Top 5 Ways to Get Outdoors this Winter

Update from Walleye Dan’s Guide Service
December 8, 2020
January Ice Update and Fishing Report from Walleyedan
January 12, 2021

The weather has been beautiful for enjoying the great outdoors and embracing the season. The Brainerd Lakes Area offers so much to do in the winter season.

Fat Tire Biking in Cuyuna Lakes

Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area is a bucket list destination for mountain bikers and for good reason. The Cuyuna trails are open in the winter for fat tire biking!  While the trails are busiest in the summer, winter is a fantastic time to ride. You’ll find a mix of beginner and more advanced single track trails. You’ll also find other trails for snowshoeing and ungroomed cross country skiing. Check out Red Rider Resort on Manual Mine Lake, which is connected to the Cuyuna biking trails.

Map of Cuyuna Trails

Mount Ski Gull

If you’re looking for a family friendly ski hill while you’re visiting, check out Mount Ski Gull. Here, you and your family can have a fun day of downhill skiing, snowboarding, and tubing. Mount Ski Gull has 6 runs open right now, which also includes the terrain park (both the big park and the mini park), plus the tubing hill.

You’ll need to plan ahead. Lift tickets and rentals must be purchased online before arrival. All tubing tickets must be purchased online before arrival as well. Tickets do sell out. Mount Ski Gull updates its website and Facebook page regularly with current hill information.

Ice Fishing

When lakes freeze, it opens a whole new world of fun. Ice fishing is a family activity for all ages! From Gull to Pelican and the Whitefish Chain, you likely will find good luck (and a few stories) when fishing for walleye and panfish. Evening fishing tends to bring the bite and a beautiful sunset, too!

Ice conditions have improved since December, but it’s still inconsistent. Be sure to check conditions at a local bait shop like S&W Bait, local gas stations, and with your lodging property. They’ll be able to give good insight on the current ice conditions and perhaps a few fishing tips, too.

Cragun’s Resort on Gull Lake rents ice fishing houses if you’re interested in fishing and having shelter from the weather.  

Cross Country Skiing and Snowshoeing

There’s something peaceful about trekking through the woods on skis or snowshoes. The Brainerd Lakes Area makes it easy for you to enjoy the woods. Trails are groomed regularly during winter months. You can find directions to trails, trail information and maps on the Crow Wing county website. The Northland Arboretum, which is within the Brainerd/Baxter city limits has 12 miles of trails with nearly 5 km lighted for evening skiing.

The Crow Wing State Park would be a great place to snowshoe, especially the beautiful trails that follow the Mississippi River.

You can snowshoe on the trails around the Paul Thiede Fire Tower Park just outside of Pequot Lakes. 

Easy Riders rents snowshoes and cross country skis.


You don’t need your own snowmobile to enjoy the hundreds of miles of trails around the Brainerd Lakes. Some of our Chamber member businesses rent snowmobiles if you’re looking for a fun experience.

Boats and Beyond
Brothers Motorsports
Central Lakes Motorsports
Cragun’s Resort on Gull
Power Lodge
Seaberg Motorsports