow. Snow boarders enjoy an 800-foot dedicated terrain park with a variety of jumps, lifts, rails, and more. Enjoy downhill skiing on several runs for skiers of all experience levels.
  5. Snowmobiling: There are 1,200 miles of groomed snowmobile trails to explore in and around Brainerd’s beautiful forests, across gentle slopes, and around lakes. There is even a lighted snowmobile trail that runs the length of Gull Lake for a spectacular nighttime ride.
  6. Snowshoeing: There is a lot of room to roam on snowshoes in Brainerd and the surrounding area. From state forests to local arboretums there are places to explore.
  7. Winter Mountain Biking (Fat Tire Biking): The Cuyuna mountain bike trails are a short 15-minute drive east of Brainerd; they are internationally acclaimed trails that wind through some of Minnesota’s newest scenic forest and lakes. Winter biking is an experience like no other.

There are several places to stay, dine, warm-up and explore, so plan your trip today. For information on Minnesota’s regulations and permits for fishing and skiing visit the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. To find trail maps visit Crow Wing County. For more information on each of these activities visit our Winter Activities webpage.