We all want to go to new places, and even if the COVID-19 situation is a bit strange all over the world, we can still experience a bit of Norway in the U.S. with three destinations that live by the Norwegian concept of Frilluftsliv — embracing the outdoors even in the coldest of weather. So bundle up — really bundle up — and head for these three destinations.
With its Scandinavian heritage, fruiluftsliv is second nature in North Dakota. The state is known for its open spaces, beauty and the highest number of national parks per square foot. From the From outdoor museum Scandinavian Heritage Park to ice fishing at North Dakota’s many lakes, with the most serious anglers taking part in the 38th annual Ice Fishing Tournament in January, there’s something for everyone. Travelers embracing the cold also have their pick of cross-country skiing, fat-tire biking and snowshoeing at Grahams Island State Park, White Horse Hill National Game Preserve, or through the Badlands, as well as snowmobiling through over 2,800 miles of snowmobiling trails with scenic views.
Redding, California, is 162 miles north of Sacramento and just 120 miles south of Oregon but it offers outdoor adventurers year-round fun. In the winter, visitors can enjoy snowy-weather activities at Mt. Shasta Ski Park, where limited crowds and 425 acres of trails make the perfect winter wonderland for skiers and snowboarders, or Lassen Volcanic National Park, the only national park where you can see all four types of volcanoes. Make sure to go on a Ranger- led snowshoe tour across volcanoes on weekends during the winter months. Those looking for a more family-friendly adventure can venture to Eskimo Hill for sledding.
Known as the Forest City and located less than two hours from Chicago, Rockford, IL is the perfect location to escape from the Windy City for a weekend to enjoy over 10,000 acres of protected recreational land and 42 individual forests preserves. To get outdoors this winter, Rockford is welcoming all to come out for 815 Outside’s Winter Adventure Challenge, which runs from December to February 28. The area is full of winter activities for the whole family, from cross-country skiing at Rock Cut State Park to flat tire biking at the new Silent Sports Trails at Atwood Park. At Severson Dells, a guided walking tour leads volunteers in search of the region’s native wildlife to help give back to the area’s wildlife reserves.
www.visitredding.com; www.gorockford.com www.ndtourism.com