Trail Detail

Balsam Branch Trails
Amery, WI
12k
Skating/Classic
Yes
No
1 Main Lot 1 Kennedy Park
[ NWS ]
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Notes

The Balsam Branch trails are open to the public for no charge. When there is snow, tracks are set by Polk County Park and volunteers. The trailhead parking area is always well plowed. Toilet facilities are available at the nearby Kennedy Environmental center but no coffee shop or warming facility. Roughly 4K of lighted trails added in 2010.
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Trail Reports

2020-2021 season
Reports 12 to 21 of 26    Month: Mar | Feb | Jan | Dec
Friday, January 15, 2021
Afternoon
Firsthand: Freestyle 
[ Trails Open: Most, B skis ]
The recent snowfall and higher temps made for a slower, aerobic ski, but it was sure pretty out there! I skied the greens and blues. Some tinder on the trails, especially on the blue loop, but no bare spots.
(Andy Fehrenbach)
Monday, January 11, 2021
Evening
Firsthand: Freestyle 
[ Trails Open: All, Good skis ]
Skied everything that was lighted, but skipped the outer loop. Conditions were fast thanks to a well packed base and a thin layer of fresher snow on top. Not much leaf litter, but the trails have seen a lot of use since being groomed and have dips and ruts in the turns, as well as intermittent damage from walkers.
(Adam Scholl)
Monday, January 11, 2021
Morning
Firsthand: Both 
[ Trails Open: All, B skis ]
Frosty morning, trees decorated with the fog/frost. Very fast and light cover from the hoary frost coming down off the trees. Started getting sticky on my herringbones. However recommend getting out before the sun heats it up!
(Kim Weber)
Sunday, January 10, 2021
Morning
Grooming 
[ Trails Open: All, B skis ]
Skate lane groomed this morning. Trails are fast. Rare dirt spots but are easily avoided. Track still in fairly good condition.
(Craig Johnson, Balsam Branch Partnership)
Wednesday, January 6, 2021
Afternoon
Firsthand: Freestyle 
[ B skis ]
Skated the outer and blue loops. Appeared to be groomed fairly recently, occasional dirt and rocks exposed but easily avoided. I'd rate it good to very good.
(Bryan Lueth)
Monday, January 4, 2021
Night
Firsthand: Freestyle 
[ Trails Open: All, B skis ]
It was a lovely ski in the foggy darkness. I appreciate the lighted trails as these trails are the only ones in the area that are lit and well groomed. The warmer evening didn't affect snow conditions too much. There were a couple sparse spots near the lake portion on the green trail (northwest part of the map). Conditions were fast. The only hiccup was the occasional foot traffic on a few segments of the green trail. Thank you groomers!
(Ashley Martinson)
Monday, January 4, 2021
Afternoon
Firsthand: Classic 
[ Trails Open: All, Good skis ]
This is a gem of a trail system. It winds through woods, and for the most part is gently rolling. The trail labelled most difficult has one very big downhill. But there is a new bypass so the hill can be avoided. Freshly groomed, excellent classic track. The system has excellent signage; the only downside is that the trail can be skied either direction so care must be taken on the hills. There is a small parking lot with a port-a-potty.
(Ralph Schwartz)
Sunday, January 3, 2021
Afternoon
Firsthand: Freestyle 
[ Trails Open: All, B skis ]
The perimeter trails was in very good to good condition. There were a few high spots that were sticking thru the snow but nothing you could not easily get around except the last climb where I had to break my stride to avoid one of those bare high spots. Everything had been packed with a small amount loose snow on top, It was 32 degrees and sunny. Looked like there was a fairly consistent classic track. I used salmon FastWax LF There were a still a few spots available in the parking lot when I arrived around 1:00. Met no more than a half dozen parties on the trail; all doing classic. Given that I had just base waxed my skis and applied salmon FastWax LF over that, - which should have been perfect for the temperature, I was really disappointed in my speed of 4.9 mph. I skated the short loop on my rock skis waxed with too cold Blue FastWax LF at a 5 MPH pace afterwards, which confirmed my impression.
(Keith Carlson)
Saturday, January 2, 2021
Afternoon
Firsthand: Freestyle 
[ Trails Open: All, Good skis ]
The skate deck was firm. A couple spots of grass or thinning of trail in the outer loop, but the trail was otherwise a gem. Great grooming!
(Eric Wilkerson)
Saturday, January 2, 2021
Afternoon
Firsthand: Classic 
[ Trails Open: All, Good skis ]
Skied the Green trail and a bit more, and both the track and skate deck were in good shape there. Parking lot was full, as Balsam Branch is getting to be a popular destination. Thanks to the folks who groom and take care of such great trails.
Photos:
(David Wilford)

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