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Shake off that cabin fever and get outside this week

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Detroit Lakes Detroit Lakes, 56501
Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

The weather is supposed to turn warmer starting Thursday -- and unless it's a cruel hoax by the forecasters, it's time to shake off that cabin fever and enjoy the outdoors.

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If you've been itching to do some snowmobiling, this is the year to get out there.

The 200-some miles of snowmobile trails in the Detroit Lakes area are in great condition.

Becker County has 25-30 inches of snow, ideal for sledding. Trails are groomed, with 4-6 inches of snow at the base. Free snowmobile trail maps are available at the Detroit Lakes Chamber office.

The trails cover all types of terrain, from rolling prairie to secluded woodlands.

Not your cup of tea? A trail system of groomed and rugged cross country skiing is also open in Becker County.

Or you could take the kids ice fishing, or sledding. Popular sledding hills in Detroit Lakes are at the Boys and Girls Club and City Park.

Detroit Mountain is long gone, but there is downhill skiing available within driving distance -- Andes Tower Hills near Alexandria is open every day except Wednesdays for skiing and snowboarding, and Buena Vista Ski Area near Bemidji is open Friday through Sunday in February. Both offer tubing hills as well, but call ahead to check hours of operation, since they vary for tubing.

Take the dogs for a long walk, shovel the snow off the roof, scrap the driveway down to the concrete - just get out and do something in the sunshine.

Don't forget Lincoln Rink, located behind MeritCare Clinic in Detroit Lakes. There are two hockey pens there and a rink for free skating. Skates are available in the warming house.

For some good indoor hockey, check out the Bantam A hockey tournament that starts Friday at the DL arena. You can invest $50 in a raffle ticket and maybe win a new truck, ATV, $1,000 cash and all sorts of other good stuff.

Still looking for ideas? Polar Fest starts this weekend, with all sorts of things happening, inside and out.

On Saturday, the Midnight Riders Old Timers Snowmobile Run starts at 10 a.m. in Lake Park.

The opening of the ROLA One-Lunger 100 Vintage Snowmobile Races will be held at the ClubHouse Hotel, and there's a snowshoe hike on the North Country National Scenic Trail at Itasca State Park, starting at 1 p.m.

We're running out of room, but the Historic Holmes Theatre's Winter Marketplace also starts at 10 a.m. in the Holmes Ballroom and continues until 8 p.m. It features crafters and home-based businesses.

Polar Fest offers everything from candlelit skiing at Dunton Locks to a 14-hour Scrap-a-thon.

So get out there and have fun, weather permitting -- and it looks like it finally will.

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