This winter season, enjoy safe, outdoor fun at Elm Creek Park Reserve. It’s the place to be for all kinds of snowy recreation. Take advantage of the miles of trails for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and fat biking, as well as hills for tubing, sledding, and snowboarding. Whether you want to brush up on your favorite activities or try something new, Elm Creek has it all. Grab your mittens and scarf and check out the most popular ways to spend a day in this winter wonderland!

1. Elm Creek Skiing and Snowboarding

- Photo Courtesy of Three Rivers Park District

It's not official winter without a day of Elm Creek skiing and snowboarding. The Elm Creek Winter Recreation Area offers acres of trails and rails for every type of skier and snowboarder. Choose between the beginner downhill ski slope or Terrain Park, where you can carve and shred up the slopes while testing new tricks on the jumps and chutes. The recreation area also features more than 18 kilometers of perfectly groomed cross-country ski trails, so you can explore the best of Elm Creek while enjoying a peaceful day on the snow. The park includes a fully lit 5.8K trail and a 2.5K path for a fun night skiing.

Minnesota Nordic Ski Opener
Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021

Photo Credit: Three Rivers Park District
- Photo Courtesy of Three Rivers Park District

If you don’t have your own equipment, don’t worry. You can rent ski equipment at the Elm Creek Chalet. You can also take advantage of specially priced multi-visit tickets or buy a season pass to enjoy this winter wonderland for the whole season. Check Elm Creek's website for the latest COVID-19 precautions and procedures. 

2. Elm Creek Tubing and Sledding

- Photo Courtesy of Three Rivers Park District

Not a skier or snowboarder? No worries. The Elm Creek tubing hill is legendary! You don’t need special equipment or expertise to enjoy the tubing or sledding hills. On Elm Creek’s tubing hill, hop on the moving sidewalk to effortlessly climb the 10-story ascent. Once at the top, grab one of the specially designed inner tubes to soar down the hillside. Start on one of the easier chutes to warm up, then venture down one of the thrilling expert lanes. The tubing hills are fully lit, so you can make the most of your time at the park. If you want a break from tubing, you can also go sledding in the nearby reserved space. 

3. Elm Creek Fat Biking


The fat biking trails at Elm Creek are some of the best in the Midwest, so you can get your shred on even with the snow. Fat biking routes at Elm Creek help you burn serious calories while exploring miles of tree-lined trails that cater to beginners and experts alike.

4. Special Events at Eastman Nature Center at Elm Creek


Eastman Nature Center in Elm Creek Park Reserve provides families and friends with fun activities that help everyone celebrate winter throughout the season. This winter, check out the Amateur Photography Show featuring photos taken by visitors from all around Three Rivers Park District. Photos will be displayed in the nature center’s front windows and online through Dec. 21. And on Nov. 28, take the family on a fun Turkey Hike in the woods. Check out our Events page as we add more winter events at Eastman Nature Center. 

5. Snowshoeing at Elm Creek and Eastman Nature Center

Two women snowshoeing in the woods

Snowshoeing recently saw an incredible increase in popularity. People enjoy this winter activity because it's great for all ages. To go snowshoeing in Elm Creek, simply rent a pair of snowshoes from Eastman Nature Center and make your way around the nearby trails. It's a peaceful activity that allows you to get close to nature and enjoy excellent bird watching as you go. After your snowshoeing adventure, take a break inside the nature center. Floor-to-ceiling windows entice visitors to do some indoor birdwatching.

6. Eat, Drink, and Be Merry Near Elm Creek

Cozy feet in front of a fireplace

After a day of hitting the slopes and gliding on the ice, pick up a handcrafted seasonal latte at Daily Dose Café and Espresso, an independent, locally owned coffee shop and cafe with locations in Brooklyn Park and Maple Grove. Relax with a warm cup of one of its seasonal lattes or flavorful loose-leaf teas. Find all your favorite comfort foods at 3 Squares Restaurant on Maple Grove’s Main Street, like delicious chicken and waffles, hearty soups, and tuna melts. Call or go online to make a reservation ahead of time.


Let us know what your favorite winter activities are by commenting on our FacebookTwitter or Instagram pages with the hashtag #WeLoveMNW. You may even be featured on our website!