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