Plan the Best Winter Getaway in Minnesota

December 3, 2021
Plan the Best Winter Getaway in Minnesota

Winter may actually be the best time to escape up north. It’s the perfect combination of cozy hygge feels, scenic snowy trails, and endless outdoor recreation.

Winter At Ruttger's

With Ruttger’s Bay Lake Resort as your home base, you’ll be in the ideal spot to easily enjoy all that winter has to offer — from snowmobiling and skiing to hiking trails and bonfires.

And after a day out on the trails or down the sledding hill, we have you covered. Shake off the cold and settle in by the fire or warm up in your private jacuzzi in one of our Bay Lake Villas.

And the best part?

This winter at Ruttger’s the White Oak Grill will be open Thursday–Sunday. Plus, all adult reservations booked Thursday–Sunday will receive coupons up to $15 per day per adult for food and non-alcoholic drinks. See Winter Lodging Special for more information.

Not a bad way to end the day after spending hours out on the snowy trails!

So get properly bundled up and grab your ski boots and fuzziest mittens for an incredible winter getaway you’ll only experience up north. 

Winter Activities

  1. Skating & Bonfires with S'mores
  2. Sledding
  3. Snowmobile Trails
  4. Cross-Country Skiing
  5. Snowshoeing & Hiking
  6. Winter Biking

Skating & Bonfires with S'mores

Bring your skates (and maybe wear some extra padding!) for our new skating rink on Bass Lake right next to the White Oak Grill. A lighted trail will lead you down to the rink, where you can skate well into the evening as every Thursday-Sunday, lights illuminate the ice once the sun sets. 

And on Friday and Saturday evenings, you and the whole family will be treated to a roaring bonfire whenever you need a quick break from skating. S’more kits will also be available on bonfire nights for an extra gooey treat on those chilly days.


Also new at Ruttger’s this year is our sledding hill over by the White Oak Grill. A classic winter pastime, this will be a fast favorite for the kids and well… for the adults too!

Bring your sled or tube and have a great time hopping between the sledding hill and skating rink for a full day of winter fun.

Snowmobiling Trails

With the Garrison Snowmobile Trails running right in front of the White Oak Grill and Bay Lake Villas, Ruttger’s is home to some of the best snowmobiling trails in the state.

Riding over relatively even terrain, the trail is great for beginners and seasoned snowmobilers alike. Beginners can get a feel for snowmobiling, and the pros can cruise the trail, taking in the beautiful scenery. 

Cross-Country Skiing

Along with snowmobiling, you’ll find fantastic cross-country trails right in our backyard. Larson Lake Trail is 7.2 miles of rolling hill terrain surrounded by a stunning array of oak forests and red and white pines.

You’ll also ski by black spruce and tamarack bogs, and if you’re lucky, you’ll catch a glimpse of some wildlife too. The trail is groomed regularly during winter months for both classic and skate skiers.

Snowshoeing & Hiking

For those who want to slow down and enjoy winter at a more relaxed pace, grab your snowshoes or winter hiking boots and explore our NEW onsite snowshoe trails.

The trails begin at the White Oak Grill and wind through our beautiful Jack’s 18 Golf Course.

You’ll have three different trails to hike:

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

All trails will be clearly marked so you will easily find your way. 

White Oak Grill

Before heading out on the trail, check in at the White Oak Grill to grab a trail map and purchase one of our delectable wine and cheese kits or have your thermos filled with a hot winter beverage to take on the trail with you. Our wine and cheese kits will be packed in a backpack for easy transportation on the trail.

Designated areas along the trail make it easy for you to pull over and enjoy a slice of cheese and a glass of wine, relax, or simply enjoy the view.  

When you’re done trekking the trails, enjoy a little pampering at the White Oak Grill. Let us help you relax and warm up with a hot beverage and refuel your body with great food.  

Winter Biking

For the fat tire biking enthusiasts, you’ll love renting an e-bike from All Trails E-Bikes and exploring miles of the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Trails. Cuyuna Lakes State Trail and the Paul Bunyan State Trail offer an easy, snowy ride for all levels of riders.

The more adventurous winter bikers can traverse the 30 different Cuyuna Mountain Bike Trails, covering nearly 800 acres in the park.

Ruttger's Bay Lake Resort logo

Ruttger's Bay Lake Resort

Brainerd Lakes Area

Ruttger's Bay Lake Resort is among the leading lake resorts in Minnesota, welcoming families and groups to our shores for years!