Stay a while longer and you can keep warm by a cozy fire before bundling up for a cross-country ski or snowmobile ride. Winter is the perfect time for trying out snowshoes, tobogganing down a hill with kids, building a snowman or skating on a cleared section of lake.
There is time for the peaceful solitude of walking down a forested lane where snow-tipped pine trees make you certain you are in a winter wonderland.
There is nothing like a get-away to a cabin deep in the woods or on the edge of a frozen lake, cozying up next to a warm fire, reading a book or watching the coals glowing and keeping an eye on the winter wildlife through a picture glass window.
Cross-country skiers will find an almost unlimited landscape of skiing opportunities around Cass Lake with a variety of flat and hilly trails, all of them very scenic.
Scenic, groomed trails are available in Bemidji and Itasca State Parks as well as the Shingobee recreation area (near Walker) 25 miles from Cass Lake. Groomed trails are also available at the Buena Vista Ski Area near Bemidji.
For downhill enthusiasts, Buena Vista has 15 downhill runs, the longest running for 2,000 feet. There are four chair lifts.
There are hundreds of miles of groomed snowmobile trails that criss-cross the Cass Lake area and miles of designated forest roads and open areas where you can take your snow machine.
The following trails are scenic, fun to travel and well-maintained:
- The 58-mile Soo Line Trail stretches from Cass Lake to Remer on an abandoned railroad bed.
- The 51-mile Heartland Trail, also on an abandoned railroad right-of-way, begins in Cass Lake and travels through Walker, Akeley, Nevis and Park Rapids. Along the way, snowmobilers can branch off onto trails that wind through the Paul Bunyan Forest which has an entire network of trails in the land of the lumberjack.
- The 33-mile Paul Bunyan Trail begins nearby in Bemidji and ends south of Cass Lake in Walker. That’s where there is access to the 16-mile Chippewa Trail.
- The 40-mile Northland Trail begins in nearby Bemidji and goes to Blackduck.
- The 17-mile Pipeline Trail goes north from Bena (just east of Cass Lake) to the south shore of Lake Winnibigoshish and up the east side.
- The 13.5-mile Eagle Loop branches off the Soo Line and follows the west shore of Lake Winnibigoshish.
- The 5-mile rock springs Trail branches off the Soo Line and travels down south to the Sucker Bay area of Leech Lake.
- The Chippewa National Forest can provide information on the many unplowed Forest roads that are open to snowmobilers.
There’s so much to see and do during a Cass Lake winter,
you’ll just have to come and try it for yourself.