Trail Reports

Minnesota Metro Area

  • Oct 12 - Midtown Greenway (Minneapolis):

    Conditions: Primo!
    The Greenway is now open all the way to the river. This makes two more Minneapolis loops possible - to the north via the Cedar Lake Trail and to the south via Minnehaha Parkway. Each is 16-18 miles of mostly flat cruising.

    (Marc Beitz)
  • Oct 9 - Gateway State Trail (North St. Paul):

    Conditions: The construction of the underpass is ongoing; however, the trail to the east of Jamaca has been reclaimed and is in sweet shape.
    They widened the pavement slightly, but it feels better on long strides and passing. The sweeper missed a few dirt-cakes, but they're avoidable. Trail from Manning to Pine Point is the same pavement as before. It's being volunteer swept 'til the snow flies.

    (Matt McGuire)
  • Oct 5 - Elm Creek Park Reserve (Maple Grove):

    Photos from the asphalt trails at Elm Creek.
    (Mark Lahtinen)
  • Oct 4 - Baker Park Reserve (Maple Plain):

    Conditions: Baker is doing a great job of sweeping the leaves and twigs off the trail. Perfect for roller skiing.
    Pavement still in good condition.

    (Larry Myers)
  • Oct 4 - Elm Creek Park Reserve (Maple Grove):

    Conditions: Good, but more leaves and twigs.
    In the wooded areas you can't see the trail in spots so I took it real cautiously not wanting to hit the wheel stopping twig or rock as I have a couple of times in the past - ouch. There were a few wet leaves as well as the days are not long enough to dry everything out.
    Saw the Park Manager Wayne who was working on getting the new building ready for the opening - watch the Three Rivers website and I'm sure Bruce will have it right here on Skinnyski.
    Maybe the sign says 'No Dog Swallowed' but all the dogs aren't reading it as there are a few big piles.

    (Mark Lahtinen)
  • Sep 30 - Hardwood Creek Trail (Hugo/Forest Lake):

    The trail is closed south of Forest Lake for about a mile. You can go around the signs but about 30 yards or so of the trail is torn up and a big pile of dirt where the trail used to be is inconvenient. I had no clue this was coming and have no clue when it will be put back together.
    (Jim Smith)
  • Sep 26 - Elm Creek Park Reserve (Maple Grove):

    Conditions: Some leaves with intemittent twigs in the wooded areas before last night's rain. Could be a couple of wheel grabbers.
    There is alot of new smooth pavement out there. The No Dogs Allowed signs seems to have reduced the number of piles compared to last year.
    There is the sweet musty smell of fermenting apples in the SE part of the trail in Champlin. Watch out for some small rocks gravel near the construction by the trailhead and new building. I skied low with a small approaching thunderstorm in the high open areas.

    (Mark Lahtinen)
  • Sep 22 - Gateway State Trail (North St. Paul):

    The Gateway trail is closed from Hadley to Hwy 12 as previously stated and it is also completely torn up (IE dirt) from Hwy 12 to Manning Ave.
    (Steve Thatcher, Ride and Glide Bike & Ski Club)

Minnesota Northeast

  • Oct 13 - Duluth Soccer Fields (Duluth):

    First snow, just covering the grass, temp about 34 F. Had to get out on some rock skate skis on the soccer fields out on Jean Duluth. A little wet but fun to be on snow.
    (Tim Holst)
  • Oct 13 - Pincushion Mountain Trail (Grand Marais):

    4" of snow fell since yesterday with majority coming in overnight. A good omen for the upcoming ski season on the Pincushion Mtn trails.
    (Scott Beattie)
  • Oct 8 - Sawtooth Mountains (Grand Marais):

    A couple of North Superior Ski and Run Club members put in a training double this weekend. They returned first to La Flecha, a local climb up the Sawtooths, for their seasonal 2 km time trial, catching the Tamaracks just right. Finding improvement in their times and a good southwest wind they celebrated with a session on the water. Catching some waves and finishing off their previously toasted triceps they caught the sun setting and the full moon rising. A perfect day on the rim of the big lake.
    (Jonathan Rova)
  • Oct 3 - Pine Valley (Cloquet):

    Conditions: Trail was mowed last week and is in good shape. Ski jump hills were mowed on Monday. Trail lights are on everyday from about 5:00 until 9:30 p.m.
    The City of Cloquet has purchased a new Ginzugroomer and tracksetter from Yellowstone Track Systems. This will be a great help in low snow conditions as well as for general grooming. The strategy for grooming this year will be to use a snowmobile to pull the Ginzugroomer on most grooming days, and the Pisten Bully will come out of the garage only after big snowfalls or when otherwise deemed necessary. The new Ginzugroomer is already sitting in the city garage waiting for the first snowfall. A big thank you is in order to Les Peterson and the City of Cloquet for making the decision to purchase the new grooming equipment and working hard to have great skiing at Pine Valley.

    (Tom Urbanski)
  • Oct 2 - Snowflake Nordic Ski Center (Duluth):

    Conditions: Excellent for a pole hike or run!
    I introduced my puppy to the 5k trail at Snowflake today and it was beautiful! The ground is even, mowed, and the scenery is beautiful! We scared up two sleeping whitetails and a grouse! The trails were dry and the leaves were beautiful! It would be a perfect time to camp at Snowflake and do some hardcore dryland hill work!

    (Eve Stein)
  • Sep 26 - Mesabi Trail (Biwabik):

    Great Rollerskiing/Cycling with the fall colors at their peak!
    (John Filander)

Minnesota Northwest

  • Oct 11 - Maplelag Resort (Callaway):

    Conditions: Snow!! 26 degrees at 2pm
    We picked up 2-3" of snow early this morning. Snow squalls off and on today. With the cooler temps the snow is having a hard time melting off, even with the warm ground temps. It was enough for Jens to curb his eagerness to go out and try skiing!

    (Jay Richards, Maplelag Resort)
  • Oct 9 - Maplelag Resort (Callaway):

    Photos from over the past couple weeks of the new terrain park and new classic trail developed this fall at Maplelag.
    (Jay Richards, Maplelag Resort)

Minnesota Central

  • Oct 14 - Wild River State Park (Center City):

    Only 45 minutes to 1 hour from almost anyplace in the Twin Cities, great hiking/skiing opportunities exist on our 35 miles of trail. Park staff have been doing trail ground work mowing, leveling, and smoothing in prep. of ski season. Remember if you are out hiking give your ski trail a hand by removing branches and rocks clear of trail surface. We would be happy to lend you a pair of clippers too. With 35 miles of trail we do not have the resources to get it all done by ourselves. Our new ginzu groomer is ready and waiting.
    (Shawn Donais)
  • Oct 3 - Andes Tower Hill Ski Area (Kensington):

    Trails are in the best shape they have ever been. We have been doing maintanance on all trails to get ready for the snow!!
    (Katrina Kehoe)

Minnesota Southern

  • Oct 12 - Austin area Golf Course (Austin):

    Surprise, surprise, we received 1+ inches of snow last night. When I stepped outside the 20-degree air even tasted like winter. I knew better but I couldn’t resist, so I grabbed a pair of skis and headed to the golf course. It felt great for about 50 feet then the skis iced up as expected.
    (Steve Williams)

Wisconsin Northwest

  • Oct 13 - Birkie Trail (Hayward):

    Conditions: First snow! Who cares?!
    Snow, beautiful snow!

    (Garrott Kuzzy, New Moon Ski Shop)
  • Oct 13 - Pattison State Park (Superior):

    Conditions: windy temps. mid 30's.
    Took out the rock skis this morning and checked out the trail. The trail has 2 or 3 inches of snow cover with a few bare spots under the pine trees.
    I have used the trail all year and the park employees have done a great job keeping the trail clear of windfalls and keeping the trail cut.

    (Don Aro)
  • Oct 13 - Seeley Highlands (Seeley):

    Conditions: 4+ inches new/wet snow.
    Couldn't believe it ... put on the no-wax classic touring skis and hit the meadows and woods around Seeley Highlands. Slow, sticky, uneven, clumpy, and bumpy ... PRICELESS!

    (Craig Kalscheur)
  • Oct 1 - Willow River State Park (Hudson):

    Conditions: Repaired!
    The Brown, Yellow, and Purple trails had new gravel put down on them in trouble spots during August. I have been out training on these trails since then and they have firmed up very well. When ready for skiing, the ride down the Brown hills should be fun. A slight re-routing of the Prairie loop of the Red trail is planned, as is the runout end of the Orange as it comes down the hill into the new group camp area. If the uneven portions of the Brown and Yellow turned you off to skiing them in recent years, those areas are in great condition to receive snow and skiers! Better trail signage is also planned for 2006.

    (Jeffrey Bolte)
  • Sep 28 - Birkie Trail (Hayward):

    Attached are some photos of the new classic trail being built. The excavator, Mark Rasmussen, tells me that the project is going well. The sign you may recognize, as it marks the turn off the powerline onto the Birkie Trail and is just a few hundred feet past where the new classic trail begins.
    I hiked up the new trail a ways, and as Mark says, it is a really nice, rolling trail, without a lot of the "Billy Goat" climbs you experience on the regular Birkie trail.

    (Dale Vaillancourt)

Wisconsin Northeast

  • Oct 14 - Afterglow Lake Resort (Phelps):

    Conditions: Not open yet.
    We have recieved 4" of snow but are not grooming yet. All trails have been blown free of leaves and sticks with our Little Wonder blower. Won't be long now!

    (Pete Moline)

Wisconsin Southeast

  • Oct 13 - Tyrol Basin downhill area (Mount Horeb):

    Tyrol Basin was making snow last night and will attempt to make it tonight again. A 300m skating track will be open Saturday, 8am-12pm, for open skiing as a part of the Tyrol Basin Pursuit for Snow 2007 Capitol Square Sprint fundraising event sponsored by Madison Nordic Ski Club.
    (Gusev Yuriy)
  • Sep 29 - Nashotah Park (Nashotah):

    Conditions: Ready for snow!
    The Nashotah Park trail system is ready for the winter! The park workers have done an excellent job in preparing the trails. It's a great run through the woods, and we should be rock skiing with a minimal amount of snow!

    (Mark Moore)

Michigan Upper Peninsula

  • Oct 15 - ABR (Ironwood):

    Conditions: Great
    For October it doesn't get much better. I got a really late start heading over to ABR today and missed the prime classic snow, but not a bad day for 45 degrees and October. Other than the St. Olaf team's relay I think I was about the last person on the trails and the overall conditions were still really good. It was great to get on snow even if only for a day to provide motivation for the next couple months of training.

    (Paul Belknap)
  • Oct 15 - ABR (Ironwood):

    Conditions: SKIING
    Did the weekend for fun instead of any training aspirations and had a good time. Got in a few telemark turns and a few hours of fun spring like skiing over the weekend. It wasn't necesarially the best of coverage but when your skis don't match and it's October 14th it doesn't matter a bit. Rode Rosa/Violet Extra mixed was the wax du jour for classical duties.

    (Kris Anderson)
  • Oct 15 - ABR (Ironwood):

    Conditions: We had a good weekend of skiing - thank you to those that traveled to ABR to ski in mid-October. We hope to reopen again soon. Don't miss our pre-season ski shop sale next weekend, Oct 21.
    Picture of St. Olaf having a relay race Sunday night at 5 PM

    (Eric Anderson)
  • Oct 14 - ABR (Ironwood):

    Drove up fron Chicago suburbs to chase some snow. Unbelievable conditions for October! Good stuff on the flats and wet at the bottom of hills. I had a great time, skied for about 2 hours. Thanks to the ABR people for all their hard work! To all you flatlanders, this was a one day trip left at 5 AM and was home for dinner!
    (Chris Wilson)
  • Oct 14 - ABR (Ironwood):

    Conditions: Nobody was complaining for mid-October skiing!
    Every time I have skied at ABR, the trails have been exceptional... for those that love great grooming throughout the year, ABR and Afterglow are top notch! For those thinking of going tomorrow, get out early... the trails got a bit sticky in the afternoon sun. Thanks to all ABR staff for providing the memorable opportunity!

    (Troy Walters)
  • Oct 14 - ABR (Ironwood):

    Lots of happy skiers today. The morning skiing was pretty good and afternoon wear and tear along with the sun is taking its toll. We left two trails closed for today that we will groom tonight for Sunday.
    (Eric Anderson)
  • Oct 14 - ABR (Ironwood):

    The trails are getting lots up use up here, which is wearing them down some. Through the day more icy spots are showing up from the warm ground. With some rock skis on there's nothing to worry about. Ken reported yesterday that the trails looked like mid January now it's more like March, but it's still great skiing. I'm glad I got out.
    (Heidi Hittner)
  • Oct 14 - Michigan Tech University Ski Trails (Houghton):

    Conditions: Good spots, thin spots, wet spots, some leaves on the trails. 2" base, reconditioned. 4.5 km groomed.
    We reconditioned the trail surface this morning to remove ski ruts from yesterday's use. Some thin spots from yesterday have melted through, other spots are still in good shape. This should be the last grooming until the next snow.

    (Jeff Parker)
  • Oct 13 - ABR (Ironwood):

    8 PM, Friday night, we are just coming in from our nightly grooming. We put cordoroy down with the groomer tonight and smoothed things out nicely. The new snow this late afternoon and evening really helped cover things up and smooth out the trail. It is still snowing hard and teh temp is 29. We have the Ginzu and G2 hooked up to regroom in the early AM hours and we will be setting a machine set track on the edge of the skating. We will have a few ski rentals available. The ski shop will have some super discounted sale prices on last years carry over inventory. We plan to be open Saturday and Sunday 9 AM to dark.
    (Eric Anderson)
  • Oct 13 - ABR (Ironwood):

    Conditions: 31 degrees, light snow, 12:30 p.m.
    This is one Friday the 13th that will go on the books as extremly lucky for me because I was allowed to test the trails at ABR today. Unbelievable! Had to keep pinching myself to remember it was October. The snow-covered woods and the river were gorgeous and by the looks of it you would swear it was mid-Jan. However, the conditons are what you might expect for lots of snow on unfrozen ground: small parts are bare, small parts are wet, but for the most part the cover is holding and for October sking, absolutly delightful. When I left at 2:30 p.m. it was snowing heavily. Once again hats off to Eric & Angela for all the hard work just to give us ski fanatics a couple of not early but pre-season days on groomed snow.

    (Ken Hazel)
  • Oct 13 - ABR (Ironwood):

    We got another 3-4 inches, We sent Ken Hazel,Jackie Powers, Dave G. from Fischer, Heidi Hitner and Sean Beckman out to sample the trail this afternoon and ski in a track. Some areas are real good some are real thin. It is still snowing and we will regroom and machine track as needed.
    (Eric Anderson, ABR Trails)
  • Oct 13 - Michigan Tech University Ski Trails (Houghton):

    Conditions: 4.5 km rolled this morning. 2" base.
    Core, Oak, Portage, and Linden have been groomed. Trail base is about 2" of packed snow, so no tracks were set. There are leaves on some sections of trail, a few wet spots, and some snowmobile ski ruts on corners - early season conditions prevail.

    (Jeff Parker)
  • Oct 12 - Swedetown Trails (Calumet):

    Conditions: Heavy snow (4" in two hours; photo would have been of a white house in a snowstorm type) was falling while we skied late afternoon, with a temperature of 27, and plenty of snow already on the ground. What a blast! Used old classic skis, and Blue Extra was great. The dogs (not allowed once grooming starts) had fun, too. It was snowing so hard when we were out you could barely see our tracks on the second time around the newly modified Blue loop.
    Storm total as of evening was about a foot, but wraparound warmer air from the low pressure system brought temperatures above freezing overnight. Oh, well . .

    (Peter Vorhes)
  • Oct 12 - ABR (Ironwood):

    We groomed about 15 km today and things are freezing up well. We have been getting snow all day. We plan to continue grooming Friday and opening on Satuday and Sunday. More details to follow Friday at 9 AM after the grooming.
    (Eric Anderson, ABR Trails)
  • Oct 12 - Wolverine Ski Trail (Ironwood):

    Conditions: First snow, 6", ungroomed - 28 and overcast.
    After starting out at Norrie Park, moved on to Wolverine and laughed when we found a car with Minnesota plates had beat us to the punch. Followed their tracks, and at the end it was nice to meet our two track-setters, Adam Swank and Nikolai Anikan. Although the snow was sticky and covered with leaves in places, it was bea-utiful, and everyone was wearing big smiles. Photos from Jackie Powers; 1st two are from Norrie Park on the Montreal River, last two are at Wolverine.

    (Ken Hazel)
  • Oct 12 - ABR (Ironwood):

    We received about 8 inches of snow, it is snowing and 20 degrees. We were out yesterday packing the trails and clearing downed branches. We plan to open for the weekend.
    (Eric Anderson, ABR Trails)
  • Oct 4 - Lower Noquemanon Trail (Marquette):

    A bunch more skiing opportunities are sprouting out of the woods along the Lower Noquemanon Trail off of Forestville Road near Marquette. According to Noquemanon Trail Network Director Susan Brian, a new pole building is near completion that will house the NTN groomers in the long term and will serve as a warming facility temporarily until the planned lodge is built in a year or two. Also, four new trail sections and loops have been completed with more planned for next summer. The loops include a new beginner trail, a new sprint loop, a new advanced loop and a new bypass trail. Lighting is being installed this fall on the 1.2 K sprint loop to allow for night skiing this winter. The bypass trail section will hopefully keep most of the dogs (not slow skiers, but actual dogs) off of the main Noque Trail. Also, the large parking lot was recently surfaced with gravel to protect it from becoming soft in the spring and summer. The funds for all of the work are coming from NTN ski pass (arm band) sales and the "Trails Forever" capital campaign. An arm band or daily pass will be required this year but the grooming should be great again this winter. Attached are some photos of Superiorland Ski Club members working on the new trails.
    (Dennis Whitley)

United States

  • Oct 14 - Middle Mountain (Durango, CO):

    Conditions: 8-12" of new wet snow. Not groomed, but great touring. Elevation a factor - 10,500 feet. Skied a 3 hour loop, but there was alot more to do...
    Snow in October - isn't Colorado great!

    (Rick Callies)
  • Sep 23 - Kebler Pass (Crested Butte, CO):

    We spent an hour classic skiing with the team. Here are a handful of pictures I shot.
    Good snow on Kebler Pass. Should hold up for a week or so! Hopefully more storms will come soon.

    (Jesse Crandall)
  • Sep 23 - Kebler Pass (Crested Butte, CO):

    Kebler Pass near Crested Butte CO. The Western State Ski Team will be training on snow in September! These pictures taken early in the morning of Sept. 23rd show about a foot of snow that we'll be skiing on later today. Action shots to follow when the whole team is up there!
    (Jesse Crandall)
  • Sep 21 - Rendezvous Ski Trails (West Yellowstone, MT):

    With the Yellowstone Ski Festival scheduled to start in two short months, event coordinator Jamie Greene, is happy to see the snow on the mountains around West Yellowstone. "30 minutes after I took this picture, it started snowing in town - I think it might be time to put away the mountain bike!", said Greene. Details for the Ski Festival are falling into place - updated information on this year's clinics for kids, the SuperTour races and the schedule of activities will be available at within the week.
    (Bruce Adelsman)