Nordic Ski Trail Report

Colder than normal weather hasn’t kept Nordic skiers from hitting the area’s many ski trails, most of which are groomed and packed. With more than 500 kilometers of crosscountry ski trails, Cook County is a cross country skier’s paradise.

All skiers between the ages of 16-64 who ski on non-federal trails must pick up a Minnesota State Ski pass. Nordic skiers who ski the central and upper Gunflint Trails must purchase a ski pass.

. Banadad Ski Trail System: All of the 41 kilometers of trails are tracked, and the cross country skiing is excellent.

There is 19 inches of snow that is compacted and makes for a great base.

The Banadad ski trails offer 41 kilometers of intimate classical groomed trails, most going through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA). The trail system is located in northern Minnesota along the Gunflint Trail and 32 miles inland from the Lake Superior coastal town of Grand Marais.

. Upper Gunflint Trail: John Silliman, head naturalist at Gunflint Lodge, reported on Feb. 2: “Our total snowfall since October is 37.5 inches. We have 14 - 24 inches of snow in the forest, and the base is 9 - 10 inches. All regular trails have been groomed in the last few days.”

Please support our trails by purchasing an Upper Gunflint Trail Ski Pass, available at any business on the South Gunflint Lake Road.

. Sugarbush Trails: As of Feb. 5 the trails had a packed base of 2-5 inches. New snow in last 24 hours: ½ inch. New snow last seven days: 3½ inches. Total snowfall for season: 36 inches.

The trails are improving after the last snowfall, although the base is still relatively shallow in some areas. Ski with caution. The best skiing is on the Onion River Road, Picnic Loop Ridge, and Moose Fence.

We hope to see you at our Candlelight Ski and Snowshoe Hike coming up on Saturday, February 17 from 6-8 p.m. at the Oberg Mountain Trailhead. There will be treats, hot chocolate, and a bonfire; 2 km of ski trail and 1/2 mile of Superior Hiking Trail will be lit with candle luminaries for your nighttime enjoyment.

. Pincushion Trails: The groomer’s report for Friday, Feb. 2 indicated that the cobweb of trails on Pincushion had a base of 10-12 inches. All of the trails are groomed for skate and classic with our Pisten Bully on Wednesday and Thursday. Dress warm and get out there and enjoy excellent mid-winter skiing conditions.

. Bally Creek Ski Trails: Primarily classical trails with an 8k segment of the FR 158 trailhead. Connects into Moose Trail and Cascade River State Park.

. George Washington Pines: There is 10-14 inches of snow on the trail. Folks have been skiing, but watch for drifts over the trail.

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2018-02-10 digital edition

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