Trail etiquette: No dogs
With fresh snow on the ground and crews busy grooming trails for cross-country skiing at Minnesota state parks and recreation areas, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds visitors about winter trail rules and etiquette.
On groomed trails, with or without a set of tracks, remember:
n Pets are not permitted on ski trails.
n Hiking and snowshoeing is allowed anywhere in Minnesota state parks, except on the ski trails and trails posted "closed" for the winter. (Groomed trails deteriorate when people and animals leave their footprints on them.)
n Winter mountain biking is only allowed on trails designated for that purpose.
nAll skiers age 16 and older must carry a current, signed Minnesota Ski Pass with them when skiing in Minnesota state parks.
Ski passes can be purchased three ways:
n Daily ski passes ($6) are sold at park offices where staff is available.
n Self-registration for one-season ($20) and three-season ($55) ski passes is available at all Minnesota state parks except Carley, George H. Crosby-Manitou, Monson Lake and Schoolcraft.
n Ski passes can be purchased using Minnesota's electronic license system, available at nearly 1,500 locations around the state. To find a location, visit www.dnr. state.mn.us/licenses/agents.html or call the DNR Information Center between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at 651-296-6157 or toll-free 888-646-6367.
Many Minnesota state parks rent snowshoes ($6/day), and a few rent cross-country skis ($10/day). For a list of parks with rental equipment, and a list of parks with trails plowed and packed especially for hiking (with or without pets) and snowshoeing, check out the Winter Guide at www. mndnr.gov / parks.