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Parks & Recreation

Posted on: January 6, 2022

Enjoying Winter Trails

Cross Country Skier on Winter Trail at Otsego County Park

Winter is upon us. That means the parks & recreation department is busy making sure that the trails are ready for winter use. Winter is a fun time to get out and enjoy the trails. Whether it is on foot, skis, fat bike, or snowshoes, there is always an adventure to be had within the park system. However, to get the most out of the season, everyone should be aware of a few things.

First off, walkers and hikers, please be mindful of the groomed trails and walk on the far edge of the trail and not in the middle of the groomed areas. There is a limited amount of time that people can ski trails during the year. When you walk through the middle of the groomed area or the track set, you are creating an obstacle for skiing. See our Facebook page for a graphic of the appropriate area to walk in. If you bring your pet with you, they must always be kept on a six-foot non-retractable leash in the park, and please pick up after them. Again, please refrain from walking down the middle of the groomed trails. A great alternative would be to visit the off-leash dog park at Clearwater/Pleasant County Park. The trails to and around the park are groomed throughout the winter for you and your canine friend to enjoy.

Secondly, fat-tire bike riders, please stay off the groomed trails at Bertram. There are a couple of areas that the mountain bike trail and ski trails share the space, and those areas are fine to ride. Just be mindful of the track set. Please avoid all other groomed areas though.

Lastly, those that are out utilizing snowshoes, the same courtesy applies to snowshoes on the groomed trails as hikers. Please stay out of the groomed areas. Walk on the far edge of the trail and if there is more than one of you, walk single file. We encourage you to go off-trail with snowshoes and experience parts of the park that you normally wouldn’t have access to during the non-winter months. You never know what you might find. Also, if you enjoy snowshoeing at Bertram, we encourage you to use them on the singletrack trails. The fat-tire bike riders appreciate the snowshoe traffic as it helps pack the trail. If you choose to do this, walk in the opposite direction of the bike traffic so you can see any oncoming traffic and move out of the way for them. Remember, it is much easier for you to move and stop than a bike.

The big question is, where are the winter trails in Wright County? We groom classic and skate ski trails at Robert Ney Regional Park, Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park, Collinwood Regional Park, Stanley Eddy Regional Park Reserve-South Unit, Harry Larson County Forest, and Otsego County Park. The singletrack mountain bike trails are located at Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park. We plow the paved trails at Montissippi County Park, Otsego County Park, and Clearwater/Pleasant County Park. We also maintain sledding hills at Bill Anderson County Park-Willard Krietlow Winter Recreation Area, Collinwood Regional Park, and Montissippi County Park. For up-to-date information on the parks, please visit our website or like us on Facebook.

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