Trail Reports

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Seeking New Trail Reports for: Hartley, Snowflake.

Minnesota Northeast

     

    Duluth area

    [ forecast/conditions ]
    • NewNov 29 - Spirit Mountain (Duluth):
      Afternoon
      [ Trails Open: Partial, Good skis ]
      Firsthand: Classic 

      No classic tracks but used my classic skis anyway. Only a short section of trail is skiable. Conditions weren't that great with a layer of ice underneath a few inches of snow. Several skate skiers were out today making use of the limited snow we have in the Duluth area.
      (Matthew Henderson)
    • NewNov 29 - Grand Avenue Nordic Center (Duluth):
      Afternoon
      [ Trails Open: Partial, Good skis ]
      Firsthand: Freestyle 

      At 12:30, nice skiing on fresh snow at Grand Ave. About 2" of new snow. Chalet is open, so indoor bathrooms and changing available.
      (Harv Busta)
    • Nov 28 - Grand Avenue Nordic Center (Duluth):
      Evening
      [ Trails Open: Partial, Good skis ]
      Firsthand: Both Secondhand 

      Skied at GANC Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Snow conditions (all manmade) went from too wet, to too icy, to just about right by Monday. Some corners were beginning to become sugary. The trails open were the 800m loop on the trails, plus a green easy downhill run to the right of the lift that is not yet open for alpine skiing so they were grooming it for Nordic. There are a couple pieces of gravel at the top of this alpine run so if using your good skis be aware - otherwise trails are fine for good skis. There are no lights at GANC so you will need a headlamp if skiing after sunset (trails open until 8:30pm) Talked to the groomer and the plan is to start making more snow Tuesday night once it gets colder to try and get the next set of manmade trails open - there are JNQs happening at GANC Dec 9-11 and they want to have as much trail for that. The groomer let me know that there may be some trail closures as they begin to make snow again for everyone's safety so be aware for that! No tracks were set Monday though there were tracks on Saturday and Sunday. Tried hard waxes Saturday/Sunday which were no use. Klister worked great Monday!
      (Ketzel Levens)
    • Nov 27 - Grand Avenue Nordic Center (Duluth):
      Morning
      [ Trails Open: Most, Good skis ]
      Observation 

      Stopped by Grand Avenue, and saw at least a dozen skiers enjoying the trail. Classic track set and snow looked perfect.
      (Andor Langski)
    • Nov 27 - Grand Avenue Nordic Center (Duluth):
      Morning
      [ Trails Open: Most, Good skis ]
      Observation 

      Stopped by Grand Avenue, and saw at least a dozen skiers enjoying the trail. Classic track set and snow looked perfect.
      (Andor Langski)
    • Nov 26 - Snowflake Nordic Ski Center (Duluth):
      Afternoon
      [ Trails: Closed, Rock skis ]
      Observation Scheduling 

      We hit 51F degrees at Snowflake today. Four days of warmth and sun have left a thin, wet base and a lot of bare spots. Once temps drop, we expect a sheath of ice, and too thin for the Ginzu knives to scrape a base. We will remain closed until we get a groom-able snowfall. It will come!
      (John Graham, Snowflake Nordic Center)
    • Nov 23 - Snowflake Nordic Ski Center (Duluth):
      Afternoon
      [ Trails: Closed, Rock skis ]
      Grooming Scheduling 

      41F degrees and sunny. Due to the warm temps and thin base, our trails are closed and will remain closed through Saturday, Nov 26th. We'll decide on Saturday evening whether to open on Sunday. Our concern is to preserve this trail until cold temps return, next week.
      It was a great week of mid-November skiing! Happy Thanksgiving!

      (John Graham, Snowflake Nordic Center)
    • Nov 22 - Mother Bear Ski Trail (Brimson):
      Afternoon
      [ Trails Open: Partial, Rock skis ]
      Firsthand: Classic 

      Skied the trails on the West Side of CR 44. Enough snow in most spots. Swamp crossing was a lot of shallow ice but not much water. A lot of branches down since maintenance before Deer Season. Groomer rolling trails near parking area and clearing blowdown. Definitely skiable, but not enough snow to set track yet.
      (Derrick Passe)
    • Nov 21 - Snowflake Nordic Ski Center (Duluth):
      Evening
      [ Trails Open: All, B skis ]
      Firsthand: Freestyle 

      Amazingly decent coverage for the early season, though heavy usage has led to extremely well packed trails that really show off the lumpy nature of a thin snow-base, and some sections are more pump track than ski trail. Skied in classic tracks are decent and I double poled a bit in them. There is the occasional tip of a rock that shows on the 8k, mostly on a couple uphills. If you are skiing at night, there are a couple lights on the 5k that appear to have been set to a disco-mode, flashing on and off. It's extremely disorienting, and could be dangerous for anyone with a seizure condition.
      (Ketzel Levens)
    • Nov 21 - Hartley Park (Duluth):
      Afternoon
      [ Trails Open: All, B skis ]
      Firsthand: Classic 

      Hartley continues to be my go-to for both early and late season skiing. No groomers yet, but the tree cover on Hartley's narrow back trails has kept the snow in great shape. I skied entire park and didn't encounter a single bare spot of note. A few rogue leaves and twigs dot the trails, but the snow is so good they're easy to avoid and barely worth mentioning.
      Photos:
      (Peter Dotson)
    • Nov 21 - Snowflake Nordic Ski Center (Duluth):
      Morning
      [ Trails Open: All, B skis ]
      Grooming Scheduling 

      This morning we groomed all trails, following a weekend of very heavy use. The compacted base is only 1-2", but still 99% coverage. B or rock skis are suggested. There's a skied-in classic track on the 6K, and classic skiers may ski the right side of the 8K. We'll be open 8-8 today thru Wednesday. Scheduling plans: Based on forecast temps, we expect to close the trails between Thursday - Sunday, in order to preserve the snow into next week's cooldown.
      Photos:
      (John Graham, Snowflake Nordic Center)
    • Nov 20 - Lester Park (Duluth):
      Afternoon
      [ B skis ]
      Firsthand: Freestyle 

      Outer loop trails were all definitely ski-able. Probably will want rocks skis if you do the H loop due to a few tree-ice patches. There's a skied-in classic track in parts, but hit or miss. Lumpy bumps and intermittent grass patches are a good early season balance challenge.
      Photos:
      (Molly Watkins)
     

    Northshore/Gunflint area

    [ forecast/conditions ]
    • NewNov 29 - Northwoods Ski Trail (Silver Bay):
      Afternoon
      [ Trails Open: Most, B skis ]
      Firsthand: Classic 

      I went out late afternoon after a couple inches of fresh snow to cover the ice from the refreeze. Skier tracks from prior to the snow were still visible as I broke new trail, pictures show before and after I went through. Be cautious on the downhill right after the first cut-off, there is some new drainage that has not been completely filled with snow yet.
      Photos:
      (Brad Anderson)
    • Nov 28 - Sugarbush Trail System (Tofte):
      Evening
      [ Good skis ]
      Firsthand: Freestyle 

      Skied a short section of Onion River Rd by headlamp. Skate deck was extra firm, hard packed and fast. Rhythm-wrecking ruts and bumps were present and even frequent at times.
      (Shane Steele)
    • Nov 28 - Pincushion Mountain Trail (Grand Marais):
      Morning
      [ Trails Open: Partial, Rock skis ]
      Grooming 

      As of 11 AM, skating track was refurbished with two passes, 12 feet wide, on Stadium, East Overlook, West Overlook, Lower and Upper Snowman. Conditions for skating on these loops are good, but some rocks are visible, so ski with care. One pass, 7 feet wide, was made on the skating lane of Pincushion Loop. Conditions on lower Pincushion are fair to poor. Rock skis are advised and use caution. Classic tracks are well formed, but icy and many exposed rocks and dirt patches. Current Trail Conditions/Notes: Packed Trail, Base: Average 1-3", Snowfall last 24 Hours: 0", Snowfall last 7 Days: 1-2", Average Depth off the Trail: 6".
      (Timothy Lederle, North Superior Ski & Run Club)
    • Nov 27 - Sugarbush Trail System (Tofte):
      Afternoon
      [ Trails Open: Partial, B skis ]
      Firsthand: Both 

      Classic tracks were icy and thin with debris, and some debris was ski stoppers, therefore B ski recommendation. Tracks were too fast to stay in on the way down. Skate deck was refreshed last night and deck was firm and fast although a bit bumpy still. But skating should be fine as long as temps stay down. Don't stop dancing til it snows!
      (Tim Nelson)
    • Nov 26 - Central Gunflint Trail System (Grand Marais):
      Afternoon
      [ Trails Open: Partial, B skis ]
      Firsthand: Both 

      Skied both classic and skate up and down summer home road thru the campground loop and the lower Beaver Dam trail. Skate deck was hard when I started but softening fast and by mid afternoon, skating was slow and the deck softening. I switched to classic which was much better. Track was well formed and fast. Lower beaver dam trail has been groomed but has quite a few big rocks uncovered and one bare spot but not a problem to get around it. I used B skis due to debris, stubble, and a few rocks showing.
      (Tim Nelson)
    • Nov 25 - Sugarbush Trail System (Tofte):
      Morning
      [ Good skis ]
      Firsthand: Freestyle 

      Got on the trail just after sunrise. There was some spruce debris on the trail and my poles occasionally poked through the skate deck, but otherwise the trails were in excellent shape for it being November.
      Photos:
      (Nick Ongaro)
    • Nov 25 - Sugarbush Trail System (Tofte):
      Evening
      [ Trails Open: Partial, B skis ]
      Firsthand: Freestyle 

      Skied the Onion River Road at dusk today. Deck was reasonably firm despite the above freezing temps but starting to get rutted. As temps dropped the deck hardened fast and the ruts got rough. On the way down it was much easier to double pole in the classic tracks which were well formed and fast.
      (Tim Nelson)
    • Nov 25 - Central Gunflint Trail System (Grand Marais):
      Afternoon
      [ Trails Open: Partial, B skis ]
      Firsthand: Both 

      Great skiing at Bearskin Thursday and Friday. About 10k perfectly groomed. Skied Summerhome and Campground trail. Beaver dam was also groomed, but didn't ski there. Trails perfectly groomed for classic and skate. A very occasional rock was poking through so probably B skis (I used my good skis).
      Photos:
      (Matt Sargent)
    • Nov 25 - Pincushion Mountain Trail (Grand Marais):
      Morning
      [ Trails Open: Most, Rock skis ]
      Observation 

      Due to the warming temps today and over the weekend we are not doing the pre-weekend groom at Pincushion. Recommend staying off the trails when temps are well above freezing to avoid damage to the thin early season base. Current Trail Conditions/Notes: Packed Trail Base: Average 2-3", Snowfall last 24 Hours: 0", Snowfall last 7 Days: 1-2", Average Depth off the Trail: 6-8".
      (Timothy Lederle, North Superior Ski & Run Club)
    • Nov 23 - Sugarbush Trail System (Tofte):
      Morning
      [ Trails Open: Partial, B skis ]
      Firsthand: Classic 

      6.5 K of the Onion River Road is groomed and tracked, making a beautiful 13K out and back. Well worth the drive today!
      (Maria Stuber)
    • Nov 23 - Sugarbush Trail System (Tofte):
      Morning
      [ Trails Open: Partial, B skis ]
      Firsthand: Classic 

      Striding the Onion River trailhead out and back. Double tracked with a middle skate lane in good condition. St. Scholastica team out training. A beautiful wolf crossed the trail about 150' from the trailhead. Tracks indicated that there were two. Rabbits seen in that area.
      Photos:
      (Bill Greiter)
    • Nov 22 - Sugarbush Trail System (Tofte):
      Afternoon
      [ Trails Open: Most, Good skis ]
      Firsthand: Classic 

      I skied only the Onion River Road, not trails in woods. Temp 29° and good double track. There were no bare spots, melting or ice yet. Good fun ski.
      Photos:
      (Steve Langenbrunner)
    • Nov 22 - Sugarbush Trail System (Tofte):
      Afternoon
      [ Good skis ]
      Firsthand: Classic 

      Beautiful to be out again on the Onion River road trail with the kiddos, ages 8 and 5! Thanks to all who created and maintain the system! Met the nicest people. Track in fine condition, glad we had the chance to ski before the weather warms up.
      Photos:
      (Theresa Michel)
    • Nov 21 - Sugarbush Trail System (Tofte):
      Afternoon
      [ Trails Open: Partial, B skis ]
      Firsthand: Classic 

      Skied the Onion River Trail. Tracked lane and a skate lane in good shape for early season. 4" base. Quite a few folks out skiing. Will head out again tomorrow.
      Photos:
      (Deborah Leonard)
    • Nov 21 - Pincushion Mountain Trail (Grand Marais):
      Afternoon
      [ Trails Open: Most, Rock skis ]
      Grooming 

      New corduroy set on all skating lanes. New classic tracks set on East Overlook, West Overlook and Stadium. Good early season conditions, but a few rocks, dirt patches and ice flows remain. Ski with caution.
      (Timothy Lederle, North Superior Ski & Run Club)
    • Nov 21 - Banadad Trail (Grand Marais):
      Morning
      [ Trails Open: Partial, B skis ]
      Grooming 

      East End Trails packed and groomed for first time this year. Lots of snow but some wet areas as some water crossings; not totally frozen. Use B skis Lace Lake, Tall Pines, Tim Knopp and first mile of main Banadad Trail. This is pretty early for us to be packing and grooming.
      Photos:
      (Andy Jenks, Banadad Trail Association)
    • Nov 21 - Pincushion Mountain Trail (Grand Marais):
      Morning
      [ Good skis ]
      Firsthand: Classic 

      Great snow cover. A few patches where vegetative stubble is visible and a few seeps that have frozen over. Very nice classic tracks and the skate tracks looked very good as well. Great early season skiing.
      Photos:
      (Thomas Leaf)
    • Nov 20 - Sugarbush Trail System (Tofte):
      Afternoon
      [ Good skis ]
      Firsthand: Classic 

      The Onion River road has lots of snow and is groomed for skate and classic. Very good skiing but limited to the trail on the road. At intersections the other trails looked like they had been rolled but not packed down or tracked. Wonderful to be out skiing again!
      Photos:
      (Thomas Leaf)
     

    Iron Range area

    [ forecast/conditions ]
    • Nov 25 - Giants Ridge (Biwabik):
      Morning
      [ Trails Open: Partial, Rock skis ]
      Firsthand: Freestyle 

      XC conditions for this opening day at Giants Ridge was better than anticipated. Skated Northern lights, Cedar, and part of Gold, all of which had at least one pass of Ginzu grooming overnight. Summit and Bronze trail appear to have been rolled/groomed a few days ago. 3" base with a few easily avoidable rocks visible. No classic tracks yet. A bumpy ride on the downhills so be very cautious if you go into the woods! Stadium area and golf course portions of Northern lights trail are groomed to full width and much more smooth.
      Photos:
      (Shawn Callahan)
    • Nov 22 - Blueberry Hills (Deer River):
      Morning
      [ Rock skis ]
      Firsthand: Classic 

      Not yet groomed but three inches of snow fluff was fun to ski in tracks but climbing hills a workout and slow. Oh well, good enough for early skiing! Picked up a few branches and put up signs for Youth XC fun in January and February. Waxable skis worked OK with Xblue, softer wax would have been better for more kick. Old style grid skis were terrible with snow clumping up the bottoms. Skier took them off and walked.
      (Catherine McLynn)
    • Nov 20 - Mount Itasca (Coleraine):
      Afternoon
      [ Trails Open: Partial, B skis ]
      Firsthand: Freestyle 

      Snow guns roaring in addition to natural snow. Thin base packed a few days ago with another inch on top for great glide. Uneven surface but soft and forgiving snow. Skiers made tracks all the way up to top. More snowmaking and packing going on. Just fine for early season.
      (Catherine McLynn)