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Trail Reports

These reports are maintained by readers like you. Let us know about the skiing conditions in your area via our Ski Trail Report form. If you'd like to send along some photos, please e-mail those as attachment and we'll plug them into your report.
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Reports: 22  

Minnesota Northeast


      Duluth area [ forecast/conditions ]
    • Mar 27 - Snowflake Nordic Ski Center (Duluth): 
      Firsthand 
      [ Trails Open: Most, B skis ]

      Wow! The season maintenance by the "3 J's" and the restrictions as needed really made a difference! This is the first year ever that I can think of where the skating was still this good, especially with having a low snow year, this time of year. In past years there were patches of grass and ice all over, today it is still 98% covered with snow, some ice but not the scary kind, and it is basically the same as it was last Wednesday when I posted! Amazing! It was a bit soft when I skied, but it was still awesome! I skied all but the special K because my dog won't go there.
      (Eve Graves)
    • Mar 25 - Snowflake Nordic Ski Center (Duluth): 
      Grooming 
      [ Trails Open: Most, Rock skis ]

      Thursday's rain dissolved much of the top-cover that we had created on top of the base. The base is thin, and icy, but still covering 95% of the groomed trails, We ran a groomer over the 5K/Special K this morning and would call it "Hero-Conditions": ski-able for a competent skate skier who just wants one more day of skiing. We are open until 8 tonight, and will be open tomorrow, 8 - 8. Non-members are not required to pay to ski at this point; if you want to make a donation to our operations after you ski, it will be appreciated.
      (John Graham)
    • Mar 24 - Snowflake Nordic Ski Center (Duluth): 
      Firsthand 
      [ Trails Open: Most, B skis ]

      Passing through Duluth, stopped by Snowflake to enjoy the late season grooming and skiing on the 5km. Did a couple laps. Really no areas of issue that altered my skiing or experience, just one very very short bare spot that is easily identifiable. Great late season skiing on tilled soft corn snow on top of firm base.
      Photos:  
      (Jay Richards, Maplelag Resort)
    • Mar 23 - Snowflake Nordic Ski Center (Duluth): 
      Grooming 
      [ Trails Open: Most, B skis ]

      Groomed the 5K and northern sections of the 10K this morning. Still about 99% trail coverage, although the base is getting thinner with each pass of the knives. Conditions were enhanced by about 1/2 inch of snow (still falling), so we have corduroy skating lanes with a dusting of new snow on top. Very nice! 5K classic track is still defined and now snow topped, however there is debris/exposed ground in about 10% of the track, so Rock Skis for Classic, and stay alert. This afternoon's forecast is not nice, so enjoy the skiing this morning, if you can.
      (John Graham)
    • Mar 22 - Snowflake Nordic Ski Center (Duluth): 
      Firsthand 
      [ Trails Open: Most, B skis ]

      Mostly great conditions with occasional burnouts. The 6-7K of trail was definitely worth a ski. Very firm base this evening with enough snow on the top to get a good edge. The trail was still safe and the snow was pebbled making for a fast ski. The occasional burnouts were easy to step around with the exception of one on a south facing downhill. There were also 2 "Ice Lava flows" where you need to be cautious. One is on the Special K and one just before the Special K. I would guess it's now up to mother nature on whether there is more skiing at Snowflake this year. Thanks goes out to John and the other Groomers for all their hard work this season!
      Photos:  
      (Nic Bacigalupo)
    • Mar 22 - Snowflake Nordic Ski Center (Duluth): 
      Firsthand 
      [ B skis ]

      Huge thank you to John squared for their hard work in creating what was called "dreamy" conditions again today! Fast 5k, not icy fast, sugar snow fast with the usual Bee Hollow bare spot on the downhill and partially on the opposite uphill along with one big ice patch at the bottom of Takeitez and a couple of thinner uphills... the rest was impeccable! Wow! I couldn't stop going around and around! I skied all of the 10k that was groomed multiple times along with the 5k! Give the John's a big hug if you see them! Thanks for the deliciously wonderful trails!
      (Eve Graves)
    • Mar 22 - Snowflake Nordic Ski Center (Duluth): 
      Firsthand 
      [ Trails Open: Most, B skis ]

      Thanks, John! You were right, the skating was memorable. I side-stepped down Bee Hollow, electing not to try the narrow path John had shoveled, and I snowplowed Takitez, and at that speed I could easily avoid the ice at the bottom by stepping out to the right. Otherwise for all the 5 K, including special K, and the north half of the 10 K, the trail was very fast, smooth, no bumps at all, and had sufficient grooming that even a 66-year old with two artificial hips felt very comfortable. Wow, what a birthday present!
      (Tim Holst)
    • Mar 21 - Snowflake Nordic Ski Center (Duluth): 
      Grooming 
      [ Trails Open: Most, B skis ]

      Tuesday night, almost midnight, and just finished grooming the skate lanes on the 5K/SpecialK/10K(-). Set the knives a little deeper and all of the trails (helped by this nice, cold temperature) groomed-up better than they were this morning. Classic track on the 5K remains well formed, but icy hard; I can't improve it with the snow available. The only major deterioration is the previously reported hill into Bee Hollow: that bare ground is now about 25 feet and you'll have to cross it. The 10K groomed trails are better than the 5K. We're open 8 - 8 on Wednesday and Thursday. I think the skating tomorrow will be memorable.
      (John Graham)
    • Mar 21 - Snowflake Nordic Ski Center (Duluth): 
      Grooming 
      [ Trails Open: Most, B skis ]

      10:00 a.m. and just completed grooming the 5K/SpecialK/Northern Sections of 10K. All trails have a hard, icy, rather thin base, however the shallow-set Ginzu knives did a nice job scraping off the makings of a nice corduroy top-layer. Very pretty (see photo)! The 5K/SpK are 99% covered; only exposed ground is a 15' section prior to Bee Hollow, which must be walked. Ice ponds at the bottom or Takitez and the big turn on Special K. 5K Classic track is still formed and very solid, but it is icy. The Northern 10K sections have more cover/thicker base than the 5K and I ran the groomer over them 7 times. Only exposed ground is on Geno's Jump. I groomed the return trail all the way up Geno's Jump, under the Tree Bridge, to Fisketti Junction. No Classic track on the 10K, but fine, fast skating. I recommend entering the 10K by skiing out and in from the trailhead, all the way to Fisketti; Geno's Jump is safe for climbing, but unsafe to ski down. Map in the chalet is updated. B Skis should be fine if you look ahead as you ski. The direct sun will take a toll on the newly ground "snow", so get it while we have it. Open 8 - 8 today and tomorrow.
      Photos:  
      (John Graham)
    • Mar 19 - Snowflake Nordic Ski Center (Duluth): 
      Firsthand 
      [ Trails Open: Most, B skis ]

      Our 5K and the northern section of the 10K offered decent skiing through the weekend, however warm temps and lots of sunlight are taking a toll on the base. The forecast is for no sub-freezing temps until Monday night, then we expect 3 -4 days of good cold. With that in mind, Snowflake will be closed Monday. We will re-groom early on Tuesday, and be open at 8:00 a.m. Morning skiing will be the best, but we will remain open all day for those who can't ski before work. The map in the chalet will be updated to show the "safe and groomed" trails. This is likely the final week of skiing here, until next season, so we will give you the best trails that we can.
      Photos:  
      (John Graham)
      Northshore/Gunflint area [ forecast/conditions ]
    • Mar 24 - Sugarbush Trail System (Tofte): 
      Firsthand 
      [ Trails Open: All, Good skis ]

      I skated Onion River Road trail - soggy and slow after the snowfalls of last night and the day before - while my friend did classic on no wax skis and was very happy with the skied in track. Not groomed since those two snowfalls and there's a lot of snow on the trail that should provide good skiing for awhile. Without grooming, classic is the way to go.
      (Russ Ludeke)
    • Mar 22 - Sugarbush Trail System (Tofte): 
      Firsthand 
      [ Trails Open: All, B skis ]

      Classic skied Homestead and Hogback loops. The tracks were icy and worn but manageable with fish scale skis. Very few bare spots. The skate deck was firm, coverage excellent and recently groomed.
      Photos:  
      (Bob Steffes)
    • Mar 22 - Upper Gunflint Trail (Grand Marais): 
      Firsthand 
      [ Trails Open: Most, B skis ]

      Overall, we have good spring ski conditions, with no major bare spots. However, there are some ice patches and a few rocks on the trails. The snow we got a few days ago has given good traction to most areas.
      Photos:  
      (John Silliman)
    • Mar 19 - Sugarbush Trail System (Tofte): 
      Firsthand 
      [ Trails Open: Most, Good skis ]

      Skied from Oberg around Picnic, Hogback and Homestead loops. Fresh grooming after Friday's 3 inches of wet snow on top of a icy base made for a great ski. Temps just below freezing kept snow from transforming but it was still slow. Coverage was excellent over 95% of the trail. A few water bars and one bare patch were the only problem areas. Groomers did a great job as they have all season with a excellent base but multiple thaws and rain events. It was a great year on the North Shore and it should last a while longer.
      (Tim Nelson)
    • Mar 18 - Central Gunflint Trail System (Grand Marais): 
      Firsthand 
      [ Trails Open: All, Good skis ]

      Fantastic spring nordic skiing! If you love to ski, come on up, it is still terrific! New snow - perfectly groomed! We skied all afternoon it was great! We finished up on bear cub world cup. If you have not skied this trail - you have not really skied Minnesota.
      Photos:  
      (Robert W Nicholson III)
    • Mar 18 - Norpine (Deeryard/Lutsen) (Lutsen): 
      Firsthand 
      [ Trails Open: Most, Good skis ]

      What a great way to end the season, the same way it began back in November: Breaking trail. I skied the Deeryard loop including Fire Tower and the Short Loop today after Friday's snow of a few inches. No grooming had been done but skiing was great. No debris, temps just below freezing. New snow was not sticky. Good skis fine. Great year on the north shore. Very thankful for all the grooming efforts and the great year we have had up on the north shore. There is plenty of snow left as can be seen in the photo.
      Photos:  
      (Tim Nelson)
    • Mar 18 - Pincushion Mountain Trail (Grand Marais): 
      Firsthand 
      [ Trails Open: Partial, Good skis ]

      Only the Snowman and Pincushion loops had been groomed after the Friday snow of a few inches. No classic tracks. Skating was great, a bit slow as temps were around freezing, but wonderful to be out this time of year. Thanks to all the groomers whose efforts made for a great year.
      (Tim Nelson)
    • Mar 18 - Northwoods Ski Trail (Silver Bay): 
      Firsthand 
      [ Trails Open: All, B skis ]

      Great (almost) spring day on the trail. Fabulous views and sounds of the East Branch of the Beaver River as you ski along. The snow from yesterday is melting fast but you can still enjoy yourself, especially if you are very careful on the downhills. There is no grooming/track so I broke trail for the most part. Also, had to go around, over, and under several windfall trees. Fun!
      (Peggy Stone)
    • Mar 18 - Sugarbush Trail System (Tofte): 
      Firsthand 
      [ Trails Open: Most, Good skis ]

      The skiing is still going strong on the norwegian riviera. They had just groomed the picnic loop. It looks like there is about a foot of base snow depth still. The skate deck was firm and fast with 2 inches of new course granular snow. No wax classic skis or klister is a good bet this time of the year for classic skiing.
      (Gene Karwoski)
      Iron Range area [ forecast/conditions ]
    • Mar 19 - Giants Ridge (Biwabik): 
      Firsthand 
      [ Trails Open: Most, B skis ]

      We had over 30 Km combed out for the weekend, and the skiing was great with a solid 2-6" base with some soft snow on top. With warm weather Monday and a hard freeze at night it might be a little sketchy Tuesday but we will do one more groom Monday night and that will likely be it for the season. It was great to see the LNR group up here last weekend and thanks to all of our skiers for the 2016-17 season!
      (John Filander, Giants Ridge)
      Ely area [ forecast/conditions ]
    • Mar 18 - Hidden Valley Ski Trails (Ely): 
      Firsthand 
      [ Trails Open: Most, Good skis ]

      Amazing conditions mid March. After a few inches new snow last few days over hard base, Wayne has done a fabulous job grooming. Great long skate ski, classic tracks too are well set, some ice under it so put a good binder on and hardwax cover and good to go! Odd icy spot under a few trees etc, but nothing to worry about! Used my best skis and it was fabulous. Come on up and ski HV!
      (Margaret Waechter)
      Other locations
    • Mar 18 - Tilson Creek Ski Trail (International Falls): 
      Grooming 
      [ Trails Open: All, Rock skis ]

      3 to 4" of very wet snow fell Friday. Temp's cooled down overnight to about 27 at 3 pm today. I rolled the skate lanes on all segments once, some twice. Skating looks perfect - Spring skiing at its finest. Almost all rocks are covered now, but sun will expose those on south slopes. You could certainly use good skis if watchful.
      Photos:  
      (Burgess Eberhardt)

 


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