Trail Snow Report

McCarthy Beach State Park

Trail conditions:

Snow conditions are excellent throughout the park. Fishermen are reporting lake ice at least 2feet thick. Snowshoeing is excellent throughout the park; bring your own as the park does not rent them. The Taconite Trail through the park is groomed for snowmobiles. Volunteers have groomed the Big Hole and Red Top Trail loops for cross country skiing. Parking access for these trails is at the Ski Trail parking lot off Highway 5. The Lake Trail loop in the campground is groomed for skiing too. Access for this trail is from the park entrance near the dump station; parking is at the lot next to the park office. When trails are groomed ski passes are required. These can be purchased at the local stores in Side Lake or you can self register at the kiosk at the Ski Trail parking lot. A vehicle permit is always required when entering the park.

Trail conditions: excellent
Trail groomed? yes
Trail base: 12"
Trail mileage: 0.0
Trail conditions: excellent
Trail groomed? yes
Trail base: 12"
Trail mileage: 12.0

The trail(s):
The trail system winds through birch and pine forests, with rolling hills and steep ravines. Deer, grouse and songbirds can often be seen, plus the occasional wolf track.
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.


  • Winter camping is no longer available at McCarthy Beach. The campground will reopen on or after April 1st, depending on when the snow melts from the campground roads.

McCarthy Beach State Park home page »

Last updated on February 20, 2019. Local snow depth is 18".

Getting there

7622 McCarthy Beach Road
Side Lake, MN 55781

From Hibbing, take Highway 169 north to County Road 5. Head northwest for 15 miles on County Road 5 to Side Lake. The park office is one mile west on the McCarthy Beach Road. To reach the ski trail parking lot, continue north on Hwy 5 instead of turning. The Ski Trail Road is one mile north of Side Lake on the left. The parking lot is 100 yards in on the right. No facilities are available at this parking lot.


Phone: 218-274-7200
Email: [email protected]
Contact hours vary through the winter. Please leave a message and someone will return your call.

More Info

Skiing »
Ski pass »
Snowmobiling »