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waves on icy grand marais harbor shore

Top 10 North Shore Winter Fun with No/Low Snow

With an average snowfall of nine to ten feet, it's hard to imagine no snow (or very little) on the North Shore. On a rare occasion it happens. But there's still lots of adventures, activities and attractions to enjoy. Here's what we do for winter fun when we can't play in the snow.

  1. Explore State Parks
    The eight North Shore State Parks encompass some of the  most striking natural resources in the area. Six sit on Lake Superior. Six have visitor centers with gift shops and two have fireplaces! All have excellent trail systems and friendly staff.
  2. Take a Hike
    Bundle up and take a North Shore winter hike through beautiful landscapes, to waterfalls, to Lake Superior and to panoramic overlooks. Find the best North Shore hiking trails. Winter tip: bring cleats/yak traks for your shoes/boots in case it is icy.
  3. Look at Lake Superior
    The big lake changes daily and shows her splendor in different ways during winter. Listen to calm waves lap cobblestone beaches or watch breakers bust up on basalt cliffs. On cold days Lake Superior steams up, wisps of white curling upward. As winter progresses, ice formations can be outstanding, too!
  4. Contribute to (Y)Our North Shore Photo Gallery
    Capture the winter beauty of the North Shore. Snow or not, the landscapes and frozen shores provide unique and wonderful photo opportunities. Submit your favorites to - or get inspired by - our North Shore Photo Gallery.
  5. Take a Town Tour
    Meander north (or south) on Highway 61 stopping at each of the small communities that make up the North Shore. Have a cuppa, visit a gallery or museum, shop, and see what's happening.
    Stop Explore indoor attractions such as museums, art galleries, or historical sites.
  6. Winter Sports
    No snow doesn't necessarily mean no ice. Locals head out lake skating and ice fishing at inland lakes up and down the shore. Check local conditions and safety guidelines before engaging in any winter sports.
    Head to Lutsen Mountains and ski or board on the manmade snow. Not a skier? Ride the gondola over to Moose Mountain for cocoa and spectacular views!
  7. Local Events
    Check for local events or festivals happening in the area. See gallery exhibits, listen to live music, learn from a naturalist, attend a full moon reading, celebrate St Urho's, get your Hygge on.
  8. Cozy Retreats
    Embrace winter in a cozy getaway. Perhaps a lakeview suite with a whirlpool? Maybe a cabin in the woods. A hotel in town convenient to everything. Find your perfect place to stay on the North Shore.
  9. Culinary Delights
    Try local specialties -think wild rice porridge with local maple syrup - or comfort foods. Warm up with hearty soups or stews at local eateries.
  10. Stargazing
    Clear winter skies make for excellent for stargazing. With the early arrival of dusk, you don't even have to stay up late! You might even see the northern lights!

Bonus tip: Go on a waterfall tour! Whether rushing from rain, or ice covered from freezing nights, the North shore has spectacular waterfalls. Find a guide to North Shore waterfalls you can drive by, big falls, little falls and waterfalls near yu.

Even without a thick blanket of snow, the North Shore offers a serene and peaceful winter experience.


Check out these North Shore Favorites

sparkling wintry lake superior and ice sheets stacked on north shore

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