What to do in Winter

On the Mesabi, we know winter is meant to be enjoyed from the inside and the outdoors! Here’s a few ideas to get your winter off to a great start.

Make your way to Giants Ridge There’s tubing, boarding, alpine ski and more. There’s live music, great food and special events. The slopes open Nov 23. What are you waiting for?

Don’t know how to ski? This winter, take lessons at the Giants Ridge Ski School and get out there!


Take a Hike, a Nature Hike! The Sax-Zim Bog is located just south of Hibbing and is home to a wide array of boreal birds and owls, as well as interesting flora and other animals. Explore this wild place with a guide. You never know what you might learn, or see!


The Great Gray Owl (GGO for short), winters in the Sax Zim Bog, and is a favorite among wildlife watchers

Hang Out With the Like-Minded Mesabi Outdoor Adventures hosts group hikes, cycling and other fun activities for anyone who is interested on trail systems across the region, all year round. Hook up with them if you like to explore with others.

Let us Entertain You Our calendar of events is filling up more and more each day. Find performances by area musicians, local community bands, the Mesabi Symphony Orchestra, traveling performers and more. You’ll also find art classes, guided snowshoe treks, museum activities and more. 

Winter make you stir crazy? Check out the free Virginia Heritage Museum and nearby Olcott Park Greenhouse! 

Pick a Trail, Any Trail Access more than 2,000 miles of snowmobile trails from the Mesabi Iron Range. If you’ve got the machine, we’ve got the trails. Get maps, lodging deals and more and plan your winter getaway.

Make Tracks Your Own Way The Mesabi is home to fatbike trails, nordic ski trails, snowshoe trails and even curling (which isn’t a trail but it’s definitely a winter sport!) Get on the snow, the ice or whatever fits your fancy this winter. We’re waiting for you!

View and download trail maps here. 

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Winter Wonders: Minnesota Discovery Center

Summer is surely the high season for many of our Mesabi attractions. Ever wonder what goes on at places like Minnesota Discovery Center in the winter? Luckily for all of us, “The Museum of the Iron Range” is open year-round, but of course the popular trolley ride can’t happen with three feet of snow on the ground!

Visit the Museum of the Iron Range any time!

Don’t worry! There’s plenty of other things to see and do at MDC in the winter! You’ll see award-winning exhibits, like “Blue-Collar  Battleground: The Iron Range Labor Story” and “The Emigrant Journey,” where you take an emigrant passport and follow their journey in their new home.

Blue-Collar Battleground received an award from the Minnesota Alliance of Local History Museums.

You might even get in on a Family Discovery Day event, where kids and caregivers get to learn, have fun, and most likely get a snack!

Museums are a great place to foster a love of learning!

If outdoor fun is on your agenda, rent snowshoes from MDC and explore their outdoor exhibits, or get in on a guided snowshoe hike every Thursday and Saturday. It’s a great way to experience winter!

Rent ‘shoes for just five bucks!

And what could be better than capping your MDC experience off with a tasty meal and maybe a little music? Visit the Rustic Pig, a Saturday-only onsite restaurant with intriguing menu items and fabulous decor.

Curry salmon from the Rustic Pig made an appearance on the February menu.

When exploring the Mesabi, don’t forget visit our year-round attractions, like Minnesota Discovery Center in Chisholm!

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