Eric Mueller is a Minneapolis resident, professional photographer, and outdoor enthusiast. He lives in the happening Lyn-Lake neighborhood, conveniently situated near some of our city’s finest lakes and the Midtown Greenway bike path. He recently documented the ways in which Minneapolitans embrace winter by enjoying a variety of outdoor activities despite the cold temps.
Below is his photo series along with captions written by Eric. To see more of his work, follow him on Instagram and also check out his new blog, 366 Things I Love, where he’s posting one photo a day for the duration of 2016.
People who don’t experience cold, snowy winters are often puzzled about people who do. “How can you stand the cold?” is a common question.
In Minneapolis, we don’t think that way. We’re blessed with many lakes, parks, and public trails, all of which beckon us outside to enjoy ourselves in all seasons. On any given day in the winter I might see people running, biking, skiing, skating, fishing, kiteboarding, or ice windsurfing all within a mile of my house.
It’s inspiring to see how people react to the snow. A few weeks ago, during a major snowstorm, I headed out to see if I could get some pictures. As I approached Lake Calhoun, I saw a small dark speck on the horizon. I trudged out into the middle of lake and found this guy, fishing, and no doubt enjoying the silence.
Winter can be a great time for solitude and reflection, which is why many winter activities are solo ones. But not everyone wants to get away from the rest of the world; often winter sports are a great excuse to get together with friends.
There is no shortage of things to do, with events every weekend. A few weeks ago I watched some speed skaters in a 25km race for the City of Lakes Loppet, which is an amazing festival of skiing, skating, skijoring, dog sledding, snowshoeing, and fat tire biking. It’s one of the best winter weekends in Minneapolis!
And if organized events aren’t your thing, there are acres of parkland, and miles of trails for exploring, riding, and skiing on your own. Even in a metro area of 3 million, you can easily find a corner of the city all to yourself.
No doubt part of the appeal is that it all happens right in our backyards. In Minneapolis you’re never far away from an opportunity to enjoy an outdoor sport. People can fish right in front of their house, or easily access the 129 miles of on-street bikeways or 97 miles of off-street bikeways.
No matter if it’s snowing or clear, cloudy or sunny, still or windy, people in Minneapolis can always find a way to enjoy winter.
Now excuse me, but I’ve got to get outside myself!
- Eric -