Minnesota Winter Activities and Events for all Groups and Sizes

  •  Home to endless recreation, sporting events and winter festivals, winter fun is happening every week in the Northwoods of Blackduck and the Bemidji area!  As a area that takes pride in its unique seasonal activities, Blackduck and the Bemidji area is also blessed with the terrain and facilities to host to a range of recreational events. This includes camps and tournaments, as well as challenging races on bike, snowmobile, skis, dog sled, boat and foot. Our resume includes the Bemidji Curling Club, home to a number of Olympic champions. Event planners have chosen Bemidji to host the internationally famous Finlandia cross-country ski event since 1982. And Bemidji’s Sanford Center Arena is the unmatched choice for most any activity or event your group enjoys–including hockey– as the Bemidji Arena is home to Division hockey events and host of the annual Paul Bunyan International Hockey Tournament. Listed are just a few of the recreational facilities available for rent in Bemidji– for sport or just group enjoyment. For more ideas and facility options, contact us.

    Just about Anything on Ice

    Don’t be surprised to see an ice boat zip on by at 40 mph during a winter visit to Blackduck and Bemidji. And while not a scheduled event (yet!) a game of snow golf can spring up in a moment…or perhaps a game of turkey bowling, mutt sled racing, and, of course, the annual Polar Plunge swim extravaganza. Just about anything you can think of doing on ice or in the snow to test one’s winter mettle is considered game (and fun!) in Bemidji! To keep up with all the winter activities and unique events, be sure to check the Events calendar.

    White Birch Resort is just the place for your Winter Vacation!  We offer luxury homes with designated units providing private 12 person hot tubs on the homes private screened porch/deck. White Birch Resort can also cater to smaller 1-3 person studio cabin rentals, which are great for couples. There is a snowmobile trail right out the front door of your cabin. Blackduck Lake is great for perch, northern and walleye ice fishing.  We are only 25 minutes from Upper Red Lake and Bemidji Lake, as well. Buena Vista Ski Area is 20 minutes from the resort and offers down hill, cross country, snow boarding, tubing, sleigh rides and warm ski lodge .

    Ice Fishing

    Fish foodies swear there is nothing more delicious than a freshly pulled catch from the frozen northern waters. And if you are a catch and release enthusiast, winter fishing is a whole different brand of exciting fun– whether over a hole seated on a bucket, or toasting your toes in a decked-out fishhouse. Avid Blackduck, Red Lake and Bemidji fisherman find winter walleye success on most larger lakes in the area, and panfish active this time of year on many smaller lakes. Area guides and rentals available, with fun events such Winterfest’s Hardwater Classic tournament held in February.

    In winter, Blackduck Lake and Lake Bemidji turn into a frozen snowy village! Whether you use the drill-and-hope approach (like Grumpy Old Men) or latest in high-tech electronic gear, the great outdoors, the snow, the crisp, fresh air—ice fishing surrounding lakes may turn into one of the best fishing days you’ll ever have! Equipment and fish house rentals available around the Blackduck, Red Lake and Bemidji area.  Blackduck Lake is great for perch, northern and walleye ice fishing. We are only 25 minutes from Upper Red Lake and Bemidji Lake, as well.


    It is easy to see how Bemidji earned the title “Snowmobile Capital of the North!” With unmatched scenic beauty, excellent grooming, and an abundant number of trails–so many, the saying here is “Bemidji’s got more trails than you’ve got time!” Great pit stops along the routes, too, with many Bemidji lodgings offering direct access to the trails.  Whtie Birch Resort even has a snowmobile trail right out the resort's front door.  

    The Blackduck Bemidji area has the best trail system.

    No other area is as central to the state’s 14,000 miles of trails. As the crossroads city for two major Minnesota Interconnecting Trail System routes, MITS-71 and MITS-2, MITS trails link up with hundreds of spur trails, guaranteeing riders connections to virtually any place in the state.








    Upper Red Lake


    Baudette or Roseau


    Blue Ox

    International Falls / Winnipeg


    Crane or Rainy Lakes





    Longville / 65 Miles


    SnowWay #1




    Paul Bunyan





    Itasca State Park


    Detroit Lakes / 104 Miles



    Park Rapids




    Soo Line



    Grand Rapids / North Shore






    Thief River Falls





    Lake of the Woods

    The MITS-71 consists of two major trails, the Paul Bunyan Trail which originates at Lake Bemidji State Park and runs 1,115 miles between Bemidji and Brainerd, and the Blue Ox Trail, running 110 miles north from Bemidji to International Falls, Winnipeg and beyond. The entire Paul Bunyan/Blue Ox Network is considered to be the longest “rail conversion to recreation trail” in America.

    Bemidji’s trails offer the most challenging ride. The variety of terrain found in the Bemidji area makes the trails not only scenic, but challenging. Dash across 1,000 frozen lakes along the Continental Divide, over bogs, beside rushing streams, up rolling hills and through snow-draped forests.

    Bemidji’s trails offer the most scenic rides. One especially scenic loop off the Blue Ox is to jump onto the Buena Vista Trail in Buena Vista State Forest. Or head south on the Itasca and Becida Trails to Itasca State Park, site of the headwaters of the Mississippi River. Bemidji trails take you to historic sites, beautiful scenic lakes, forests harboring red and white pines more than 300 years old and through friendly, charming Northwoods towns.

    The Blackduck and Bemidji area takes pride in exceptionally well-groomed trails. Groomed and well-marked are two qualities that rank Bemidji’s trails as exceptional. With reference point trail signage every two miles, these highly rated routes will lead you to all parts of the state and back.

    Trails officially open December 1st to April 1st, conditions permitting. Out-of-state snowmobilers need to check on trail fees. A Snowmobile State Trail sticker is required for all persons operating a snowmobile on state or grant-in-aid trails.

    More about Itasca State Park
    More about Lake Bemidji State Park
    Sign up for Trail Condition Reports
    Bemidji’s Tall Tales: Day in the Life of a Groomer (Story)


    Under a blanket of snow, the Chippewa National Forest becomes a land of unexplored adventures. Over 330 miles of snowmobile trails provide snowmobilers access to 1,300 lakes, scenic woodlands, and frozen wetlands. Trails also connect to nearly 200 miles of routes surrounding the forest. Most snowmobile trails are grant-in-aid trails managed and maintained by snowmobile clubs.

    More about Chippewa National Forest snowmobile trails

    See Minnesota DNR

    Visiting Bemidji

    History of Bemidji - Bemidji is the county seat of Beltrami County and was organized in 1896. The name is derived from the Ojibwe (Chippewa) Indian words Bay – me – ji – gamaug, meaning a lake with water (river) flowing through. In 1835, early explorers referred to Bemidji as Pamitchi. In the early 1890’s a small settlement grew up around the Carson Trading Post, which was located on the south shore of Lake Bemidji. By 1900, Bemidji had 2,183 inhabitants. Logging was the principle concern of the people in the early 1900’s furnishing direct income and employment. It also attracted railroads, and railroad right-of-ways determined the location of emerging towns. Bemidji has matured into a highly diversified region that continues to grow in a fast-paced world. To learn more about the history of Bemidji, please visit www.beltramyhistory.org .

    Historical & Cultural - American Indians to Scandinavians. Scholars to lumberjacks. Artisans to outdoor enthusiasts. It is this diversity of interests and cultures growing together in our Northwoods that make Bemidji such an amazing place to visit. Proudly, Bemidji offers a variety of ways for visitors to learn more about the history of what drew people of such diversity to Bemidji to settle and culturally celebrate together. It’s a cultural history that makes for such an interesting story, an interesting city and great visit!  http://www.visitbemidji.com/what-to-do/historical-cultural/.  Distance: 27 mins. away

    First City on the Mississippi

    Bemidji… The First City on the Mississippi – where this historic river begins its 2,552 mile journey to rendezvous with the famed city of New Orleans. Legend promises those who step across the Mississippi River at its source will live a long and fruitful life, and that great riches will come to them. With twenty-five percent of Minnesota’s recreational lakes found here, the mighty Mississippi is just one of many, famous sky blue waters to be enjoyed in Bemidji.

    Paul Bunyan & Babe at the Tourist Information Center

    Located on shore of Lake Bemidji stands the historic statues of the legendary lumberjack Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox, proudly welcoming visitors to the Tourist Information Center, a state of Minnesota Travel Affiliate. Open year around, the Information Center displays Paul Bunyan memorabilia (sure to bring a grin) and the nationally known historic Fireplace of States constructed using 900 rocks from every state in the union, and every province in Canada.


    Bemidji Tourist Information Center

    Located on the shores of Lake Bemidji, where Paul and Babe grandly welcome you, is the Bemidji Tourist Information Center (TIC), a State of Minnesota Travel Affiliate. Distance: 27 mins. away

    Everyone makes an outside stop here, of course, to get their photo taken with the famous Paul and Babe. But a visit inside the Tourist Information Center is a must, as well.

    Home to the Bemidji Chamber of Commerce, the Center is the source for information on everything Bemidji– events, attractions and more. Tour through the Bemidji TIC and you’ll discover artifacts of the town’s beloved lumberjack legend– an eclectic mix that include items as Paul’s boxer shorts, toothbrush and much more.

    In addition to Paul’s artifacts, the Center features the historic Fireplace of States, built with 900 stones from every state in the United States (apart from Alaska and Hawaii, which weren’t states when the fireplace was built), from most every Canadian province, as well as every Minnesota county and a host of national parks.

    The Bemidji Tourist Information Center is also a great place to stretch your legs and enjoy the scenic beauty of Lake Bemidji in a park setting. Outside amenities include a gazebo, playground, grassy picnic area, wildlife, and sculptures of Chief Bemidji and Niiemii, meaning “he dances” which is a tribute dedicated to all pow wow dancers.

    History of the Fireplace of States

    It was the 1920’s when Harry E. Roese, owner of the Shorecrest Resort known for their classy dance pavilion, began collecting stones from around the state with the intent to use them for a giant fireplace at his resort on Birchmont Drive, along Lake Bemidji. His grand idea was to build a fireplace containing rocks from every state in the union, from every Canadian province, from all 87 Minnesota counties, and from all the national parks.

    With the help of Miss Kathleen Wilson, a secretary in Harry’s office, they wrote hundreds of letters to state governors and officials, Canadian provincial governors, high ranking officials at our nation’s state parks, and even the President of the US, soliciting stones to be used in the fireplace’s construction. To their astonishment, the rocks came tumbling in. Each was numbered so an identification key could be compiled, in addititon to the inscriptions that came on many of the stones.

    As the collection was amassed, Harry caught the attention of the US Federal Works Progress Administration (WPA). The chief goal of the WPA was to put people to work during the Great Depression, often building roads, structures, water towers, etc. In fact, many of the structures of Minnesota’s state parks exhibit a signature WPA style, traditionally hand-cut field stones and mortar construction. (For more on WPA, see Camp Rabideau)

    During 1934-35, things fell into place under the guidance of the WPA. The fireplace was built as part of the octagonal Bunyan House on Lake Bemidji. The idea for the original log building to house the fireplace, and the type of architecture used which was early “American blockhouse,” with hand hewn shingles (called “shakes), was proposed by Roese himself. Charles Budge was the local architect who drew the plans, and Mark Morse was the stone mason in charge of building and designing the fireplace. (Other pieces of Mark’s stonework can be still be seen– the Bemidji State University outdoor fireplace and the Greenwood Cemetery pillars).

    For decades tourists admired the great Fireplace of States with its 900 rocks. It was in an interview fifty years after the feat, that Miss Wilson expressed how she still marveled at how willing people were to send their rocks to Bemidji, especially considering the costs to ship such heavy rocks!

    By the mid-1990s, the Bunyan House fell to the ravages of time and needed to come down. But the great Fireplace of States was to be saved! So segmented, shrink wrapped, and moved with a crane it still rests in the Tourist Information Center, housed next to the infamous 1937 statues, where it remains today to be enjoyed.

    Birthplace of Paul and Babe

    Proudly standing along the shore of Lake Bemidji at the Tourist Information Center, the statues are recognized as the second most photographed icon in the nation, and Bemidji is honored as the birthplace of this famous lumberjack and his pal. Evidence of this honored distinction is woven throughout Bemidji’s history and still found in Bemidji’s lifestyle.


    Building the Legend

    As some stories go, the idea of building a giant statue of the town’s lumberjack son was conceived over sharing a pint (or two). 737 man hours, and 2.5 tons later, a national tourism legend was proudly born. After more than 50 years of towering Lake Bemidji, the statues were officially honored by the National Parks Service as a cultural resource worthy of preservation, adding them to the National Register of Historic Places. Today, the statues of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox are recognized as the second most photographed roadside attraction in the nation.

    Big as a mountain and strong as a grizzly bear… that’s how the folks here describe the local folk hero Paul Bunyan. As legend goes, the birthplace of the greatest lumberjack to swagger through the North American forests is claimed by Bemidji, Minnesota, a distinction fondly marked with a statue built along the shore of Lake Bemidji in honor of the town’s most famous son. Today the statues of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox are historically recognized as Minnesota’s first and best-known example of “roadside colossus,” with Bemidji honored as “pioneers” in promoting tourism in northern Minnesota.

    Learn more about this noted accomplishment, and the legendary stories of Paul and Babe.  http://www.visitbemidji.com/what-to-do/historical-cultural/paul-bunyan/. Distance: 27 mins. away

    Chief Bemidji Statue at Lake Bemidji

    As a child “Shaynowishkung” went on many trips up the Mississippi River with his father to the Bemidji area. Upon reaching adulthood, Shaynowishkung became the first to permanently settle on the shore of Lake Bemidji. Credited with helping the area’s first white settlers survive and respected by both the Indians and settlers for his gentleness, friendliness and fairness to all people, Shaynowishkung was honored with the title of “Chief Bemidji.” Today, a bronze statue dedicated to Chief Bemidji, honoring the Anishinabe people, stands overlooking Lake Bemidji in Library Park.  Distance: 27 mins. away

    Winter Fat Biking

    When a city is recognized as a “Bicycle Friendly Community,” snow drifts do not keep Bemidji riders from getting out on two wheels! While studded tire riders are becoming popular in the area, fat tire bikes are the preferred peddles to power through snowdrifts along the multi-use path that circles Lake Bemidji. And Lake Bemidji State Park is rapidly becoming a fat bike destination, even playing host to the Northland Fat Bike Rally with a 10k and 28k course held in March.

    Peddle off in any direction on one of Bemidji’s eight varied bike trails, ranging from six to 160 miles. Many trails are accessible right from your lodging doorstep! Explore a city route around downtown Bemidji, or try a more challenging ride at an area park. 

    Bring your own bike, or rent a fat bike thru the Bemidji State University Outdoor Rental program.  Rent by the hour, day or week. 

    Northland Fat Bike Rally

    An exciting new winter sport that’s not just for fat bike enthusiasts. Anyone with 3.8” tires and a helmet can ride the 10k and 28k course route. Live music and great food with fat bike experts on hand at this annual March event.


    Paul Bunyan State Trail

    The longest paved rail-to-trail in the country takes you 115 miles, traveling from Bemidji to Brainerd and has bragging rights for being the longest paved trail in Minnesota. Join us with your own bike, or ride one of our bikes and enjoy this leisure-filled 12-mile ride with family and friends! The trailhead begins at Lake Bemidji State Park, thought to be the most scenic section of the trail as it winds through the forested park, crossing the Mississippi River, and skirting the east shore of Lake Bemidji and accessible at many points. For fitness, fun, or both, the trail offers excellent opportunities for in-line skating, running, and walking. Trail mile markers help you establish how far you have traveled so you can plan your adventure and gauge your distance.

    Mississippi River Trail – MRT

    A world-class bicycling route, MRT travels from the headwaters of the Mississippi River at Lake Itasca in Minnesota all the way to the Delta at the Gulf of Mexico in Louisiana. It is a 3,000-mile system of bicycle- friendly roads and multi-use pathways that connects 10 states.

    Lake Bemidji State Park

    Grab a rental from the Nice Ride bike rental located at Lake Bemidji State Park and enjoy either the Park’s lakeside paved trails or connect to the 115 mile Paul Bunyan Trail. The Park also features five mile of fun mountain bike loops.

    Print Bike Map PDF

    More about Lake Bemidji State Park

    Loop the Lake

    Family-friendly event held annually in June to celebrate Bemidji’s designation as a “Bike Friendly” community. Includes a 17 mile ride around Lake Bemidji with rest stops along the way. Enjoy food, music and activities throughout the celebration.

    Movil Maze

    A network of mountain bike trails constructed utilizing varying terrain features and man-made structures. These single-track trails are regionally recognized as being challenging to all skill levels.

    Chippewa National Forest

    Biking enthusiasts can enjoy peddling either 41 miles of paved bike trails that line the west side of the forest, or 43 miles of unpaved mountain bike trails on the forest’s east side. Of particular interest is the beautiful Migizi Trail. Ojibwe for “bald eagle,” this 19-mile paved trail loops through the big red pines of the original Ten Section of the Chippewa National Forest.

    More about Chippewa National Forest biking trails

    See Minnesota DNR

    Walking & Hiking

    Enjoy a beautiful hiking trail just about anywhere in Blackduck and Bemidji – from a walk thru Pine Tree State Park to a tour along the shore of Lake Bemidji or to a mile-long boardwalk at the Big Bog State Recreation Area. There are more than 12 miles of trails at Lake Bemidji State Park or journey a deep forest trail to view virgin red pine over 200 years old at Itasca State Park.

    It is no surprise that Bemidji was named as a Governor’s Fit City in 2009, with all the plentiful hiking trails enjoyed by both young and old! Bemidji has trails to take you through the heart of the forest where you can view rare plants and wildlife. And all around Lake Bemidji and through Bemidji’s downtown area are strolling opportunities to view unique art sculptures, and calm the soul taking you to magnificent river and lake views.


    Lake Bemidji State Park

    11 miles of easy to moderate trails will take you through areas of maturing pine, aspen and hardwoods. A quiet hike on one of the Park trails can yield a glimpse of a doe with her fawn, a porcupine having lunch halfway up a jack pine, or even an occasional wolf or black bear– all making it hard to believe how close you are to the city. Two miles of the park’s trails are also wheelchair accessible.

    Rocky Point Overlook with its spectacular view high over Lake Bemidji is one of the most popular Park destinations. The Rocky Point Trail runs along the lakeshore, gaining in elevation as it rises to a bluff where visitors enjoy the observation deck replete with exhibits and benches.

    More about Lake Bemidji State Park

    Itasca State Park

    49 miles of trails take hikers through some of the most scenic parts of the park.

    The trail below Douglas Lodge that runs to the Old Timer’s Cabin is a wheelchair accessible boardwalk. This portion is part of the Dr. Roberts Trail. Great for orchid viewing during spring/summer.  Self Guided.  3.25 Miles.

    A guide for the Dr. Roberts Trail is available at the trail head. Landmark trail has interpretive signs throughout. The Forestry Demonstration Trail and the Blow-down Trail are also self-guided trails. The Aiton Heights Fire Tower includes interpretive information and signs.

    Wheelchair Accessible.  1.5 Miles.  Accessible trails include the Headwaters Loop Trail and Doctor Roberts Trail that takes you to the Old Timer’s Cabin.

    More about Itasca State Park

    Chippewa National Forest

    There is no better way to see the Chippewa National Forest than on a trail with enjoyable options for both backpacking and day hiking enthusiasts. The forest offers 26 non-motorized trails totaling 298 miles. Trails range from a half-mile to a 68 mile portion of the 3,200 mile North Country Trail that traverses from New York to North Dakota. Depending on the time of year, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and cranberries can all be found along the way for the picking.

    More about Chippewa National Forest

    Around Town of Bemidji

    Your starting point for any of these downtown trails is the Tourist Information Center, where there is plenty of parking. Some of the key routes include the following.

    Built in 2008 is Bemidji’s East-West Trail – 2.45 miles in length located on an abandon railroad right-of-way. The trail offers a pleasant experience ranging from a more urban character in the downtown leg to a more rural and natural character as it heads west to connect to the Paul Bunyan State Trail.

    The Bemidji Wellness Walks includes three routes:
    Lunchbox Walk is a 1.5 mile route along the lake that can begin and end at the statues of Paul Bunyan & Babe.

    Downtown Loop is just a bit longer than the Lunchbox at 2 miles, also taking hikers along the west shore of Lake Bemidji.

    Diamond Point Challenge is a 5K route that shows all the best parts of Bemidji. Starting at the statues of Paul & Babe, following the west shore of Lake Bemidji, this route provides an important connection from the downtown area to Diamond Point and Cameron Park. This lakeside trail offers beautiful views as you travel through the Bemidji State University campus.

    Sculpture Walk

    Along the lake and throughout downtown is the Bemidji sculpture walk, named in 2015 as one of the five “Best Art Walks in Minnesota” by WCCO/CBS Minnesota. Over 25 sculptures created by well-known artists and are on loan to the community for one year and are displayed in the beautiful historical downtown Bemidji. We encourage you to walk the streets and discover art on every corner. If you find something you like, you can purchase it for yourself or contribute to the purchase of art to become part of the permanent collection. Each sculpture is carefully chosen and many reflect some aspect of Minnesota life. The sculpture walk is free and changes annually, inviting new reasons to go back often. Supported by the community and curated by volunteers, the art walk is a favorite Bemidji attraction. Begin your tour at the Tourist Information Center where free parking and maps are available. For more information, please visit www.bemidjisculpture.org or email at bemidjisculpture@gmail.com.  Distance: 27 mins. away


    With over 200 species of birds that include the beloved loon and the largest nesting population of Bald Eagles in continental US, the Bemidji region’s natural beauty provides endless hours of birding observation and enjoyment. Bemidji is named the hub of Minnesota’s bird watching specifically because of the opportunities afforded by the biodiversity of the land. The varied natural landscapes found within the Bemidji region include: PEAT LANDS and conifer bogs which are populated by species that include Sharp-tailed Grouse, Great Gray Owls and Connecticut Warblers. Minnesota’s last remnants of PRAIRIE TRACT are also located near Bemidji, where you can view Prairie Chicken, Meadowlarks and Sandhill Cranes. ANCIENT PINES are a special feature of Bemidji and house a host of migratory species that include a variety of Warblers, Woodpeckers, Sparrows and Hawks. Bemidji’s NORTHERN HARDWOODS (sugar maple, basswood and red oak) are prominent in the area and provide homes to Golden-winged Warblers, Least Flycatchers and the Yellow Billed Cuckoo, just to name a few.

    A list of birding hot spots that include viewing locations ranging from just minutes to up to an hour from most area lodging facilities, is available to help you explore.

    More information on birding in Chippewa National Forest

    The True Northwoods

    The forests surrounding Blackduck and Bemidji form the pristine heart of the northwoods. Add the over 2,400 sparkling waterways and a Continental Divide, and you have beautiful, breathtaking vistas to be viewed around every corner. Visit the oldest national forest, the Chippewa National Forest with 1.5 million acres and 78 miles of non-motorized recreational trails. The Lost Forty offers a rare glimpse of an untouched area of northwoods forest. The hiking paths found at Itasca State Park (Minnesota’s oldest and most popular state park) and Lake Bemidji State Park (located minutes from downtown Bemidji), each have some of the most breathtaking vistas to be found anywhere.

    Lake Bemidji State Park

    Welcome to Lake Bemidji State Park! Located minutes from downtown on the north shore of Lake Bemidji, the park attracts visitors for not only it’s unmatched variety of outdoor activities in all seasons, but also for the park’s unique, natural botanical wetland preserve, the Bog Boardwalk. Lake Bemidji State Park offers lakeside picnic grounds with shelters, a swimming beach, plus a paved boat launch with marina. The park is the northern trailhead for Paul Bunyan State Trail, Minnesota’s longest state trail enjoyed by bikers and snowmobilers alike. Interpretive programs in the summer include morning hikes, boat tours of Lake Bemidji, evening films, and campfire talks. Winter programs include snowshoeing, skiing by candlelight and animal tracking. Geocaching in all seasons is a favorite park activity, too!

    http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/lake_bemidji/index.html.  Distance: 25 mins. away

    Chippewa National Forest

    Chippewa National Forest is the country’s very first national forest, established east of the Mississippi River in 1908. Originally known as the Minnesota National Forest, the name was changed in 1928 to honor the original inhabitants. The forest boundary encompasses 1.6 million acres, has 700 lakes, 920 miles of streams, 150,000 acres of wetlands and approximately 665,000 acres managed by the USDA Forest Service. The forest's landscape is a reminder of the glaciers that blanketed northern Minnesota some 10,000 years ago. The National Forest also boasts the largest breeding population of bald eagles in the continental U.S., with 150 active nests found throughout the forest. With over 3000 archeological and historic sites, has a rich history that spans from prehistoric times to the early logging era and Civilian Conservation Corps days.

    The Chippewa National Forest makes maps available at the Blackduck Ranger Station for most of their hiking and biking trails, ranging from .5 to 68 miles. Some trails are known for their eagle viewing, others are self-guided nature tours. You are able to enjoy any one of these recreational activities while in the Chippewa National Forest: Bike, Hiking and Nature Trails, Camping, Canoeing, ATV, Fishing, XC Skiing, Hunting, Scenic Byways and Snowmobiling

    Amazing Wildlife Viewing

    Bounded by three major vegetative communities; the coniferous forest (pine, spruce, and balsam fir) to the north, the hardwoods (aspen, birch, oak and maple) to the south, and the prairie to the west, Chippewa’s diverse ecosystem provides the unique opportunity to glimpse some rare and sensitive wildlife. Over 300 species make their home on the Chippewa National Forest… Birding is exceptional in all seasons, particularly the bald eagle. Over 180 nesting pairs of this magnificent bird live among the pines and lakes of the forest making it the highest breeding population of bald eagles in the lower 48 Unites States! Timberwolves, osprey, loon and great grey owl also make Chippewa their home. The secretive gray wolf and Canada lynx are also present, but a rare sighting

    Home of the Capitol Christmas Tree

    On November 2, amid great fanfare, an 80-foot plus white spruce left Minnesota’s Chippewa National Forest on a journey to Washington D.C., to become the 2014 US Capitol Christmas Tree. The journey began at Itasca State Park where the tree received a drink of water from the headwaters of the Mississippi River via a horse-drawn wagon. Along the way, the tree caravan stopped in over 30 communities reaching over 45,000 people, young and old, proudly representing Minnesota and the natural beauty of the Chippewa National Forest.  Distance: 15 mins. away

    Itasca State Park

    Established in 1891 to preserve remnant stands of virgin pine, Itasca is Minnesota’s oldest state park and the second oldest in the United States behind Niagra Falls. Totaling more than 32,000 acres, with more than 100 lakes, it is here where the headwaters of the mighty Mississippi begins its 2,552-mile journey to the Gulf of Mexico. Beautiful in all seasons, events, activities and naturalist programs available year-round.

    At this park you can actually walk across a path of rocks over the Mississippi River by foot. Facilities include The Headwaters History Center, Douglas Lodge and the Museum. Amenities include large stands of pine, paved bike trails, Wilderness Drive, U of M Forestry and Biological Stations, Indian cemetery, and Peace Pipe Vista, and endless miles of hiking trails. You are able to enjoy any one of these recreational activities while in the Itasca State Park: Bike and Hiking and Nature Trails, Swimming, Playing, Camping, XC Skiing, Snowmobiling and Snowshoeing. On site bike rentals can be arranged while spending a day at the park. Click on www.itascasports.com for rental information.  Distance: 55 mins. away

    More information on Chippewa National Forest

    Concordia Language Villages

    Visit the cultural grounds of Concordia Language Villages on Turtle Lake, uniquely nestled in the Northwoods of Bemidji. From the moment you get your “passport” stamped and step into one of six architecturally and culturally authentic village sites, you will speak, eat, learn and play in the language and culture of your chosen village– Spanish, Finnish, Norwegian, German, Russian or French. Adult and child immersion programs, corporate and government training sessions, as well as educators and school group seminars, Concordia offers a host of programs that bring language to life. Special events to the tradition of the village you’re visiting are available. "International Day" held once in July and again in August gives the public an opportunity to visit and experience the villages. For information Contact: 218-586-8600 or 800-450-2214.  Distance: 23 mins. away

    International Day

    Twice each season a day-long festival of cultures called International Day is celebrated. Through dance, art, cooking and play, intercultural exchange of teach-learn-do is ongoing throughout the day. Each of the language villages (Spanish, Finnish, Norwegian, German, Russian or French) bring out their wares as they share ethnic food and a cultural performance. Festivities also include a Peace Site Ceremony, Global Market, International Bazaar, Global Art Show, Exhibitor Tent, plus World Class Soccer, along with rides, tours, activity zones and Closing Ceremony.

    Bemidji State University Outdoor Program Center (OPC) & Equipment Rental Program

    From a state of the art indoor climbing wall, to the Boathouse at Diamond Point Park on the shores of Lake Bemidji, to the pristine 240 acre Hobson Memorial Forest, those seeking adventure are sure to find something to get your heart beating.

    The rock climbing wall, located in the Gillett Wellness Center, is one of the premier indoor rock climbing facilities north of the Twin Cities. Towering over 30 feet, it features routes for any skill level. Instructional clinics, as well as open climbing time and group rentals are all available.

    Join us for a pontoon lunch cruise, learn to sail, or try your hand at sea kayaking. From May through October, equipment rentals, clinics and summer trips are offered only feet from beautiful Lake Bemidji at the OPC Boathouse. Here you can rent equipment that includes a heavy duty canoe trailer, canoes, kayaks, bikes, sailboats, windsurfers, tents, sleeping bags, and back packs, just to name a few. The Boathouse also features a lakeside patio area, which provides a perfect spot to spend a summer afternoon on the lake. Rentals and activities are all available to the campus community as well as the public.

    The 240 acres of Hobson Memorial Forest was donated to Bemidji State University in 1948 for the purpose of outdoor recreation, education, and research. Managed by the OPC, the forest is equipped with an amphitheater, and two rustic log cabins which can be rented for a minimal fee. Hobson is also home to No Boundaries, a team building low ropes course facilitated by the OPC staff.

    Cross Country (Including Youth), Ice Skates, Snowshoes, Ice Fishing Equipment and Winter Camping Gear Rentals are available at Bemidji State University Outdoor Program Center (OPC). Private cross country ski lessons available. Call BSU for Daily/Weekend & Weekly Rates! Groups & Individuals! Affordable and convenient public rentals. Call for details. (27 mins. away.) Open 7 Days/week. Check out http://www.bemidjistate.edu/services/campus-recreation/outdoor-program-center/rentals/ for information on 2017 rentals. For more information please call the boathouse at 218-755-2999 or Mark Morrissey at 218-755-3900. Distance:  27 mins. away

    More information on boating
    Information on the Diamond Point Challenge 5K
    Information on XCountry Skiing Hobson Forest

    Blackduck Bowling Lanes

    Enjoy a fun game of bowling in town of Blackduck located at Summit Avenue, Blackduck next door to Timberline Sports Shell Gas Station. Contact 218-835-6620 for information.  Distance: 3 mins. away

    Beltrami County History Center

    Housed in the historically restored 1912 Great Northern Depot in Bemidji is the Beltrami County History Center. Archives, collections, long and short term interpretive exhibits and educational programs together give visitors an opportunity to learn about the area’s railroad system, logging industry, Ojibwe life, the coming of pioneers, and even a historical view of northern Minnesota sports. Open Mon - Thurs 10am-5pm, Fri 10am-4pm. Open Saturdays May thru October 10am-4pm. Located at 130 Minnesota Ave SW, Bemidji. Contact 218-444-3376 for information.  Distance: 27 mins. away

    Dining Out

    While Minnesota is known for producing foods like wild rice, sweet corn and blueberries, the state’s drinkable crops are the ones making headlines. Breweries and wineries are the latest local craze. The Blackduck and Bemidji area offers an extensive range of breakfast, lunch and dinner options unique and varied for your individual tastes in food. When you're in a hurry, the list of fast food franchises awaits with all your favorites. When the occasion calls for either lively fun or more leisurely dining enjoyment, you'll find the area home to relaxed sports bars, family style restaurants, supper clubs as well as numerous fine dining establishments. The closest family style restaurants and supper clubs are as close as 2 miles away from White Birch Resort in Blackduck. Click on this list of local eateries. This is a selection.



    Grocery Stores & Convenient Stores

    Blackduck Family Foods/Super Value Located at 288 Frontage Rd. in Blackduck. This is a small tourist country grocery store. Call 218-835-4244 for hours and information.
    Distance: 5 mins. away

    Timberline Sport "N" ConvenienceLocated at 209 Summit Ave. SW in Blackduck. This is a bait store/gas station and convenient store which sells convenient foods, prepared pizzas and prepared subway sandwiches. Call 218-835-4636 for hours and information.
    Distance: 3 mins. away

    Wal-Mart Super Center Located at 2025 Paul Bunyan Dr. NW in Bemidji. Call 218-755-6120 for general store information.
    Distance: 27 mins. away

    Lueken’s Foods Paul Bunyan Dr. NW in Bemidji, MN

    Distance: 29 mins. away

    Marketplace Food and Drug Located at 2000 Paul Bunyan Dr. in Bemidji. Call 218-444-1406 for general store information.
    Distance: 27 mins. away


    The town of Blackduck has Wayside Park open for the winter months.  During the winter City of Bemidji is home to nearly 20 family friendly parks. Diamond Point, Paul Bunyan Park, City Park and Cameron are cornerstone parks. Within these parks you will find access to pavilions and group shelters, 22,000 square foot skateboard park, outdoor hockey rink, trails, disc golf course, basketball courts, picnic areas, playgrounds, boat ramps and beautiful beaches. For more information on park availability, recreational opportunities or to book park facilities www.ci.bemidji.mn.us


    For those shopping enthusiasts, shopping can be explored in a wide range of stores, ranging from antique stores, boutiques shops, gift shops, shopping mall, outdoor specialty stores and grocery stores. A few of the favorites are local crafts, north country specialties and outdoor specialty stores. A few local favorite stores in the area can be found at Bemidji Woolen Mills, Morell's Chippewa Trading Post, The Old Schoolhouse and Lady Slipper Designs, Northlander Gifts, Anderson's Fabrics, Paul Bunyan Mall, Gander Mountain, Target and Wal-Mart. Great towns to spend a day of shopping can be found in the following:

    Blackduck Distance: 5 mins. away

    Bemidji Distance: 25 mins. away

    Deer River Distance: 45 mins. away

    Walker Distance: 60 mins. away

    Park Rapids Distance: 60 mins. away

    Click on this list below provided by the Bemidji Chamber of Commerce to give you a better idea of what stores you can choose from. This is a selection of local stores in the Blackduck/Bemidji area at http://business.bemidji.org/list/ql/shopping-specialty-retail-23 .


    Aunt Ellie’s Attic 1019 Washington Ave S. Bemidji MN 56601 218-444-4334

    Buy, Sell, Trade Collectibles, Antiques, Second hand Treasures.

    The Pioneer Store Hines, MN

    Back ‘n Time Antiques 1105 W 15th St. Bemidji MN 56601 218-759-0206

    Primitive country furniture, rustic lodge & cabin antiques. Folk art, Native American items.

    Grandma’s Attic Antique Mall 502 3rd St. NW Bemidji MN 56601 218-759-8931

    Antiques, Collectibles, Vintage & Repurposed merchandise.

    Ideal Pawn 265 Paul Bunyan Dr. NW Bemidji MN 56601 218-444-3325

    Pawn shop, pawn store loans, jewelry, collectible coins, etc.

    Mattie’s Menagerie 814 Beltrami Ave NW Bemidji MN 56601 218-755-1899

    Little antique store with a little of everything.

    North Country Trading Post 7205 Fairgrounds Rd NW Bemidji MN 56601 218-751-5922

    Antiques, Collectibles, Funky Junk

    Pawn USA 207 2nd St NW Bemidji MN 56601 218-444-7296

    Pawn shop, jewelry, collectible coins, clean and organized.

    Second Hand Splendor 301 3rd St NW Bemidji MN 56601 218- 209-3000

    Antiques &Vintage consignment store

    Forestedge Winery and Farm

    On the edge of the Paul Bunyan State Forest, Forestedge Winery and Farm in Laporte, MN offers it’s visitors a peaceful setting in the woods. At Forestedge Winery , wine makers Paul and Sharon Shuster and John Wildmo produce seven to eight thousand gallons of wine per year, but yet craft their wines in small batches. The winery produces nine different specialty single fruit wines as well as blended wines including Summer Blush (strawberry rhubarb), Headwaters Classic Red (chokecherry rhubarb), raspberry rhubarb, and blueberry rhubarb. All of these wines are available for tasting and sale in the winery tasting room.

    The winery is open May through December, six days a week and closed on Mondays. Tours are available and are designed to allow you to see how these fine wines are crafted, aged and bottled. Remember, "It's not just grapes that make fine wine!" As Paul bottles a batch of Forestedge Wines, craftsmanship and pride go into every bottle.

    Enjoy the gardens and cobblestone patio with a taste of Minnesota fruit wines and art gallery. Forestedge Winery carries a wide range of wine-related items and gifts. Open Mother's Day thru December Tuesday thru Saturday 10am-5:30pm and Sunday 12pm-5pm. Closed Mondays. For more information on Forestedge Winery and Farm, view website at www.forestedgewinery.com or contact 218-224-3535 Forestedge Winery is located at 35295 State 64 Laporte, MN 56461.  Distance: 46 mins. away

    Paul Bunyan Play House

    The Chief Theater is a performing arts venue featuring curated entertainment from around the world in its downtown Bemidji, Minnesota facility. Its resident production company, the Paul Bunyan Playhouse, is the oldest professional summer stock company in Minnesota, and draws actors from across the state, region, and country. The Chief is managed by a professional staff with the assistance of a volunteer board. Though global in the scope of its artists and programs, the Chief is the region’s year-round hub for the performing arts, surrounded by the Bemidji Community Arts Center, the Wild Rose Theater, and Bemidji State University. The Chief seats an intimate audience of 310 with Art Deco interiors and exposed structural components that pay homage to its history as a movie house while embracing its identity as a multi-purpose performing arts venue.

    The Paul Bunyan Playhouse is located in the historic Chief Theatre at 314 Beltrami Ave NW in downtown Bemidji, MN. Performances are scheduled throughout the year. Contact Ticket Box Office 218-751-7270. Performances are 8pm nightly except, NO performances on Monday & Tuesday. First Sunday of month offer matinee performances at 2 pm.  Distance: 27 mins. away


    Spend an evening challenging Lady Luck in one of the Northwoods Country’s three great casinos: Palace Casino, Norther Lights Casino, Shooting Star Casino, Red Lake Casino and White Oak Casino, courtesy of the Leech Lake Band of Objibwe.

    Shooting Star Casino, Bagley Distance: 45 mins. away

    Northern Lights Casino, Walker Distance: 40 mins. away

    Red Lake Casino, Red Lake Distance: 20 mins. away

    Palace Casino Hotel, Cass Lake Distance: 21 mins. away

    White Oak Casino, Deer River Distance: 45 mins. away


    With the turn of the leaves in the fall, the limitless hunting opportunities take center stage. The forests, lakes, and area farmlands provide habitat for deer, partridge, ruffed and sharp tail grouse, bear, duck, and geese. The result is hunters taking home plenty of game, memories, and stories. A serious business and passion, the Blackduck and Bemidji area remains the premier northern destination for hunters in pursuit of deer, grouse, waterfowl and more. Sportsmen can find some of the best hunting for trophy whitetail deer and black bear. Consider, too, taking a guided wolf or bear hunt, or try one of our area hunting preserves. Guides are available but should be contacted in advance. Whether it is big game, small game, or waterfowl you are after, there is a wide variety in Chippewa for your hunting pleasure.

    Night We Light Festival

    For the past 17 years, Bemidji kicks off the Holiday Season with the First City of Lights celebration. The event is held the Friday after Thanksgiving, the Night We Light Festival rings in the start of the holiday season with a parade filled with illuminated floats. The Lights of Bemidji Parade begins at 6 pm with over 60 floats covered with lights. Following the parade, the switch is thrown lighting the iconic Paul and Babe the Blue Ox statues, as well as brightening up the Bemidji downtown! Ornaments made during the event are hung on the Christmas tree in the Bemidji Visitors Center, and there is carol singing, food trucks on scene at the ceremony, awards given for the best parade floats, and a traditional Night We Light bonfire.

    Winterfest on Lake Bemidji

    Winterfest on Lake Bemidji is Bemidji’s “coolest event of the year!” Held annually in February, this is non-stop winter fun that encompasses every favored cold weather activity (and some warm weather ones, too!) including a curling bonspiel, the Hardwater Classic ice fishing tournament, annual BRRRmidji Plunge in the frigid Lake Bemidji waters, pond hockey, frozen turkey bowling, even a cornhole tournament. This family event includes music, food and more!

    February 2nd & 3rd , 2018 Winterfest on Lake Bemidji is Bemidji’s annual winter event that encompasses Curling, Ace on the Lake Hardwater Classic, Pond Hockey, the BRRRmidji Plunge, YPN Cornhole Tournament, Frozen Turkey Bowling, 5K and 10K Polar Challenge, family events, music and more. Join the fun family friendly festival packed full of exciting events throughout Friday and Saturday on frozen Lake Bemidji!  Distance:  27 mins. away

    Entrance to event and parking at Nymore Beach public access, adjacent to the DoubleTree Hotel.

    Website: http://www.winterfestbemidji.com/ Venue: Lake Bemidji

    Buena Vista Ski Resort & Village

    Sitting astride the Continental Divide, the Buena Vista Ski Village offers 16 runs, the longest being 2,000 feet and boasting a 230 foot drop. Buena Vista includes two terrain parks for adventurous ski tricksters who like to catch air and push winter’s boundaries. Ski facilities feature four chairlifts with a beginner’s tow, a chalet with cafe plus ski rentals and repairs

    Once a bustling logging community, Buena Vista Village between Blackduck and Bemidji is the area’s best winter recreation center! The area’s premier winter recreation center where visitors can enjoy both downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, tubing, as well as an authentic sleigh ride – all overlooking the breathtaking scenery of the Continental Divide. Buena Vista, meaning “beautiful view” sits astride the Continental Divide which separates waters flowing north to the Hudson Bay and south to the Gulf of Mexico. At the top of the Divide, you will see spectacular scenery of forest and nine lakes surrounding the ski village complex. There is also the Lumberjack Hall of Fame to browse showing authentic, historic memorabilia from the logging days era.  Distance: 15 mins. away


    16 Runs
    16 to 20% Rated Easy
    55% Rated More Difficult
    25% Rated Most Difficult
    Lift capacity: 4 chairlifts, 1 rope tow, tube lift
    Longest run: Earle’s Happy Trail at 2000 ft.
    Vertical drop: 230 ft.
    Snow-making coverage: 100% of ski area
    Length of season: Mid-November to March

    Buena Vista is the area’s premier spot to enjoy a host of favorite snow sports.

    Downhill Skiing & Snowboarding 

    Enjoy 16 downhill runs, the longest 2,000 ft. and boasting a 230 ft. drop. There are four chairlifts and a beginners tow.

    Terrain Park 

    Buena Vista offers two terrain parks– one is for juniors and one for more advanced ski and snowboarders. Learn tricks on boxes, rails and jumps. Special training sessions are available or can be arranged.

    Tubing Park 

    Looking for a great family or group activity? Snow tubing at Buena Vista offers a day of excellent fun, exercising in the fresh air of the beautiful northland. Tubes and tow lift are supplied–the rest is up to you!

    Buena Vista offers a full line of rental equipment (ski, snowboard and snow tubes), along with ski and snowboard lessons. On-site ski repair. Group events and competitions can be arranged.

    Cross Country Skiing 

    25km • Rated Intermediate to Experienced • Trail Map

    As home course to the internationally famous Minnesota Finlandia and Snowjourn races, Buena Vista is recognized as having some of the finest trails and scenery in the Midwest. Nine lakes and vast forest can be viewed in distant panoramas along Buena Vista’s 25 km of trails. The up and down landscape of Buena Vista makes it an ideal skiing terrain, as cross-country trails meander through forests of pine and hardwood, over rolling hills and skirt the shores of serene lakes.

    Sleigh Rides 

    For the sheer romance of it all, take a horse-drawn sleigh ride through the snowy countryside of Buena Vista. Tours take you around the historic logging village and through breathtaking, scenic forest trails. Scheduled tours and group rides available throughout the season.

    Continental Cafe & Chalet 

    Take a break from the activities in Buena Vista’s three-story chalet with two warming fireplaces while enjoying a snack at the Continental Cafe. Perfect for birthday, holidays or just about any party, as well as team building and business gatherings.

    Historic Buena Vista Village 

    It is like taking a step back in time to the historic lumberjack days of Paul Bunyan when you stop at Buena Vista’s Historic Lumberjack Hall of Fame. Here you can view a working sawmill, old-time logging sleighs, original logging paintings, an early1900’s schoolhouse and log church, and more. Buena Vista is also a ranch with facilities that include horses, barn, round pen, corrals, etc.


    Enjoy a beautiful snowshoeing trek at either of Bemidji’s two area state parks – Lake Bemidji and Itasca State Parks. In Itasca State Park, trails for snowshoeing include: Dr. Roberts, Schoolcraft, Brower, Mary Lake, LaSalle, or anywhere in the park except groomed trails and roads. Lake Bemidji State Park offers snowshoe rental and activities to explore the park forest on your own, or take a guided tour with a park naturalist. Both parks offer scheduled events as the Snowshoe Moon Walk where you can view the breathtaking northern stars as you tour by candlelight, as well as lacing workshops and snowshoe instructions.

    Other notable snowshoeing spots around Bemidji include:
    Movil Maze Recreational Trail System with an approximately 2 mile snowshoe trail.
    Three Island Park with a 3K designated snowshoe trail along the beautiful Turtle River.

    More about Lake Bemidji State Park
    More about Itasca State Park

    Cross-Country Skiing

    Cross Country Skier Magazine made this distinction… “The Bemidji region is one of the most attractive areas to ski in the United States.” Beautiful as well as bountiful, there are nine trails sites located downtown or just minutes away, offering skiers more than 80 miles of challenging and spectacular scenery. With a variety of ski style trails for every level of skill, you’ll soon see why Bemidji is home to so many cross-country skiing enthusiasts. Over 100 miles of challenging and scenic trails can be enjoyed at Bemidji’s nine trail sites, all located in and around Bemidji. Trails are groomed and tracked for classical and skate skiing techniques, for all levels of skill and enjoyment.

    Sign up for Trail Condition Reports


    Montebello Trail

    4 km • Rated Easy • Trail Map
    Located in the heart of the City of Bemidji, close to many hotels and restaurants, the Montebello Trail is a gentle course especially suited to beginners. Two km of the trail is lit making Bemidji one of the few communities to offer a lighted trail section for night cross-country skiing.

    Lake Bemidji State Park

    16 km • Rated Easy to Intermediate • Trail Map
    On the north shore of Lake Bemidji, Lake Bemidji State Park offers trails that are predominately tracked for classical skiing, with another 1.3 miles of skate skiing trails, and a half-mile ungroomed. Each trail offers beautiful scenery that winds through the deep forest and skirts the lake. You can also tour these trails by the glow of candlelight with up to 5 km of easy and intermediate groomed ski trails lit for a magical night of skiing on select dates. The annual Volkslauf Classic ski race is another popular skiing event held at the park. Consider, too, there are another 28 miles of trails within 5-miles of the park, all part of the Minnesota Ski Trail system.

    More about Lake Bemidji State Park

    Buena Vista Village

    25km • Rated Intermediate to Experienced • Trail Map
    As the home course for the internationally famous Minnesota Finlandia and Snowjourn races, Buena Vista is recognized as having some of the finest trails and scenery in all of the Midwest! Nine lakes and vast forest can be viewed in distant panoramas along Buena Vista’s 25 km of trails. The up and down landscape of Buena Vista makes it an ideal skiing terrain as cross-country trails meander through pine and hardwood forests, over rolling hills and skirt the shores of serene lakes.

    Movil Maze

    14.5 km • Rated Intermediate to Expert
    Named for a network of cross-country ski trails that was constructed in 1979 for the first Minnesota Finlandia Ski Marathon, today Movil Maze offers over 14 kilometers of trails that vary in scenery and topography. This 913 acre recreational area with it’s steep hills is a favorite training ground for local racers. Entirely in the woods, single-track trails take you through black spruce bog land, red pine and mixed hardwood, with great rolling hills and sweeping corners.

    Three Island Park

    30 km • Easy to Intermediate
    The 2,864 acres Three Island is an area of exceptional beauty, with diverse forests of hardwoods and conifers. 28K of cross-country ski trails wind along Three Island Lake, and along (and even crossing) the scenic Turtle River. Winter birding is known to be excellent in this area, with straggling migrants and resident species such as great gray owls to pursue. In winter it is also fun to identify a variety of wildlife tracks on the trail or lake ice.

    C.V. Hobson Forest Trail

    7 km • Easy to Intermediate • Trail Map
    This trail has special appeal for beginner and intermediate skiers. Double-tracked for classic skiing, the trail runs through red and white pine, across a tamarack bog, and beside Lake Lyra. Owned by Bemidji State University, this beautiful forest is dedicated to environmental research and recreation.

    Fern Lake Trail

    3.5km • Easy to Intermdiate • Trail Map
    This south side Bemidji trail near Fern Lake is groomed for classical skiing, with also a new skating track for ski skaters. The route is enjoyed with a long downhill section that takes skiers through a towering Norway pine stand.

    Itasca State Park

    28 km • Rated Easy, Intermediate and Advanced • Trail Map
    Surrounding the source of the Mississippi River, Itasca State Park grooms 13 miles of trails for cross-country skiers– many for classical stride, others for skating, with some groomed for both. Along the route skiers see the legacy of Jacob Brower, the far-sighted surveyor who, in 1891, used his own salary to start piecing together Minnesota’s first state park. Itasca also offers skijoring to its winter menu, with seven miles of trails available for visitors to enjoy with their dogs. Warming shelter, and ski trail information is available at Jacob Brower Visitor Center, typically open weekends and holidays during the winter season. Candlelight trail events held in January and February.

    More about Itasca State Park

    Bemidji High School Trail

    7 km • Rated Easy • Trail Map
    Home to the Bemidji High School Nordic Ski Teams, the trail is easy, wide and groomed for classical and skate skiing. Close to downtown Bemidji, the southern section of the route borders the Mississippi River basin.


    Known as “The Nordic Festival of the North,” the Finlandia is a premier North American cross-country ski event that has been held in Bemidji since 1982. The race, originally a part of the USSA’s Great American Ski Chase for nineteen years, is also a part of the Minnesota Skinny ski Series, where it was voted “Best Course”and “Best Overall Event” by skiers of this series. It is also truly an international event, attracting citizen and elite skiers from around the world. Originally held at the Movil Maze trails, the race was moved to the scenic and challenging trails that crisscross the Continental Divide at Buena Vista ever since. Events for this February weekend include the Buena Vista Classic 25km, 25k Pursuit, Minnesota Finlandia 50km, 25k Bemidjithon, and the1st National Bank Northwoods 10k Tour. This world class ski event is open to everyone and features spaghetti feeds, award ceremony, ski-centered activities and more. For more info go to www.minnesotafinlandia.com.

    Chippewa National Forest Ski Trails

    The sound of your skis across the new snow…gliding through the trees. The scent of balsam as you rush down the hill, the herringbone tracks as you scurry up… this is skiing at its best. There are over 298 miles of non-motorized crosscountry skiing and snowshoeing trails within the Chippewa National Forest.

    More about Chippewa National Forest ski trails

    Northern Lights Viewing

    The Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon that happen often in Northern Minnesota (more frequently in Northeastern Minnesota). They appear in different colors and shape rays, glows, and patches that cover the night sky. It is impossible to predict when they will appear. The best chance to see them is in the spring or the fall. However, they have appeared in the middle of winter. The best viewing is usually on a clear, dark night and follows temperature fluctuations. During the summer, the lights are rarely spotted before midnight, but in the winter they can be seen as early as 8 pm.

    Ice Skating

    Outdoor skating rinks can be enjoyed at Bemidji’s Nymore Park and City Park. Each features a warming house that serves both the hockey and pleasure rinks. Open broom ball is also scheduled during select winter times. Bring your own skates or rentals available.


    On a Sunday afternoon, January 13, 1935, near the end of the Great Depression, the Bemidji Curling Club was organized at a meeting at the Tourist Information Building. Today, the walls of this Club are lined with more than 100 banners signifying years of state and national championships, and Bemidji is nationally recognized as “The Curling Capital of the USA.” The distinction comes from the Club’s long line of curling champions, including the men and women representing the United States in the 2005 World Curling Championship and the 2006 Winter Olympics in which half of the ten member team called Bemidji home. The men’s team had an exciting race capturing the bronze medal in Torino, Italy. The Bemidji Curling club has 6 sheets of ice and hosts multiple bonspiels throughout the season. Men, women and children can all compete and are welcome stop by the Bemidji Curling Club to watch all the action as the Club hosts many state and national championship tournaments, with bonspiels and tournament play often held on weekends, and club play during the week. The Club features a general viewing area on the first floor and another viewing area upstairs with a bar. Classes are available for all ages through high school, the University and Community Ed. For more information on this exciting sport, visit www.bemidjicurling.org.

    BSU Hockey Games

    The 59-year history of Bemidji State University’s men’s hockey distinguishes the BSU Beavers among the greatest collegiate sports programs. With 21 conference titles, 13 small-college national championships, and a trip to the 2009 NCAA Frozen Four, BSU has also seen 82 All-American student-athletes, as well as eight former Beavers go on to play on hockey’s grandest stage—the National Hockey League. The Beavers traditionally play one of the toughest home schedules in the nation, in one of the country’s best facilities, The Sanford Center. You don’t want to miss any of this action, typically held September thru February.

    Sanford Center Arena Entertainment

    Awarded the Prime Site Award for Excellence, the Sandford Center, with attached hotel overlooking Lake Bemidji, offers unmatched flexible space for gatherings of all reasons and sizes. As greater Minnesota’s premier facility, Bemidji’s 185,000 sq. ft. Center offers flexible space to accommodate meetings, conventions, exhibits, sport activities, training, concerts… just about any event or gathering need you have!

    Movie Theaters

    Blackduck Theater - Blackduck. Offer Matinee and evening shows.  Distance: 5 mins. away

    Bemidji Theaters - 5284 Theater Lane NW Bemidji, Contact 218-759-0324 for information and show times. Offer matinee and evening shows.  Distance: 28 mins. away







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