Winter Hot List 2012

60 Reasons To Get Out Of The House

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Cross Country Skiing

Go Nordic. Minnesota was made for cross-country skiing

Minnesota’s glacier-carved landscape is ideal for cross-country skiing. We asked Michael Meehlhause, executive director of the Minnesota Nordic Ski Association, about the best cross-country ski spots in the region. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, purist classical skier or skating machine, there’s a trail to suit your style.

Como Park Ski Center

• If you’ve never cross-country skied before, this park is a great place to start. Ski on lighted beginner trails and intermediate classical and skating trails, or ride the four tow ropes and ski or snowboard down the hills. Lessons and rentals are available. 1431 Lexington Pkwy. N., St. Paul, 651-266-6400, stpaul.gov

Elm Creek Park Reserve

• You’ve gotta love a metro park that makes its own snow! Rent equipment, take a lesson, and kick up your heels on five kilometers of lighted trails. Bonus: There’s a fun snow-tubing hill. 13080 Territorial Rd., Maple Grove, 763-694-2030, threeriversparks.org

Lake Minnewashta Regional Park

• Located about 20 miles west of Minneapolis, this lovely park offers groomed ski trails that wend along the lakeshore and through woodlands and prairie. Ski rentals are available. 6900 Hazeltine Blvd., Chanhassen, 952-361-1500, co.carver.mn.us

Off to the Races

• Minnesota is home to two big Nordic ski events. Locals will flock to the City of Lakes Loppet in Minneapolis Feb. 4–5. Farther north, the Vasaloppet takes place in Mora Feb. 10–12. It features a variety of events, including a 42K race and a relay race. Whether you ski or not, it’s worth checking out the fun. cityoflakesloppet.com, vasaloppet.us

Wirth Winter Recreation Area

• As if 759 pristine acres of hill and dale weren’t enough, Theodore Wirth Park is home to a very picturesque Swiss chalet for eating Toblerone and warming up after an afternoon of cross-country skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, or sledding. 1301 Theodore Wirth Pkwy., Golden Valley, 763-522-4584, theodorewirth.org

Get The Look:

Bjorn Doehlie jacket ($114.99) from Thrifty Outfitters, thriftyoutfitters.com


Tip: Most state parks and trails require a MN Ski Pass ($6 per day or $20 for the season). dnr.state.mn.us

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