I strapped on snowshoes, hiked over a frozen lake and stopped to watch a woodpecker hunting for lunch. My own noontime meal had been a delicious and healthful salad, made by a talented and friendly cook. Later, my muscles would melt under the hands of a masseuse. All of this was a delightful, not at all punishing, attempt to lose weight. I was at Birdwing Spa, in the quiet countryside near Litchfield, Minn., and if I was hungry, I was too delighted in my surroundings to notice.

I bring up Birdwing Spa for a few reasons. One, I nearly included it in my list of top places to visit in the region in 2016 (see story on G1), since it is the only destination spa in the state.

Second, with its focus on health, it can help anyone whose New Year’s resolution incudes losing weight or getting more fit. And I bet there are a few such people out there. According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, losing weight is the top New Year’s resolution.

Birdwing — with a lodge, a converted barn with rooms in a range of sizes and a workout facility — provides several fitness classes each day, from yoga and aerobic classes to organized hikes. Snowshoes are available, as are canoes and kayaks when ice on the lake melts. Three communal meals a day — prepared with whole grains and fresh ingredients, in reasonably sized portions — are served from an open kitchen. Available in the treatment room: facials, body wraps, massages and other pampering services.

Two spa services and all meals and exercise classes come with the cost of a two-day package at Birdwing. Prices for that start at $575. Day visits and extended stays are also popular.

For more details, go to birdwingspa.com or phone 1-320-693-6064.


Send your questions or tips to Travel Editor Kerri Westenberg at travel@startribune.com, and follow her on Twitter: @kerriwestenberg.