Looking Forward to a White Winter in the Willmar Lakes Area

Bring on the snow! Are you as excited as us for the many fun outdoor winter activities?
It’s time to fully enjoy the beauty and fun that only a Minnesota winter can offer!

Snowmobiling. Snowshoeing. Cross Country Skiing. Kicksledding. Ice Skating. Sledding. Fat Tire Biking. Ice Fishing. With so many fun outdoor activities to enjoy, we’re positive that every kind of outdoor enthusiast will enjoy a winter getaway in the Willmar Lakes Area!

A great place where you can enjoy many of these winter activities is at Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center. Prairie Woods maintains approximately 10km of trails over rolling glacial terrain, through woods, and prairies, near ponds and wetlands. The trail network covers much of PWELC’s 500 acres so not only will you get to enjoy these winter activities, but you’ll also get to see the beauty of nature and some of the winter creatures. Call at least 24 hours in advance to rent equipment such as fat tire bikes, cross country skis, snowshoes and kicksleds for a minimal fee. They now have 4 different sizes of fat tire bikes and 3 different sizes of helmets, which means they can accommodate almost anyone.

Another popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts is Sibley State Park. Enjoy 8 miles of cross country ski trails that range from intermediate to challenging with lots of ups and downs. The trail is double tracked and predominantly a one-way loop. If you enjoy skate-skiing, there’s 2.5 miles of trails from the park office to Mt. Tom for a spectacular winter panoramic view of the area. Snowmobilers will love the 6 miles of trails throughout the park and the fact that they connect to the extensive county trail system including the Glacial Lakes State Trail. People of all ages can enjoy sledding on the big sledding hill near the Interpretive Center as well as snowshoeing anywhere in the park, except on groomed trails. Contact the park office ahead of time to rent snowshoes. Sibley State Park is also the gateway to fishing on Lake Andrew in the winter. Anglers will enjoy excellent crappie fishing, as well as the occasional walleye and northern pike.

If you have your own winter outdoor gear, plan a trip to Robbins Island Regional Park. Enjoy snowshoeing or cross country skiing along the many trails throughout the park. Or bring a sled and take on the snowy hills for a fun afternoon of sledding. Other great sledding locations include the hills at Ridgewater College and the hill just up from the Flags of Honor Memorial. Robbins Island is located between Willmar and Foot lakes, which are both great destinations for those that love to ice fish. Bring your own fish house or rent one from Green Lake RentalsDiamond Lake Resort or Green Lake Enterprises! After purchasing your fishing permit, head out on the lake with your fish house, ice auger, a fishing pole and some bait. Bring along a thermos of coffee or hot chocolate (and of course some snacks) and enjoy some quality time with friends or family. All you have to do is wait for a tug on your line to catch a walleye, northern pike, crappie or sunfish all while staying nice and warm.

Another fun way to enjoy winter in the Willmar Lakes Area is by ice skating! As long as it’s cold enough (which it usually is) the Public Works Department creates beautifully smooth ice rinks in area neighborhoods. Just grab your ice skates and head on out to Garfield, Hilltop or Lincoln parks in Willmar. If you’re in the Spicer area, head over to the ice rink near Prairie Meadows Elementary School. You can always enjoy ice skating on area lakes and ponds as well if there isn’t a bunch of snow on top. Just be sure to check the ice thickness before heading out.

Now that we’ve captured a glimpse into the winter activities and fun that you could have in the Willmar Lakes Area, it’s time to start planning your winter getaway!

Fish our lakes

The possibilities are endless on our 30 recreational lakes…boating, swimming, fishing, water skiing, tubing, canoeing, kayaking, paddle boating, hydro biking, paddle boarding and so much more!

Fishing Report

Explore our Trails

Surrounded by beautiful lakes and scenery…who wouldn’t take a hike or a leisurely bike ride to enjoy the view? With miles of trials to choose from, you can always find new places to explore.

Trail Report