Stop at the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center. Pick up a map and get an update on trail conditions or recent wildlife sightings. Check into your lodging.
Have lunch. Pack a snack and water for your afternoon adventure.
Note: There are no restaurants open in the park in the winter. Vending machines are available in the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center.
Attend a naturalist program or hit the trails for a hike, snowshoeing or cross-country skiing under the towering pines. Bring your own equipment or rent snowshoes at the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center.
Popular snowshoe routes include the Dr. Roberts, Brower and Schoolcraft trails.
A popular and easy ski trail goes from the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center toward Preachers Grove.
Note: Skiers age 16 and older must carry a signed ski pass on all groomed state park ski trails. Daily passes are available for sale at the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center.
Warm up in the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center in front of the fire. In the winter, the front lobby stays open as a warming shelter 24 hours a day.
Wander through the building to view exhibits and watch a short movie about the park.
Head back to the Douglas Lodge Suites and make dinner.
Have breakfast. Pack a snack and water for the trail.
Drive to the Mary Gibbs Center at the Headwaters of the Mississippi River State Water Trail. Walk through the outdoor exhibits and down to the water.
Note: The nature store and café are not open in the winter.
Take family photos and selfies in front of the iconic post.
From the headwaters, walk or snowshoe the Schoolcraft Trail for a wide view of Lake Itasca and Schoolcraft Island
Return to your vehicle. It's time to check out and head home.
Now that you're a fan of Itasca State Park in the winter, plan a trip to come see how it changes through the seasons! Here are some of our favorite activities in each season:
From Park Rapids: Take U.S. Highway 71 north for 21 miles.
From Bemidji: Go 30 miles south on U.S. Highway 71. Then go 1/10 mile north on State Highway 200.
Note: In winter, the south entrance is closed. The east entrance and the north entrance remain open.
If you'd like even more winter adventure, check out Lake Bemidji State Park, approximately 30 miles from Itasca State Park. There you'll find naturalist programs throughout the winter, groomed ski trails, snowshoe rentals and four winterized camper cabins.