Also a winter highlight — well, a highlight anytime of the year, really — is the Cowling Arboretum on the Carleton College campus. There, you can explore miles of trails. It’s especially fun in the winter with cross-country skiing. The trails are groomed in the winter and they are open to the public. Snowshoeing is also allowed.
Just a short 15-minute drive from Northfield is Nerstrand Big Woods State Park. Known for its towering forest, beautiful Hidden Falls and gorgeous trails, it’s a favorite spot of locals and travelers alike. Best of all? You can snowshoe, cross-country ski, walk and snowmobile at this state park.
Most folks are aware of the two prestigious colleges that anchor Northfield’s east side (Carleton College) and west side (St. Olaf College). But did you know both colleges sport outstanding hills for premium sledding? For years, locals have taken advantage of the easy-to-access hills to wear out their kids and get the best sledding south of the river (the other one). Head over to Old Main at St. Olaf (off of Lincoln St. S.) or Bell Field at Carleton (east side of campus) to sled the winter away. Enjoy it while you can, because the trek up the hills will catch up with you.
The Gear ReSource Outfitters, based in nearby Dundas, are experts in all things outside in the Northfield area. Owners Robert and Nicole Stai offer different snowshoe packages, including moonlight adventures and visits to area parks, like Caron Park south of Northfield.
The Waterford Warriors, Snow Wizards Snowmobile Club and Faribo Sno-Go-Club may not mean much to you if you’re not from the Northfield area, but the three snowmobile clubs are largely responsible for keeping the area’s trails groomed and ready for riding. With cities playing regional hubs, you can have an easy ride going from city to city to city and back in a day. View the Rice County trail map.
An active day in the winter wonderland is enough to wear anyone out. Take advantage of Northfield’s many lodging options, conveniently located in downtown Northfield and along Highway 3. View our lodging options.
Along the banks of the Cannon River, lies charming Northfield, Minnesota. See for yourself why Northfield was included on CountryLiving.com’s “50 Most Beautiful Small Towns in America” list and named “Best Place To Retire” by Money Magazine!