Written by Candis Clendening, our taproom manager extraordinaire

Winter is here and the cold is settling in. It can be hard staying positive when we are also in the middle of a pandemic that is keeping us inside and apart from our friends and family. But there are still things we can do to lift our spirits! Here are four ways to stay physically and mentally healthy during this MN winter.

1. Go for a Hike!

  • Wild River State Park

Head out to Wild River State Park for some great winter hiking along the St. Croix River. The trail center is open all year for the comfort and convenience of those adventurous winter hikers. Enjoy the wide trails and packed hiking areas that are groomed daily for visitors. 

  • Gooseberry Falls State Park

On the way up to Lake Superior, Gooseberry Falls State Park is a remarkable place for a hike no matter the time of the year. The waterfalls along the cliffs and trails are a stunning sight and draw hikers from all over the world. The trails are safely packed and groomed for winter hiking and the visitor center is open all year for any questions or advice on where to hike.

  • Lake Minnewashta Regional Park

Lake Minnewashta Park is among one of the favorites for winter hiking. With special attention to the maintenance of their trails, this park welcomes hikers to come and play in the park without worrying about safety. Off-leash areas are also open for dogs to enjoy the outdoors along with the rest of the family. If you enjoy ice fishing, Lake Minnewashta also offers some great opportunities to try this activity.

2. Enjoy Some Art!

  • Minnesota Landscape Arboretum – The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum has many ways to enjoy winter in a safe and socially distanced 12,00 acres. Hiking trails, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and even an art show will be held. Their art show will hold five contemporary Minnesota artists that will have their work on display through Jan. 6, 2021.

3. Get a Pet!

Looking for relief from anxiety, depression, or stress during this cold winter pandemic? You may be able to find help right at home in the form of four legs or a wagging tail.  Pets are like superheroes when it comes to mental health!

  • A pet is always down to cuddle.
  • You have someone to listen to who won’t offer advice.
  • There’s always someone home with you.
  • Playing with your pet can be a great way to clear your mind. A pet will never judge you!
  • You never have to worry if your pet loves you or not.

4. Drink some craft beer to keep you warm!

There’s nothing quite like warming up on a chilly winter day in front of a roaring fire with a beer in hand. What beer you decide to drink is entirely up to you. But as the weather drops and the days get short, I would recommend something robust and dark like an imperial stout, barleywine, or dark sour. Here are a few good options…

Dual Citizen Brewery
Caress Me Brown- Brown Ale
Abv. 5.4% 

Dark Horse Brewing Company
4 Elf- Winter Warmer
Abv. 8.75%

Bent Paddle Brewing Company
Cold Press Black Coffee Ale
Abv. 6%

Great Notion Brewing
Sticky Bun- Imperial Stout
Abv. 11.25%

Drekker Brewing Company
Braaaaaaains- Apricot and Guava Fruited Sour
Abv. 7.8%