Embracing winter is a way of life for those of us living in the Upper Midwest. As autumn fades away, the state parks become less frequented, the temperatures drop, and the snow piles up. But don’t let the frigid air discourage you from enjoying a winter getaway in MN. There’s something special about the sound of boots crunching on fresh powder or newly formed ice glassing over a secluded lake. Now is the time to dig out your thermal socks, long johns, and stocking caps to layer up and make the most of the whitest, coldest time of year with a smile on your face. Big Sandy Lodge & Resort, just north of McGregor, MN, will soon be surrounded by a wintertime playground, and we invite you to join the fun! From snowmobiling to ice fishing, there are plenty of things to do in Minnesota in the winter.

How to Spend Your Winter Getaway in MN

The abundance of solitude one can find is arguably the best part about a winter getaway in MN. Although the region doesn’t necessarily turn into a barren wasteland, you’ll have a lot more wiggle room near the area’s natural landmarks and attractions. Other than snowmobilers and ice anglers, you won’t run into nearly as many people during the colder months, and you’ll find joy in being the first person to explore a park or hiking trail after a recent snowfall. To help you wade through the seemingly waste-high number of things to do in Minnesota in the winter, we came up with five ways to spend your winter getaway in MN.

5 Things to Do in Minnesota in the Winter

Big Sandy Lodge & Resort delivers unfettered access to some of the most quintessential pastimes in  “Vacationland.” Visitors from all over the Upper Midwest make McGregor, MN, their preferred winter destination, and we’re about to share why. Without further delay, here are five things to do on your winter getaway in Minnesota. 

Digital Detox

The iconic winter scenery exhibited by Northern Minnesota provides a serene atmosphere that kindly lends itself for a digital detox. A few recent studies have shown that excessive device use can cause increased anxiety and lead to depression. Fortunately, the area around McGregor offers an impressive array of natural beauty characterized by the majestic wonder brought on by a snow-covered landscape. So, instead of cozying up next to the fire with your laptop, tablet, or smartphone, perhaps a good book or art project would be a more fitting companion on a chilly Northwoods night.

Cross Country Skiing & Snowshoeing

Since our Minnesota lake resort is only minutes away from Savanna Portage State Park and Rice Lake National Wildlife Refuge, we’ve become a burgeoning basecamp for cross country skiers and snowshoers visiting our neck of the woods. From groomed trails to rugged routes, there is a wide variety to consider. Whether you’re a seasoned trekker or an aspiring novice, you’ll find a trail to keep busy on your winter getaway in Minnesota. Also, be sure to ask our staff about any hidden gems or less-traveled corridors. 

Downhill Skiing & Snowboarding

If downhill skiing and snowboarding is your cup of soup, then you’re in luck. Less than one hour to the east, Spirit Mountain Recreation Area is one of Minnesota’s premier destinations. Located just outside of Duluth, you’ll gaze upon stunning vistas of Lake Superior as you speed towards the awaiting chalet. And don’t worry if you don’t feel like lugging your gear, Spirit Mountain has an expansive rental center with everything from skis to goggles.

Ice Fishing

Whether you choose to stay on Big Sandy Lake or explore the many nearby options, ice fishing is something every avid angler should experience no matter their home climate. As much as we love fishing in the summer, there’s a lot to be said about finding success after eagerly waiting for a strike or tip-up to pop while standing on a sheet of hard water with a crisp beer or steaming tumbler of hot cocoa. Although there is a gamut of accessories to assist in your hunt, all you need is warm clothes, an auger, ice rod, bait, lures, and a fishing license


Quite possibly the most popular winter activity in Minnesota, snowmobiling offers an adrenaline-fueled way to admire the sprawling countryside and marvelous winter scenery. By itself, Aiken county has almost 650 miles of groomed trails, many of which are easily accessible from our property. What’s more, the surrounding lakes provide a wide-open area to reach top speeds while pushing your machine to the limit.

Beautiful Cabins in Northern MN

A winter getaway in MN could be the best way to maximize your excitement during the colder months. Well, the only way to find out is to plan a trip to Big Sandy Lodge & Resort and see what all the fuss is about. For more information or to book one of our rustically elegant lodging options, please reach out to us online or call 218-426-5040.