Winter is Fun in North Dakota
Vary your workout routine while taking advantage of winter
North Dakotans don't let cold and winter get them down, and neither should you. Embrace the Norwegian lifestyle known as "friluftsliv" which translates to "free air life." Year-round activities in the great outdoors and connecting with nature have positive effects on health, mind and body. North Dakota is a winter recreational hub and we are fortunate enough to have so many winter activities to diversify your routine. With downhill ski runs, tubing slides, frozen lakes and thousands of miles of snowshoeing and snowmobiling trails.
Cross-Country Skiing and Snowshoeing
Cross-country skiers have a variety of trails to choose from through parks, along rivers and even through the Badlands. Blaze your own trail on the best trails to cross country ski or view a list of available state park trails here.
Hiking and Biking
Fat Biking at Lake Metigoshe State Park: It’s one thing to hike a snow-covered trail, it’s another thing to bike that trail. Fat tire winter biking has taken off and the trails at Lake Metigoshe State Park are perfect for it. A cozy cabin in the woods with a roaring fire awaits after a day on the trails.
You will find many fun downhill ski areas around that provide a nearby "warm-up" before hitting the more challenging slopes. Huff Hills near Mandan, Bottineau Winter Park in the Turtle Mountains are open for skiing, snowboarding and tubing. Frost Fire Park near Walhalla WILL BE CLOSED for skiing and snowboarding during the 2022-2023 winter season due to equipment maintenance.
Anglers will find excellent ice fishing opportunities on North Dakota's lakes and rivers, as yellow perch, northern pike and walleye bite through the winter. Ice fishing is especially popular at Devils Lake, a world-renowned perch fishery, as well as Icelandic and Lake Metigoshe state parks, and on Lake Sakakawea and Lake Audubon.
Sledding and Skating
Whether you crave the nostalgic experience of skating at the local pond or steering the hottest toboggan to hit the snow, you can find it in North Dakota. All major cities have indoor skating rinks, and most communities have outdoor rinks and sledding hills.
Wildlife viewing in Theodore Roosevelt National Park: If you think bison are impressive in the summer, you should see them covered in snow. Scout out wildlife on the trails within Theodore Roosevelt National Park, or look for them on the scenic drive to Wind Canyon. Then stop in Medora for a warm drink and a soft, cozy bed.
Are more than 2,800 miles of groomed snowmobile trails enough for you? If not, there are several hundred miles of less developed trails to explore. Well-developed trails lead through the forests of the Turtle Mountains and Pembina Gorge, the scenic valleys of the Sheyenne, Missouri and Red rivers, the Badlands and the endless shorelines of Devils Lake and Lake Sakakawea. The Lake Metigoshe area and Turtle Mountains are excellent for all winter activities.
Click here for Snowmobile North Dakota's interactive trail map