Winter Weekend Getaway in the St. Croix Valley

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Photo credit © Tyler Norenberg

9 Ways to Frolic in the Flakes

The St. Croix River Valley knows how to celebrate winter. We welcome the snow,
embrace the ice, and become close friends with the cold.  We cordially invite
you to emerge from the stuffy indoors and join us in the clean, crisp air of the
season.  With so many ways to enjoy winter in the St. Croix River Valley, you’ll
want to stay for the whole weekend—and probably longer!

1.     Ski/Snowboard

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Calling all altitude adventurers! The St. Croix River Valley features two
premiere ski and snowboard destinations, one on each side of the river. They
combine to present almost 200 acres of mountainous territory with 50 runs and
eight freestyle terrain parks, ranging in difficulty from beginner to advanced.
Shred these sprawling slopes with your own equipment or rent all the gear you
need on site. If your skills aren’t quite up to snuff, take advantage of the
lessons offered to all ages and abilities, including competition level skiers.
Both sites offer meals in the chalet. At Wild Mountain, you can partake in
cafeteria style cuisine in the newly remodeled lower chalet area or bring your own food.
Upstairs, the Eagle’s Nest Bar & Grill offers food, drink and libations.
Trollhaugen features two restaurants: Kaffe Stuga and Skolhaugen Lounge. Check
out Live Music Friday at Skolhaugen where you can access the slopes and the
tunes until 3am. The Ski Shop at Trollhaugen includes a complete retail store
and service department.

Wild Mountain Ski and Snowboard Area in Taylors Falls, MN.
Trollhaugen Outdoor Recreation Area in Dresser, WI.

2.     Snow Tube



Get the thrill of rushing down a snow-covered hill without the expense or skill
of skiing. Snow tubing provides hassle-free fun for the whole family, no
experience required. The St. Croix River Valley is a tubing hotbed with three
local hills designated solely for tubers. Test the manicured chute runs of
Trollhaugen and Wild Chute or try the groomed traditional hill at Eko Backen.
Take a conveyer belt or tow rope to the top and enjoy the ride back up almost as
much as the ride down. Each destination provides a warming chalet with
refreshments, and tubes are included with admission.

Wild Chute at Wild Mountain in Taylors Falls, MN.
Trollhaugen in Dresser, WI.

3.     Fat Bike



Photo credit Top Left © Hashtag Photography, Top Right courtesy of Dallas Wynne, Bottom © Tyler Norenberg

In the St. Croix River Valley, mountain bike season never ends. The oversized
tires and beefed up frame of a fat bike allow riders to traverse wintry terrain
with ease and discover a whole new world of frozen vistas. Hop on a fatty and
experience the miles of groomed, snow-covered singletrack trails of the Woolly
Trail system, with levels of difficulty ranging from beginner to expert. If
you’re up for a little fat and friendly competition, check out the annual
Solstice Chase Fat Bike Race.

Cyclova St. Croix Falls, WI. Get a fat bike or a fat bike tune-up.
Woolly Bike Club Find out about group rides, and make a donation to help keep fat
bike trails in superb condition. Get winter trail maps here.
Solstice Chase Fat Bike Race, St. Croix Falls, WI

4.     Cross Country Ski

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Photo courtesy of Frank Lundeen.

Whether training for the illustrious Birkebeiner or simply enjoying the scenery
on a pleasure ski, the St. Croix Valley is a mecca for cross country
skiers of all abilities. Nordic ski trails span over 160 kilometers, expertly
groomed for classic or skate-style skiing. Experience a variety of terrain and
elevations and enjoy night skiing on lighted loops. Area candlelight ski events
provide an opportunity to bask in the tranquil, snowy forest lit only by the
soft glow of candles along the path. A bonfire, refreshments, and live music
await you at the end.

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Photo courtesy of Frank Lundeen.

Candlelight ski Events:
Wild River State Park: Annual Candlelight Ski/Snowshoe/Walk on February 10, 2018 in Center City, MN.
Interstate Park, WI: Candlelight Night at the Park, February 10, 2018 in St. Croix Falls, WI

Ski tune-ups:
Trollhaugen Ski Shop: in Dresser, WI.
Cyclova XC : in St. Croix Falls, WI.

Ski rental:
Wild River State Park Ski Rental: in Center City, MN

5.     Snowshoe/Hike

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Right photo © Linda Shober

There’s a reason why St. Croix Falls, WI is known as the City of Trails. It is
the terminus of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail which spans over 1,200 miles
throughout Wisconsin. Interstate Park in St. Croix Falls encompasses almost 10
miles of trails, including portions of the Ice Age Trail, and is home to the Ice
Age Interpretive Center. The southern segment of the Gandy Dancer Trail winds
through Wisconsin for 47 miles and crosses into Minnesota. And it doesn’t stop
here! Explore the seemingly endless miles of trails in the area and indulge your
senses in beautiful woodland bluffs, glacial remnants, rocky outcroppings, and
majestic river views. Snowshoe or hike by candlelight and enjoy a truly unique
and inspiring experience. Candlelight events conclude with a bonfire,
refreshments, and live music.

Candlelight snowshoe/hike events:
Wild River State Park: Annual Candlelight Ski/Snowshoe/Walk on February 10, 2018 in Center City, MN.
Interstate Park, WI: Candlelight Night at the Park, February 10, 2018 in St. Croix Falls, WI

Snowshoe rental:
Wild River State Park Snowshoe Rental: in Center City, MN

6.     Ice Fish

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Top left photo courtesy of Nathan Waterworth, top right photo courtesy of Nathan Prokop, bottom photo courtesy of Gary Verhasselt.

Whether angling for trophy fish or panfish, the St. Croix River Valley has
hotspots to explore. The mighty St. Croix is home to almost all types of
freshwater fish and hundreds of lakes of all sizes spatter the nearby landscape.
Find a quiet, solitary spot to fish in the open air or pop up a shanty near one
of the area’s many hubs and exchange tips with other anglers.

Fishing Maps
Chisago County Lakefinder
Polk County Lakefinder

7.     Ice Skate



Top photo courtesy of Lisa Thanig, bottom photo © Linda Shober

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.

Oakey Park in Osceola, WI
Scandia Ice Rink in Scandia, MN
Chuckie Lindquist Park in Chisago City, MN
Eagle's Classic Ice Arena in St. Croix Falls, WI

8.     Holiday Heritage

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Photo © Noah Hedlund

Do the holidays find you yearning for the days of yore, when life was simple,
quaint, picturesque?  A visit to the St. Croix Valley will transport you
as if by magic into real life settings seen only before on Christmas cards.
Watch the pure wonder on the wind-swept faces of the little ones as they join in
on one of the many lighting festivals in the area. Go laughing all the way as
you take the scenic route in a horse drawn sleigh. Experience the joy of nature
while you hunt down and cut your very own Christmas tree. Stroll down Main St.
and check out all the unique, locally made gifts in the shop windows. And when
it’s time to head back inside, skip the tempting screen time and instead watch
real live actors perform the time-honored classic, Miracle on 34th Street, on stage at the
historic Festival Theatre.

Sleigh Rides:
Victory Farms in Amery, WI
Rock Ridge Belgian Farm, Luck, WI (715) 472-2572

Tree Cutting:
Erickson Bros. Tree Farm in Shafer, MN

Live, Professional Theater
Festival Theatre in St. Croix Falls, WI.

9.     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.

Area Snowmobile Maps
Chisago County snowmobile trail map
Polk County snowmobile trail map

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