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Snowshoe Rental & Cross-Country Ski Trails

Snowshoes & Cross-Country Ski Equipment
Available for Rent

Monday - Friday 9:30 am to 4 pm
Saturday - 9:30 am to 3 pm

Daily Rental Fees
$5/person for River Bend members; $10/person nonmembers

Ski Bundle (includes a pair of skis, boots, and poles):
$5/person for members; $10/person for nonmembers

Skis, boots, or poles rental only:
$2 for members; $4 for nonmembers

Cross-Country Ski Trails
Enjoy five miles of cross-country ski trails. A wonderful group of volunteers keeps our trails groomed, plus we receive assistance from the DNR Trails to maintain them. While the use of our trails is free, a ski pass is required for all skiers age 16 or above on MN cross-country ski trails built or maintained with state funds. Accordingly, a Great MN Ski Pass is required on all River Bend trails. A ski pass can be purchased at your local DNR or anywhere where a hunting or fishing license can be purchased. For details on where to purchase the Great MN Ski Pass visit:

Trail Hours:
Every Day 6am to 10pm

View our Trail Map (PDF)

Trails are usually groomed the day after a new snow. You may check the current status of our ski trails on our web site once the season begins.

Snowshoe Family

Cross-country ski trails

Snowshoe Information


Snowshoe Styles Available at River Bend

Good for heavy woods and frequent turning. High maneuverability.

Bearpaw Snowshoe

Green Mountain
Best for heavily wooded, hilly areas.

Green Mountain Snowshoe Style

Good for open or wooded areas. Tails allow for easier, straight-line travel.

Michigan Style Showshoe

Good for open areas and deep snow. Fastest snowshoe in open areas.

Alaskan Style Snowshoe

Snowshoe Couple

Tips on Using Snowshoes


  • Stand upright keeping weight on your heels
  • Keep your toes up
  • It is not necessary to walk with your feet far apart

Travelling uphill

  • Walk up hill at an angle if possible
  • If going straight uphill, point toes out and dig inside edges into snow


  • Change direction slowly, taking small steps


  • Travel around fallen trees and rocks or step completely over them
  • Do not step partially on an object– snowshoes are likely to break
  • Stay off the ice on the river
  • Do not walk on groomed ski trails 

Snowshoe History & Uses

Snowshoeing was believed to have begun in Central Asia about 6,000 years ago.  This was an important invention that may have allowed for the migration over the Bering Strait and eventual colonization of North and South America.

In the past two centuries snowshoeing has become an important part of North American traditions and culture in both Canada and the United States.  Community activities including snowshoe clubs and group snowshoe hikes have increased in popularity.

Some of the people who currently make use of snowshoes include recreational users, trappers, hunters, surveyors, soldiers, prospectors, and foresters. Snowshoes work well for any person who spends time walking in deep snow.  The snowshoe is designed to spread a person’s body weight out over the snow allowing him or her to walk more on top of the snow than would be possible without snowshoes.

« Our mission is to help people discover, enjoy, understand, and preserve the incredible natural world that surrounds us. »
   River Bend Nature Center a donor-supported, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
PO Box 186, 1000 Rustad Rd, Faribault, MN 55021-0186 USA
 507.332.7151  |
©2017 River Bend Nature Center. Faribault, MN, USA.
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