Winter Guide 2019, Part 2: Where to ice skate, ski, camp, and find the perfect Christmas tree this season

Models are Irene Mann and Hongman Li. Styling by Sophia Rasmea. Makeup by Denaisha Motley. Hair by Brittany Mari. Dresses and jewelry from Golden Pearl, coats from ASOS.

Models are Irene Mann and Hongman Li. Styling by Sophia Rasmea. Makeup by Denaisha Motley. Hair by Brittany Mari. Dresses and jewelry from Golden Pearl, coats from ASOS. Photo by Emily Utne

Make the most of winter at these year-round parks, snowy hills, and holiday farms.

Shari L. Gross/Star Tribune

Shari L. Gross/Star Tribune


Afton Alps

Featuring 50 runs, from easy to Black Diamond, plus four terrain parks. 6600 Peller Ave. S., Hastings, 651-436-5245;

Andes Tower Hills

Featuring 15 runs, most at the intermediate and advanced levels, and a half-pipe all-terrain snowboard park. 4505 Andes Rd. SW, Kensington, 320-965-2455;

Badlands Sno-Tubing Park

Four lighted tubing slopes and two tows. 722 Kinney Rd., Hudson, WI, 715-386-1856;

Buck Hill

Buck Hill offers ski runs of varying difficulty, plus the Surge Snowboard Park and a Learn to Ski and Snowboard program. 15400 Buck Hill Rd., Burnsville, 952-435-7174;

Coffee Mill Ski Area

Featuring 12 runs and a vertical drop of 420 feet, plus two terrain parks. 99 Coulee Way (Hwy. 60 & 61), Wabasha, 651-565-2777;

Como Park Ski Center

Ski and snowboard. 1431 N. Lexington Pkwy., St. Paul, 651-488-9673;

Elm Creek Park Reserve

Tubing, downhill ski, and snowboard hill. 12400 James Deane Pkwy., Maple Grove, 763-694-7894;

Green Acres 

Tubing. Open to the public Fri-Sun and some holidays. Call to schedule large groups during the week. 8989 55th St. N., Lake Elmo 651-770-6060;

Hyland Ski & Snowboard Area 

Offering both ski runs and snowboarding, with classes and rentals available. 8800 Chalet Rd., Bloomington, 763-694-7800;

Lutsen Mountains 

Lutsen boasts 95 runs, including some steep drops and a beginners’ mountain. 445 Ski Hill Rd., Lutsen, 218-663-7281;

Mount Kato 

Multiple skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing runs for all skill levels. 20461 Hwy. 66, Mankato, 507-625-3363;

Mount La Crosse Ski and Snowboard 

Featuring 18 runs and a vertical drop of 516 feet. Snowboards welcome. With night skiing. Old Town Hall Rd. off Hwy. 35, LaCrosse, WI, 800-426-3665;

Spirit Mountain 

Spirit Mountain boasts a vertical drop of 700 feet. Its 22 runs range in difficulty, but most are for experienced skiers. Snowboarding at Big Air Terrain Park. 9500 Spirit Mountain Place, Duluth, 800-642-6377;

Theodore Wirth Park 

Snowboarding and tubing. 1339 Theodore Wirth Pkwy., Golden Valley, 763-522-4584;

Trapp Farm Park 

Tubing. 841 Wilderness Run Rd., Eagan,  651-675-5500;


Featuring 24 runs for all skill levels of skiers, as well as three terrain parks. Snowboards welcome. Open until 3 a.m. every Friday night. 2232 100th Ave., Dresser, WI, 651-433-5141;

Welch Village 

Featuring 60 runs of varying difficulty, plus an unleashed terrain park. 26685 Cty. Rd. 7 Blvd., Welch, 651-258-4567;

Wild Mountain Ski and Snowboard Area 

All 26 runs are open to snowboarders as well as skiers, and a terrain garden with moguls is open to both skiers and boarders. 37200 Wild Mountain Rd., Taylors Falls, 651-465-6315;




Afton Alps Ski Area 

18 mi. of groomed trails. 6959 Peller Ave. S., Afton 651-436-5391;

Baker Park Reserve 

9.1 mi. of trackset. 2935 Park View Dr., Hamel 763-694-7660;

Battle Creek Regional Park 

12.75K of classic ski and skate trails. 4K of trails are lit from dusk until 9 p.m. 2300 Upper Afton Rd., St. Paul, 651-748-2500;

Como Regional Park 

5K of intermediate/advanced-level groomed classical and skate trails. 1.7K of trails are beginner-level and lit until 11 p.m. 1300 N. Lexington Pkwy., St. Paul, 651-266-6400;

Fort Snelling State Park 

12 mi. of groomed trails. 101 Lakeview Ave., St. Paul 612-725-2389;

French Regional Park 

5.2 of trackset, some lighted until 10 p.m. 12605 Rockford Rd., Plymouth, 763-694-7750;

Gateway State Trail

9.7 mi. of groomed trails. (Ramsey and Washington Counties), St. Paul, 651-296-6157;

Highland Nine Hole Ski Area

3.5 K ski trail loop for beginner level and intermediate skiing, groomed for classic and skate. 1797 Edgcumbe Rd., St. Paul, 651-266-6400.

Hyland Lake Park Reserve

7.8 mi. of trails, 2.4 mi. lighted. 10145 Bush Lake Rd., Bloomington, 763-694-7687;

Lebanon Hills Regional Park

24.2 mi. of trails. 860 Cliff Rd. (1 1/2 mi. east of Pilot Knob Rd. on Cliff Rd.), Eagan, 651-554-6530;

Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge

More than 13 miles of ungroomed trails along the Minnesota River. 3815 American Blvd. E., Bloomington, 952-854-5900;

Murphy-Hanrehan Park Reserve

14.5K (9 mi.) of trails. 15501 Murphy Lake Blvd. (Cty. Rd. 75), Savage, 763-694-7777;

Phalen Golf Course 

7K ski trail loop of mostly intermediate level skiing, groomed for classic and skate. 1615 Phalen Dr., St. Paul, 651-778-0413.

Theodore Wirth Park

25K trails groomed daily for both classical and skate skiing, connecting to 5 additional miles of groomed Chain of Lakes trails. 1301 Theodore Wirth Pkwy., Golden Valley, 612-230-6528;

University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

8.5 mi. of groomed trackset along the arboretum’s trails. 3675 Arboretum Dr., Chaska, 952-443-1400;

Aaron Lavinsky/Star Tribune

Aaron Lavinsky/Star Tribune


Centenial Lakes Park

10-acre lake groomed daily, with a rink-side warming house and skate rental and ice sleds available. 7499 France Ave. S., Edina, 952-833-9580;

City of Minneapolis Parks and Recreation

More than 30 outdoor rinks are maintained. 612-230-6475;

City of St. Paul Parks and Recreation

Many city parks offer outdoor ice-skating. 651-266-6400;

Destination Winter St. Paul

Free outdoor skating in the St. Paul Saints ballpark, with skate rental available in the visitors clubhouse, from Dec. 6-Feb. 22. 360 N. Broadway St., St. Paul, 651-644-3517; www.visitsaintpaul.

Guidant john rose MN Oval

The largest outdoor refrigerated skating facility in North America, featuring an indoor ice arena and outdoor oval, with skate rental and skating lessons available. 2661 Civic Center Dr., Roseville, 651-792-7007;

Gustafson-Phalen Arena

Two hockey rinks and a general rink. 1320 Walsh St., St. Paul, 651-772-6161.

Recreation Outdoor Center

The ROC is a multi-use, covered outdoor facility featuring open public skating Fri-Sun between Nov. 3-Mar. 18. 3700 Monterey Dr., St. Louis Park, 952.924.2540;


Official practice facility for the Minnesota Wild, featuring open skate packages, ice rental, camps, clinics, and lessons. 400 Wabasha St. N., St. Paul, 651-726-8742;

Wells Fargo Winterskate 

Outdoor rink in Loring Park, open daily between Nov. 15 and the beginning of March. Complimentary skates are available on a first-come, first served basis. 1382 Willow St., Minneapolis, 612-338.3807; 




Afton State Park

Park has 28 all-season backpack camping sites, and hiking and skiing trails. 6959 S. Peller Ave., Hastings, 651-436-5391;

Baker Park Reserve

200+ public campground and group campsites. Reservations: 763-559-6700. 2309 Baker Park Rd., Maple Plain, 763-694-7662;

Banning State Park

33 drive-in campsites, 11 electric, and 1 cabin. With canoeing, skiing, snowmobiling, and hiking. 61101 Banning Pk. Rd., Sandstone 320-245-2668;

Carver Park Reserve

57 campsites, many available year-round. Call, 763-559-6700 for camping information. 7200 Victoria Dr. (Lake Auburn Campground), Victoria, 763.694.1112;

Charles A. Lindbergh State Park

38 drive-in sites and 15 electric sites. 1615 Lindbergh Dr. S., Little Falls 320-616-2525;

Cleary Lake Regional Park

Public campground; 1 group campsite year-round. Call, 763.559.6700 for information. 18106 Texas Ave., Prior Lake, 763-694-7777;

Lake Maria State Park

Lake Maria features 3 heated log cabins; 2 group campsites; 17 backpack-in sites, available year-round. 11411 Clementa Ave. NW, Monticello, 763-878-2325;

Minnesota Valley State 
Recreational Area

With hiking, horse trails. This park links Fort Snelling State Park with the Minnesota Valley Wildlife Refuge. No reservations needed to camp. 19825 Park Blvd., Jordan, 952-492-6400;

Sakatah Lake State Park

With hiking, biking. More than 60 drive-in and RV campsites, 14 with electricity. 50499 Sakatah Lake State Pk. Rd., Waterville, 507-362-4438;

Temperance River State Park 

52 drive-in and RV sites, 18 with electricity, and 6 cart-in sites. 7620 W. Hwy. 61, Schroeder, MN. 55613 218-663-7476;

Tettegouche State Park

More than 25 drive-in and RV sites, 13 cart-in sites, and 6 walk-in sites. Ten to 12 sites are available during winter. The park also features cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoe rentals, and a warming house. 5702 Hwy. 61, Silver Bay 218-226-6365;

Wild River State Park

Drive-in and RV sites (34 with electricity), 7 backpack sites, 6 heated camping cabins with screened porches and electricity, and 1 guest house are located on 6,000 acres of state park. 39797 Park Tr., Center City, 651-583-2125;

William O’Brien State Park

Featuring 120 drive-in sites, 77 electric. The park features trails for cross-country skiing, hiking, and bird-watching. 16821 N. O’Brien Tr., Marine-on-St. Croix, 651-433-0500;




Bloomington Broomball League

3701 W. 90th St. (Tretbaugh Park), Bloomington;

Cities Sports Connection

Winter leagues include broomball, basketball, touch football, indoor volleyball, and more. Men’s, women’s, and coed teams. 3725 Aldrich Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-929-9009;

Five Element Martial Arts & Healing Center

3010 Minnehaha Ave. S. (behind Patrick’s Cabaret), Minneapolis, 612-729-7233;

Minneapolis Parks and Recreation

Men’s, women’s, and coed winter sports include basketball, broomball, dodgeball, pond hockey, and volleyball. 2117 W. River Rd., Minneapolis, 612-230-6400;

Minnesota Orienteering Club

Hosts year-round adventure races and orienteering events in the Twin Cities. 

Minnesota Sports Federation

Non-profit organization conducting a variety of recreational and amateur sports activities throughout Minnesota. 118 12th Ave. N., St. Paul, 651-451-3140;

Park Tavern

Bowling leagues. 3401 Louisiana Ave. S., St. Louis Park, 952-929-6810;

Richfield Swim Club

Year-round swim club for all abilities, ages 5 to 18, plus “masters” program. Swimmers meet at Richfield Middle School. 7461 Oliver Ave. S., Richfield, 612-492-1460;

Soccer Blast MN

Year-round indoor and outdoor leagues for all ages. 3601 W. 145th St., Burnsville, 952-895-1962;

South St. Paul Rod & Gun Club

600 Gun Club Rd., South St. Paul, 651-455-7249;

St. Paul Curling Club

Men’s, women’s, and coed leagues. 470 Selby Ave., St. Paul, 651-224-7408;

St. Paul Parks and Recreation

Men’s, women’s, coed, and kids sports include basketball, broomball, pond hockey, and volleyball. 1500 Rice St., St. Paul, 651-558-2255;

Nathaniel Young

Nathaniel Young


Covered Bridge Farm 

Balsam fir, spruce, and Fraser fir crosses. 18655 Forest Blvd., Forest Lake, 651-464-0735;

Hansen Tree Farm 

Choose and harvest Scotch, white, or Norway pine, Balsam fir, or blue spruce. Also wreaths, precut trees, tree wrapping, free hayrides, and hot drinks. 7440 Alpine Dr., Ramsey, 651-247-1952;

Krueger’s Christmas Trees 

Balsam fir, Fraser fir, Canaan fir, white pine, Scotch pine, Norway pine, and spruce, plus wreaths. 10970 43rd Street N., Lake Elmo, 651-439-9186;

Petersen Tree Farm 

Choose and harvest Scotch, Norway, and white pine, blue and white spruce, and balsam and Fraser fir. With wreaths, tree stands.6113 Cty. Rd. 6 SE, Clear Lake, 763-441-6094;

Revak Nursery 

Choose and harvest from spruce, fir, and pine selections. Also precut trees. 24066 Pillsbury Ave., Lakeville, 952-469-1200;

Rum River Tree Farm 

Choose and harvest white pine, Scotch pine, Balsam, spruce, Fraser fir, and Norway pine. With wreaths, Santa, petting zoo, sleigh rides. 21050 Lake George Blvd. NW, Oak Grove, 763-753-4595; 

Stillwater Christmas Tree Farm 

Balsam and Fraser fir, Scotch and white pine, Colorado and white spruce. With wreaths, precut trees. 12303 May Ave. N., Stillwater, 651-430-2788.

Willow River Tree Farm 

Fraser fir, Scotch and white pine, Colorado spruce. Also wreaths, wagon rides, and petting zoo. 850 Kelly Rd., Hudson, WI, 715-386-3196;

Wolcyn Tree Farms & Nursery 

Scotch and white pine, spruce, balsam, Canaan fir and Fraser fir. Also precut trees, wreaths, free hot cider, coffee, popcorn, and cookies daily, and free hayrides on weekends. 4542 Hwy. 95 NW, Cambridge, 763-689-3346;