Minnesota offers over 22,000 miles of groomed snowmobile trails for you to explore. And there are many Minnesota resorts that are open in the winter. Below are some things to consider when selecting your perfect winter snowmobile resort vacation.
1. Proximity to the trails:
While not all resorts are directly adjacent to trails, they may have spurs or easy access to the trails. It is convenient to be able to take your snowmobiles off the trailers or off the back of your pick-ups and depart from the resort. Ask the resort owner the easiest access to the trails. From your location, you can plan your day. Perhaps your group likes to go 50 miles a day or maybe 150 miles a day, look at the trail maps and see what “loop” makes the most sense for you and your group.
For variety in your trail excursions or if the resort doesn’t have direct access to trails, you may want to trailer to other areas. Even if your Minnesota Resort is directly on a trail, depending on how long you are able to vacation, think about trailering your sleds to area trails. You will be able to experience even more miles of the local trails.
2. Renting sleds:
If you don’t have your own sled, or cannot borrow one, then think about renting one. You may be able to rent one directly from the resort. You may be able to rent them close by. If not, then rent on at a snowmobile rental shop on your way to the resort. As your resort owner what the rental opportunities are in their area.
3. Other activities:
Ice Fishing, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, tubing, ice skating are a few additional outside winter activities you may want to do while on your winter vacation. If you don’t plan on snowmobiling every day, not everyone in your party want snowmobile or you just change your mind, there are additional outside winter activities to enjoy. Check with your resort or check their website to see what else is in the area.
Do you want to stay inside? Well, be prepared…. Bring books, cards, games, movies, iPad, magazines….. Sometimes it is just nice to sit inside and relax. Many resorts offer some of these things for you.
4. When to go:
For many, weekends or long weekends are the only opportunity they have to take a snowmobile vacation. If you are flexible with your time, think about a full week or perhaps a mid-week trip. The trails are certainly used less mid-week. Check with the area snowmobile clubs about their trail grooming schedules. Snowmobiling on a freshly groomed trail is awesome.
5. Resort Parking:
Parking trucks and trailers take up a lot of space. If you have a lot of people in your group, you may be bringing quite a few SUVs/Trucks and trailers. Some resorts have somewhat limited space. If need be, you may be asked to park the trailers in alternative parking areas. Minnesota resorts that are open in the winter are prepared for this and the will let you know where to park.
6. Kitchens or Restaurants:
For many when planning a snowmobile vacation you will most likely be “on the trails” most of the day. But, depending on your audience and location, you may be taking shorter trips or not go every day. If gone all day, then you generally have breakfast in the cabin and eat at restaurants on the trails for lunch and/or dinner. Resorters find that most of their guests over pack food both in the winter and the summer. It is just what guests do! Minnesota resort cabins have kitchens. So, you can certainly take time to prepare food in your cabin. Spending time in the cabin can be just as much fun as “hitting the trails.” Take some snacks with you. No one likes to be “hangry” or go snowmobiling with someone that is hangry!
7. What the resort owners wants you to know:
They want you to have an awesome experience on the trails, stay safe and come back again. I would be remiss if I didn’t also say that they would also like you to stay on the plowed roads while on the resort. Under the snow there are septic systems, water lines or plants/shrubs that are all protected with the snow. Don’t drive your snowmobiles anywhere except the plowed roads while on resort property unless it is clearly marked by the resort owner.
So, go and enjoy your winter at a Minnesota resort. Enjoy those snowmobiles and the trails!
Submitted by: Karen Senger
Retired Resorter and avid snowmobiler
Photo Credits: Wildwood Resort
Hidden Haven Resort