Snow Depth and Groomed Trail Conditions

McCarthy Beach State Park

Trail conditions:

The Side Lake Area is a beautiful winter wonderland of snowy pines and frozen lakes.

Snowmobile Trails : The Taconite and Tim Corey State Trail, as well as the Ridge Top trail has been groomed through the park. The base varies from 0-3 inches, until more snow accumulates and can be packed expect fair riding conditions. Watch ice conditions on area lakes as slush has formed.

Cross Country Ski Trails : Packed and Tracked prior to the last few inches fluffy snow, by EOWSKI Club Groomers. The campground and Lake Shore trail offers a nice mixed pine forest and is a great beginners trail. The Red Top trail system offers a mix of pine and hardwood forest stands. Glacial remnants along this trail offers skiers areas of forested flats combined with hillsides, rating this a beginner to intermediate trail. The Big Hole Trail loop is groomed, and offers skiers a backcountry work out with long rolling hillsides in the pines.

Snowshoeing : Explore the lake shoreline and mixed pine forest stands of the park. Snowshoes can go off trail and create their own path through the winter woods. Reminder to be respectful of cross country ski trails. If you encounter ski trail corridors please remain off to the side of the trail.

Trail conditions: good
Trail groomed? yes
Trail base: 3"
Trail mileage: 5
Difficulty: beg. to int. (track)  
Trail conditions: good
Trail groomed? yes
Trail base: 2"
Trail mileage: 7

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.


  • Ski passes can be purchased from area businesses with ELS registration systems.

McCarthy Beach State Park home page »

Last updated on January 22, 2021. Local snow depth is 7-9".

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 »