The north shore of Minnesota is a great place for a variety of winter activities. No matter what age you are there is something for everyone. Check out the links and information below about some of the fun things to do in our area!

Dog Sledding

Dog Sleding

Dog sledding has been a popular pastime for many years here on the north shore. Every January spectators can see the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon that runs from Duluth to Trail Center (Gunflint Trail). This year the race starts on January 25th.

Take a ride like you have never done before! Here are some links to area mushers who will take you on a ride with their sled dog team.

  • The Black family in Hovland has run more Beargrease races than anyone else! They offer different dog sledding packages depending on what you would experience you would like to have!
  • Join the Jorgenson Family in Tofte for a sled dog experience. They offer 1 and 2 hour rides as well as half and full day.
  • Irish Creek Kennels opened in 2007 in the Hovland area. Dayna and Brian offer 1 and 2 hour rides as well as half day rides.
  • Looking for a quick dog sled ride? Call the Lutsen Tofte Tourism Association located in Tofte. They offer rides free to our guests on Tuesdays and Thursdays. You can also ride on a Saturday and pay a fee. Rides range from 15-20 minutes. 218-663-7688

Sleigh Rides

Take the whole family on a fun winter experience. Take a relaxing ride through the woods and enjoy the winter scenery.

  • Patten Family Homesteads offers sleigh rides at their Okontoe camp. Rides are 1 hour long Tuesday-Sunday nights at 6:30, 8:00, and 9:30 p.m. Sleigh rides also include a stop at the family home for some hot chocolate.
  • Lutsen Tofte Tourism Association is offering sleigh rides at Cascade Lodge. Rides are 1 hour long and include a bonfire and hot chocolate. Call 218-663-7866 for more details.

Downhill Skiing

  • Why fly to a different state to go skiing when you can drive to Lutsen and have a great time. Lutsen Mountains offers 92 downhill ski runs and a snowboard park. Who doesn’t want to glide down the ski hill while looking out at the beautiful north shore including area mountains and Lake Superior. Taking a break from it all at the new Summit Chalet will provide diners breathtaking views and great food. Want some nightlife? Papa Charlies Tavern has a live band most weekend nights.


snowmobiling on the North Shore, Gunflint Trail

The north shore area has many miles of snowmobile trails along the Lake Superior corridor, Gunflint Trail, Grand Portage and North Shore State trail. These areas offer a great opportunity to see places that many people may never get to see. Check out the local Ridge Riders website for more information about maps, parking areas, trail conditions, repairs and rentals.

Cross Country Skiing

Cross country skiing

The north shore of Minnesota is a great place to go Cross Country skiing and be one with nature. What can be more pleasing than gliding through the woods seeing animals, getting fresh air and exercise. There are plenty of local businesses that rent skis if you do not have them. The trails are well marked as far as skill level so beginners and experts will all have fun.

Ski Trail Conditions

Ice Fishing

In the land of 10,000 lakes there is plenty of ice fishing happening in the winter months. Local bait shops like the Beaver House in Grand Marais can tell you were you might find some fish for dinner.


This popular winter activity can be a great outdoor adventure for everyone. Many people in the area snowshoe on the Superior Hiking Trail. Area businesses rent snowshoes for daily or weekend use.

Ice Skating

Bring your skates up to one of the local ice skating rinks. There is a small rink located next to Birch Grove School in Tofte. The rink does not have a warming house.

If you are staying near Grand Marais there is a public outdoor ice rink by the Community Center off County Road 7. There is a warming house and some old skates. Open skating can occur any time it is not scheduled for use.