Our Cozy Winter Era is here.

Embracing our “Cozy Winter” Era!


While we’re waiting for Mother Nature to sprinkle a little more snow on our region, nothing is stopping us from embracing our cozy winter era here in the St. Croix Valley!


There are plenty of things to do, both indoors and outdoors, that will fuel adventurous souls looking to change up the scenery for a mid-winter get away.


Let us cordially invite you to St. Croix Falls, WI and our surrounding towns, to explore winter in the upper St. Croix River Valley!


Here’s how to make the most of “Cozy Winter” season.

We have the GREEN light for these activities, meaning good to go!

1. Ski, Snowboard, & Snow Tube

Looking for Winter? You can find it on our ski hills!

There may not be much snow on the ground in general right now, but at our ski resorts, it’s a whole different story! In case you didn’t know, we have TWO ski resorts in our neck of the woods: Trollhaugen Outdoor Recreation Area and Wild Mountain.


These ski resorts have been busy creating a winter wonderland for die-hard winter enthusiasts and are opening new runs as fast as they can make snow. Both resorts have ski and snowboard areas, as well as designated snow tube areas. If you’re not a season pass holder, be sure to book your lift tickets online before you come (everyone is looking for a little winter, and they fill  up fast!)



A bright side to a snow-deficit winter is that the winter hiking is fabulous! No post-holing to make your way down a trail, and there’s not a huge buildup of ice to worry about either! Many of the hiking trails that become impassable during winter are very accessible this year, allowing you to explore areas that you can’t typically get to in the winter. And with many days gifting us fairly mild temps (as compared to a typical mid-winter), it makes winter hiking more enjoyable than bearing down in brutal sub-zero digits.



What Is Hygge anyway? The essence of hygge (promounced hoo-ga)  is—like love—a feeling. It is a sense of coziness, contentment and well-being. It is enjoyment of the simple things in life; indulgence tempered by moderation; appreciation for what is artisanal, handmade, and rustic.


Dark Skies, Downtime and Deep Sleep

The days are shorter and the nights are longer during a Midwest winter, and that’s a good time to slow down and reset your clock.

Curl up with a good book in your cozy cabin or plush AirBnB. Indulge in a sauna experience, or enjoy a refreshing swim at the Holiday Inn Express indoor pool. Try a lakeside retreat, or at a hotel with all the service you need. Either way, you’re free to leave all the responsibilities and to-do lists of your home life at home, and just enjoy a little down time.

Dark skies in the winter are teeming with stars and bright moonlight, and here in the St. Croix Valley, you’re away from the light pollution of the city so once your eyes adjust to the dark, you’ll be amazed at the sparkle in the sky. Don’t be afraid to venture outside at night to check out our beautiful skies, and, if you’re lucky, you might even catch the northern lights which have been seen in our area quite frequently in the last year.

Holiday Inn Express

Big Rock Creek

123 South Washington

Lake Place Bed and Breakfast

Alkóv Cabin Co.

Get Out And About

If you’re looking for some cozy vibes while out and about, pop into 3 Arrows Coffee and sip a latte inside the “living room of St. Croix Falls”. Or, grab a beer with your bestie at Trap Rock Brewing, where you can get a craft brew made onsite and take part in nightly activities such as trivia, bingo, or live music.

If you’ve never experienced a Wisconsin Supper Club, head over to the Dalles House Restaurant and Lounge where you will find all the best supper club vibes including fish fry, popovers, and a darn-good old fashioned.

While you’re here, take the time to indulge in a good glass of wine at one of our area wineries. In the St. Croix Falls area we have three: one near a lake (Deer Lake Winery), one in the countryside (Dancing Dragonfly), and one in a, wait for it,…castle (Chateau St. Croix Winery).

As winter draws closer to Valentine’s Day, don’t forget to pick up some handmade special treats for your certain someone at Valley Sweets, or be sure to grab all the vintage candy, ice cream, and daily baked goods while on your winter respite.

And finally, don’t leave town without stopping at our charming stores. You’ll find unique items, antiques, artisanal made items, and plenty of items to repurpose.

Try these places:

The Unique Boutique

Sister’s She Shop Boutique

MORH Memories

La Jewelry Lady

Rustic Sparrow


Plan Ahead for a NEW EVENT!


Nordic Fest 2024 (March 1 & 2)

We don’t shut down in the winter, we celebrate it!


Nordic Fest is in it’s early planning days, but you can expect a sauna village, live music, luminary hike, fat tire bike, and (cross your fingers for snow) XC ski, snowshoe race and more. Embrace winter and celebrate it Nordic Style at our fun, new event!


Keep an eye on our event calendar for more information as it unfolds.

Be sure to keep up with our  event calendar for more winter events, live music, and more.

4. Candlelight hikes

If you’ve never ventured into the woods on a dark winter’s night, you’re missing out on a unique experience. If you’re not ready to be guided by moonlight alone quite yet, a winter candlelight hike at one of our area parks is the perfect opportunity to venture out for an outdoor evening adventure. The trails will be lit will luminaries, allowing you to explore the woods by yourself or in a group. Gather by the crackling fireside after for cocoa and good ole fashioned story telling afterwards.


If there is enough snow by the event, you can plan on trying the trail on snowshoes, otherwise, some good, sturdy winter boots will do the trick.


Check our event calendar for upcoming Candlelight Hikes.


5. Indoor Pickleball

As much as we LOVE the outdoors here in the St. Croix Valley, we’ll also do anything to play pickleball year-round. Case in point: St. Croix Pickleball and Recreational Sports Facility just opened their doors October 2023, and membership has rapidly risen to over 500 members in a few short months. But don’t worry, you don’t have to be a member to play! Simply stop in or give them a call to see if they have day-of court times and get your pickleball fix in! They also have a golf simulator and a batting cage to keep you busy during your time here.

These activities are ORANGE, meaning check before you go!

6. Ice skate

You know those winters where you have to shovel off deep snow just to get to the ice rink below? Well, this is not one of those winters (at least so far). Many of our area rinks are still in the process of flooding and getting everything ready to go, but the ice on many lakes is finally thick enough to support “wild’ ice skating. Try one of the public landings on our area lakes to try out some skating skills. Bring a small shovel or broom to clear a section.


(Always use caution and common sense when venturing onto frozen lakes as conditions can change quickly.  Ice must be at least 4 inches thick to support a person). Follow these ice safety tips from the WI DNR.


7. Fat Tire Bike

If you own a fat tire bike, be sure to bring it to St. Croix Falls. In the St. Croix Valley, the Woolly Mountain Bike trails are the perfect spot to try out a fatty. Start at the Woolly Bike Club Trail Head (at the bottom of “Big Oak”) at the intersection of Lincoln and Maple Drive in St. Croix Falls. These trails are maintained and groomed winter and summer by the Woolly Bike Club, a local IMBA (International Mountain Biking Association) chapter


If you haven’t heard yet, fat biking is a unique way of exploring the snow-covered trails Fat Bikes are a type of specialized mountain bike made for adventures on unstable terrain. These bikes are made to ride on snow-covered trails and are equipped with over-sized tires that allow the rider to “float” over previously unrideable conditions.  It’s a great workout, fun for the whole family, and a perfect way to extend your biking season.


Please check the trail status before riding, as the trails close in muddy conditions. You’ll also want to make sure to have your tires properly inflated before hitting the trails. Use the Woolly Bike Club’s website as your resource for information on tire pressure.


8. Ice fish

Ice fishing is a winter tradition in the Midwest, and here in the St. Croix Valley, we have many lakes to choose from.


We know that patiently waiting for the lakes to freeze over enough to ice fish is brutal, but, of course, it’s a necessity. Be sure to check local lake conditions before you go, and follow these rules for ice thickness.


9. frozen ground atv/utv

While snowmobilers are crossing their fingers for a big snowstorm, you can still ride your ATV/UTV on certain trails. We have miles of trails that take in our beautiful scenery. Because winter is playing a wait-and-see game with our snow and weather, please check trail conditions as well as open/close status before you head out. The best resource for Polk County trails is the Polk County Snowmobile and ATV Club website.

Please remember that to ride on the county trails your ATV/UTV/Off-Road Motorcycle must be registered and licensed.

These activities are RED, meaning its a WAIT AND SEE!

10. we're not giving up yet...

If you’re an enthusiast in one of these categories, we KNOW you’re itching for the snow to come! We’re not ready to throw in the towel on winter yet, so keep checking!


  • Snowmobiling
  • Snowshoeing
  • XC Skiing

In the meantime, visit our SNOW section on our website to learn more about planning for these winter activities in St. Croix Falls and surrounding areas and keep checking the snow report!

This article was written by Linda Shober and produced by Linda Shober Marketing + Design, a marketing firm located in the St. Croix Valley specializing in providing content, strategy, management, design, and creative for digital and traditional marketing projects.