Wirth Park Trailhead a Big Draw this Winter
Hearty Minnesotans with a desire to fight cabin fever hit the trails at Theodore Wirth Park this week.
“Cause what else are you gonna do in a Minnesota winter? I think it’s your alternative to staying inside for six months out of the year,” said Andy Harris, a ski instructor with the Loppet Foundation.
A steady rainfall Thursday morning made trail conditions less than ideal. But even miserable weather did little to deter the cross country skiing enthusiasts.
“We don’t really stop for the weather,” Harris said. “And that really speaks to the spirit of the people who do this sport.”
‘The Trailhead Has Been Huge’
The new Trailhead is also a big draw. The 14,000 sq. ft., $12 million building was designed to be the home of outdoor adventure at Wirth Park.
“We’ve had the snow making facilities here for a while. There’s been some snowboarding and some tubing, but the facility has really kind of brought everything together,” said John Munger, the executive director of the Loppet Foundation.
The Loppet offers a variety of outdoor recreation activities at the park year-round. This is the Loppet Foundation’s first winter with the Trailhead.
“The Trailhead has been huge,” Harris added. “It’s given us, kind of this central point for people all across the city, and all across the metro really, to gather and pursue their outdoor activity, whatever it is.”
Inside the Trailhead, you can rent skis at the Adventure Shop, get your hands on a fat tire bike, or even do some weightlifting if you don’t feel like going out in the cold.
Essentially, the Trailhead is a place for fun that’s designed to build a sense of community, and encourage people to try new things in freezing temperatures.
“We’re blessed and cursed with this geography,” Harris said. “And I think it’s a way to make what some people may see as a curse, a blessing.”
Meanwhile, on Saturday, Dec. 29, the Loppet Foundation will offer tubing and snowboarding at Wirth Park for the first time this winter.
In mid-January, a new Cajun restaurant will open inside the Trailhead.