Enjoying the winter in the great outdoors

State Sen. Chuck Wiger
District 43

“The beauty and charm of the wilderness are his for the asking, for the edges of the wilderness lie close beside the beaten roads of the present travel.” ~Theodore Roosevelt

With the cold weather now here, Minnesota will soon have a completely changed landscape. The snow and ice certainly can bring big headaches, but they provide a whole new playground for Minnesotans to enjoy. Soon we will have the joy of ice skating, sledding, outdoor hockey, ice fishing, cross country skiing and more!

As you are looking for ways to enjoy the winter weather with your family, I suggest you think about what our parks and trails have to offer. State, regional and local parks provide great getaways, without having to travel long distances or spend a lot of money.

The  Metropolitan Council website (http://www.metrocouncil.org/) has an excellent guide for parks in the Twin Cities area. Our regional parks system includes 61 parks and park reserves, 38 trails and 7 special recreation features. Wherever you are in the Twin Cities, you can always find a park or trail to enjoy.

For state parks, use the Department of Natural Resources website (http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks) to find locations, events, fun stuff for kids and more.I suggest you also check out the Parks and Trails Council of Minnesota, (https://www.parksandtrails.org/) The Council is a strong advocate for parks and trails and has raised significant funds to help acquire land for recreation. Excellent information and pictures about state parks are available on their website.

In addition to our state and regional parks and trails, our local communities provide many excellent places to enjoy nature. Visit the website for your community, or call city hall to find out more information.

As President Roosevelt said, the wilderness’ beauty and charm is here for the asking and one of the great joys of living in Minnesota is having beauty and charm right outside our back door. Get out there and enjoy!

As always, please contact me with questions or suggestions regarding any issue. I encourage you to visit me at the Capitol, or let me know if you’d like me to stop by your home or apartment.  Also, please tune in to my local cable TV show, “Your Capitol: What’s Up?,” which appears on public access channels 15 and 16. I can be reached by email at sen.chuck.wiger@senate.mn and by phone at 651-296-6820.

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