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Bismarck, ND Governor Doug Burgum has declared February 2023 as Winter Recreation Month in North Dakota. The North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department (NDPRD) invites the public to join in celebrating all the winter activities and programs offered to North Dakota citizens and communities.

"After receiving significant snowfall across the state this winter, our parks and recreational areas are full of endless opportunities to explore the outdoors and become more active in North Dakota this season,” said Cody Schulz, NDPRD Director. “Our visitation at state parks in 2022 was the third highest on record and with the abundance of outdoor activities available, we invite even more visitors to experience our state parks in 2023.” 

From classic wintertime activities like sledding and ice skating to new favorites such as kick-sledding or fat tire biking, North Dakota's diverse landscape and unique climate welcome winter fun in February. Visitors can expand their experience by renting a cabin or yurt for overnight stays. Recreational opportunities abound at both state and municipal parks, with many of our state parks hosting special events ranging from themed hikes and Valentine’s Day sledding to Winter Fest and a fishing workshop. A list of upcoming events can be found at https://www.parkrec.nd.gov/events. 

The 2023 State Parks Guide outlining information and events at each state park and recreation area is now available at any park location, rest areas along North Dakota interstates, and the state Heritage Center. It can also be viewed online.

In addition, registration for the 12 Months-12 Hikes Challenge is open and this year includes six bonus hiking trails within our partnering park districts to help participants complete the challenge and have a chance to win a free annual permit. 

Snowmobile enthusiasts can take advantage of the excellent snow conditions at this year’s State Snowmobile Ride hosted in Bottineau on Feb. 18. NDPRD provides equipment for nearly 75 Snowmobile ND volunteers to groom over 2,800 miles of trails across the state.  

Winter recreation isn't just for enjoyment; it is also great for your mental and physical health. An estimated 93% of U.S. adults say parks and recreation services improve their mental health, according to a National Recreation and Parks Association report, and in a post-pandemic world where workers can choose where they wish to live and work, a healthy system of recreational programs enhances a community’s quality of life.  

The mission of the North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department is to enrich generations through experiences that connect people and places. 

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