If you're looking for a reason to get out this winter, the folks at Explore Minnesota tourism have introduced an exciting new contest to get out and see the state and win some big prizes for doing it.

It's called Checkpoint MN, and it is giving people the opportunity to win a share of over $50,000 in prizes for taking pictures at popular destinations around the state. The challenge is to take your picture (whether it's a selfie, or someone else takes the photo) next to the sign at each of 12 different destinations scattered around Minnesota and submit them to their website or use the hashtag #OnlyInMN.

Beside the obvious enjoyment you'll get of exploring the beauty Minnesota has to offer, Checkpoint MN will be giving away weekly prizes and also a brand new snowmobile as the grand prize in March, when the contest wraps up.

Of the 12 stops, three of them are located in our region of the state. One of the stops is right in our own backyard near the lift bridge in Canal Park; and the other two are at the International Wolf Center in Ely and Giant's Ridge in Biwabik. The contest goes through March 5; so you have plenty of time to get out, explore, and maybe win yourself something for doing so!