It’s no secret. Winter in North Iowa can be cold… and long. But winter is also a season of beauty when the landscape of North Iowa is transformed into a glistening wonderland. And that white stuff isn’t just for shoveling, the snow creates a variety of opportunities for outdoor fun (warm, winter gear is strongly recommended).
What cold-weather activities do you most look forward to? Where are the best spots in and around #MasonCityIA to embrace the cool of winter?
Based on the feedback we received, here are the top five ways to embrace the “cool” of winter and enjoy the season in Mason City:
HEAD FOR THE HILLS
No… not the hills of sunny Arizona. The sledding hills, that is! Whether you prefer a sled or a tube, there’s plenty of slippin’ slidin’ fun to be had at Mason City’s top sledding spots – East Park and Georgia Hanford Park. Generations of families have enjoyed East Park’s iconic gentle slope, located on the northwest side of the park. The sledding hill at Georgia Hanford Park (located in the far southeastern part of the park) provides plenty of winter thrills and childhood memories that will last a lifetime.
HIT THE TRAILS
Bundle up and take a stroll throughout our beautiful downtown or explore the frosty beauty of winter along numerous trails throughout the community. When there’s snow on the ground (which is typically common in North Iowa), strap on your snowshoes, cross-country skis, or grab your bike (fat tires recommended for snow) and explore the groomed trails at Lime Creek Nature Center. No gear? No problem. Snowshoe and cross-country ski rentals are available at Wayne’s Ski & Cycle. (Added bonus: Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing make for a great workout, burning between 420 and 1000 calories per hour!).
ZIPPING THROUGH THE SNOW
If a faster pace is more your style, North Iowa offers lots of great opportunities for snowmobiling. The North Iowa Snow Seekers maintain nearly 100 miles of groomed trails throughout Cerro Gordo County. >> TRAIL MAP
For more information about snowmobiling in Iowa, visit the Iowa Snowmobile Association website.
HERE FISHY, FISHY
Even in the cold depths of winter, fishing is a great way to cast your cares away and beat cabin fever! Ice fishing is not only fun and inexpensive, but it’s also family-friendly and Mason City is home to a number of popular fishing spots. To get started, check out these tips and tricks from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
WINTER IS FOR THE BIRDS
Did you know birds don’t hibernate? In fact, our feathered friends remain active even in the coldest parts of the year. Whether watching from the warmth of the indoors or traipsing through the woods, winter just happens to be one of the best times to catch them in action as the lack of foliage and often-gray backdrop makes them much easier to spot. The bright plumage of year-round residents such as cardinals and blue jays can be very eye-catching. One more bird to keep an eye out for in our area this winter is the bald eagle, especially along our area rivers (be sure to bundle up, it can be a bit blustery around the water). Ready to brave the cold? Check out these top spots for viewing our feathered friends.
Want more inspiration for winter fun? Cerro Gordo County Conservation Education Manager Todd Von Ehwegen shares his tips for Winter Survival in North Iowa >> CLICK HERE
Capture your best winter memories in #MasonCityIA and share with us by tagging @visitmasoncityiowa on Instagram!
SHARE YOUR WINTER EVENTS
If you have a winter event that we should know about, submit it here and we’ll do our best to help spread the word. Please note: Your event submission will first go through an approval process to make sure that it contains all the information needed to be added.