Snow Depth and Groomed Trail Conditions

Itasca State Park

Trail conditions:

Fresh snow was falling on Thursday 1/14/2021. Warm conditions earlier this week has settled the snow. Freezing rain Wednesday night did cause slick conditions. Hopefully we will get more snow overnight to improve trail conditions. Some mornings beautiful frost coats the trees in the morning, creating a white crystalline fairyland, adding to the enjoyment of the snow.
Cross-country skiing: Trails may be fast/icy after the warm-up and freezing rain. The fresh snow might help with conditions. Trails were packed last week and track was set on the Bike Trail (classic skiing),South Entrance Road (classic and skate skiing) and Wilderness Drive (skate skiing, from Mary Lake to DeSoto Trail). Conditions are fair to good, depending on tree cover. Expect less snow in the heavier pine stands with some shallow spots.
The following trails were packed for skiing: Ozawindib (from Wilderness Drive to Myrtle Lake Crossover), Deer Park (from Wilderness Drive to McKay Lake Crossover), DeSoto (from Wilderness Drive to McKay Lake Crossover), Aiton Heights Trail, Myrtle Lake Crossover, McKay Lake Crossover. Conditions are fair to good on these trails. Some rocks and ruts may be above the snow.
NO walking/hiking, snowshoeing or biking on ski trails.

Snowmobile Trails: The trails have been groomed. Conditions are rough with the low snow amount making them poor.

Snowshoe/Walking Trails: After the settling snow, more snow is needed to improve snowshoe conditions, but are doable for hiking. Conditions may be icy after the warm-up and freezing rain. Snowshoe Trails include: the self-guided trail by the Visitor Center, Dr. Roberts, Brower Trail, Schoolcraft Trail and the North Country/Eagle Scout Trail (parking available at the South Entrance/Hwy 71 entrance). Packed Snowshoe/Walking trail: Basswood Loop (1/4 mile) and Lakeview Loop (1/2 mile) in Bear Paw Campground are packed for walking and snowshoeing.
No walking or snowshoeing on designated ski trails.

Other Opportunities: Enjoy a walk to the Headwaters of the Mississippi River. Access is open all winter. Enjoy winter birding...Evening Grosbeaks are active in the park and Pine Grosbeaks are beginning to arrive. Watch for interesting animals tracks in the dusting of snow...our winter critters include wolf, fisher, squirrels, snowshoe hare, white-tailed deer, fox and a variety of tiny rodents.

Skiing
Trail conditions: fair
Trail groomed? partially
Trail base: 2"
Trail mileage: 13
Difficulty: all levels (track)  all levels (skate)
Snowmobiling
Trail conditions: poor
Trail groomed? yes
Trail base: 2"
Trail mileage: 31

The trail(s):
The trail offers a beautiful look of the mixed forests in northern Minnesota. Travel through wooded areas, around lakes and through one of the most popular parks in the state. Through out the trail, you may see a variety of wildlife, including deer, squirrels, fisher, wolves, fox and otter.
You can snowshoe anywhere in Minnesota's state parks and recreation areas, except on trails that are specifically groomed for another activity, such as skiing or snowmobiling.

Facilities:

  • The Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center is currently not open after regular business hours as a warming area and there are currently no chairs inside and the fireplaces are not on. Please plan accordingly.
  • Daily ski passes are sold at the park Visitor Center.
  • Snowshoes are available to rent at the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center.
  • Winter Camping is available in Pine Ridge Campground and the backpack sites. Campers can register at the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center. For lodging: The Itasca Suites are available to rent year round; featuring seating area, kitchenette, bedroom, and bath.

Itasca State Park home page »

Last updated on January 14, 2021. Local snow depth is 6".

Getting there

36750 Main Park Drive
Park Rapids, MN 56470

The trailhead is located in the park, which is 21 miles north of Park Rapids off of Highway 71. Follow park road to the visitor center or Indian Mounds parking lot.

Parking is available at the Visitor Center or Indian Mounds parking lot

Contact

Phone: (218) 699-7251
Email: [email protected]
Winter contact hours are 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., daily.

More Info

Skiing »
Ski pass »
Snowmobiling »