Why You Should Head North in the Winter

Here in Minnesota, most people dream of heading South sometime during our cold winter. But one of my favorite winter trips is going North instead!

"head north in the winter" with image of a woman standing on an icy shore next to a big lake

I’m not against going somewhere warm. I’ve been to Florida in the winter, and Mexico a few times.

But for those of us fortunate enough to live in a northern climate, outdoor winter activities abound! And the more snow, the better.

Go North in the Winter? Yes!

I spent my college years in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I once had a fellow student ask me—in all seriousness—”Do you have snow all year ’round in Minnesota?”

Apparently we have a reputation for living on the frozen tundra!

While, no—we also have spring, summer and fall—our winters are legendary. A couple of the coldest spots in the continental US are in northern Minnesota.

Not everyone here loves our winters like I do. But I’ve always said, “If you want to love winter, find outdoor activities you can only do in winter. You’ll start to look forward to the cold and snow!”

It’s a different world.

Winter Beauty is Unique

Have you seen the sun shine on fresh snow? It looks like sparkling diamonds. Hiking or skiing through the woods after a snowfall is magical.

snow covered trees
A winter wonderland after a fresh snowfall

Ice makes its own designs, patterns and sculptures, with sunlight adding another dimension of beauty to it.

ice-covered branches and twigs along the lake shore
Ice sculptures formed by waves and cold along Lake Superior

Sometimes the wind carves natural snow sculptures, too. Super cool!

Snowflakes are Incredible

Snowflakes are a perfect demonstration of God’s handiwork. No two are alike, yet each is a symmetrical crystal.

Such intricacy of design. Such variety. (Imagine His delight when people finally discovered each snowflake is different!)

These are the first photographs of real snowflakes, circa late 1800s:

Cold Air is Invigorating

Breathing in the crisp, fresh air of winter is invigorating and refreshing. The air is remarkably clear on sunny winter days, maybe because the dew points and humidity are lower.

It could be my imagination, but it seems we can see twice as many stars in the winter night sky, too. They seem close enough to reach out and grab.

woman standing next to a frozen waterfall
A frozen waterfall creates ice sculptures

Snow Sports are Awesome

My personal favorites are cross-country (Nordic) skiing and snowshoeing. They’re…

  • So quiet. No motors, no lifts, no traffic. The quiet of winter.
  • Slow enough to be able to soak in the beauty. Being human-powered, you go at your own pace.
  • Away from the crowds.
  • Relatively inexpensive compared with other winter activities like alpine skiing.
  • A great workout!

Go alone. Bring others. Make it a family expedition.

three snowshoers on a frozen lake
Snowshoeing over a frozen lake

No Bugs, No Bears

One of the best parts of winter activity—the bears are hibernating and the bugs are nonexistent.

Hallelujah! It’s amazing being in the woods without bugs. That in itself is enough reason to get outside in the winter 🙂

Give It a Try!

If you haven’t yet headed north in the winter, and especially if you live in a warm climate—give it a try! Plan a vacation—just once—to a snowy, wintry place. Rent or borrow some skis or snowshoes. Wrap up and go for a walk after a fresh snow.

You just might get hooked!

snow covered mountains with tall pine trees
Another option is the mountains for wonderful snow!

Here’s more…

Sharon Brodin