Winter 2023/2024 | MINNESOTA TRAILS 1
522 Sinclair Lewis Avenue Sauk Centre, MN 56378
www.MnTrails.com Minnesota Trails Staff Jan Lasar Editor/Publisher Joyce Frericks Accounting Karen Knoblach Page Layout & Design Graphic Design
Crosby / Ironton Deerwood / Bay Lake Cuyuna / Emily SPECIALTY STORE EAT / DRINK
Editorial Board Brett Feldman Executive Director Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota
DEERSTAND RESTAURANT & BAR 24188 Mohs Street, Deerwood (218) 534-9253 www.deerstandrestaurant.com
COMMON GOODS 27 W Main St, Crosby (218) 772-2999 www.commongoodsmn.org
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VICTUAL 124 W Main St., Crosby (218) 545-1000 www.shopvictual.com
THE HUDSON 208 Curtis Ave., Ironton (218) 772-0096 www.hudson218.com
Ice cream, cheese, charcuterie, gourmet, gifts, spirits
Food, coffee, beer, wine & cocktails
OARS-N-MINE 22640 MN-6, Crosby (218) 546-6912 www.oarsnmine.com Docks, lifts, bait and tackle
TIMBER BUILDING SUPPLY & ACE HARDWARE 14506 State Highway 6, Deerwood (218) 678-2063 www.timberbuildingsupply.com Your local building supplier
CUYUNA LAKES STAY 23688 Forest Rd, Deerwood (218) 866-2353 www.cuyunalakesstay.com
Serving the Cuyuna Lakes and surrounding areas (218) 546-8346
Nightly, weekly, monthly lodging
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Bike sales, bike rentals, bike repairs & custom bike builds
Locations in Crosby, Baxter & Crosslake
Full Menu, Salad Bar, Cocktails, Meat Raffles and Fun!
Vol. 28, No. 4 November 2023
CYKEL 324 Curtis Ave, Ironton (218) 772-0177 www.cykelonline.com
23457 Co. Rd. 31, Crosby (218) 838-6858 www.redriderresort.com
CUYUNA LAKES CHAMBER 21236 Archibald Rd, Deerwood (218) 546-8131 www.cuyunalakes.com
Cabins and camping right off the trail
COLLECTION WWW.CUYUNACABINS.COM Crosby, MN email@example.com Direct trail access across from cabins
CRMC SUPER ONE Clinic – Pharmacy Inside Crosby Super One Store (218) 545-5350 www.cuyunamed.org
FINANCIAL DEERWOOD BANK 21236 Archibald Rd., Deerwood (218) 534-3111 www.deerwoodbank.com Banking Made Nice & Simple
MID MINNESOTA FEDERAL CREDIT UNION 117 West Main Street, Crosby (218) 546-5428 www.mmfcu.org Member owned and working for you
Luxury lodging loaded with amenities
www.CuyunaLakes.com 2 MINNESOTA TRAILS | Winter 2023/2024
Cuyuna Lakes Chamber members are open & ready to serve you you!
Explore Janesville’s Miles of Trails
8 Winter Hideaway Skiing at Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center Jan Lasar
10 A Four Dog Night
Winter Camping in the Boundary Waters Jeremy Sanoski
12 Gliding Beyond Limits The World’s Longest Cross-Country Ski Streak Lane R. Ellis
26 Skiing Kensington Rune Stone Park Jan Lasar
6 Minnesota Miles Jan Lasar
Ice Age Trail Community y Vibrant Downtown y Public Art Dining & Shopping y Plenty of Accommodations
janesvillecvb.com · (800) 487-2757 · å î ÷
4 Parks & Trails Council News Lisa Filter
7 Trails Q & A
Conversations with Trail Users
15 2023/24 Ski Trail Guide Minnesota’s 200+ Ski Trails
29 2023/24 Winter Events Fatbike & Ski Adventures
30 MN Trails Map Minnesota’s Trails At-A-Glance
31 Trail Partners Find Trail-Friendly Businesses
COVER: Skiing past the Öhman Barn at Kensington Rune Stone Park. Jan Lasar photo ABOVE: Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center Jan Lasar photo
FIND US ON: Winter 2023/2024 | MINNESOTA TRAILS 3
REUEL HARMON AWARDEE
ANTHONY TAYLOR BUILDS ON OUR INHERENT RELATIONSHIP TO NATURE Anthony Taylor knows that nature is fundamental to our experience as humans, and they are on a mission to ensure that all people UHDS WKH EHQHȴWV )RU 7D\ORU WKHLU MRXUQH\ EHJDQ ȊVHOȴVKO\ ȋ RU VR WKH\ VD\ 7KH\ ODXJK DQG FRQWLQXH ȊΖ QR longer wanted to be the only Black SHUVRQ RQ P\ ELF\FOH ULGHV ȋ Bicycling has been a lifelong passion for Taylor, who spent much of their young adult life training and enjoying rigorous, multi-day, FURVV FRXQWU\ ELF\FOH WULSV ΖWȇV DOVR D VSRUW ZLWK IHZ EODFN SDUWLFLSDQWV One day Taylor was in the basement of a Minneapolis bicycle shop ZKHQ WKH\ FDPH XSRQ D ERRN 2Q the cover was a black-and-white SKRWR RI WKH ZRUOGȇV IDVWHVW ELF\FOH rider—a Black man named Major 7D\ORU QR UHODWLRQ WR $QWKRQ\
Top: Anthony Taylor receiving the Reuel Harmon Award from Parks & Trails Council President Brett Feldman on Sept. 13. Bottom left and right: Taylor with participants in two of the many Loppet Foundation events they organized in Minneapolis in both winter and summer.
Story by Lisa Filter, Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota
4 MINNESOTA TRAILS | Winter 2023/2024
Regrettably, history has largely forgotten Major Taylor who, despite enduring racism that barred him from races, turned him away from restaurants and hotels, and ridiculed him with racist insults, went on to earn world champion titles and become one of the highestSDLG DWKOHWHV LQ WKH ODWH V Anthony Taylor was astonished DQG LQVSLUHG &ROODERUDWLQJ ZLWK friends, including Louis Moore, they IRXQGHG WKH 0DMRU 7D\ORUȇV %LF\FOH &OXE RI 0LQQHVRWD LQ 2QH RI WKH FOXEȇV ȴUVW HQGHDYRUV ZDV WR provide training assistance to three
Black women who participated in WKH PLOH $Ζ'6 5LGH 6LQFH WKHQ the club has grown and become part of a national movement of %ODFN OHG ELF\FOLQJ FOXEV 7KLV ZRXOG EHFRPH 7D\ORUȇV OLIH work—creating opportunities for underrepresented communities WR JHW RXWGRRUV %XW WKDW ZDVQȇW DSSDUHQW IURP WKH VWDUW )UHVK RXW RI FROOHJH LQ ZLWK D GHJUHH in chemical engineering, Taylor VSHQW IRXU \HDUV LQ WKDW ȴHOG EHIRUH PRYLQJ LQWR D MRE PDQDJLQJ ȴWQHVV FHQWHUV 2QH WKLQJ OHG WR DQRWKHUȃ including earning two Executive MBAs along the way—until eventually, Taylor began working for nonSURȴWV OLNH WKH /RSSHW )RXQGDWLRQ DQG WKH <0&$ RI WKH 1RUWK DQG WKH &XOWXUDO :HOOQHVV &HQWHU +HUH WKH\ OHG HRUWV WR EXLOG HTXLWDEOH DFFHVV WR WKH RXWGRRUV \HDU URXQG Ȋ+DYLQJ D FRQQHFWLRQ WR QDWXUH LV D ELUWKULJKW ȋ VD\V 7D\ORU :KHQ \RXWK have access to nature, they become rooted in positivity, and the outFRPHV DUH XQGHQLDEOH 7D\ORU IHOW this in their own childhood growing XS LQ 0LOZDXNHH 7KHLU PRWKHU KDG a deep connection to nature and sent her children to summer camp IRU ZHHNV DW D WLPH 7KH FDPS ZDV mostly white but also had a mix of UDFHV DQG FXOWXUHV ȊΖW JDYH PH D sense of real success and connecWLRQ WR QDWXUH HDUO\ LQ OLIH SOXV Ζ built relationships with people of GLHUHQW EDFNJURXQGV ȋ VD\V 7D\ORU
PA R K S A N D T R A I L S . O R G
~ Anthony Taylor’s remarks when accepting the Reuel Harmon Award from Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota Taylor says that when you solve IRU UDFLDO LQHTXDOLW\ LW FRQWULEutes to an inclusive world that EHQHȴWV HYHU\RQH 8VLQJ WKLV HTXLW\ OHQV 7D\ORU DOVR IRFXVHV on opening opportunities for people of all abilities, incomes, DQG EDFNJURXQGV
Let us continue to intertwine the threads of nature preservation and environmental justice with the rich tapestry of African-American history, ensuring that our legacy is one of strength, unity, and unwavering advocacy for both the planet and the people.
6HSWHPEHU ULGH PRVW RI ZKRP ZHUH $IULFDQ $PHULFDQ 7KHLU success has been cultivated with decades of relationship-building and living a life committed to FRPPXQLW\
ΖQ UHFHLYLQJ WKH 5HXHO +DUPRQ $ZDUG DW 3DUNV 7UDLOV &RXQFLOȇV $QQXDO 'LQQHU RQ 6HSW Lately, Taylor has been collaboUDWLQJ ZLWK WKH &XOWXUDO :HOOQHVV Anthony said, “My work is on behalf of people, supporting &HQWHU LQ 6RXWK 0LQQHDSROLV WR organize inclusive bike riding op- communities of color, with a SRUWXQLWLHV FDOOHG 6ORZ 5ROOV Ȋ:H focus on African communities, to UHDOL]H WKH EHQHȴWV RI RXU LQKHUwear normal clothes—no spandex, and we take it slow and end ent relationship to nature—in HDFK ULGH ZLWK D PHDO RXWGRRUV ȋ WKHVH DPD]LQJ SODFHV \RX ȴJKW WR SUHVHUYHȃ0LQQHVRWDȇV SDUNV 7D\ORU H[SODLQHG 7KH\ WXUQ DQG WUDLOV ȋ out big crowds, with over 100 people participating in a recent
REUEL HARMON AWARD Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota annually recognizes an individual for exemplary service on behalf of Minnesota’s parks and trails. 2023 Anthony Taylor 2022 Sen. Carrie Ruud 2021 Steve Thorne 2019 Sen. Keith Langseth 2018 Grant Merritt 2017 Rep. Alice Hausman 2016 Dave Lais 2015 Peggy Prowe 2014 Hon. David Minge 2013 Mary Lee Dayton 2012 Mark and Joan Strobel 2011 Peter Seed 2010 Terry McGaughey 2009 Eleanor Winston 2008 Sen. David Durenberger 2007 Henry N. Somsen 2006 Michael Prichard 2005 Bob Dunn 2004 Don Davison & Bill Morrissey 2003 Rollis Bishop 2001 Alden Lind 2000 Howard E. Olson 1999 Nadine Blacklock 1998 Rep. Willard Munger 1997 Gov. Elmer L. Andersen 1996 Martin N. Kellogg 1995 Samuel H. Morgan
Visit the Award Hall of Honor
parksandtrails.org Winter 2023/2024 | MINNESOTA TRAILS 5
Our skis spend about nine months out of the year in the basement. Here they sit, in a bag with the boots, leaned up against the water heater. I don’t think about them much during the year; only when I’m down there to refill the salt in the water softener because I have to move them to get to it. Every time I do, the poles clack softly against the skis inside the bag and I’m reminded of the good times that my wife, Jen, and I have had on these skis over the years.
Our first outing was in 2008, at Crane Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, on rented skis from what was Pap’s Sport Shop in Little Falls. It was my second time since 8th grade and Jen’s first ever. It went well, we only fell a couple of times and ended up buying a set from Fitzharris Ski, Bike and Outdoor in St. Cloud late in the season. It took some digging, but I found the little notebook we kept for a while to keep track of our ski outings and it tells me we skied over 100 miles between January 1 and March 1, 2009. We never hit that milestone again, but skiing has been a regular part of our winter agenda since then. We’ve put a lot of miles on those entry level boards and they are showing their age. The clear coating on the top is beginning to crack and the edges are chipped from one
6 MINNESOTA TRAILS | Winter 2023/2024
too many wipeouts. d While we’ve been good about taking the skis p off to cross roads, deep scars run across their bottoms and the grippyy scales which once helped us shuffle up hills have worn down so much you can barelyy see them anymore. Some people have moree g trailil conditions di i and d than one pair for varying s. We lovingly refer to call them A skis or B skis. k our chewed-up planks as D skis. The rest of the equipment is in similar shape, think bent poles and hot-glued boots, and you could make a strong argument for some new stuff. After spending $350 on two complete sets 15 years ago, we’re down to less than a penny per mile skied. We definitely got our money’s worth, but we keep strapping them on every winter. A shot of WD-40 keeps the bindings lubed and off we go. When it comes to outdoor equipment, the dollar bills fly out of our wallets like confetti at a parade, so it’s not a lack of funds (or commitment to go into debt) that keeps us hanging on. It’s the memories. Nobody would want these old things if we bought new ones, and they would, no doubt,
Jan Lasar Trails Editor/Publisher
end up p in a landfill landfill along with recollections of winter days well spent. p There’s the New Year Ye ar’ss sski ki w henn we hhad he ad tthe he lloipes oipe oi pess to o urrYear’s when ourselves at Itasca State Park and the trip to the Goose Lake trails in Longville where we saw wolf paw prints in our own tracks. We’d be discarding good times we’ve had, like eating piping hot stew from a thermos in the middle of a frosted pine forest and me crashing and snapping the flash off my camera. Yes, new skis glide smoothly, new boots are comfortable and straight ski poles don’t wobble. I know there’ll be a day when some part will snap and one of us will have to walk back to the car four miles through knee-deep snow. That’ll be the day to say goodbye. For now, I’m heading to the basement to change the furnace filter and while I’m there, I’ll take a good look at the skis. I’ll bring the hot glue gun, just in case.
& Q Trails A
Trails Q & A Snapshots of people we meet along the trail
Jan Ulferts Stewart
Occupation: Retired from working at The Community Foundation Gear: Rossignol skis Seen: Skiing at M.B. Johnson Park in Moorhead, MN How many miles do you ski in a season? About 75. Snowshoeing is at least double that. What does being outdoors mean to you? It means happiness, peace, contentment and freedom. Favorite Minnesota park or trail? There’s a special place in my heart for the Superior Hiking Trail. Best Minnesota experience? Hot tent winter camping at Maplewood State Park. We snowshoed in, pulling sleds across the lake. Worst Minnesota experience? Dropping a canoe and putting a hole in it in the middle of the Boundary Waters. Advice for the novice skier? Getting up is the only difficult thing to do. Falling down is easy. What’s on your Minnesota bucket list? Finish paddling the Mississippi River. What would you do with $1,000? I’d donate it to the North Country Trail Association. Trail Treat? A delicious date ball made with dates, nuts, honey and coconut.
Occupation: Teacher at Alexandria High School and volunteer for the Big Ole Bike Club Gear: Snowdog trail groomer Seen: Grooming fatbike trails at Kensington Rune Stone Park in Kensington, MN How many miles do you ski per season? 200-300 miles. What does being outdoors mean to you? Getting away with a group of friends and having a great social time. Favorite Minnesota Park/Trail? Lake Carlos State Park and the Cuyuna trails. Best Minnesota experience? Getting together with friends to go fatbiking at Cuyuna each year and also finishing the Arrowhead 135 on a fatbike. Worst Minnesota experience? Canoeing the Long Prairie River and leaving the car keys at the start. Advice for the novice skier? Get stable backcountry skis, take it slow and keep your balance. What’s on your Minnesota bucket list? Finish the Arrowhead 135 on skis and continue to get kids outdoors and on bikes. What would you do with $1,000? Invest it into efforts to get kids outside. Trail Treat? A Sierra Nevada IPA.
Occupation: IT Professional Gear: Garneau snowshoes and gaiters Seen: Snowshoeing the trails at Log Cabin Hideaways in Ely, MN with his companion Morgan. How many miles do you snowshoe per year? I don’t know. We’ve done about fifteen miles since we got here. What does being outdoors mean to you? Getting away from the city. Most of the time, I hear nothing and I see nobody. Favorite Minnesota park or trail? We spend a lot of time in the Louisville Swamp in Shakopee and we love the Superior Hiking Trail. Best Minnesota experience? Skiing at Pincushion Mountains north of Grand Marais. Worst Minnesota experience? When we camped at George H. Crosby State Park our dog became sick and we had to hike back and take it to a vet. Advice for the novice? Buy a medium-sized pair of snowshoes and don’t give up on your first failure. What’s on your Minnesota bucket list? Camping on Eagle Mountain. What would you do with $1,000? Maybe donate to the Superior Hiking Trail Association. Trail Treat? Almond Joy while we’re out and a beer after.
Occupation: Grain and livestock farmer Gear: Rossignol skis Seen: Skiing at Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center in Spicer, MN with his wife Joy. How many miles do you ski per year? This is only our second year of skiing. We did 20 miles last year. What does being outdoors mean to you? Being out in the world and free. Not in the house, not in the factory. Favorite Minnesota park or trail? Not yet, but if we had to pick a place, I’d say Duluth’s hiking trails. Best Minnesota experience? Coming here last year and then going to Spicer Winter Fest. Worst Minnesota experience? Not waiting for the rest of the group at a trail intersection and getting lost. Advice for the novice? Do some research and invest in good equipment from the start. What’s on your Minnesota bucket list? Working our way up the North Shore all the way to Grand Portage. What would you do with $1,000? Buy my wife an electric bike. Trail Treat? A good drink of cold water.
Winter 2023/2024 | MINNESOTA TRAILS 7
STORY & PHOTOS BY JAN LASAR
Skiing at Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center
8 MINNESOTA MIN INNES ESSOT OTA O TA TTR TRAILS RAIL RAIL ILSS | Winter IL Winte ter err 2023/2024 20 2 023/ 2 /202 24 24 8 MINNESOTA TRAILS | Winter 2023/2024
Danielson, who homesteaded here in the late 1880s. Some farm buildings are all that remain of the old farm today and drained wetlands; oak savanna and prairie have been restored in a process that began in the 1980s. “Through lots of people’s vision and hard work Prairie Woods was established as an environmental learning center that local people felt our area was missing,” said Mari Klebe, Office Manager. Prairie Woods mostly w works with organized groups day use programs g ou gr oups on customized cust like education and lik environmental enviro activities activitie like cross-country ac skiing and outdoor survival sk classes. Besides the central clas cl interpretive center, there’s in n an an observatory, climbing wall, w a challenge course, a sporting clays shotgun range r and an 1888 pioneer p cabin for living history hi programs where students stu get to dress up and and use tools of the time or or paddle pad a 34-foot Voyageur KE O N canoe. c anoe. T R YU Prairie W Woods’ network of hiking, ski and easy off offrroad bike trails are open to the public, as are equipment and facility rentals. Mari’s husband Kory, Environmental Education and Shooting Sports Coordinator, grooms the 10-km system of ski trails; a job he says can take anywhere from four hours to all day, depending on snowfall amounts. The day before we visited, he had groomed it all and we were looking forward to crisp, fresh tracks. We poked our heads out the door TT
My headlamp lit up the snow-packed trail that disappeared into the woods. Jen was just a few feet in front of me, loaded up with a stuffed backpack and carrying a water jug, pillows and a couple of blankets under her arms. Her breath came in regular bursts, caught the light and flowed around her like smoke on this abysmally cold night. I was wrestling a huge duffle with winter clothes and a heavy cooler full of provisions, secretly wishing to be back in the warm m car car we we had left behind ind in the parking lot. We he arrived at the yurt and as hee promised, the ngg fire was going and the cotss were set up. This was basecamp for a threeday ski n adventure in ess the wilderness of central Minnesota. It ong for didn’t take long us to call it a day and fall asleep to the muffled drone of the flame in the woodstove. Somewhere out there, coyotes yipped and barked, but I wasn’t even sure if I’d actually heard it before I was out. Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center is a 540-acre oasis of natural land surrounded by farms, lakes and resorts in Kandiyohi County, just west of Spicer. The county purchased the property from descendants of Anders
early next morning to take stock of our surroundings. Our 20-foot diameter yurt sat at the bottom of a bowl-shaped valley, right next to tiny, spring-fed Kettle Lake. What seemed like an arduous trek into the wilderness in the dark was really just a short walk from the parking lot right by the main building on campus. Here, in our own, private valley, however, we felt hidden away. Sitting by the wood stove and sipping French press coffee was just too cozy and we had a late start. Sufficiently caffeinated, we finally bundled up and took off. When we emerged from our shaded gorge, we found the world on top to be bright and sunny with temperatures in the low 20s. From the upper parking lot by the trailhead building, we skied Kemp Trail to Elmers rs Loop, p, then clockwise on Elmerss Loop on the east side de off the property. The trail aill went through open prairie, it was very windy, but the sun made up for it. Afterr our loop, we went the opposite way on Kemp Trail and ducked into a thick forest. M “It’s called Prairie AR Y’ Woods for a reason,”” said ST RA IL Mari Klebe as she describes escribes the landscape around the Right h area. Ri h at the h edge of where prairie and woods meet in the oak savannah and prairie pothole region of Minnesota, she said, receding glaciers carved out a unique landscape with rolling hills and shallow spots, like
back to thee yurt. As unwieldy as my 36” snowshoess can be, they makee bombing down a snowy hilll XT a lot of fun n T and I feel like I’m O TH E taking giant nt strides on D A NI EL S O N O A K pillows. The remaining daylight hours were perfect for another bonfire. Around dusk, some curious deer poked their heads out of the thicket, but didn’t come any closer. There was no music that night. The coyotes must have known what was coming. Prairie Woods isn’t too far away from the Trails Headquarters, so we were fully prepared to spend some time on the trails before taking off on Monday. The strong winds of the last two days had brought enough moisture for a lovely coating of snow, but with temperatures in the upper 30s it all came down as rain. After two days of exploring the trails, it was time to pack up and go home. We were glad we visited Prairie Woods and thankful for the efforts that restored this unique place to what it once was. E POLE ON
seat to a spectacular wildflower show. But, drinking piping hot coffee while overlooking a snowy valley isn’t without its charms. By about noon it became clear that we had to be done skiing for thee day. th d y. da y It was 35 degrees degr and trails were ggetting ge tting slushy in the open areas. tt strong sun was Thee stro Th making m aking the snow so soft iitt stuck stu to our skis and wee got off the trails to w not damage to the n no ggrooming. gr Luckily, we came prepared with p and ssnowshoes n ggot o right back out there after lunch. th Leaving from the L Lea ea yyurt, urt we walked cross ccountry oun ntr to the start of bike trails the mountain th mooun followed aand nd follow wed them to the Danielson According to Mari D ani l n oak. k Ac Klebe, this gigantic oak tree was the lone tree on the property when restoration efforts at Prairie Woods began. Today, it’s one of many, but by far the largest one. The snow was deep here and the going was slow because it was sticky. We slogged up the steep prairie hill to the wind turbine, then cruised down through the forest on the other side and hiked along the edge of Kettle Lake,
Kettle Lake. We were skiing right along the rim of our little private bowl, but couldn’t see the yurt because the trees were too thick and loaded with gobs of snow. We kept going around the lake ake and arrived att tthe he wind turbine, which ch Mari Klebe Kleebee says helps the facility ity be net zero energy neutral. utral. Just a little bit farther her up we stopped near ar a Native American n burial mound and finished our short ski back at the trailhead where a couple and their kids were picking up their rental skis. s. We parked our PR skis in the rack outside tside AI RI E and walked up the road to the Westby Observatory, servatory, where the winds were howling. r h lin At this high point, we caught a beautiful winter still life of the white fields and woods surrounding the Prairie Woods campus. A couple of skiers were crossing the prairie in the distance on the western side of the trail system, which was on our agenda for Sunday. The rest of the day we hung out by the yurt, relaxed by the fire and made pizza pockets in our sandwich irons for dinner. After dark, a familiar sound echoed from the hills and this time we were awake for the coyote concert. On Sunday it was time to explore the larger, western side of the ski trail system and we were off to an earlier start. Leaving from the lower parking lot we went clockwise on Mary’s Trail at the entrance to the mountain bike trails. The sun was out and we were cruising on lightly traveled tracks. There’s just nothing like the effect a sunny day in January, spent outdoors, has on ones psyche. The rhythmic swish of the skis in ps grooves and the regular tick of the ttheir th eir gr poles p po les on the deck becomes a mantra and everything unimportant falls an away. We traveled through a aw vvaried landscape of rolling hills va next to ponds and near wetlands, n aall still now, except the rustling oof the dry leaves on the twisted bbranches of the oaks and the hiss h i of the wind in the reeds. We on Forstrom Loop, passed tturned ur Challenge Course, then the deserted th d went w ent oon Reese Trail. top of the next hill the Prairie On to Pavilion, a rental facility, stood Woods P bbeaming i red in contrast to the white snow and the near black oaks. Just off the trail near there, we plopped down on an observation deck with a view of the now naked prairie. Come July, this would surely be the best
lakes trails begin
WillmarLakesArea.com 320-235-3552 Winter 2023/2024 | MINNESOTA TRAILS 9
I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THE OUTDOORS. BIKING, HIKING, SKIING, THE LIST GOES ON. I’VE NEVER GONE WINTER CAMPING, BUT WHEN THE PHONE RANG AND MY BUDDY ANDREW SAID, “WINTER CAMPING.. YOU IN?” I DIDN’T GIVE IT A SECOND ECOND THOUGHT. I WAS IN AND SO WERE TIM AND STEVE. THE FELLOWSHIP WSHIP WAS COMPLETE. AS SPONTANEOUS AS THAT SOUNDS, THE TRIP DID TAKE KE A LITTLE WHILE TO PUT TOGETHER. THER. THERE WAS GEAR TO BE ARRANGED, ANGED, MEALS TO BE PLANNED AND, OF COURSE, MORE GEAR TO BE ARRANGED. RRANGED. WHEN TEMPERATURES CANN DIP WELL BELOW ZERO AT NIGHT AND YOU’RE MILES FROM CIVILIZATION, YOU NEED TO HAVE A FEW THINGS IN PLACE. AFTER WEEKS OF PLANNING, G, THE DAY FINALLY CAME. ON A CRISP FEBRUARY MORNING, 30 MILES NORTH OF GRAND MARAIS AT CLEARWATER LAKE AKE ENTRY POINT #62, WE STRAPPED ONN OUR SKIS AND HEADED INTO THE WILDERNESS, PULLING OUR GEAR ON SLEDS.
WINTER CAMPING IN THE BOUNDARY WATERS
We each had our own personall things to bring, andd some communal gear that needed to be split up between us, like a canvas tent and a wood stove. It was a lot of o stuff, which madee for some hard work even though our sleds, or pulks, were made for this sort of backcountry exploring. The plan was to ski five to six miles in and make camp at a pla place a where Tim had been winter camping before. It was a relatively warm and sunny day and we thought we were in for f a great day of skiin skiing, n but we soon realized that under all that beautiful snow was a whole bunch of slush. Pulling a 75-pound sled while w on skis is toughh enough, but add a bunch of half-frozen slop to everything and you’re in for a whole new experience. It didn’t takee long for the bottom m of our pulks to be covered in chunks of ice and our skis to turn into 20-pound anchors that had lost all ability to glid glide. de. After assessing oour situation, we set up camp after two miles. We decided to split up the duties of getting camp ready. readyy Half of us started setting up the tent and stove while the others gathered firewood. Fuel is the key to a happy hott tent camping experience expe and over the next few days we would spend a good amount of time collecting whatever tree limbs and br branches ranches we could find nd. d. Calories that night came in the form of Swedish meatballs from the chef in the group, Steve. After a long day, we stoked s the stove onee more time and crawled into our sleeping p g bags. g
Above: A fully loaded pulk with a rigid harness. Right: Besides food and shelter, gathering firewood is a priority in hot tent camping. 10 MINNESOTA TRAILS | Winter 2023/2024
Story & photos by Jeremy Sanoski
Flurries were in the air the next morning when I poked my head out of the tent. Our main goal that day was to gather enough firewood to last us for the next few days. I really thought it would be an easy and enjoyable part of the whole experience, experience, but it was tougher than I thought. We ended up scoring big later in the day, finding a bunch of split wood left behind at another campsite. With the weather forecast calling for a nighttime low temperature of -20F to -25F, having enough wood was a concern. After finding the mother lode, we were all a bit more confident in our situation. With that job done, it was time to sit and just watch the flakes fall. Being up in the Northwoods, surrounded by pines with heavy snow coming down, was like a small piece of heaven sent down just for me. It was beautiful. That night, while we were sitting around the woodstove in our tent, I had an experience I’ll never forget. Take a piece of pine wood that’s been sitting outside all winter and throw it in a roaring fire. You’ll be amazed at the fragrance it gives off. Sometimes the little things are the most amazing.
TRIP TA TAKEAWAYS
Early the next day, there was a fresh coat of Wilderness. This day we had reserved to just hang out started early and snuck out of the tent while everyone else snowshoe. Later, we did some wandering on snowshoes as amazing rock walls, the kind that I didn’t even know existed in Towards the end of the day, Andrew and I decided to start towards the entry point. We thought if we could snowshoe through exposed slush would have a chance to freeze overnight and make next day a whole lot easier. We shoed out, turned around and came hoping our plan would work.
snow on the Boundary Waters and do whatever we wanted. I was sleeping to go for a solo a group and saw some Minnesota until then. making a path back the new snow the our trip back the back to camp,
The bitter cold temperatures from the night
DAY before were still lingering that morning. ng. How cold was, we’ll never know. My thermometer FOUR itgoesactually down to -20F, but the red line in thee readout had disappeared. My guess is it was somewhere between -22F and -25F. I was a little nervous about breaking king camp and packing up that day. Cold weather presents nts challenges that I think are kind of fun; however, I have trouble keeping my hands warm when temps get this low. In the end, my worries were for nothing. I movedd fast and had no problems. Our plan for the return trip worked great.. The trail from the day before had frozen over and it was solid with no slush. I chose snowshoes over skis this time me around and that ended up being a good call, too. We loaded up the vehicles and headed over to the Trail Center nter Lodge on Poplar Lake for a lunch stop before the drivee home. Not to insult Steve’s cooking, but my burger, fries and strawberry malt were amazing.
MY 25-YEA 25-YEAR-OLD SLEEPING BAG, RATED FOR -15 DEGREES, WAS AMAZING.
WERTHER’S OORIGINAL CANDIES ARE INCREDIBLE. INC THEY CAN TURN ANY HORRIBLE EXPERIENCE EXPER INTO A TOLERABLE TOLE ONE.
THE 10’X13 10’X13’ SNOW TREKKER TENT WE HA HAD FOR FOUR GUYS WASN’T BIG ENOUGH FOR MY LIKING. A LITTLE LI MORE ROOM WOULD HAVE HA BEEN BETTER.
WHILE A SSMALLER STOVE MIGHT HAV HAVE BEEN A LITTLE LIGHTER TO HAUL, I’M GLAD WE WENT BBIGGER. THE HEAT THE FOUR-DOG FOUR-D STOVE KICKED OUT WAS NICE.
THE HOT TENT TEN IS AN INCREDIBLE TOOL TO GGET OUT IN THE WOODS, BU BUT AFTER HAVING SLEPT IN ON ONE, I’M INTERESTED IN TRYING A LIGHTER WEIGHT VERSION OF WINTER CAMPING.
I HAD A SOLID GROUP OF GUYS FOR A TRIP LIKE THIS AND FOR THAT I AM GRATEFUL.
Cook County, MN
GLIDE. Explore over 400 km of groomed trails. Find trail maps and conditions at
Winter 2023/2024 | MINNESOTA TRAILS 11
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The World’s Longest Cross-Country Ski Streak
Bauer on super-fast, wild Lake Superior ice, one day before an ice-breaker obliterated it. I felt cautiously optimistic about reaching my goal, and tried to focus on taking it one day at a time on the final approach. Day 184 saw me heading back to Spirit Mountain, where all of my remaining skis took place. Two days earlier I’d seen my first dandelion of the season, along with the first fiddlehead ferns, popping up through the soil, sure signs of the almost preposterously late portion of the ski season. On May 29th, day 198, I skied 2.1K in dense fog. I was just three days away from skiing into June, and
There’s an old, yellowed picture in our family album. My mom, Konnie, and my dad, Bob, are standing on a snow-swept, barren field, on skis. I’m three years old, sitting on the ground, wearing the small, wooden skis my Norwegian-born greatgrandfather, Ludvig Haldorsen, made. This 1973 snapshot on the frozen prairie near Chatfield, Minnesota is one of my earliest memories of moving around with boards on my feet. I grew up in Colorado and my early years were filled almost entirely with downhill skiing. It wasn’t until I met my wife, Julie, in 1999 that I got back on cross-country skis. I eventually tried skate skiing and fell in love with it so much I gave up classic skiing entirely. During the 2017-2018 season I had my first ski streak, meaning a number of days in a row where I skied at least one kilometer. On February first 2018, I reached 50 consecutive days and I made it my goal to try for more. It seemed unlikely, a bit crazy, but I reached my 100th consecutive day in March of that year, then ended up skiing 40 additional 12 MINNESOTA TRAILS | Winter 2023/2024
season seemed to be over 13,500 kilometers, and it appeared that he’d once skied 200 consecutive days, which took my breath away. days away It was a tough act to follow, but I gave it my best shot. On a warm May 22, I reached 182 days in a row when Mother Nature cut short my efforts for the 202021 season. I still felt a burning desire for more and tried again the following winter. Full of enthusiasm, I went for my first ski of the 2021-2022 season on November 13, on an inch of heavy snow at Duluth’s beautiful Snowflake Nordic Ski Center. I kept going. Day 75 arrived on January 26, during what had turned into an unusually cold winter, even for Duluth. Week after week of bitterly cold skis, often accompanied by strong winds, made it especially challenging, even for someone like me, who has regularly sought out the coldest places in northern Minnesota. Day 100, February 20, I skied 6 km at Snowflake. It was the third time I’d reached 100 consecutive days, and the earliest. Day 148 was one of the season’s highlights, when I skied in Wisconsin’s Apostle Islands with my friend Bruce
setting a new world’s longestknown streak. On the final day of May, I skied 3 km on a 49-degree day at Spirit Mountain and reached my goal of 200 consecutive days on skis. It was wonderfully moving to see a small group of friends come out to support and celebrate with me, and I felt extremely fortunate. I had tied the world’s longest-known cross-country ski streak. The next day, I did 1.5 km, and as far as I know, I had set a new world’s longest-known cross-country ski streak, topping Tom Stensaker’s mythical 200 by one day. I recorded a short video and gave thanks to Tom, posting it to Facebook later. Tom kindly thanked me in a comment, which filled my heart with joy. He inspired me as no one else had when it came to cross-country skiing, with his love of extending the season as long as Mother Nature would allow. I added one more day to move the record needle to 202, just to double the number of another big milestone ski day in my life when I skied 101 km in a day. I did it, gliding along the withering patch of dirty snow for 1 km in shorts, wearing my Norwegian hat in honor of Tom and all my ancestors in Norway. I thanked Mother Nature for the gifts the amazing season had given me, my
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By Lane R. Ellis
days in a row. My first official streak finally came to an end on May 2 at Snowflake Nordic Ski Center in Duluth. When I visited Duluth’s Spirit Mountain downhill ski area on June 3 after they had reopened for the summer season, I was surprised to see patches of their manufactured snow had remained. This was my first June ski ever, and I did dozens of loops around one final snow patch until I had reached my benchmark one kilometer. This gave me the idea to use artificial snow to extend my season, and a plan was born. I became more serious, and began researching the longest-known consecutive day cross-country ski streak and turned up mentions of a mysterious Norwegian man named Tom Stensaker, who appeared to hold near mythical y status in the land of my ancestors. Tom’s record distance for a single
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When you know you’ll be skiing every day, the weather forecast becomes almost insignificant, because you’ll be out to meet whatever challenges Mother Nature has in store, no matter what. From ice storms and pouring rain to white-out blizzards and gale force winds, I received the gift of extreme variety, and it was those skis on the most extreme days that brought the biggest smiles to my face.
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body for holding up to 202 consecutive days of skate skiing at age 53, and my equipment for not breaking. On the surface, my 202-day crosscountry ski streak at times seemed overwhelmingly restrictive with an everchanging ski to tackle every single day; daunting, with so many of those days to conquer; and precarious because an endless number of things could easily end it. But underneath that delicate shell, it brought me a sense of profound freedom.
Lane R. Ellis is a Duluth-based social media and content manager for award-winning B2B marketing firm TopRank® Marketing. When he’s not working, he enjoys distance running, genealogical research, cross-country skate skiing, cooking and spending time with his wife, Julie Ahasay, and their three cats.
Last day on fully natural snow: May 5th, 2022 // Last day on a Nordic trail: May 13th, 2022 // Last day on artiﬁ a cial snow: June s of season: 30 km 2nd, 2022 // Total kilometers skied: 906.4 km // Average ski distance for 202 ski days: 4.5 km // Longest ski 6 // Shortest ski of season: 1 km // Coldest ski of season: -15°F, January 20th, 2022 // Warmest ski of season: 66°F, June 2nd, 2022
Winter 2023/2024 | MINNESOTA TRAILS 13
Give the gift of adventure. Give a Minnesota state parks gift card.
Looking for that perfect gift for the outdoors enthusiast in your life? Minnesota state park gift cards are good for vehicle park permits, tours, camping and lodging, gear rental, apparel and more! *This gift card was designed by Marlena Myles, a self-taught Native American (Spirit Lake Dakota) artist located in St. Paul, Minnesota.
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Available at Minnesota state parks and online at mnDNR.gov/giftcard
SKI TRAIL GUIDE
PLENTY OF CHOICES
SKI TRAIL GUIDE
Ski Trail Guide Sources: Minnesota DNR, Minnesota Nordic Ski Association, Skinnyski & Individual Trails. Before traveling to a ski venue check local trail conditions.
Hiram Ski Trail near Hackensack, MN. PHOTO BY JAN LASAR
maps at www.mntrails.com/ski-trails Find Find moremore infoinfo andand maps at www.mntrails.com/ski-trails
From the edge of Lake of the Woods to the Headwaters of the Mississippi, northwestern Minnesota offers the widest variety of cross-country ski trails in the state. Bemidji Area • Buena Vista Ski Area 25km - Mostly advanced loops through woods. Family resort since 1949 with downhill skiing, snowboarding, tubing, sleigh rides, replica logging village, large lodge, kitchen and shops. MN Ski Pass required.
Detroit Lakes Area • Detroit Mountain 7km - Beginner to advanced ski trails ranging from skate and classic to classic only. Trails connect to Mountain View Rec Area. Detroit Mountain’s lodge has bathrooms, changing rooms and a restaurant with a fireplace and offers
equipment rentals. Detroit Mountain also offers snowshoe trails and some portions of the ski trails may be groomed for fatbikes when conditions allow. This popular ski destination also offers lift-served downhill runs for skiers and snowboarders as well as snow tubing.
• C.V. Hobson Forest Trail 7km - Beginner, groomed for classic. Red and white pine and tamarack bog along Lake Lyra. MN Ski Pass required. • Fern Lake Trail 3.5km - Intermediate to advanced, groomed classic ski trail. MN Ski Pass required. • High School Trail (Lumberjack Trail) 6.5km - Easy beginner trail, groomed classic and skate. MN Ski Pass required. • Lake Bemidji State Park 13km - Beginner to advanced, four loops, groomed double classic near Lake Bemidji. Warming shelter is in the lower level of the visitor center. MN Ski Pass required. • Montebello Trail 4km - Gentle beginner course in the city of Bemidji with 2km of lighted trail. MN Ski Pass required. • Movil Maze 14km - Intermediate to advanced, classic and skate. Steep and rolling hills through black spruce bog, red pines and hardwoods. MN Ski Pass required. • Three Island Park 25km - Beginner to intermediate, groomed classic and skate with beautiful views of Three Island Lake and Turtle River. MN Ski Pass required. Callaway | Maplelag Resort 64km - All levels, many well-groomed loops through maple forest with rolling hills. Mostly classic trails with some skate ski. Privately owned cross-country ski resort with lessons and rentals, sauna and hot tub. A user fee applies. Winter 2023/2024 | MINNESOTA TRAILS 15
Northwest • Dunton Locks County Park 6.1km - Beginner with some hills, west of Detroit Lakes, groomed classic all levels. • East Frazee Ski Trails 17km - Groomed beginner cross-country trails on the Ike Fisher Farm, just southeast of the Frazee golf course. This ski area on private property is open to the public. Two trailheads on County Road 118 provide access from the south near Albertson, Fischer and Murphy Lakes. Another trailhead on County Road 150 is the northern access point. • Mountain View Recreation Area 4.9km - All levels, both classic and skate skiing on wide, regularly groomed trails through hardwood forest. • Pickerel Lake Ski Trails 9.1km - Narrow singletrack trails through hardwood forests. Groomed occasionally. Erskine | Rydell National Wildlife Refuge 2.5km - Relatively flat with rolling hills, groomed for classic skiing. The refuge grooms the Golden Pond trail, but will occasionally groom the Round Lake trail as well. No MN Ski Pass required. Fertile | Agassiz Environmental Learning Center 20km - Groomed ski trails traverse forests, oak savannas, prairies and sand dunes. Classical groomed trails from flat riverside and woodland trails to rolling and steeper slopes in the Fertile Sand Hills. A trail fee for non-Agassiz ELC members applies. MN Ski Pass not required. Ski and snowshoe rentals available when the Nature Center is open.
SKI TRAIL GUIDE
Lake Bemidji State Park. PHOTO BY JAN LASAR Hackensack Area • Deep Portage Ski Trails 18km - Beginner to advanced classic trails through rolling hills. Located in the Deep Portage Conservation Reserve. Interpretive Center open all week, including weekends. • Hiram Ski Trail 8km - Beginner to advanced classic trail loops inside the Foot Hills State Forest, just west of Tenmile Lake. Only about 1.5km of this system is rated advanced and can be avoided. If you travel the westernmost loop in a counterclockwise fashion, you can take advantage of a long, swooping downhill after passing the trail shelter. MN Ski Pass required.
Longville | Goose Lake Ski Trail 17.3km - Beginner to intermediate classic trails through woods, over gently rolling hills and around wetlands. MN Ski Pass required. Moorhead | M.B. Johnson Park 4km - Scenic trails through woods and along the Red River of the North. Ski/snowshoe rentals available weekends December through February. Other ski trails available at Gooseberry Mound Park and Viking Ship Park, which has some lit trails. Outing | Washburn Lake Solitude Area 22.4km - Beginner to advanced trail in the Land O’Lakes State Forest. Park Rapids Area • Itasca State Park 20km - Beginner to advanced, groomed with many loops. Ski to the headwaters of the Mississippi River among towering white pines on easy rolling hills. Visitor center with fireplace is open year-round. Mississippi Headwaters Hostel is inside the park. MN Ski Pass required. • Soaring Eagle Trails 10km - Beginner to advanced trails that wind through a varied forest ranging from baby aspen to mature balsam and pine with rolling hills. Skate and classic. Warming house available. MN Ski Pass required. Rochert | Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge 13km - Two loops exist at the refuge, the Tamarack Lake Loop (3km) and the Pine Lake Loop (9km). Ski through a mix of hardwood and coniferous forests as well as wetlands. Groomed occasionally. Visitor Center has regular hours year long. Thief River Falls Area • Golf Course Trail 12km - Beginner to intermediate classic trail. Ski on the frozen Thief River from Red Robe Park to the golf course. • Greenwood Trails 1.5km - Beginner classic ski trails that wind through a wooded setting along the Red Lake River. Walker | Shingobee Recreation Area 9km - Beginner to expert trails on the slopes of the Shingobee River Valley. Groomed for classic and skate skiing. A warming chalet is available on weekends.
Find More Information at www.mntrails.com/ski-trails 16 MINNESOTA TRAILS | Winter 2023/2024
SKI TRAIL GUIDE
OFFERS DEEP SNOWS
Along the North Shore of Lake Superior, throughout the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, to the Chippewa National Forest, northeastern Minnesota offers some of the biggest snowfalls in Minnesota and many well-groomed trail systems. Brimson | Mother Bear Ski Trail 10km - Classic ski trail through jack pine forests, black spruce swamps and over glacial eskers, with lots of wildlife viewing opportunities. MN Ski Pass required. Carlton | Jay Cooke State Park 51km - Beginner to advanced with a wide variety of trails, some along the St. Louis River. Warming shelter with a woodstove and bathrooms is open seven days a week. MN Ski Pass required. Cloquet | Pine Valley Ski Trails 10km - Intermediate to advanced, groomed for skate and classic skiing. Challenging, with difficult climbs, but also gradual, rolling sections. Adjacent to the Cloquet hockey arena. 2.5km lighted trail. Part of a trail system with mountain bike trails that are groomed for fat bikes in the winter. Coleraine | Itasca Trails (Mount Itasca) 10km - Beginner to expert, groomed for skate and classic skiing on flat to very hilly terrain. Heated chalet available. MN Ski Pass required on west public trails. Additional fee for east biathlon course with snowmaking. Cohasset Area • Minnesota Power/Blackwater Trails 4km - Beginner trails groomed for skate and classic skiing. Lighted. MN Ski Pass required. • Portage Park 4km - Beginner classic trails near the Mississippi River. MN Ski Pass required. Cook | Ashawa Nordic Ski Trails 28km - The Ashawa Trail Ski Club maintains 28km of trails north of Cook. Trails are set for classic ski only and accessible from three
separate trailheads and maps are available at the Crescent Bar and Grill north of Cook, MN. • Paddy’s Loop - Located 3.8 miles north of Cook on East Olson Road, this easy to moderate classic ski trail originates and terminates at the Crescent Bar and Grill on East Olson Road. Trails are primarily on flat terrain through a mature black spruce forest and on parts of the Vermilion Fairways Golf Course. • Wood Loop - Located 6 miles north of Cook on Co. Rd. 24. Look for the signed parking lot on the west side of the road just before Pehrson’s Resort. The Wood Loop has moderate skiing through a mix of young and mature stands of aspen, ash, pine and spruce. One-way trails have two long, sloping downhill opportunities. A shelter on Beatty Hill offers a view of Cook and the surrounding area. • Sunset Loop - Located 9 miles north of Cook on Co. Rd. 24, 1/2 mile north of Raps Road. Look for the parking lot on the west side of the road. Sunset Loop offers moderate to advanced levels of skiing. A number of hills and a view of Sunset Lake make for exiting skiing on diverse terrain. Deer River Area • Blueberry Hills 12km - Beginner to expert with many loops, five miles northeast of Deer River. Heated chalet available. MN Ski Pass required. • Amen Lake Trail 7km - Intermediate, groomed, classic ski trail 13 miles north of Grand Rapids. Ski
through hardwood forest with rolling hills. Connects to south end of Suomi Hills ski trails near Marcell. MN Ski Pass required. Duluth Area: The greater Duluth area offers a lot of cross-country, downhill and skate skiing, but you’re never far away from town. • Bagley Nature Area 2.7km - Two Intermediate, classic loops on the UMD campus. • Biskey Ponds Trails 12km - Beginner to advanced classic ski trails through a scenic landscape with a near-wilderness feel, just north of Fish Lake Reservoir. Five distinct loops. • Boulder Lake 21km - Beginner to advanced, 11km of skate ski. Groomed regularly for classic and skate ski, very well maintained by Minnesota Power. • Chester Bowl Park 3km -Intermediate to advanced cross country ski trails and downhill skiing. Chalet and ski rentals available. MN Ski Pass required. • Hartley Park 5km - Beginner to intermediate with some gentle slopes. Classic only. Equipment rentals available. Home to Hartley Nature Center. MN Ski Pass required. • Korkki Nordic 11km - Intermediate to advanced single track classic trails, groomed daily. Steep hills, designed for racing. MN Ski Pass required.
WINTER TRAILS ARE CALLING
Winter 2023/2024 | MINNESOTA TRAILS 17
SKI TRAIL GUIDE
• Lester-Amity Trail 15km - Beginner to advanced trail of varied terrain through pine, aspen, and birch forests. Additional 3km circles the Lester Park Golf Course and 5km trail lit mornings and evenings. Chalet available. MN Ski Pass required. • Magney-Snively Park 14km - Intermediate to advanced, beautiful hardwood forest with large hills. A rugged trail not recommended for beginners. • Piedmont Trail 5km - Beginner to intermediate trail through aspen, birch and hardwood forest. Beautiful overlook of St. Louis River Valley. MN Ski Pass required. • Snowflake Nordic Ski Center 15km - Intermediate classic and skate ski trails, groomed daily. Lessons and rentals available. Warming chalet with showers, sauna, changing rooms, lounge, and snacks. • Spirit Mountain 24.5km - Spirit Mountain has two crosscountry ski areas for all skill levels. The upper trail system consists of 22km of beautifully wooded cross-country ski trails. The new Grand Ave. Nordic Center on the bottom of the hill is a work in progress, but it currently has 2.5km of Nordic trail, 1.5 of which have snowmaking. All trails are groomed daily and the Grand Ave. Chalet offers rentals, lessons and a restaurant.
• Hidden Valley Trails 25km - Beginner to advanced, groomed, classic and skate trails. Rolling to hilly terrain, through birch and pine stands. Connects to Trezona Ski Trail. MN Ski Pass required. • Trezona Ski Trail 6.5km - Beginner trail groomed for classic and skate ski. Relatively flat with some rolling terrain. Starts in town, circles Miner’s Lake with views of remains of Pioneer Mine. Connects to Hidden Valley Trails. Goodland | Big Ridge Trail 10km - Intermediate, groomed, classic ski trail near Goodland, MN, about 23 miles southeast of Grand Rapids. Ski rolling hills through hardwood, evergreens and young aspen. MN Ski Pass required. Grand Marais Area: The area around Grand Marais, between Lake Superior and the US-Canada border, has many miles of ski trails to explore, starting with the Bally Creek system just west of town, to the Upper Gunflint trails near the Boundary Water Canoe Area Wilderness. • Bally Creek Trails 25km - A series of short to medium length, easy to intermediate loops in the Superior National Forest. A long connector trail to Cascade River State Park is groomed when conditions allow. MN Ski Pass required. • Pincushion Mountain Trails 25km - Beginner to advanced, well designed classic and skate trail two miles north of Grand Marais with beautiful Lake Superior views and separate snowshoe trail. 1.6km lighted trail. MN Ski Pass required. • George Washington Pines Winter Recreation Trail 3km - Groomed for classic and skate skiing. Skijorers and walkers may use the skate
Ely Area • Bear Head Lake State Park 11km - Beginner trails through boreal forest circling Norberg Lake, groomed for classic ski. Trail Center with toilets, water and warming house. MN Ski Pass required.
WANDER AND WONDER at the quiet magic of the forests and the ever-changing moods of Lake Superior. Take a journey by Nordic ski, snowshoe, or fat-tire bike: the trails are groomed and ready.
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2023/24 ski lane. Just 6 miles north of Grand Marais along the Gunflint Trail in the George Washington Memorial Forest. • Central Gunflint Trail System 77km - All skill levels. An extensive ski trail system 30 miles north of Grand Marais and close to BWCAW. Connects to the eastern end of the 27km Banadad Trail via Poplar Creek and Lace Lake trails. Lighted sections at Bearskin and Golden Eagle Lodges. Grooming is shared by local lodges, so skiers need to purchase a trail pass. • Banadad Trail 27km - The longest tracked ski trail through the BWCAW is a true wilderness experience on its own, but it also connects two major ski trail systems, the Central and Upper Gunflint Ski Trails. Eastern end: Here the Banadad connects to the Lace Lake Trail (5km), the Tim Knopp Trail (3km) and the Tall Pines Trail (3km). The Lace Lake Trail provides access to the Poplar Creek Trail and the Central Gunflint Trail system. Park at about 30 miles up the Gunflint Trail (County Rd. 12), from Grand Marais, just off Little Ollie Road. Western end: Parking is available just off County Rd. 12, at fire #10045, about 10 miles from the eastern trailhead. Currently, there is no direct connection to the Upper Gunflint Trail system, but it’s only about a mile away. MN Ski Pass and Boundary Waters permits needed. • Upper Gunflint Trail System 45km - All levels, 45 miles north of Grand Marais. These trails near the Canadian border and BWCAW are mostly classic trails with some skate skiing. Grooming is done by local lodges, so skiers need to purchase a trail pass. Access to the 27km Banadad Trail is close by, but no direct connection exists. Grand Rapids Area • Alder Pond Trail 10km - Beginner, groomed classic ski trail through aspen and coniferous forest. MN Ski Pass required. • Golden Anniversary State Forest • Cowhorn Lake Trail 8km - Intermediate, classic ski trail with rolling hills through old growth aspen forest. Intersects Boomer Blue Trail. MN Ski Pass required. • Boomer-Blue Trail 7km - Beginner, classic ski trail, doubletracked with snowshoe lane. Dogs are allowed. Intersects Cowhorn loop. MN Ski Pass required. • River Road Trail 3km - Intermediate, classic ski trail with rolling hills through majestic pines. MN Ski Pass required. • Forest History Center 4km - Beginner, classic ski trail through 1900s logging camp and virgin timber forest. MN Ski Pass required on one main trail. • Legion Park Trail 4km - Intermediate trail, groomed for both classic and skate skiing near Grand Rapids High School. 3km lit. MN Ski Pass required. • Sugar Hills 28km - Intermediate to expert trail, groomed for both classic and skate skiing on hilly terrain through hardwood forest. Thunder Mountain provides excellent panoramic views. MN Ski Pass required. • Sylvan Point Trail 6km - Beginner classic trail. Connects Grand Itasca Hospital to Forest History Center. • Wabana Trail 10km - Intermediate, classic trail, winds through scenic, rolling hills. MN Ski Pass required.
Marcell Area • Suomi Hills 35km - Intermediate to expert groomed ski trail on rolling hills through the Chippewa National Forest. Connects with Amen Lake Trail. • Trout Lake 17.7km - Easy classic ski trail through the Chippewa National Forest. 3 miles from historic Joyce Estate, a National Historic Site.
links to trails inside of Cascade State Park to the east, which in turn connect to the Bally Creek Trails near Grand Marais. • Sugarbush Trail System 65km - Extensive trail network for all skill levels. Groomed for both classic and skate skiing with spectacular views of Lake Superior. Some trails allow skijoring. Clubhouse trailhead offers ski rentals. Parking at Britton Peak, Onion River Road and Moose Fence trail heads. MN Ski Pass required. • Norpine Trail System 58km - Groomed for both classic and skate ski with resorts along the way. Includes the Massie and Hall loops and Deer Yard Lake and Cascade trails. Connects to trails inside Cascade River State Park to the east. MN Ski Pass required. Some trails are groomed for fatbiking. • Cascade River State Park 27km - Beginner to advanced, classic, single tracked, groomed weekly. Heavily forested trails along Cascade River and several little creeks. Spot moose and wolves down the river valley from Lookout Mountain. Woodheated warming house available. Connects with Cascade trail system to the west and Bally Creek Trails to the east. MN Ski Pass required. Tower | Howard Wagoner Trail 11.5km - Four distinct loops. Beginner to intermediate trails through pine forest, groomed for classic ski only.1.3km lighted loop. The main trail system has some steep hills. The north trailhead is at the intersection of Enterprise Drive and County Road 135. Skiers can connect to the main system from here via a one-way trail or park at the south lot or access the trail at the south lot about a mile south on County Road 135. MN Ski Pass required. Two Harbors Area • Gooseberry Falls State Park 19km - Groomed, classic ski trail with many loops on gradual hills and unique views of frozen waterfalls. Ski over the bridge at Fifth Falls. MN Ski Pass required. • Erkki Harju Ski Trail 10.5km - Intermediate, groomed, classic and skate trail through scenic city forest. 3km lit until 10 pm daily. MN Ski Pass required. Adjacent, groomed multi-use trails allow walking and fatbiking. • Donald D. Ferguson Demonstration Forest 7miles - Easy beginner trails through boreal woods in the Superior National Forest, that are groomed flat and allow snowshoeing, skiing and fatbiking. Trail system is set to expand, with the ultimate goal of 15-20 miles.
Mora Area • Vasaloppet Nordic Center Trails 15km - Classic and skate ski trails and 5km lit trails start and end at Vasaloppet Nordic Ski Center which offers waxing room, showers, sauna, and is open daily throughout the season. • Warman Public Ski Area (Northern Practice Loop) 7.6km - Appropriate for beginners, mostly flat with some nice, rolling hills. Groomed at least weekly during the ski season for both skate and classic. Remote and primitive, but a lovely place to ski about 12 miles north of Mora. Nashwauk | Stoney Ridge Trail 10km - Intermediate trails, groomed for classic skiing. Mostly flat with a few rolling hills through woods. MN Ski Pass required. Silver Bay Area • Tettegouche State Park 25km - Intermediate to advanced, classic trails with many loops and good views of lakes and hills. About 6km of skate ski trail. Four historic ski-in cabins at Mic Mac Lake. Take a side trip to 70-foot High Falls on the Baptism River. Warming house is the lodge at Tettegouche Camp. MN Ski Pass required. • Northwoods Ski Trail 19km - Intermediate, groomed singletrack, classic trail through an intimate wooded setting, following the contours of rolling hills. Trail travels past Bean and Bear Lakes. A connector trail to Tettegouche State Park is groomed when conditions allow. Trailhead is on the west edge of Silver Bay, past the Superior Hiking Trail trailhead on Penn Boulevard/County Rd. 11. Access is on the right at Beaver River. Tofte/Lutsen Area: The area between Schroeder and Cascade River State Park is home to three individual trail systems, which form a huge network stretching up Minnesota’s North Shore. The Sugarbush Trail system offers 65km of regularly groomed ski trails near Tofte. Farther up the shore near Lutsen, the Norpine Trail system includes two clusters, the Hall and Massey loops and the Deeryard Lake/Cascade system which are tied together with connector trails. This system
Iron Range Area • Biwabik | Giants Ridge 63km - Skiers of all skill levels can enjoy these well-groomed trails in the Superior National Forest, originally designed for training the US Ski Team. 3km are lit for Nordic skiing at night. The 60km trail system also accommodates fat tire bikes. Both fatbike riders and downhill skiers can access select runs via a high-speed chairlift. • Chisholm | Sturgeon River Trail 35km - Excellent beginner trail for classic skiing in the Superior National Forest. Long stretches of solitary trails. Two Adirondack shelters, groomed, scenic views of Sturgeon river. Groomed occasionally. • Hibbing | Carey Lake 22km - Beginner to advanced groomed trails with 10km side by side classic and skate skiing with views of the lake, lowlands, bogs, and jack pine stands. 3.8km Black Forest loop is lit from 5-10 pm daily. • Hoyt Lakes | Bird Lake Trail 19km - Beginner to advanced trail over birch and aspen hills with views of Bird and Lillian Lakes. One-way trail with some loops. • Virginia | Big Aspen Recreation Area 33km - Beginner to intermediate classic trail with shelters and a beautiful overlook on old logging roads and abandoned RR grades of the Virginia and Rainy Lake Lumber Co. Hinckley | St. Croix State Park 17km - Groomed, classic ski trail with many loops for all skill levels. A warming house with fireplaces is available. MN Ski Pass required. International Falls Area • Manka Trail 2km - Lighted beginner trail, groomed for skate and classic, in the woods behind the Elementary School. • Tilson Creek Ski Trail 16km - Intermediate, groomed, classic and skate trails in the Koochiching State Forest. MN Ski Pass required. • Voyageurs National Park 53km - This National Park has three trail systems: Black Bay Trails, three loops totaling 13km. A 1km trail connects to Tilson Creek Trails. Access to Black Bay Trails is at Rainy Lake Visitor Center via Rainy Lake Ice Road. Echo Bay Trail, a 4km loop. Access through Kabetogama Lake Visitor Center. Kab-Ash Trail, a 35km system. Access near Ash River Visitor Center. Isabella | Flathorn Gegoka Trail 30km - Beginner to advanced, groomed, single tracked in the Superior National Forest near Isabella, MN. Some paths on old logging roads. Accommodations are available at National Forest Lodge. MN Ski Pass required.
SKI TRAIL GUIDE
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A VARIETY OF TRAILS
SKI TRAIL GUIDE
The state parks, forests, wetlands and private resorts in the heart of the state offer a ski experience ranging from remote to all-inclusive. Aitkin Area • No Achen Trail 11.3km - Beginner to advanced, groomed classic and skate trails through rustic forest. MN Ski Pass required. •
Vispo Ski Trail 3.5km - Four interconnected classic loops with a sledding hill about 13 miles southeast of Aitkin. MN Ski Pass required.
Find More Information at www.mntrails.com/ski-trails
Alexandria | Lake Brophy County Park 5km - Intermediate, groomed skate ski trails (no classic tracks) that climb and descend through the hills of the park. Catch great views of Alexandria and the surrounding chain of lakes. Be aware that the park terrain consists of open prairie hills, so wind chill can be a factor. Expect lots of traffic on the trails in this very popular park. Battle Lake | Glendalough State Park 13km - Beginner to intermediate, classic trails on rolling hills over prairie and northern hardwoods that pass several lakes. Weekend shelter with fireplace, camper cabins. Ski and snowshoe rentals. MN Ski Pass required. Becker Area • Pebble Creek Golf Club 7km - Two distinct loops of flat and open trails on a golf course, rated beginner to intermediate. Nordic and skate ski trails are side by side. Flat groomed area is also open to walking, snowshoeing and fatbiking. The east (4.4km) and west (2.6km) are separated by Sherburne Ave. SE, but connected via a tunnel under the road. • Oak Savanna Park 3.8km - The trails at this park are rated beginner to intermediate and consist of a couple of very small loops and one large, main loop. Trails are groomed flat with track set in the middle. Flat groomed area is open to walking, snowshoeing and fatbiking. • Becker City Park 4.4km - Rated intermediate, these trails, made up of three loops, travel through a dense oak forest with a few steep hills. Trails are groomed flat with track set in the middle. Flat groomed area is open to walking, snowshoeing and fatbiking. This system connects to trails at Oak Savanna Park, adjacent to Becker City Park. • Other Sherburne County multi-use trails suitable for skate skiing (no tracks) are located at Island View Regional Park in Clear Lake and Grams Regional Park in Zimmerman. Brainerd Area • French Rapids 9.5km - Expert only. Well-groomed and challenging trails in glaciated area with great views of Mississippi River Valley. MN Ski Pass required. • Northland Arboretum 12km - Beginner to intermediate, classic and skate ski with nearly 5km lighted trail. A trail fee applies. • Pine Beach Trails 30km - Mostly beginner to intermediate with some advanced loops. Varied terrain through pine and hardwood forest around several scenic lakes. Trail links Kavanaugh’s, Madden’s and Cragun’s resorts. Ski rentals at Cragun’s. MN Ski Pass required. Carlos | Lake Carlos State Park 9.5km - Intermediate, groomed classic only, rolling terrain through tamarack bog, marshes, woodland ponds and lakes. The park has a rustic warming shelter with a wood burning stove. MN Ski Pass required.
20 MINNESOTA TRAILS | Winter 2023/2024
Clearwater | Warner Lake County Park 6km - Beginner to intermediate, groomed classic through woods with some challenging hills. 41-acre site surrounding Warner Lake. Collegeville | Saint John’s Arboretum 16km - Beginner to advanced skate and classic loops through the wooded hills of the Saint John’s University campus. One notable feature is one hill on the Pine Knob Loop. Nicknamed “Misere Nobis” (Latin for “Have mercy on us”), it presents a 100-foot climb over a short distance. Cross Lake | Nordic Ridge Trail 22km - Easy to advanced series of interconnected loops starting at the Crosslake Community Center. Deerwood | Larson Lake Ski Trails 11.6km - Intermediate to advanced skate and classic in varied terrain with a mix of hardwood and mature pines. Passes by Larson Lake. Elk River | Woodland Trails 15km - Beginner to advanced, groomed skate and classic ski trails with many loops. Maintained by Elk River Nordic Ski Club. MN Ski Pass required. Erhard | Spidahl’s Ski Gaard 24km - All levels. Groomed classic and skate through 340 acres of hardwoods and prairie near Maplewood State Park. Privately owned. Fee applies. Ironton | Wolf Lake Ski Trail 9km - Beginner to advanced, groomed classic with challenging hills through hardwood forest and mature pine. Shelter along trail, maps at intersections. Kensington Area • Andes Tower Hills Ski Area 15km - All levels of classic and skate through forest and around lakes. Adjacent to downhill ski area with 1.5km lit trail. Ski rentals available. A fee applies. • Rune Stone Park 12km - Intermediate loops around several lakes at Kensington Rune Stone Park, groomed for classic skiing. Visitor Center with restrooms is open as a warming house daily from 8am to 10pm. This park also has groomed fatbike trails that can be snowshoed. MN Ski Pass required. Little Falls | Crane Meadows National Wildlife Refuge 5.6km - Beginner trail, groomed with two parallel tracks, with gentle hills. Trail follows Platte River. McGregor Area • Remote Lake Trail 19km - Beginner to Intermediate classic ski trail within Savanna State Forest offers a wilderness-like experience. Connects to Savanna Portage State Park trails. MN Ski Pass required. • Savanna Portage State Park 16km - Beginner to intermediate groomed classic tracks on rolling hills throughout the park. Connects with Remote Lake Trail near Loon Lake. This connector trail has some steep sections. Milaca | Milaca Trails 8km - City of Milaca trails are groomed single track. Park at Recreation Park and take the pedestrian bridge over the Rum River to access the trails.
2023/24 Miltona | Spruce Hill Park 5km - 97-acre park with gentle, wooded hills through tamarack. MN Ski Pass required. New London | Sibley State Park 13km - Intermediate to advanced with hills and curves. Ski to the top of Mt. Tom for the best view of the countryside. 4km skate ski trails. MN Ski Pass required. Nisswa | Grand View Lodge 8km - All levels over three loops, groomed for classic through 360 acres of pines, prairie and wetland at The Pines golf course. Onamia | Mille Lacs Kathio State Park 32km - Beginner to advanced, several loops through wooded terrain. Ski rentals available. MN Ski Pass required. Palisade | Long Lake Conservation Center 5km - Beginner to intermediate, groomed classic ski trails through rustic forest. The conservation center building is open weekdays during business hours. MN Ski Pass required. Pelican Rapids | Maplewood State Park 8km - Intermediate to advanced, four loops of classic ski through hardwood forest, over hills and around many lakes. Additional 8km backcountry trail. MN Ski Pass required. Pierz | Golf Course Trail 4km - Two easy loops on the grounds of the municipal golf course. Pine River | Cut Lake Trail 16.5km - Beginner to advanced skiing around Deer and Cut Lake. MN Ski Pass required. Rice | Mississippi River County Park 6km - All beginner trails, groomed for classic skiing right along the Mississippi River.
SKI TRAIL GUIDE Saint Cloud Area • Graystone Trails 17km - Beginner to intermediate with a few challenging hills. Many loops through scenic woods, pastures and apple orchards. Maintained by the Nordic Ski Club of Central Minnesota. MN Ski Pass required. • Riverside Park 5km - Beginner to intermediate trails with flat to rolling hills along the Mississippi River near downtown St. Cloud. • Kraemer Lake-Wildwood County Park 6km - Beginner to advanced. Six classic ski loops that wind through a wooded setting. MN Ski Pass required. Sauk Centre | High School Trail 3.25km - Groomed classic and skate ski trails next to the Sauk River. Rated easy to moderate with cut-offs to avoid the few hills.
Central Area within the park offers an additional 5km of ungroomed, rustic trail. Quarry Park parking pass required. Willmar | Swan Lake Ski Trails 5km - Groomed, classic and skate trails for beginners on Eagle Creek Golf Course. Restaurant and bathrooms available during business hours. MN Ski Pass required. Zimmerman | Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge 5km - Mahnomen Trail inside the refuge consists of several easy loops and is groomed when conditions allow. Trails are shared with hikers and snowshoers. Parking lot with vault toilet. Located off of Sherburne County Road 9, about 1.5 miles west of County Road 42.
Spicer | Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center 10km - Beginner to advanced, groomed classic and skate. Trails within 500-acre environmental learning center campus with woodland and prairie scenery and abundant wildlife. Rentals available. MN Ski Pass required. Wadena | Black’s Grove 9km - Beginner to advanced, classic ski trails that wind through a wooded setting. Waite Park | Quarry Park and Nature Preserve 6.3km - Beginner to intermediate with a skating loop and classic loops. Ski past granite quarries and rock piles on lighted trails. Well-marked trail system has separate trails for skiing, hiking and
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www.RollingRiverBikeRental.com Winter 2023/2024 | MINNESOTA TRAILS 21
SKI TRAIL GUIDE
SKIING WITH A VIEW
The southern half of Minnesota offers rolling bluff country in the east and wide-open prairies in the west with regions of old-growth forest in between. A wide variety of state parks, forests and recreational trails offer fine cross- country skiing. Austin | Jay C. Hormel Nature Center 10km - Beginner to intermediate, classic and skate trails through woods and prairie. Interpretive building with rentals serves as a warming house. Byron | Oxbow Park 3km - Groomed classic and skate trail loops winding through undeveloped prairie and wooded hills. Oxbow Park also offers fat tire bike trails seasonally. Eyota | Chester Woods Park 8km - All levels, groomed trails through a wooded and hilly county park with views of Chester Lake, usually groomed for both classic and skate skiing. Trails are well marked with maps at most intersections. Chester Woods Park also offers fat tire bike trails seasonally. Faribault | River Bend Nature Center 11km - Beginner to advanced, groomed classic through flat prairie and woods with some challenging hills. MN Ski Pass required. Frontenac | Frontenac State Park 11km - All levels, groomed classic with overlooks of Lake Pepin. Two warming shelters available. MN Ski Pass required. Henderson | Ney Nature Center 10km - Groomed, classic ski trails through the 446-acre Ney Wildlife Preserve. Rentals available at the nature center. Equipment rentals available.
Kasota | Lake Washington Regional Park 5km - Groomed, classic ski trails in a 164-acre park near Mankato. Terrain features flat areas and gentle inclines as the trail traverses native prairie and hardwoods. The inner prairie loops are dedicated to groomed skiing, the outer prairie loops are open to snowshoeing and other uses. The trail crosses over Shanaska Creek on a historic 1875 bridge.
Northfield | Carleton College Arboretum 18km - Trails in the upper arboretum (6km) are groomed for skating and classic skiing, the remainder are classic only. Trails are shared with walkers.
Morton | Beaver Falls County Park 3.2km - Groomed, double-track classic trail with multiple hills and turns. There are open and wooded areas and terrain ranges from easy to difficult. Trails are shared and open to skiing, hiking, snowshoeing and fatbiking. A vault style bathroom is available in the park’s recreation area, along with an open shelter. The trail follows Beaver Creek, providing beautiful views and visitors can expect to see deer, turkeys and other wildlife. Trail users are encouraged to park at the south entrance off of 680th Avenue. Use of trails and parking is free for day use. Note that tracks are set only when snow cover is sufficient, otherwise they’re groomed flat.
• Kaplan’s Woods Parkway 13km - Intermediate, ravine terrain provides challenging hills through hardwood forest near a lake and river. Wide trails suitable for skate ski and tracked for classic when snow is sufficient. Trail travels from Morehouse Park through Kaplan’s Woods Parkway and into the County Country Club grounds. MN Ski Pass required.
New Ulm | Flandrau State Park 9.5km - Beginner to intermediate, groomed classic, flat trails on the bottom of the valley with more challenging routes on the oak shaded bluffs with several overlooks of Cottonwood River. Ski and snowshoe rentals available. Beach house serves as a warming shelter. MN Ski Pass required.
V I S I T CULTIVATING THE BEST EXPERIENCES
22 MINNESOTA TRAILS | Winter 2023/2024
Owatonna Area • Brooktree Golf Course 3km - Easy skate ski and classic loop.
Red Wing Area • Cannon Valley Trail 23km - The Cannon Valley Trail is open to a variety of uses in the winter. From Cannon Falls, Mile 1-15.5: Cross Country Skiing only. Mile 15.5-17.5: Side by side fatbiking and cross-country skiing. Mile 17.5-19.7: Trail is plowed and open to hiking and biking. Trail offers views of overhanging cliffs and stunning scenery. Connects communities of Cannon Falls, Welch and Red Wing. MN Ski Pass required for skiing only.
2023/24 • Mississippi National Ski Trails 8km - Beginner to advanced, groomed for classic skiing at Memorial Park. The classic loop through wooded terrain offers extensive views of the Mississippi River, considered one of the most spectacular in the state. Flatter and easier trails groomed for both classic and skate skiing are on the golf course to the south, where the trailhead is. MN Ski Pass required. Rochester Area • Eastwood Golf Course 6km - All levels, groomed classic and skate ski loops with 2.5km lighted trails. • Essex Park 8.5km - Groomed classic and skate ski through woods and restored prairie. Rolling terrain. • Gamehaven Reservoir 11.5km - Trails of varied difficulty include a beginner’s loop and a 3.5km wide, out-andback two-way trail with snowmaking. Most trails are out in the open. • Quarry Hill Park 12km - Relatively flat, groomed trails through rolling hills around an old quarry. The north end of the system reaches into Parkwood Hills Park and is rated expert. Quarry Hill Nature Center is open all year and has equipment rentals.
Find More Information at www.mntrails.com/ski-trails
SKI TRAIL GUIDE
Root River/ Harmony Preston Valley State Trail 67km - Beginner to intermediate trail offering views of tall bluffs and abundant wildlife. Track set between Isinours Junction and Houston. MN Ski Pass required. Harmony-Preston Valley Trail: 19km tracked between Isinours Junction, where the two trails meet, and County Road 16. Sacred Heart | Skalbekken County Park 2.4km - Groomed, double-track classic trail rated easy to moderate. The wooded trail follows the Minnesota River and visitors can expect to see deer, turkeys and other wildlife and see the 1868 Skalbeck log cabin. Trails are shared and open to skiing, hiking, snowshoeing and fatbiking. There is a vault style bathroom near the park entrance, along with an open shelter. Users are encouraged to park in the horse camp off of County Road 10. Use of trails and parking is free for day use. Note that tracks are set only when snow cover is sufficient, otherwise they’re groomed flat. Winona Area • Great River Bluffs State Park 5km - Beginner to intermediate, groomed classic with overlooks of the Mississippi River Valley. MN Ski Pass required. • Saint Mary’s University 14.5km - Mostly intermediate to advanced with some flat terrain for beginners. Groomed classic and skate ski through hardwood forest, an old apple orchard, and near Gilmore Creek. Some lit sections.
Winter 2023/2024 | MINNESOTA TRAILS 23
URBAN TRAILS WONDERLAND
SKI TRAIL GUIDE
The many communities that make up the metropolitan area of Minneapolis and St. Paul provide an extensive network of well-groomed cross-country ski trails. Many regional parks make snow and offer skiing regardless of Mother Nature’s plans. Annandale | Stanley Eddy Regional Park-South 5km - Scenic, rolling hills, lakes and marshes in a densely wooded area. Trail is groomed for skate and classic skiing. Stanley Eddy Regional Park is made up of three distinct parcels with separate entrances. Skiing is at the south unit only. The north unit has snowshoe trails. MN Ski Pass required. Anoka Area • Green Haven Golf Course 5km - Skate and double-tracked, classic groomed trails through rolling golf course hills and trees. Trails are only open when groomed and posted as open. Golf course building and restroom is open during regular business hours. • Anoka Nature Preserve 5km - Flat and easy trail loops through stands of oak trees and open areas. Trail is groomed flat and is open to walking, fat tire bikes and skate skiing. A good novice trail. Bloomington | Hyland Lake Park Reserve 15km - Intermediate to expert, groomed, classic and skate trails over rolling hills and prairie. 8km lighted trail. 5km trail with snowmaking. Ski Chalet serves as a warming house and offers ski rentals. Three Rivers Park District ski pass required. Burnsville Area • Alimagnet Park 6km - Short and flat beginner trails. All trails are multi-use and allow walking, snowshoeing and skijoring. • Terrace Oaks Park 10.9km - Beginner to expert. Groomed,
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For info: 651-437-6775 www.visithastingsmn.org 24 MINNESOTA TRAILS | Winter 2023/2024
classic ski trails through heavily wooded, hilly areas. Chalet available as a warming house on weekends. Cambridge Area • Spirit River Nature Area 5-8km - Beginner classic and skate ski trails through prairie, deciduous forest, and wetlands. Parking and restrooms at Anoka Ramsey Community College. • Springvale County Park 4km - Classic ski trails on gently rolling hills through open fields and hardwood forests within a 200-acre park. There are also 3.5 miles of fatbike and 1 mile of walking trail. Restrooms in the parking lot. • Becklin Homestead Park 4.8km - Classic ski trails for beginners in a 294-acre park on the Rum River with mixed oak forest, prairie, wetlands and old growth pines. Ski trails are side by side with packed walking trails. Restrooms in the parking lot. Chanhassen | Lake Minnewashta Regional Park 8km - Classic ski trails through 340-acre park on the shores of Lake Minnewashta. Ski rentals available. Chaska | Minnesota Landscape Arboretum 13km - Six loops of classic-only ski trails through the 1,200-acre arboretum grounds. Snowshoeing trails are also available. Oswald Visitor Center has rentals, restrooms, snowshoe rentals and a gift store. The Arboretum Cafe is open all week. Cokato | Collinwood Regional Park 5.8km - Intermediate, groomed, classic trail on open fields with some wooded areas. Coon Rapids Area • Bunker Hills Regional Park 20km - Intermediate trail loops on flat to slightly hilly terrain. Rental skis available. Warm up inside the Bunker Hills Activity Center on weekdays. MN Ski Pass required. • Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park 10km - Beginner to intermediate trails on relatively flat terrain along the Mississippi River. Rentals available at Coon Rapids Dam Visitor Center on weekends. MN Ski Pass required. Cottage Grove | Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park 8km - Intermediate to advanced skate and classic trails with some steep slopes and heavily wooded ravines. An additional 9km of trails are multiuse and open to winter biking, snowshoeing, walking and skijoring. Washington County Ski Pass required. Dalbo | Dalbo County Park 1.6km - Classic ski trails in a 40-acre park with stands of white pine. Eagan | Lebanon Hills Regional Park 29km - Beginner to advanced trails, groomed for classic skiing. Dakota County ski pass required. Eden Prairie | Staring Lake Park 4km - Classic trail on the south side of Staring Lake. Warming house with bathrooms is available when the adjacent sledding hill is open. Falcon Heights | Les Bolstad Golf Course 6km - Three skate and classic loops starting and ending at the golf course club house. Trails groomed by U of M Outdoor Adventures. A trail fee applies. Farmington | Whitetail Woods Regional Park 7km - Intermediate classic trails around Empire Lake. Connects with Lone Rock Trail in Rosemount. Camper cabins and fire rings available. Dakota County ski pass required.
Hastings Area • Afton State Park 19km - A variety of groomed, classic loops with trail shelters overlooking the St. Croix River near Afton Alps Ski Resort. Heated visitors center has parking and bathrooms. The park also has snowshoe trails. MN Ski Pass required. • Spring Lake Park Reserve 8km - Beginner to advanced, groomed, classic (5.4km) and skate (2.6km) ski trails. Schaar’s Bluff offers views of the Mississippi River Valley. Dakota County ski pass required. • St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park 12.5km - Beginner to intermediate, groomed trails on the wild and scenic St. Croix River. Washington Co. Ski Pass required. Isanti | Wayside Prairie County Park 3.2km - Classic ski trail in an 80-acre park with woods, prairie and marshes. A scenic overlook allows views of a fen and a lake. Ski trails are side by side with packed walking trails. Restrooms in the parking lot. Lake Elmo Area • Lake Elmo Park Reserve 19.5km - Beginner to intermediate, groomed, classic and skate trails on gently rolling hills offering a variety of experiences and challenges. Some lighted trails. Nordic center has bathrooms and vending machines. Washington County Ski Pass required. • Sunfish Lake Park 7 to 9km - All skill levels skiing. Groomed occasionally by volunteers. Lakeville | Ritter Farm Park Ski Trail 9km - Beginner to intermediate, groomed, classic and skate ski with hills through the woods. MN Ski Pass required. Lino Lakes | Chomonix Golf Club 10km - Beginner to intermediate trails on flat terrain. Rent skis at Chomonix Golf Course club house on weekends. MN Ski Pass required. Maple Grove | Elm Creek Park Reserve 18km - Beginner to advanced, groomed, classic and skate trails. Some of the best ski trails in the metro area with fantastic night skiing on over 5km of lighted trails and a 2.5km loop with snowmaking. Elm Creek Chalet offers ski rentals, snack bar, and woodstove. Three Rivers Park District ski pass required. Maple Lake | Robert Ney Memorial Park Reserve 16.5km - Intermediate, groomed, classic and skate trails over small hills and flat areas. Nature Center offers rentals weekends January-March. Maple Plain | Baker Park Reserve 14.5km - Beginner to advanced, groomed, classic and skate trails through woods and meadows. Ski rentals, warming house, and snack bar at Chalet. Three Rivers Park District ski pass required. Maplewood | Battle Creek Regional Park East (West section is in St. Paul) 6km - Beginner to intermediate classic ski trail through mature woods. Saint Paul/Ramsey County mutual ski pass required. Marine on St. Croix Area • Big Marine Park Reserve 1.9km - Two classic, groomed, easy loops along Big Marine Lake. An additional 2.5km loop is open to winter biking, walking and skijoring. Washington County Ski Pass required.
2023/24 • William O’Brien State Park 19km - Multi-trail system, for all skill levels of classic and skate skiers with views of the St. Croix River. Wetland Trail for beginners and Prairie Overlook for the more advanced. Heated trail center has a wood stove. MN Ski Pass required. Minneapolis Area • Chain of Lakes Regional Park 10.7km - Groomed, beginner-friendly flat trails around Brownie Lake, Cedar Lake and Lake of the Isles. Connects with Theodore Wirth Park trails to the north. Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board (MPRB) Pass required. • Columbia Golf Course 3.5km - Groomed, classic and skate trails on rolling golf course hills. Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board (MPRB) Pass required. • Hiawatha Regional Park 4km - Groomed, classic and skate trails on rolling golf course hills with a view of the Minneapolis skyline. Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board (MPRB) Pass required. • Theodore Wirth Regional Park 23km - One of the largest venues with snowmaking capabilities in the Twin Cities features some incredible hills on the north while the south side is primarily flat. Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board (MPRB) Pass required. Minnetonka | Glen Lake Golf Center 2.4km - Groomed, classic and skate trails through rolling golf course hills. Rentals and concessions available at the clubhouse. Three Rivers Park District ski pass required. Monticello Area • Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park 3.5km - Great beginner trail through pines along Bertram, Long, Mud and First Lake. Groomed classic ski only. • Harry Larson County Forest 3.2km - Intermediate, classic ski only. Close to Lake Maria State Park. • Lake Maria State Park 10km - Beginner to intermediate, groomed, classic trails through rolling terrain, wooded areas, old growth forest areas and past lakes and ponds. MN Ski Pass required. Moundsview | Rice Creek Regional Trail 4.7km - Groomed trails for classic and skate ski from easy to difficult. Park at Irondale High School after 3:30 pm weekdays and daylight hours all other days. Saint Paul/Ramsey County Mutual ski pass required. North Branch Area • Wild River State Park 48km - Beginner (22km), intermediate (25km) and advanced (5km) trails along the St. Croix River. 27km are combined classic and skate ski. Heated trail center has rentals available. MN Ski Pass required. • Irving and John Anderson County Park 6.4km - Easy classic ski trails in a 400-acre park with hardwoods, prairie and wetlands. Trails skirt both Horseshoe and Horseleg Lakes. Ski trails are side by side with packed walking trails and there’s 3.2km of skijoring trail. Restrooms in the parking lot. Norwood Young America | Baylor Regional Park 5km - Classic ski trails around marshes along the shores of Eagle Lake in a 200-acre park. Includes a 1/4-mile boardwalk. Ski rentals available.
SKI TRAIL GUIDE
Otsego | Otsego Regional Park 3km - Beginner trails alongside paved park trails on the Mississippi River. Tracks are set when sufficient snow is available, otherwise they’re groomed flat. Plymouth Area • Eagle Lake Regional Park 5km - Beginner to intermediate, groomed, classic and skate trails through woods and meadows. Fatbiking and skijoring allowed on skate lanes. Three Rivers Park District ski pass required. • French Regional Park 8km - Variety of terrains from beginner to advanced. Groomed, classic and skate trails over rolling hills. 4.5km of lighted trails attract many after-work skiers. Rentals and concessions available at visitor center. Three Rivers Park District ski pass required. Prior Lake | Cleary Lake Regional Park 9.5km - Beginner to intermediate, groomed, classic and skate trails. Visitor center with ski rentals, vending machine and fireplace. 4.5km lighted trail. Three Rivers Park District ski pass required. Ramsey | Rum River Central Regional Park 8km - Beginner to intermediate skate and classic trail loops. MN Ski Pass required. Richfield | Wood Lake Nature Center 3.2km - Groomed cross-country ski trails circling Wood Lake in a 150-acre nature preserve. The trails wind through three different habitats: cattail marsh, mixed lowland forest, and restored prairie. Ski and snowshoe rentals available. Rosemount | Lone Rock Trail 18km - Intermediate trails groomed for both classic and skate ski on gently rolling terrain through woods, agricultural land and wetlands in UMore Park. Connects with trails at Whitewoods Regional Park. Saint Paul Area • Battle Creek Regional Park West (East section is in Maplewood) 10km - Beginner to advanced, classic and skate ski trails. 4km lit trail. Saint Paul/ Ramsey County mutual ski pass required. • Como Park 5km - Intermediate to advanced classic and skate trails. 1.7km lighted trail. Equipment rentals are available. Saint Paul/Ramsey County mutual ski pass required. • Fort Snelling State Park 19km - The park offers flat multi-use trails which are shared by skiers, hikers and fatbikers. The Pike Island Loop with its views of the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers is the only trail groomed just for skiing. Visitor center serves as a warming house. MN Ski Pass required.
• Highland 9 Golf Course 3.5km - Beginner to intermediate classic and skate trail loop. There’s a fatbike trail around the perimeter of the golf course. Saint Paul/Ramsey County mutual ski pass required. • Phalen Regional Park 7km - Intermediate classic and skate trails, open and fairly flat. Saint Paul/Ramsey County mutual ski pass required. • Highland National Golf Course 5km - 3km beginner loop is double tracked for classic ski and groomed for skate skiing. 2km intermediate loop is single tracked for classic and groomed for skate skiing. Chalet serves as a warming house. Saint Paul/ Ramsey County mutual ski pass required. Savage | Murphy-Hanrehan Park Reserve 14.5km - Some of the most exciting and challenging trails in the metro. Groomed, classic and skate trails. Trailhead building serves as a warming area on weekends. Three Rivers Park District ski pass required. Shoreview | Vadnais-Snail Lakes Regional Park - Grass Lake section 3km - Beginner, classic two-way trails through woods and marshes. Saint Paul/Ramsey County mutual ski pass required. Stanchfield | Vegsund County Park 3.2km - Classic ski trail in an 80-acre park with woods, prairie and wetlands. Stillwater Area • Brown’s Creek Nature Preserve 4.5km - Beginner classic and skate trails on moderate hills shared with hikers. MN Ski Pass required. • Pine Point Regional Park 6.5km - Beginner to intermediate trails groomed for classic and skate skiing. Washington County Ski Pass required. Vadnais Heights | Vadnais/Sucker Lakes 8km - Beginner to intermediate, classic-only trails on moderate hills through woods with lake views. Sucker Lake loop is north of County Road F, Vadnais Lake loop (double-tracked out-andback) is south. MN Ski Pass required. Waconia | Carver Park Reserve 18km - Beginner to intermediate, groomed, classic and skate trails through hardwood forests and marshlands. Lowry Nature Center offers a warming place and has ski rentals on weekends. Three Rivers Park District ski pass required. White Bear Lake | Tamarack Nature Center 8km - Beginner to intermediate, classic-only trails through prairie, woodland, and marsh. Ski rentals and lessons available. 1km practice loop. Saint Paul/Ramsey County mutual ski pass required.
Miles of CROSS COUNTRY SKI and FAT BIKE trails for all levels SKI lessons, clinics and rentals available for youth and adults TUBING, SLEDDING and SNOWBOARDING on site—fun for the whole family Races and events held throughout the season, including the CITY OF LAKES LOPPET WINTER FESTIVAL Feb. 3-4, 2024
the OUTDOORS EXPLORE the TDOORS
THIS WINTER in Minneapolis Winter 2023/2024 | MINNESOTA TRAILS 25
KENSINGTON RUNE STONE PARK
You are here: The multi-use system is well marked. 26 MINNESOTA 26 MIIN NN NEE OTA T TR TRAILS AILS A AI ILSS | Winter Wn nterr 2023/202 2023/2024 23/ 23/ 23 3/
Olof Öhman farmstead
ALL PHOTOS BY JAN LASAR
To some, the Kensington runestone is a real artifact left behind by Viking explorers; an elaborate hoax to others, but it changed Olof Öhman’s life and brought attention to the hamlet of Kensington, MN. At his farmstead about 15 miles southwest of Alexandria, the Swedish immigrant farmer claims to have found the slab of stone while clearing
trees from a field one day in 1898. Its runic inscription, dated 1362 tells the tale of a fishing party returning to camp just to find 10 out of their 30-man crew “red of blood and dead.” The stone is displayed at the Rune Stone Museum in Alexandria and the Öhman farm site has become today’s
Kensington Rune Stone Park. A hiking trail leads to the place where the tablet was allegedly discovered. The park has a groomed eight-mile multi-use trail system for hiking, skiing, mountain and fatbiking and is worthy of exploration whether you consider yourself a Viking or not.
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SAVE Date 2024 BIKE RIDES
Birds and Bison Bike Tour May 4, 2024 Hastings, MN & Prescott, WI 4TH ANNUAL
Lake Alice 100
The Spring Bike Fling
May 11, 2024
June 22, 2024
Fergus Falls, MN
Orange City Tulip Festival Tour de Tulips
Orange City, IA bit.ly/467vjOL
Luverne Loop Tour May 30, 2024 Luverne, MN luvernechamber.com
Minnesota Tour de Cure June 1, 2024 Minneapolis, MN diabetes.org/mntourdecure
Tour de Pepin
Custer, SD gfp.sd.gov/parks/detail/ george-s--mickelson-trail
June 21–23, 2024
May 18, 2024
Mickelson Summer Trail Trek
July 6, 2024 Freedhem, MN freedhem76.com
Tour of Saints July 14, 2024 Saint Joseph, MN BikeMN.org/ all-events/tour-of-saints
Scenic Shore Bike Tour July 27-28, 2024 Mequon-ManitowocSturgeon Bay, WI scenicshore150.org
Tour de Bun Bicycle Classic
June 1, 2024
July 27, 2024
Lake City, MN
Caramel Roll Ride
Tour de Tonka
June 8, 2024
August 3, 2024
Lady Slipper Ride
Rock ‘n’ Roll the Lakes
June 15, 2024 Avon,MN
August 10, 2024
Albert Lea, MN
Tour of Minnesota
Rivers, Lakes and Fields
June 15–22, 2024
August 11 & 24, September 7, 2024
Cannon Falls, MN
Stillwater, Prior Lake, Northfield, MN
28 MINNESOTA TRAILS | Winter 2023/2024
FATBIKE AND SKI EVENTS Minnesota Nordic Ski Opener S December 9, 2023 | Maple Grove, MN Elm Creek Park Reserve www.mntrails.com/event/minnesotanordic-ski-opener Norpine Fat Bike Classic B January 5-7, 2024 | Lutsen, MN Events include a fatbike race, the Crazy Pine Criterium and a dark sky tour at night. Come see some of the best trails Cook County has to offer. www.superiorcycling.org/norpine First Chance Ski Race S January 6, 2024 | Mora, MN www.mntrails.com/event/ﬁrst-chance-skirace St Croix 40 Winter Ultra S B January 13-14, 2024 | Hinckley, MN St. Croix State Park www.mntrails.com/event/st-croix-40winter-ultra Fat Vasa B January 14, 2024 | Mora, MN The event starts and finishes in downtown Mora, with beautiful trails winding through the Vasaloppet Nordic Ski Center complex. www.moraskiclub.org/community-events/ fat-tire-bikes Pre-Loppet S January 14, 2024 | Minneapolis, MN Theodore Wirth Regional Park: A primer for the City of Lakes Loppet Winter Festival with ski races and a fatbike race. Get ready for a good time at Theodore Wirth! www.loppet.org/events/preloppet
Icykel Fat Bike Race B January 21, 2024 | Ironton, MN A full weekend of fatbike fun on the awardwinning trails of the Cuyuna Range, hosted by Cykel Bike Shop. Race 10km, 20km or 40km and stay for the after party. www.rustbusterrace.com Founders’ Classic S January 27, 2024 | Mora, MN A fundraiser for the Mora Ski Club that’s only $1 per km! www.moraskiclub.org/community-events/ founders-classic Lantern Loppet S January 27, 2024 | Mora, MN Ski classic-groomed trails by the glow of lanterns, following the Founders’ Classic. www.moraskiclub.org/community-events/ lantern-loppet Lumberjack Jaunt S January 27, 2024 | Brainerd, MN Northland Arboretum: This long-standing ski event at the Northland Arboretum in Brainerd celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2024. www.mntrails.com/event/lumberjack-jaunt Arrowhead 135 S B January 29-31, 2024 | International Falls, MN www.mntrails.com/event/arrowhead-135 City of Lakes Loppet Winter Festival S B February 3-4, 2024 | Minneapolis, MN Theodore Wirth Regional Park: A familyfriendly festival with numerous ski and fatbike events, skijoring and a nighttime luminary loppet. This is the can’t-miss event of the winter. www.loppet.org/events/festival
S = SKI EVENT
B = FATBIKE EVENT
Frosted Fatty B February 24, 2024 | Duluth, MN Spirit Mountain: Compete in lift-served downhill fatbike and dual slalom racing at Spirit Mountain, Minnesota’s premiere ski and snowboard destination. www.spiritmt.com
SAVE Date the
As of deadline, the information in this calendar was accurate. Check www.MnTrails.com/events for additional information.
The Moraloppet S February 3, 2024 | Mora, MN Vasaloppet Nordic Ski Center www.mntrails.com/event/the-moraloppet Vasaloppet S February 10-11, 2024 | Mora, MN Vasaloppet Nordic Ski Center www.mntrails.com/event/vasaloppet Carey Lake Classic S February 17, 2024 | Hibbing, MN www.mntrails.com/event/carey-lake-classic Fatbike Fest 15 B February 17, 2024 | Monticello, MN Montiview Mountain Bike Challenge Course www.mntrails.com/event/fat-bike-fest 2024 Loppet Cup S February 17-19, 2024 | Minneapolis, MN The world’s best athletes in cross country skiing will race in the first world cup race to be held on U.S. soil in twenty years at Theodore Wirth Park. www.loppetcup.com Minnesota Finlandia Ski Marathon S February 17, 2024 | Bemidji, MN Buena Vista Ski Area www.mntrails.com/event/minnesotaﬁnlandia-ski-marathon Sugarbush Candlelight Ski S February 17, 2024 | Tofte, MN Enjoy the quiet beauty of the North Woods after dark by the light of candles in the snow. www.sugarbushtrail.org/events.php
Gitchi-Gami North Shore Ride
Mora Bike Tour
August 17, 2024
September 21, 2024
Gooseberry Falls State Park
Vasaloppet Nordic Center, Mora, MN
Caramel Apple Ride
Ride The Ridges
September 7, 2024
September 21, 2024
Sauk Centre, MN
Saint Paul Classic
September 8, 2024 Saint Paul, MN 28TH ANNUAL
Wheelin’ to Wall September 28-29, 2024
Twin Cities, MN
Tower, MN www.neversurrenderinc.org
Thief River Falls, MN
September 15, 2024
September 19-22, 2024
September 28, 2024
Loons Challenge Ride
Mankato River Ramble October 6, 2024 Mankato, MN BikeMN.org/all-events/ mankato-river-ramble
Winter 2023/2024 | MINNESOTA TRAILS 29
Garden Island Rec. Area
Minnesota’s bike trails, long distance hiking trails, water trails, state parks, state recreation areas and biomes
Lake of the Woods
Zippel Bay Lake Bronson
Red River of the North
Lake Cass Winnibigoshish Lake Paul Bunyan Migizi Schoolcraft
La Salle Lake Rec. Area
Leech Lake Walker
OHV Rec. Area
71 Long Prairie 10
Soo Line Little Falls
Lake Carlos Lake Wobegon
Glacial Lakes Pomme de Terre
Big Stone Lake 12
Mille Lacs Lake Kathio
Charles A. Lindbergh
Crow, Glacial North Fork Lakes
Monson Lake Lac qui Parle
Lake Rec. Area
Gitchi Gami Trail
Superior Hiking Trail Lake Superior Duluth Alex Laveau Segment
MAP LEGEND PRAIRIE DECIDUOUS FOREST
CONIFEROUS FOREST TALLGRASS ASPEN PARKLAND
Split Rock Lighthouse Two Harbors
St. Croix River
North Branch Sunrise Prairie Hardwood Creek Grand Rounds
Minneapolis Luce Line Hutchinson Crow, Dakota LRT South Fork Greenleaf Rail
212 Upper Sioux Agency
George H. Crosby Manitou Silver Bay
Sauk Sauk Centre Soo Line Albany Saint Cloud St. Joseph ROCORI 94 Mississippi Paynesville
Temperance Cascade River River Tofte
Heartland 169 Mississippi Park Buffalo River Detroit North Paul Rapids Lakes Country 2 Bunyan Trail North Country Jay Cooke Pine Trail Crow Savanna 59 Cuyuna Wing Portage Willard Country Otter Maplewood Rec. Area Munger Tail Moose 94 Brainerd Wadena Kettle Crosby Fergus Falls
Bear Head Lake
Chisholm Iron Range
Hill Annex Mine
Judge C.R. Portage Magney Grand National
Lake Vermilion /Soudan Undergound Mine 169
Border Route Trail
Lower Red Lake
Red River Rec. Area
Voyageurs National Park
Big Bog Rec. Area
Upper Red Lake
Hugo Saint Paul
STATE RECREATION AREAS BIKE TRAILS
Interstate William O’Brien Marine on St. Croix Brown’s Creek Stillwater Gateway
ROADS STATE WATER TRAILS CITIES LONG DISTANCE HIKING TRAILS Not for Navigation May 2023
Fort Snelling Cannon
Red Wing Minnesota Valley 61 Frontenac Valley Cannon Rec. Area 35 Falls Lake City Goodhue Fort Camden Marshall Cannon Mississippi Pioneer 63 Flandrau Ridgely Sakatah Camden New Ulm Nerstrand Zumbro Cottonwood Great Lake Mankato Big Woods River 14 Carley Faribault 75 Straight Douglas Ridge John A. Latsch Sakatah Lake Shetek Whitewater Pipestone Minneopa Singing Hills 14 Watonwan National Monument Winona Owatanna Rice Lake Pipestone Great River Bluffs Rochester Whitewater St. James Des Casey Root 52 Cedar Root 59 Moines Kilen Woods Jones River Myre Blue Blazing 90 Split Rock Lanesboro Big Island Blue Earth Star Creek Shooting Mounds Beaver Creek Valley Preston Star 63 90 Blue Blue Austin Shell Albert Harmony-Preston Valley Earth Mounds Worthington Rock Lea Lake Louise Forestville / Harmony Luverne Redwood
VISITBRAINERD Choose C hoo ose Your Your Adventure. Adventture.
3 MINNESOTA 30 MI NES MIN NE OTA TR TRAIL TRAILS A S | Winter t 2023/2024 20 023/ 2 2024 4
TRAIL PARTNERS You need a place to eat, stay, play and upgrade your gear? Our Trail Partners are here to help!
Minnesota Trails Directory Regions
324 Curtis Avenue, Ironton www.cykelonline.com
27 W Main Street, Crosby www.commongoodsmn.org
FITZHARRIS BIKE & SPORT
105 7th Avenue S, St. Cloud www.fitzharrismn.com
419 N. Nokomis St., Alexandria www.jakesbikes.com
REVOLUTION CYCLE AND SKI
LITTLE ROCKS DESIGN STICKERS 320-333-2520
124 West Main Street, Crosby www.shopvictual.com
160 29th Avenue South, St. Cloud www.revolutioncycleandski.com
TOURIGHT BICYCLE SHOP
124 2nd Street NE, Little Falls www.tourightbicycleshop.com
6489 Cahill Avenue, Inver Grove Heights www.bike-king.com
CARS BIKE SHOP
2661 Co Road I & Old Hwy 10, Mounds View www.carsbikeshop.com
MAKLIN BIKE SHOP
30235 Redwing Avenue, Shafer www.maklinbikeshop.com
SERVICES COLDWELL BANKER CROWN REALTORS 218-546-8346
Hwy. 6 & 210, Crosby www.coldwellbankercrown.com
CUYUNA REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER 218-546-7000
320 East Main Street, Crosby www.cuyunamed.org
21236 Archibald Road, Deerwood www.deerwoodbank.com
117 West Main Street, Crosby www.mmfcu.org
MID MINNESOTA FEDERAL CREDIT UNION 218-546-5428
6825 Hwy. 10 NW, Ramsey www.ramseybicycles.com
22640 MN-6, Crosby www.oarsnmine.com
TIMBER BUILDING SUPPLY
B&Bs GREEN HERON B&B
14506 State Highway 6, Deerwood www.timberbuildingsupply.com
2810 Meyers Bay Road, Grand Rapids www.greenheronbandb.com
LODGING/CAMPING BIG RIVER RESORT
1110 Hiawatha Dr. E www.bigriverresort.com
INFORMATION FARIBAULT AREA CHAMBER
CUYUNA LAKES STAY
23688 Forest Road, Deerwood www.cuyunalakesstay.com
RED RIDER RESORT
23457 Co. Rd. 31, Crosby www.redriderresort.com
2 Main St., Hutchinson www.explorehutchinson.com
14084 Baxter Drive, STE 12, Brainerd www.visitbrainerd.com
EAT & DRINK
VISIT FERGUS FALLS
BEMIDJI BREWING 211 America Avenue NW Bemidji www.bemidjibeer.com
1301 Theodore Wirth Parkway, Minneapolis www.loppet.org
LOVIN’ LAKE COUNTY 218-772-0096
112 Washington Ave. W, Fergus Falls www.visitfergusfalls.com
THE DEERSTAND RESTAURANT AND BAR 24188 Mohs Street, Deerwood 218-534-9253 208 Curtis Avenue, Ironton www.hudson218.com
1651 Victory Drive, Marshall www.visitmarshallmn.com
530 Wilson Ave., Faribault www.visitfaribault.com
1330 MN-61, Two Harbors www.lovinlakecounty.com
See more details about these trail-friendly businesses:
www.mntrails.com/trail-partners Winter 2023/2024 | MINNESOTA TRAILS 31
ADVENTURE BEYOND YOUR WILDEST DREAMS From dunes to drifts and snow to sand, fat tire bikes give you the incredible traction and control that lets you tackle anything, any time, for any reason. There’s no off-season with these incredibly capable and versatile mountain bikes. Visit your authorized Trek retailer today!
Adventure Cycle & Ski advcycle.com | Winona, MN
Outdoor Motion outdoormotionbikes.com | Hutchinson, MN
SCHEELS Eden Prairie scheels.com | Eden Prairie, MN
DL Bike Shop dlbikeshop.com | Detroit Lakes, MN
Ramsey Bicycle ramseybicycle.com | Ramsey, MN
SCHEELS Mankato scheels.com | Mankato, MN
Downtown Bicycles downtownbicyclesllc.com | Northﬁeld, MN
Red Wing Bicycle Co. redwingbikes.com | Red Wing, MN
SCHEELS Moorhead scheels.com | Moorhead, MN
Gateway Cycle gatewaycycle.com | Oakdale, MN
Revolution Cycle and Ski revolutioncycleandski.com | St. Cloud, MN
SCHEELS Rochester scheels.com | Rochester, MN
Jake’s Bikes jakesbikes.com | Alexandria, MN
Rick’s Cycling and Sports Center rickscycling.com | Willmar, MN
SCHEELS St. Cloud scheels.com | St. Cloud, MN
Rydjor Bike Shop rydjor.com | Austin, MN
Straight River Sports straightriversports.com | Owatonna, MN
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