Imagine the serenity of a ski trail in the winter woods: soft white snow, brilliant blue sky. Explore the groomed trails on the Chippewa National Forest and Itasca State Park. Just minutes south of Walker off Highway 34, Shingobee Hills, once known as the Shingobee Winter Playground, was one of the first downhill ski areas in the state; today, it is a popular cross-country skiing and sledding area featuring six miles of looped trails. Itasca State Park, just 35 miles from Walker, offers 13 miles of ski trails, groomed for both classic and skate skiing. A State Park permit and ski pass are required at Itasca; no special permits are required for skiing in the National forest.