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Itasca State Park
Park Rapids, MN
Trail Length: 45K  Maps: |
Groomed: Skating/Classical    Lighted: No Snowmaking: No
Contact: 218-699-7251    Weather: [ NWS ]  
Notes:   Here you will find the Headwaters to the Mississippi amongst towering pines. Trails are easy to difficult.

Trail Reports:   2018-2019 season  view previous season     File a new report     Request a new report

1 to 4 of 4    Month: Feb
Saturday, February 16, 2019  posted: 2/22/2019 9:01:35 PM
Firsthand 
[ Trails Open: Partial, B skis ]
  Somewhat disappointed with Itasca's quality of trails. The piston bully left deep ruts throughout the skating lane and almost all of the trails were not recently groomed. Skiing on the not recently groomed trails was difficult. Beware also there were wolf tracks along the entire big southern loop from the Visitor Center. The tracks were somewhat recent, likely less than a day old. There was also drifting along the trails and plenty of debris from pine trees and other foliage.
(John Geissinger)
Saturday, February 16, 2019  posted: 2/17/2019 11:48:41 PM
Firsthand 
[ Trails Open: Partial, Good skis ]
  We were disappointed by the lack of grooming at Itasca on Saturday. Although the classic-only bike trail from the visitor center to the Headwaters was in very good condition, classic tracks had been set on only parts of the rest of the trail system, with the rest having been only packed or not groomed at all. Ozawindib was tracked, but on previous trips I've found its hills too irregular to feel confident doing classic on it. So, since we find doing classic without tracks to be frustrating, we switched to skate, hoping to do Wilderness Drive to DeSoto. But we found that the skate lane was groomed too narrow and irregularly to skate with confidence. Skiing with one ski on packed snow and the other on soft snow just wasn't working, so we turned around at Deer Park. The worst section was the hill down to Lake Mary, where the narrow skate lane was over a foot higher than the road beside it, which had been plowed for cars. It was intimidating going down, but impossible going up, so, the snow on the plowed road being too thin to ski without damage to our skis, we walked up. We ended up just doing an out-and-back on the South Entry Road. At least it was smooth enough and wide enough to ski without stumbling, but it hadn't been groomed since the last snow, so it was a slog. We met some classic skiers who had parked at the south entry and told us that they had cut their own trail from there about a mile to the groomed part, through snow up to their knees. Where else, besides public lands, can you ski to a state record pine tree, or follow wolf tracks?
(Lois Braun)
Sunday, February 3, 2019  posted: 2/3/2019 3:30:49 PM
Firsthand 
[ Trails Open: Partial, Good skis ]
  Skied the wilderness drive and Desoto trail. Trail was a little soft and lumpy but otherwise made for a scenic ski. Bike trail was groomed for classic.
(Elias Anoszko)
Saturday, February 2, 2019  posted: 2/3/2019 12:21:13 AM
Firsthand 
[ Good skis ]
  Third and last day of a skiing excursion in beautiful northern MN. Trail to the Headwaters - easy and spectacular, then a roller-coaster and fun ride on the Ozawindib trail, then back on the Red Pine and Wilderness Trails - both easy. All trails freshly groomed, pleasure to ski on, total of 29.4 K. What a magnificent park!
(Istvan Gombocz)


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