Great Outdoors: Jay Cooke State Park

CARLTON, Minn. – Located just south of Carlton is one of the prime destinations for northland tourists in the wintertime.

“We classic groom about fifteen miles of classic ski trails within the park,” Assistant Parks Manager, Ty Gangelhoff says.

With additional fat biking and hiking trails, Jay Cooke state park offers something for all of your active adventures.

“Kids love to play in the snow and move around. So it’s good to get away from screens and get outside. And see nature and run around a little bit- burn that energy,” Tourist, Jenn Dahl says.

The biggest difference from the summer to winter months in the park is the atmosphere.

“A lot more people in the summertime. It’s a lot more peaceful and solum which is nice,” Dahl says.

“In the winter you can see a lot further but you don’t have the color contrasts expect with the conifers,” Gangelhoff says.

Although there is a drop in campers during the colder months, there are still five camper cabins for tourists and locals to check out.

“The campsites don’t get nearly as much use, but we still see people with tents and we get winter campers here,” Gangelhoff says.

Whether you’re hiking along the saint Louis river or walking along the iconic swinging bridge, the wildlife is easier to spot too.

“Deer you’ll more commonly see in the wintertime,” Gangelhoff says.

And if you do decide to venture out in the winter wonderland, park ranges have some tips for you… especially with the lack of cell phone service.

“Have a plan of where you’re going and pass it on to a person that you know and when you’re expected back,” Gangelhoff says.

Categories: Great Outdoors, Minnesota