Discover the Great Outdoors
Even though there’s no snow on the ground yet, as Minnesotans, we know its coming! When it is ready to fly, we want you to be prepared so you and your family don’t have to miss a beat of fun in the great outdoors-right here in Cottage Grove.
Downhill Skiing, Cross Country Skiing, and Snowshoeing: We’ve got a few places in Cottage Grove that are known for their top-notch ski and snowshoe trails. All of them have regularly groomed and maintained trails for your safety and enjoyment.
River Oaks Golf Course and Event Center, with views of the Mississippi River Valley, turns its golf course into trails in the winter, making it a beautiful option for cross country skiing or snowshoeing! Insider Tip: After hitting the trails, we’re sure you worked up at appetite. We recommend going one of the days that the, Eagles Bar and Grill, has Chef Isaac’s Pop-Up menu available. That way that you can warm up and dine on some tasty cooking after being outside!
Afton State Park has 12 miles of trails, and loops for beginner, intermediate, or advanced downhill skiers. You can also rent out skis from the park office. The park also has 11 miles of designated snowshoe trail.
Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park, a Washington County Park, has 5 miles of ski trail and another 5 ½ miles of multi-use trail. Their different trails will cater to beginning to advanced skiers. The wooded ravines, lake, prairies, and variety of wildlife that call Ravine Park home will ensure you never get bored of the landscape.
Ice Skating and Sledding: Many of Cottage Grove’s great parks have ice skating rinks, warming houses and sledding hills to keep the family busy and active in the winter months. Visit our website to learn more about each one, but below is a quick reference for winter fun.
- Armstrong Elementary: Ice Skating Rink
- Cedarhurst Meadows Park: Sledding Hill
- Hamlet Park: Ice Skating Rink, Warming House
- Hearthside Park: Ice Skating Rink, Warming House, Sledding Hill
- Highlands Park: Ice Skating Rink, Warming House, Sledding Hill
- Ideal Park: Sledding Hill
- Oakwood Park: Sledding Hill
- Peter Thompson Park: Ice Skating Rink, Warming House, Sledding Hill
- Pine Tree Pond Park: Sledding Hill
- Pine Tree Valley Park: Ice Skating Rink, Warming House
- Woodridge Park: Ice Skating Rink, Warming House, Sledding Hill
Ice Fishing: Two ponds in Cottage Grove provide ample opportunities for ice fishing; Ravine Regional Park, stocking Walleye and Sunfish, and Hidden Valley Park, which stocks Sunfish. Insider Tip: The backwaters of the Mississippi at Hazen P. Mooers Park is also a possibility to get in some ice fishing – that is, if it’s cold enough!
Snowmobiling: The Washington County Star Trail consists of 140 miles of snowmobile trail between Scandia and Hastings. The trail and its team of volunteers allows snowmobilers to safely travel through Washington County via groomed, marked, maintained, and designated trails. For some added fun, the trails and feeder trails run right up to a few restaurants in Cottage Grove; the VFW Post 8752 and Carbone’s Kitchen and Pub, making it easy to stop for some grub along your trip. You can also pull into the Cottage Grove Holiday Station to fill up on gas and snacks.