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Best Twin Cities Winter Walking Trails

Picture of Stella


Contributing Writer | Outdoor Activities

It’s easy to want to press snooze on the whole winter season and hibernate inside where everything’s warm and cozy. Thank goodness you have a dog to save you from such bad decisions, dragging you outside to enjoy this magical time of year. Sure there’s gonna be some days ahead when a quick squat in the snow is all pup can take, but there are plenty of sparkling winter days you’ll want to enjoy together. 


Put your boots on (and pupper’s boots, too, that snow is cold!) and make prints on these 10 winter walking trails in the Twin Cities.



Fish Lake Regional Park

14900 Bass Lake Rd, Maple Grove, MN

Fish Lake Regional Park in Maple Grove is a favorite for west metro woofers. Stroll around the paved 1.2 mile loop, then stop to sniff remnants of summer fun on the beach while admiring the picturesque frozen lake. If pup’s still got energy to burn, there’s a 7-acre off-leash dog park with areas for big and small dogs, plus wooded spots to explore.


Lake Harriet Loop

4135 W Lake Harriet Parkway, Minneapolis, MN

Think Lake Harriet is just a summer destination with its gardens and summer concerts at the Band Shell? Think again, pups. The Lake Harriet Loop provides a fantastic setting for a winter walk along the 2.8 mile path. Bonus: check out the Lake Harriet Winter Kite Festival for even more fun.


Rice Creek Loop Trail

Rice Creek North Regional Trail Access, Shoreview, MN

On chilly days, sometimes the best trails are the ones that are short, paved, and plowed! We’ve got you covered near Shoreview where you’ll find the Rice Creek Loop Trail. This 1.7-mile loop is an easy way to get some fresh winter air. Follow the path, or follow floof’s nose and explore the side trails and wooded areas along the way. 


Pike Island Loop

Thomas C. Savage Visitor Center, Fort Snelling State Trail, St Paul, MN

An urban hike doesn’t have to mean sacrificing great views and running out of trails too soon. The Pike Island Loop, located in Fort Snelling State Park, is a beautiful 4-mile circle that offers views of the Minnesota River on the south side and the Mississippi on the north side.


Theodore Wirth Park

1301 Theodore Wirth Pkwy, Minneapolis, MN

There’s nothing better than being just minutes away from downtown, but feeling like you’re in the middle of a wooded winter wonderland. The Loppet Trails at Theodore Wirth Park offer tons of snowy recreation. Dogs are allowed on any natural snow trail that allows snowshoeing/winter hiking. 


Elm Creek Park Reserve

12400 James Deane Parkway, Maple Grove, MN

At just under 5,000 acres, Elm Creek Park Reserve is the largest of Three Rivers’ parks. This dog-friendly natural playground offers paved trails, wooded trails, skijoring trails, and a 29 acre off-leash area. With so many spots to explore, you’re gonna wanna make this a regular stop!


Crosby Farm Regional Park

2595 Crosby Farm Rd, Saint Paul, MN

There’s no shortage of variety at Crosby Farm Regional Park. With 6.7 miles of paved paths, you and doggo will trot on trails along wooded bottom lands next to the Mississippi River, along the marshes of Crosby Lake, past scenic picnic areas, and connect to the Mississippi River Boulevard parkway.


Lebanon Hills Regional Park

860 Cliff Road, Eagan, MN

Two-thousand acres of woods and lakes make this park a destination to bark about. Lebanon Hills Regional Park is the largest in the Dakota County park system and features 15 miles of nature trails for hiking and snowshoeing in winter. Leashed pets are welcome, just be sure to keep them off the ski trails.


Lake Elmo Park Reserve

1515 Keats Ave N, Lake Elmo, MN

Lake Elmo Park Reserve offers a 3.4 mile plowed trail for hikers and dog walkers to explore. If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, might we suggest skijoring? There’s a 7 mile trail with packed snow that’s perfect for trying out this fun activity with your furry friend!



Brown’s Creek Trail

8312 Neal Ave N, Stillwater, MN

East metro dogs know the Brown’s Creek Trail is where all the best smells are. This 5.9 mile trail is a branch off the larger (by larger we mean 18 stinkin’ miles!) Gateway State Trail. Brown’s Creek Trail starts in the city of Grant and connects to the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway in Stillwater.


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