Dec 6, 2023 - Things to Do

Northern Minnesota skaters enjoying wild ice, while metro residents cross their fingers

People skate on a lake

Barb LaVigne and her group skate eight miles in the Boundary Waters. Photo courtesy of Barb LaVigne

The lucky folks in northern Minnesota are enjoying perfect conditions for wild ice.

Context: Wild ice is a rarity in Minnesota. It happens when lakes freeze deep enough for skating but haven't yet been covered in snow. Often, the clear ice allows skaters to peer down into the water.

Zoom in: Barb LaVigne posted this beautiful video of her group skating eight miles in the Boundary Waters, from Homer to Whack, then Vern Lake and back.

  • Lake Owen Resort posted this video from northern Wisconsin where the ice looks like glass.

Yes, but: Here in the Twin Cities the ice still isn't thick enough for skating. Lake Harriet, for example, is still open water and the forecast calls for temperatures close to 50 on Thursday.

  • The last wild ice in the metro was in late December of 2020 when flocks of people skated on city lakes.

Be smart: The DNR says ice should be at least 4 inches thick and checked in multiple spots.

Read more: MPR News interviewed several wild ice enthusiasts in Minnesota.

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