**Updated : January 2024**
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Where Even is Crosby MN?
Crosby is a small town in Central Minnesota, once known for it's huge iron ore mining industry. After the state's largest mining disaster in 1924, mining eventually left the the entire Cuyuna Country area - taking the once heightened economic industry with it. Nowadays, the area of Crosby, Ironton, and Cuyuna is filled with mountain bikers, red dirt trails, boutique lodging, delicious restaurants, and beautifully clear mine pit lakes.
Although it's a visitors haven in the summer for it's mountain biking, kayaking, and diving - there's just as much to do there during the winter months! Before you head up, it's worth noting that there are quite a few boutique stays to choose from, however, after our most recent visit we would 100% recommend The Birchbox Container. Not only did owners Britany and Austin completely design, build, and transform the property on their own from a literal shipping container (!!) but you'll have complete access to a private, outdoor hot tub!
The 9 Best Winter Things to Do in Crosby
1. Go Snowshoeing/Cross Country Skiing
Crosby is known throughout the state for its lengthy, groomed trails, making it the perfect area for snowshoeing or cross country skiing! If you're looking to rent some winter gear then Red Raven in Crosby has snowshoes and cross country skis available at $15 per 4 hours, or Cykel in Ironton has skis available at $25 for 4 hours. If you're not sure where to take your gear, we recommend heading to the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area to start! (During the winter months, Crosby and the surrounding Cuyuna area is also great for fat tire biking! More on that below!)
2. Relax with a Hot Tub
Alright, so this one might be a little biased - but there's no better time to enjoy an outdoor hot tub than during the winter months. Although we don't know of any public hot tubs or pools in the area, we recently stayed at the Birchbox Container which has one right onsite, in the privacy of the surrounding woods. Plus, just on the other side of the property you have incredible views overlooking the Mississippi River!
3. Milford Mine Memorial Park
In the past Crosby and the surrounding area was known for it's huge mining industry, so it's no surprise that the largest mining disaster in the entire state also happened here. If you head to Milford Mine Memorial Park, which is right across the road from the Birchbox Container, you can learn all about it via the park's educational signs. This park is great for snowshoeing, but also has a long boardwalk making it accessible for just about anyone.
4. Rent a Fat Tire Bike
Crosby is known across the state for it's incredible mountain biking trails, but did you know that in the winter you can still head outdoors on a fat tire bike? Cykel in Ironton offers fat tire bike rentals from $40-$80 per 4 hours, otherwise Red Raven in Crosby also offers fat tire bike rentals from $55-$65 per 4 hours. Red Raven also has an "electric" fat bike available for rent that costs $100 per 4 hours. If you're looking to take the fat tire bikes out for the day, then the best place to head is towards the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area - which has over 25 miles of groomed trails. Plus, if you're in town at the end of January you can even sign up for or watch the annual Icykel Fat Bike Race!
5. Book a Massage
If you're not into the outdoors, or snowshoeing or mountain biking, then lucky for you Crosby is also a great place to relax and rejuvenate. Right in downtown Crosby you can find Sisu Massage and Apothecary - a local shop offering 30-120 minute deep tissue, relaxation, or cupping massages. If you're lucky enough, your rental stay might even have an outdoor hot tub. ;)
6. Try the Local Cuisine
Crosby-Ironton has plenty of delicious places to eat, and although we've listed our all time favorites below, we'll be heading back in a few weeks and are hoping to add to this list with a few brand new places then!
7. Explore Downtown
If you're looking to do some shopping or grab some yummy bites to eat like we mentioned above, then your best bet is to head to downtown Crosby. With plenty of antique and thrifting stores you truly never know what you'll find, plus there's other boutique style stores like Victual and Cuyuna Outfitters - you'll soon realize that many of the stores revolve around the town's love of the outdoors.
8. Ice Fishing
I'll be honest, we've been ice fishing plenty of times in Minnesota - but we've never actually been in the Crosby area. However, according to Tyler the sheer quantity of lakes in the area makes this a great place to try out ice fishing. Of course, it's essential to know the thickness of the ice before you head out, and we recommend only going out if you see others on the lake as well. Typically you'll find crappies, bluegills, bass, northern pike and walleye in the lakes in this area.
9. Look for the Northern Lights/Stargazing
Although winters in Minnesota can often be cloudy and grey, if you happen to get a clear night then we highly recommend heading outside with a warm blanket to do some stargazing! If you're especially lucky, and stay out late, you might even see the Northern Lights if there's a strong solar storm. We recommend heading towards a lake or hill top for the best views - places like Serpent Lake, Lookout Mountain, or even an out of town Airbnb/rental are great places to start! If you do decide to take a hike at night, make sure to bring a flashlight or head lamp and to dress warm in layers! (Pro Tip : If you find a place to park and have a sunroof then you can wait in the warm car, just remember to turn your headlights off to avoid light pollution!)
Watch our Adventures in Crosby here!
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