Lewis and Clark Expedition members burned a lot of calories in their winter in North Dakota. You can, too.

The Corps of Discovery spent 186 days in North Dakota during the winter blazing new trails and today you can kick-start your resolutions exploring these same paths while enjoying the great outdoors.

A comfortable pair of warm hiking boots or snowshoes can cut a path through fresh powdery snow or on groomed trails. Studies show that physical activity in the cold burns more calories than when it’s warm, and being out in the sun boosts levels of vitamin D. In other words, you’ll feel better.

Some of the best winter hiking in the state is in Theodore Roosevelt National Park (nps.gov/thro/index.htm), along the Maah Daah Hey Trail (mdhta.com) or on several smaller trails found within the park. What can you see on a winter hike? For starters, amazing scenery, bison grazing in large herds (sometimes snow-covered), wild horses running along bluffs or frolicking in the valleys, eagles soaring overhead and ever-present prairie dogs. Experts say that winter is a very productive time for viewing wildlife because they are more concentrated and in more accessible areas.

Looking for something on a slightly smaller scale? If so, try out the trails that crisscross North Dakota’s 13 state parks (parkrec.nd.gov). Cross-country skiers and hikers can rent skis and snowshoes at Cross Ranch State Park (parkrec.nd.gov/cross-ranch-state-park), Fort Stevenson State Park (parkrec.nd.gov/fort-stevenson-state-park) and Lake Metigoshe State Park (parkrec.nd.gov/lake-metigoshe-state-park). Fort Ransom State Park (parkrec.nd.gov/fort-ransom-state-park) has ski rentals.

Embrace winter and the unique opportunities it brings to Be Legendary. Learn more about unique winter activities in North Dakota (ndtourism.com/articles/north-dakota-20-20-winter-wonderland)

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