Embracing winter weather at Winter Trails Day

Happy new year from the Mississippi River Fund! Before we jump headlong into 2015, we thought we’d take just a moment to appreciate the crazy weather that we saw in 2014. Though 2014 was the hottest year on record worldwide, according to a Minnesota Public Radio article published on December 2nd, Minnesota was the “epicenter of global coolness”.

Here are just a few cool facts about Minnesota’s weather in 2014:

•    9th coldest meteorological winter on record last winter
•    Wettest June on record in Minnesota
•    7 of 11 months last year produced colder than average temperatures in Minnesota.
•    Coldest November in 23 years in the Twin Cities.
•    1991 last November colder than November 2014.
•    The Mississippi River had its 6th highest flood on record.

Though we can’t know yet how the winter of 2015 will shape up, the recent cold snap is far from the coldest weather we’ve ever seen. According to the University of Minnesota, the coldest January date on record was in 1875 where the low bottomed out at -34 degrees without the wind chill!

No matter what the temperature, with the right gear almost any day can be a fun day outdoors. Join us this Saturday, January 10th for Winter Trails Day at Fort Snelling State Park. Get outside to celebrate and enjoy winter! REI experts, Fort Snelling State Park Rangers, and National Park Service Rangers will provide free activities that show how fun getting outdoors can be in any weather. Activities include: snowshoeing, cross country skiing, skijoring, ice fishing, ice sculpting, naturalist guided hikes, and traditional ice harvesting. Kids can also learn to build a quinzee, a hut made by hollowing out a pile of settled snow. This is in contrast to an igloo, which is made from blocks of hard snow. Join in with snow ranger activities, learn about winter camping and much more. Equipment is provided. REI will also provide hot cocoa and a big bonfire too!

The event is free, but State Park vehicle permit fees still apply - $5 day permit, $25 annual permit.

Let's embrace winter weather together at Winter Trails Day.