Winter Activities in North Dakota
We’ve all seen the movie “Fargo” and its dreary depiction of life here in the dead of winter. And while North Dakotans took it at face value and got laugh out of it, others saw it as a representation of the vast nothingness of the Northern Plains locked in the dead of winter. Well, that was a movie. The reality is that North Dakota comes alive in the winter. People here change what they do for recreation.
Instead of biking or motorcycling, they snowmobile on more than 2,000 miles of groomed trails. Instead of jogging, they cross-country ski or snowshoe along wooded trails or river bottoms. Instead of boating to their favorite fishing spot, they drive across the frozen lake and set up the icehouse.
North Dakota has four downhill ski and snowboard areas - at Mandan (Huff Hills), Bottineau (Bottineau Winter Park), Walhalla (Frost Fire) and Fort Ransom (Bear’s Den). They’re not the Rockies, but a day on the slopes here will work out the kinks and break in that new equipment before you head west. Cross-country skiers can glide into the solitude of North Dakota’s 13 state parks. Their varied terrain offers great views and wildlife.
Ice fishing is big throughout North Dakota. Devils Lake is a destination for such angling but most bodies of water will turn out game fish.
Ice skating rinks are found all across the state and most larger cities offer indoor rinks.
All of these activities are great ways to spend sunny winter afternoons. And on the weekends, make your way to Grand Forks for a University of North Dakota hockey game in the evening. Or head to Fargo and be sure stop at the Fargo Convention and Visitors Bureau to see a replica of the famous “Fargo” woodchipper before dining and taking in a concert, play or North Dakota State basketball game.
Don’t be fooled by what folks want you believe about winter in North Dakota. Experience it for yourself, then you decide.