Visit our Winter Wonderland

13 Things To Do This Winter


Make family memories with an outdoor skate in the St. Croix  Valley. Feel the fresh air on your face as you glide past evergreens, boughs heavy with snow. Hear the chatter of chipmunks and birds and the sound of laughter ringing out in space. It sure beats the canned air, echoed shouts, and scuffed white boards/plexiglass scenery of an indoor rink. Warming houses provide an area to lace up, catch your breath, or escape the cold.
The area ice rinks are starting to open up!
Check back often to see new rinks as they get ready for open skate sessions! Our running list of rinks is located here.
Don’t miss…
Franconia Sculpture Park is hosting their 2nd annual outdoor rink right in the middle of all the outdoor sculptures.



If you’re looking for a unique, outdoor event to attend with your sweetie, try the “Skate Night, Date Night” that is being co-hosted by Big Rock Creek, the Dalles House Restaurant and Lounge, and the River Valley Hockey Association The ticket price is $80 per couple and includes admission for two adults to the Big Rock Creek property, fabulous heavy hors devours catered by The Dalles House, four drink tickets to the Big Rock Bar, complimentary s’mores station around numerous fire pits, coffee, hot cider and a night outside having fun with your sweetheart.

Sledding, skating, games, tunes, drinks and, s’mores under a blanket of winter stars.
Tickets are available for purchase at The Dalles House Restaurant and Lounge, Trap Rock Brewing, PoCo Loco Mexican Grill, River Alley Shoppes, The Crystal and Woodhill Bar. We are also selling tickets at our beloved outdoor rink in St. Croix Falls during all home games. Stop in to cheer on the River Valley Eagles!



Snowshoeing can take you to the part of the trail that your boots just can’t cut it. Not only will you be able to explore more of our winter wonderland, you’ll be engaging in a pretty impressive workout too.

Find your trail here.

For candlelight or moonlight snowshoe events, check out our event calendar!



3. Winter HIke

Winter in the woods gives a quiet, peaceful vibe. It’s a great way to get some fresh air, and all you need is a good set of footwear and the perfect trail to get started.

Find a trail here.


4. Build a snow sculpture

Anywhere is a great place for a quick snowman, but if you’re looking to up your game, grab a team and enter a snow sculpture contest! New this year is the 1st Annual Snowman Contest hosted by Saphire Realty. Build your masterpiece before January 30th, and share your submission!

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5. Cross Country Ski

Glide through miles of trails on cross country skis here in the St. Croix Valley! Many trails are groomed for classic and skate-skiing and are ready for your winter enjoyment. Our nordic trails are truly exceptional, and there are levels for all types of skiers.

Find your trail here.



Are you ready to hunker down this winter, Hygge-Style? The St. Croix Valley is the perfect spot for you.
Like many Scandinavian terms, the Danish word hygge (pronounced hoo-guh) cannot be boiled down to a simple translation, and because it means something a little different to each of us, it can be as difficult to describe as love. The essence of hygge 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. Think wool socks and sweaters, candlelight, sheared blankets, mulled wine and hot chocolate, coffee, sitting by the fire, simple, wholesome foods, sharing a rich dessert or glass of cognac, being happy and content.

While indoors, engage your creative side with a art or craft class at our local wineries, breweries, and other business hosts!  Check out our event calendar to find one!

Or, book a weekend retreat with a theme. Try The Trails Retreat for your Baking, Biking, Yoga, or Knitting Retreats!

Find more lodging here.

7. Fat bike

A unique way of exploring the snow-covered trails has emerged in recent years and is growing HOT in the St. Croix Valley. 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. In the St. Croix Valley, the Woolly Mountain Bike trails are the perfect spot to try out a fatty.

Find a trail here.


8. Downhill ski & snowboard

Want to be the first to hit the slopes? Then you need to come here. We hold the reputation for being the first to open in the region every season! From bunny hills to black diamond runs, we’ve got enough for weekends full of fun.

With two ski resorts here in the St. Croix Valley, we’ve got your winter days covered!



Bundle up, grab your favorite face covering to keep you warm and safe, and head out to our area’s winter celebrations!

In Chisago Lakes, you’ll find the Celebration of the Lakes, which will have candlelit hikes, dogsled rides, snowmobile races and more! Or check out the Balsam Lake Winter Fest that will host the 10th annual 5K Snowshoe Race, medallion hunt, Fire and Ice Plunge, Hatchet throwing, a 4 x 4 Truck Ice Drag and more!



10. Snow Tube

Experience the jubilation of speed as you slide down the mountainside on a snow tube. Both Trollhaugen Outdoor Recreation Area and Wild Mountain have dedicated snow tube areas separate from their ski/snowboard hills. It’s a great way to spend a family day!

Find a hill here.


Ice fishing is a way of life in these parts during the winter. Whether you set up shop on one of our 400 area lakes in an ice house or spend a day enjoying the great outdoors around your freshly drilled hole, you may just have a chance to catch your dinner.

Find your lake here.


12. Snowmobile

Rev up for some fuel-injected fun in the St. Croix River Valley. The natural terrain provides some of the most diverse scenery in the Upper Midwest. The landscape, shaped primarily by glaciers, offers glimpses of eskers, potholes (kettles), forests, bluffs, ancient rock formations, and stunning river vistas. And through it all twists over 550 miles of world-class snowmobile trails.

Find a trail here.


13. WINTER Wonderland

The St. Croix National Scenic Riverway is a sight to behold in the winter. Find a vista along the bluffs, explore the backwoods of the valley, or stroll the picturesque towns that dot the St. Croix Valley landscape.

Stop and shop at our area stores and bring home a unique treasure from your memorable winter vacation in the St. Croix Valley!

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.