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First hand Trail Reports

These reports are maintained by readers like you. Let us know about the skiing conditions in your area via our Ski Trail Report form. If you'd like to send along some photos, please e-mail those as attachment and we'll plug them into your report.
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ABR Lodging

ABR has 70 km of groomed ski trails and another 10 km of separate snowshoe trails. There are five rustic (ski in) cabins and a trailside house.

Reports: 330
(17 reports not shown due to Reporting level)
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Minnesota Metro Area
  Twin Cities area [ forecast/conditions ]
  • Nov 24 - Hyland Lake Park Reserve (Bloomington): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Groomed, but icy top. Good skate and classic.
    About 2.5 km opened.
    Photos:  
    (Kevin Wendland)
  • Nov 24 - Elm Creek Park Reserve (Maple Grove): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: As of 9:30 am, the snowmaking loop was pretty hardpacked and icy fast. A few brown discolorations, but nothing to be concerned about -- plenty of man-made snow. The outer trails were marked as closed -- the asphalt trail was showing.
    Pretty quiet at Elm Creek this morning, and not a lot of fun skiing. Gloomy, gray morning with strong winds. The trail was surprisingly hardpacked corduroy -- icy hard. Seemed like they groomed last night, or early this morning and then it frozen up. The skating got a little better with each lap. Plenty fast, that's for sure. A little hard to see the changes in surface as the cloudy skies made the contrast very low. Yet, it was still good to be able to ski before Thanksgiving.
    (Bruce Adelsman)
  • Nov 24 - Woodland Trails (Elk River): 
    Grooming Scheduling 

    Still closed. There is still nearly continuous coverage of hard packed snow on the grass trails with only a few minor bare spots. The paved trails near the parking lot have several sections that are melted down and refrozen to all ice. The hard pack is responding slowly to grooming effort. The trails will remain closed at least through today. Once/if open, the quality will certainly not be what it was. Think snow. Stay tuned.
    (Dave Anderson, Elk River Nordic Ski Club)
  • Nov 24 - Green Haven Golf Course (Anoka): 
    Grooming Scheduling 

    Grooming suspended due to loss of snow cover. Will start up as soon as we receive some more snow, hopefully this week!
    (Larry Norland)
  • Nov 24 - Anoka Nature Preserve (Anoka): 
    Grooming Scheduling 

    Grooming suspended due to loss of snow cover. Need some fresh new snow to get going again!
    (Larry Norland)
  • Nov 23 - Woodland Trails (Elk River): 
    Grooming Scheduling 

    Still closed. Talk about a major meltdown. While it only got up to 38 degrees today in Elk River, it rained for much of the day. Ancient One and the Goddess of the Trails are going on an explanatory grooming run in the morning to assess the damage if things freeze up enough overnight. I need to apologize to those who made the foggy trek to ER this morning due to my late closure notice. I fell victim to wishful thinking, hoping to get one more ski out of this early blast of winter. Stay tuned, but don't get your hopes up.
    (Dave Anderson, Elk River Nordic Ski Club)
  • Nov 23 - Hyland Lake Park Reserve (Bloomington): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Fair, holding up after the warm weekend.
    Although rather icy, it was not to the point where it made it tough to balance. There were dirt spots, but they were usually avoidable. There were people out with both classic and skate and both seemed alright. When taking into account that it is November and that the temperature notched over 50 degrees, it was in good condition.
    (Tyler Kobilarcsik)
  • Nov 23 - Hyland Lake Park Reserve (Bloomington): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Fair. Icy top. Man-made snow holding up, with some dirt showing on some portions.
    Made it through warm weekend. Should look better once temps drop.
    Photos:  
    (Kevin Wendland)
  • Nov 23 - Elm Creek Park Reserve (Maple Grove): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Trails were in great shape this morning. Thanks groomers!
    With heavy fog and 45 degrees, the man-made loop was in terrific shape. Expecting slush, I was happy to find a nice firm deck with minimal loose snow. You know it's been an early winter when you can have conversations during Thanksgiving week about how the trails were better earlier in the season. But the Elm Creek crew has delivered again. Thanks!
    (Adam Himes)
  • Nov 23 - Lake Elmo Park Reserve (Lake Elmo): 
    Grooming Scheduling 

    Due to the warm temperatures, ski trails are closed until conditions improve. The lights are off until further notice.
    (Theresa Young, Washington County Parks)
  • Nov 23 - Woodland Trails (Elk River): 
    Grooming Scheduling 

    Closed! The groomers just reported in the the trails are mush and will be closed today.
    (Dave Anderson)
  • Nov 22 - Woodland Trails (Elk River): 
    Grooming 

    Very good for my 7am skate. The combination of leaves, warm temps and many laps since there was significant snow has left the trails a bit worn. It was another full house again today. Thanks for coming out to ski and thanks for chipping in. We would like to remind coaches that reservations are required for team practices both during the week and on weekends. Grooming plan: We have canceled the Saturday evening grooming run. DPR (Director of Public Relations) and Babe will take a look at 6:30am Sunday to see if a morning run with the light screens will be of any help. Please make your Sunday ski an early one if you can. We hope there will be something left for your Monday ski. Enjoy!
    (Dave Anderson, Elk River Nordic Ski Club)
  • Nov 22 - Theodore Wirth Regional Park (Minneapolis): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Soft with grass starting to show through tracks.
    Skied front 9 at 3:30pm. Very soft and appeared there was a lot of melting today. It's still ski-able but grass starting to show through ski edge tracks. Classic track is on its way out.
    Photos:  
    (Aaron Zabler)
  • Nov 22 - French Regional Park (Plymouth): 
    Firsthand 

    Okay. I skied at noon today and the trails were in okay condition. There are a few bare spots now but they are easy to avoid. I could tell the trail was thin in several places so conditions will probably get a lot worse by the end of the day Sunday. You could still use good skis today but if you go out after dark you may want rock skis.
    (Nick Raisanen)
  • Nov 22 - Vadnais/Sucker Lakes (Vadnais Heights): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Fair. Not groomed, but good skied-in tracks on 50%. Other half is thin or leaf-filled. Starting to get soft with temps above freezing this afternoon.
    Turned around after 2.5K where trail was too icy/leafy. Base holding up well, but watch for thin spots on bridge.
    Photos:  
    (Mark Oswood)
  • Nov 22 - Elm Creek Park Reserve (Maple Grove): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Fading fast on the outer trails; man-made pretty good and fully open.
    Yesterday, there were tracks to be had on Lake and Creek. Looks like they were groomed out, but some shallow ones still exist on Northern Lights. No more leaf debris on outer trails today than yesterday, but snow is thinning fast--very sticky, and dirt and pavement starting to "bleed" through. Man-made pretty good, though also still a bit wet.
    (Andrea Ochmann)
  • Nov 22 - Woodland Trails (Elk River): 
    Firsthand 

    Still good coverage for skating, with a nicely chopped surface layer. No thin spots that I noticed, but a fair number of leaves that nearly stop you in your tracks if you hit them just right. Skate lane was still firm around noon, without any ruts developing.
    (Ted Lystig)
  • Nov 22 - Green Haven Golf Course (Anoka): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Well groomed, nice set of classic tracks and a good skate lane. Coverage good on 90%, some sections filling in with leaves and thin spots under trees.
    Skied around noon. The trail loop starts out front of the clubhouse, near the roped off greens. Appears you should ski counter-clockwise, as the signs are facing that way and the track is on the right side then. Fun course, rolling terrain. Reminds me of Phalen, as some of the trails loop back very close to the clubhouse and then head back out. I'd recommend B skis.
    Photos:  
    (Bruce Adelsman)
  • Nov 22 - Anoka Nature Preserve (Anoka): 
    Firsthand 

    Tried to ski on Saturday morning, but didn't seem to find much trail. There was a section parallel to the road, but its out and back and only a couple 100 meters at best, with some dirt spots. There was a road leading into the preserve, with a chain across it, but not any obvious sign of grooming (a lot of dirt). And the property is posted for a deer hunt through early December. Rock recommended if you're going to explore further.
    Photos:  
    (Bruce Adelsman)
  • Nov 22 - Baker Park Reserve (Maple Plain): 
    Grooming Scheduling 

    Conditions: Getting soft, closing to protect the base.
    In an effort to preserve our base, the ski trails at Baker Park will be closing today at noon. The trails will remain closed until cooler temperatures arrive and conditions allow to reopen.
    (Bruce Bolduan, Three Rivers Park District)
  • Nov 22 - Hyland Lake Park Reserve (Bloomington): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Overall excellent on the man-made loop.
    Great early season skiing. Trail was fast and slick this morning. Wouldn't surprise me if it is closed downdue to temp and rain. Watch out for the dirt in the tracks coming down the hill on the frog loop.
    (Scott Greymont)
  • Nov 21 - Lake Elmo Park Reserve (Lake Elmo): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Browns Pond and Lake Elmo were hard packed, leaf and seed litter where you would expect, occassional snert easy to get around with a little rutting. Eagle Point much less heavily traveled, less than an inch of fluff on top of packed base; one very short stretch on climb to the top of the northern-most ridge where there was dirt where prior skiers shovels broke through the snow. Much more enjoyable surface to ski on. I used FastWax Blue LF. Used paste fluoro on top of that. My first experience with this product.
    This was tale of two different skis. First part on Browns Pond and Lake Elmo had me asking do I really enjoy this? - skate, skate, rest; skate, skate, rest. But after a breather in the trailhead building, I went over to Eagle Point and got the ski I dream of - sustained, nonstop skating. And to burnish my ego, I caught and repassed a pack of 6 high school skiers twice after they passed me two times. Took me 35 minutes including the walk over from the trailhead building.
    (Keith Carlson)
  • Nov 21 - Woodland Trails (Elk River): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Decent for classic.
    I classical this evening and found the tracks in pretty good condition where set. They were starting to collect a fair number of leaves in places. Hoping the tracks survive the weekend.
    (Ben Mullin)
  • Nov 21 - Elm Creek Park Reserve (Maple Grove): 
    Firsthand 

    Nice evening conditions at Elm Creek. Very solid skate deck, but no problem getting an edge. Tracks looked good.
    (Ted Lystig)
  • Nov 21 - Woodland Trails (Elk River): 
    Grooming 

    I have been out cutting buckthorn all week(and resting my knee from too much fun last weekend) so I don't have a first hand report. Grooming report: Lumberjack just reported in to say "it should be a fantastic ride first thing in the morning". He and another newcomer to the Grooming Cave, Hanging Chad, just finished pulling the reworked heavy screens to scratch some profile into our well used skate trail surface. Enjoy before the melt if you can.
    (Dave Anderson, Elk River Nordic Ski Club)
  • Nov 21 - Anoka Nature Preserve (Anoka): 
    Grooming 

    Conditions: Trails in good shape. Trail around field perimeter is groomed for ski skate as well as one traditional track as it is wider than forest trails. Nice river views.
    With addition of field trail length is 3.8 Kms.
    (Karl Iwanoczko)
  • Nov 21 - Green Haven Golf Course (Anoka): 
    Grooming 

    Conditions: Trail condition is good. A couple of thin spots along the fence line.
    Trail groomed Friday morning.
    (Karl Iwanoczko)
  • Nov 21 - Elm Creek Park Reserve (Maple Grove): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Multi-Use: variable, smooth and fast in some spots, rutted and tricky in others. Cloudy, some wind.
    Skijored the Multi Use around 1 pm this afternoon. It was skiable, very challenging in some areas, easy in others. Glide was generally quite good. The section leading to Eastman from the Fernbrook parking lot was very rutted and catching a ski was easy. The meadow section and onward was good, no pavement showing anywhere, fast skiing. Seemed like every squirrel in the park ran across our path at some point, but the doggies kept on course, nice! We spent some time with a young dog we met, still learning to pull, and that was fun. Nice afternoon.
    (Steve Evans)
  • Nov 21 - Hyland Lake Park Reserve (Bloomington): 
    Grooming Scheduling 

    Conditions: Good conditions on snowmade trails. One more loop opened this afternoon!
    Star, Willow Creek and Frog Town Loops are open. Trails are packed, tracked and in good condition. Lights are on for Star, Willow Creek and Frog Town until 10 pm. Visitor Center is open 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Weekdays; and 8am-5p.m., Weekends. Rentals available until 5 pm. Visitor Center Hours will be extended until 9 p.m. beginning Nov 28th. A drop box is located outside the Visitor Center to pay daily pass; if arriving before or after hours. Trail are open 5am- 10pm.
    (Sonja Bercich, Three Rivers Park District)
  • Nov 21 - Theodore Wirth Regional Park (Minneapolis): 
    Grooming 

    Conditions: Small amount groomed and open.
    Grooming for cross country skiing has been done on the Flats (golf course front 9), JD River Gardens, Eloise Butler, and the Bog trail loops. The trails on the west side of Theodore Wirth Parkway are closed for skiing at this time. Purchase ski passes at the Wirth Chalet Friday-Tuesday from 10am-6pm.
    (Robin Smothers, Minneapolis Parks and Recreation)
  • Nov 21 - Elm Creek Park Reserve (Maple Grove): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: The trails on the other side of the lake (non-snowmaking) are now groomed and quite good up there. Northern Lights has a decent amount of dirt tilled up on the first part. Snowmaking loop was perfect.
    With the very outer loop now groomed it's a nice place to go for a longer ski totaling a little over 10k probably verses doing many short laps.
    Photos:  
    (Clayton Keim, RollerSkiShop.com)
  • Nov 21 - Como Golf Course (Saint Paul): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: The classic track was filling in with snow and leaves at 2:00 pm. Even though the skate deck was blowing in, it was still good but probably slowing down.
    I waxed a friend's old skis today so I had to go try them out on a groomed trail. Como was the closest. I wanted to hear what the fish scales sounded like going down hill, all 80 inches of scales between the two skis. Obviously these retro classics, a narrow touring ski, have zero for speed but they climb like woodies! There was the expected limited glide in the clean or partially filled track. The leaves didn't slow things down any. On the downhill corduroy the skis turned and handled well. They sounded like a distant tornado siren. Skaters still have a good deck but its mostly over with for classic track skiers. Thank you Como groomers for a great effort on very thin snow!
    (Jeff Bolte)
  • Nov 21 - Elm Creek Park Reserve (Maple Grove): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Trail is in good shape.
    Good classic track on the manmade. New start of the big hill bypass (Wayne's Thumb) on the Valley - nice striding gradual uphill. Looks like they put in some classic tracks on the Northern Lights/Thicket but I didn't go that way today. I noticed the classic tracks coming back along the road had at least one dirty/thin spot.
    (Mark Lahtinen)
  • Nov 21 - Hyland Lake Park Reserve (Bloomington): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Well groomed and hard packed for skate. Nice firm classic tracks. Happy skiers.
    Chalet is open 9-5 and is selling ski trail passes. Park ranger was out checking skiers for passes so make sure you get one.
    (Karen Bebchuk)
  • Nov 21 - Hyland Lake Park Reserve (Bloomington): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Very good. Wide skate lane and groomed classic track set.
    Getting crowded. Snowmaking is a winner.
    Photos:  
    (Kevin Wendland)
  • Nov 21 - Elm Creek Park Reserve (Maple Grove): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Well groomed tracks on multiple trails.
    Ski now! The three+ loops are well packed and the grooming is amazing. Very few people during the day. The conditions are excellent with the proper wax making it a fast run.
    (Todd Powell)
  • Nov 21 - Como Golf Course (Saint Paul): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Groomed classic tracks, 90% good/10% fair to poor; skate deck looked great.
    Skied at 8:30 this morning, and the trails had been groomed already. The classic tracks weren't quite as pristine as I thought they would be, having skated the night before and eyeing them eagerly, but they were plenty good for November ski. Grass shows through in predictable places, and leaves are starting to fill the more wind-swept areas, but all in all, a great workout. Thanks to the groomers!
    (Michael Kuhne)
  • Nov 20 - Hyland Lake Park Reserve (Bloomington): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Good groomed tracks.
    The two loops are well tracked. Cold conditions but a good wax selection made it a very fast set of loops.
    (Todd Powell)
  • Nov 20 - Woodland Trails (Elk River): 
    Grooming 

    Grooming report: Screened Thursday evening for your Friday skiing pleasure. We finally got Ancient One off the couch and back into the grooming rotation. He led the Irish Rookie on his second training run, pulling the Godzilla screens to level and put a little profile in the skate deck. Evolution reset tracks, but conditions for that made it difficult. Enjoy!
    (Dave Anderson, Elk River Nordic Ski Club)
  • Nov 20 - Green Haven Golf Course (Anoka): 
    Grooming 

    Conditions: Conditions very good. Ski course has been lengthened from last year.
    Groomed with traditional tracks and ski skating.
    (Karl Iwanoczko)
  • Nov 20 - Afton State Park (Afton): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Fair, ungroomed.
    Ungroomed except for several skiers' tracks. Fairly good snow coverage except long southeast downhill to the river, where I was intermittently slowed abruptly due to gravel. Would not advise trying this section! Uphill on south river bottom end barely passable on skis due to poor rock coverage, so trudge up in your boots. A bit more snow should allow grooming.
    (Sam Seltz)
  • Nov 20 - Como Golf Course (Saint Paul): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Rolled and tracked. Crunchy with occasional wind-blown snow.
    Skied at 6:00 pm and was pleasantly surprised to see good classic tracks on most of the trail (I'll pull out the classic skis tomorrow!). The skate deck was nice and wide and remarkably even for how little snow we have had. Mad props to the Como groomers - thanks!
    (Michael Kuhne)
  • Nov 20 - Como Golf Course (Saint Paul): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Excellent but getting windblown.
    I skied around noon and suspect I was there shortly after the groomer made a pass. The skate deck was excellent and the tracks even looked really good. The only thin spots on the skate deck were under the bridge and the top of the descent off the back bowl towards the bridge but easily avoidable. The classic tracks showed a little grass in a few areas. An hour after I started the tracks were getting drifted in fairly well.
    Photos:  
    (Ben Mullin)
  • Nov 20 - French Regional Park (Plymouth): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Quite good but a little bumpy and parallel ruts in some areas but not too bad. Groomers did a good job at not digging up stuff considering some areas that are bumpy. Best section is Skyline and Challenge Hill trails. The others aren't quite as smooth and more leaves.
    Only a couple spots where you want to be careful but otherwise a great option to ski right now. Parking lot at 5:00 pm only had a dozen cars.
    Photos:  
    (Clayton Keim, RollerSkiShop.com)
  • Nov 20 - Jackson Meadow (Marine on St. Croix): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Good for skating with recent grooming.
    As you park your vehicle and commence with your ski you have no idea that big hills await you in this peculiar yet enchanting venue.
    (Bob Bickford)
  • Nov 20 - Lake Elmo Park Reserve (Lake Elmo): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Good for skate!
    Skate deck has been groomed and there are very few places where there this "ski-harming" debris. Skied all East Side loops with B skis with no problem and still had good glide and decent control. A bit bumpy, as others have noted. Amazingly good condition given that they have only had 4-5 inches there. Won't complain now though, was definitely worth the trip!
    (William Harrison)
  • Nov 20 - Anoka Nature Preserve (Anoka): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: I skied skate, groomed with good coverage.
    Very nice local ski especially for this time of year!
    Photos:  
    (Wayne Komarek)
  • Nov 20 - Elm Creek Park Reserve (Maple Grove): 
    Firsthand 

    The entire manmade snow loop is now open, complete with classic tracks. As noted by others, the artificial snow is very abrasive and slow (particularly in windblown areas near the chalet). Still, the coverage is excellent and race skis are fine. It's more sheltered with less drifting on the natural snow on Northern Lights and Thicket, but there B skis would be better than race skis. No classic tracks on the natural snow. Great to have mid-winter conditions so early.
    (Ted Lystig)
  • Nov 20 - Hyland Lake Park Reserve (Bloomington): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: A- Skate, manufactured trail.
    As previous commenter said the chalet is only open for bathrooms. It looked like they were still manufacturing for Frog Pond loop, but it is not groomed yet for skate. The 2.5k loop that is open was great for classic and Skate, enough to get out there and wish for more!
    (Jason Roys)
  • Nov 19 - Battle Creek Regional Park West (Saint Paul): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Plenty of snow but ungroomed.
    Nice snow coverage on lighted loop, was dark when I went so did not ski the rest. Pretty well packed down on the prairie, less so in the woods with a few annoying clumps of leaves and icey spots. A proper grooming would certainly help.
    (Joe Rosenthal)
  • Nov 19 - Hyland Lake Park Reserve (Bloomington): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Mid season conditions in November.
    With only about 2K open and more opening soon, Hyland is by far the best in the metro. Snow is still being blown on the rest of the 5K loop. Make sure that you purchase passes! Park police are very diligent at checking.
    Photos:  
    (Tamer Mische-Richter)
  • Nov 19 - Elm Creek Park Reserve (Maple Grove): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Entire snowmaking loop now open groomed nice and wide and smooth as always. Northern Lights was quite nice also but a couple thinner spots I saw. Couple lights out also but was nice to get out of the wind.
    Great to have the entire snowmaking loop open a week before Thanksgiving! If you want to avoid skier traffic go late as there were only 2 other cars in the lot when I left around 9:00 pm and they're open till 10:00 pm.
    Photos:  
    (Clayton Keim, RollerSkiShop.com)
  • Nov 19 - Baker Park Reserve (Maple Plain): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Ranges from very good to poor. Fast snow. Groomed for skate, no classic tracks (not enough snow yet).
    Pulled into the parking lot at 4:25 and there were no cars! Too bad because the trails are fun to ski. The groomers have done a nice job with the little snow they have at Baker. Skied there on Sunday and today and some areas are really white while others are covered with buckthorn leaves. The wind was fierce today so there was some drifting in the open areas. Two areas of caution: the trail just west of the driving range that goes through the swampy area is 70% grass and you have to walk through it, so check your speed down the hill. Also, the downhill on the Hill trail is very rutted from erosion from this past summer so stay light on your skis and be ready to change from side to side on the trail.
    (Kathleen Miller)
  • Nov 19 - Hyland Lake Park Reserve (Bloomington): 
    Firsthand Secondhand 

    Conditions: January conditions in November.
    Perfect, there really isnt much more to describe Hyland today. The park crew did and awesome job of making and spreading snow. The 2.5k loop had its fair share of hills and flats. A few things to note about the park: Only the restrooms are open, the rest of the chalet is dark. The park patrol said it will be like that for a few weeks; About 60% of the lights were on when I was there. Its plenty of light though; As somebody else mentioned, watch for falling ice from the trees. The mist really stuck to everything so there are a lot of trees with iced over branches. A few corners had big ice blocks on the ground so it was a mini agility drill to avoid them. Other than that, its a great trail. I cant wait until its all open.
    Photos:  
    (Vince Rosetta, ONE WAY Sport USA)
  • Nov 19 - Elm Creek Park Reserve (Maple Grove): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Natural snow of Thicket and Northern Lights skate deck was solid and great edge. No tracks on natural snow. Artificial snow was blown snow and slow.
    Outer loop was not groomed but rest of natural snow was awesome. Artificial snow was brutal. Thanks crew for turning on the lights for the natural snow too. Much better skiing without the extra windchill.
    (Todd White)
  • Nov 19 - Hyland Lake Park Reserve (Bloomington): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Great, good skis fine. Good deep tracks.
    skied the man made loop on Wednesday night. Best pre Thanksgiving conditions in memory. Get out there!
    Photos:  
    (Mike Garrity)
  • Nov 19 - Jackson Meadow (Marine on St. Croix): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Excellent for skating.
    Skied about 2 p.m. Trail had been recently groomed after snowfall last night. Surface a little bumpy in a few spots, but overall remarkably nice for this early in the season; seemed like mid-winter skiing. Hats off to the groomer.
    (Jon Nelson)
  • Nov 19 - Jackson Meadow (Marine on St. Croix): 
    Firsthand 

    This morning I skate skied for over an hour and didn't get to all the loops that make up the Jackson Meadow Trail system, plus, the trail was freshly rolled-- truly a Jewel of a Nordic Trail! The trails are narrow, yet very skatable; and, there are plenty of hills to test your V-1 skills and raise your heart rate. Thanks to the groomers and Nordic folks for prepping this fine trail system.
    (Bruce Manske)
  • Nov 19 - Baker Park Reserve (Maple Plain): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Dusting of new powder on Multi-Use, back side very good, groomed, flat and fast, much better than Monday. Front side fair, rutted and challenging. Cloudy, strong winds. Fast Wax Teal, good glide.
    Skijored with LuLu and Boomer on the Multi-Use around noon, first time out this year for them. We launched on the horse trail portion of the north loop, ungroomed and lots of sudden dips and ruts in fairly soft snow that was easy to power through. They moved fast through the woods as I gradually found decent balance. Turning onto the well groomed back side, skiing was a breeze, we sped up quite a bit and maintained a fast pace until we got back on the horse trail at the far end of the south loop, where we slowed a little navigating back to the parking lot. The dogs are in fantastic shape, full out all the way around and they weren't even breathing hard when we finished. On the high windy portions of the back side, some ice is starting to show here and there, overall the trail is still great for the thin cover it has.
    (Steve Evans)
  • Nov 19 - Elm Creek Park Reserve (Maple Grove): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Very windy and windblown. There was a track sometimes.
    First ski for me. Classic. The track was there in the protected areas which are few and far between on the manmade. The manmade snow was pretty fast though. The freshly made and flying manmade stings the face in the 30 mph gusts. Back in the woods on the natural snow was nice but without a track. At one of the intersections I came across a nice 6 pt. buck (congrats - survived last weekend). We looked at each other for about 20 seconds and then he took off for some fartlek...me, well, not so much.
    (Mark Lahtinen)
  • Nov 19 - Elm Creek Park Reserve (Maple Grove): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Excellent coverage. Solid base with Winslow powder on top.
    Classic skied around noon. Tracks were harder and more abrasive than expected. Windy conditions caused tracks to get filled in on several sections. Skate deck looked great and seemed to be fast without being icy. Lucky us for getting to enjoy this early season treat!
    Photos:  
    (Sandy Schreyer)
  • Nov 19 - Jackson Meadow (Marine on St. Croix): 
    Grooming 

    Conditions: We had another inch or so of snow last night. All trails are groomed for skating.
    Thanks to everyone who came out and skied last weekend. Certainly the busiest our trails have ever been. It was fun to see so many smiling faces. Someday we may be able to provide a port-o-potty, but in the meantime, please respect the residents and use discretion. Closest public restroom is 1 mile down Broadway in the village of Marine on Saint Croix. Thanks.
    (Andy Powell)
  • Nov 19 - Como Golf Course (Saint Paul): 
    Firsthand 

    Como is groomed! A pretty nice skate deck and some really windblown classic tracks. No bare spots that I could see, although the base is very thin and there is some grass poking through in spots. Definitely good enough for B skis.
    (Elias Anoszko)
  • Nov 19 - Hyland Lake Park Reserve (Bloomington): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Very good on the shortened loop. Snow machines are humming away.
    Fast man made snow. Watch out for ice hanging from trees overhead on far side of Northern Lights trail.
    Photos:  
    (Kevin Wendland)
  • Nov 19 - Highland 9-hole Golf Course (Saint Paul): 
    Firsthand 

    Blowing and drifting snow obscure any identifiable skate skiing path made by previous skiiers. Not groomed yet.
    (John Garcia)
  • Nov 18 - Lake Elmo Park Reserve (Lake Elmo): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Heavily used, a bit icy.
    I skied Lake Elmo after work and there was decent coverage but the trails were pretty heavily used during the day. There was some grass showing on the hill but other than that its in great shape. The groomers did a really good job of grooming for as little snow as they got. Use your B or rock skis until they get more snow.
    (Vince Rosetta, ONE WAY Sport USA)
  • Nov 18 - French Regional Park (Plymouth): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Fair to good. Solid coverage.
    Skied French Tuesday night - all of the lighted loops. Good coverage expect for one area with some ground sticking up. Used decent skis and didn't get any nicks - minimal amount of caution and I think good skis are fine. Some undulations in a section due to thin snow, but overall I have to say, it is pretty good and will keep getting better with just a bit more snow and continued grooming.
    (Jim Carlen)
  • Nov 18 - Hyland Lake Park Reserve (Bloomington): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Excellent for skate and classic.
    The Star and Willow Creek loops (the first two stages of the 5km snowmaking loop) are open; about 1.7 km on the GPS. The classic tracks are solid and deep, like mid-January. Skate looked excellent as well. Lots of cars in the parking lot, but the trail was not crowded at all. It looks like the next stage (Frog Town Loop) is close to being ready for grooming. I was on the "good" skis, so did not venture onto the natural snow trails. Many thanks to TRP for a providing a great option for folks on the south side!
    (Mike Maiers)
  • Nov 18 - Woodland Trails (Elk River): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Beautiful trails this afternoon. I classiced and there is some leaves in the track but not bad. Snow is hard packed and looks great.
    Thank you to the volunteers at Woodland Trails. It was my first time out there and I was very impressed with the trail quality this early in the season. Was a great ski!
    (Kelsey Nelson)
  • Nov 18 - Elm Creek Park Reserve (Maple Grove): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Firm, just groomed.
    Very windy. 2k groomed. Looks like the extra back 1/2 k was being worked on. I was there about 4 pm, only 2 other guys out skiing.
    (Jon Schaumann)
  • Nov 18 - Como Golf Course (Saint Paul): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Groomed (somewhat), icy in parts, wind blown in other parts.
    Skied at dusk just as a high school team was leaving. Saw snowmobile tracks on the trails, so I assume the trails were rolled? No classic track. It is a little bit like open range skiing at Como these days with skied-in tracks going in every direction. It can be fun, but it will be nice when we get some more snow.
    (Michael Kuhne)
  • Nov 18 - Theodore Wirth Regional Park (Minneapolis): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Not freshly groomed but has been previously rolled, some windblown, lots of previous days ski tracks, some walkers.
    Best glide skating on opening day in years! Temp perfect, a bit windy. Skied front 9 between 11-noon.
    (Kevin Kelly)
  • Nov 18 - William O'Brien State Park (Marine on St. Croix): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: 2" powder on top of rolled and trampled snow.
    About half of the trails were rolled prior to last weekends deer hunt. There are now a couple of inches of newer snow on top. Many sections have had heavy foot traffic. I even followed a couple of blood trails from successful hunters. You can get around the park if you choose to. There are sections with a decent skied in classic track. I skated and it was do-able, but disappointing. There is enough snow out here to have the trails in pretty good shape with a little grooming. Lets hope soon!
    (Paul Schaaf)
  • Nov 18 - Lake Elmo Park Reserve (Lake Elmo): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Amazingly good for November with complete coverage. There was debris on the trail and in some places grass was poking through.
    I skied all East side trails with rock skis but you could use good skis with caution. The snow was actually fast.
    (Bob Bickford)
  • Nov 18 - Hyland Lake Park Reserve (Bloomington): 
    Firsthand Secondhand 

    Conditions: Perfect skating and Classic.
    Hyland is OPEN! Star loop and the newly-named Willow Creek loop are the only trails open now...a 1.75km round trip. Conditions were man-made perfection. They said that Frog Town loop might open as early as Wednesday but they'll need likely another week before the hills and Boulder Ridge open up. I also skied part of the north loop and Richardson loop. Those are very skiable and you could use your good skis there, but there is stuff to avoid. 'B' or rock skis on natural trails but the man-made is 'A' skis all the way. November 18 and trails are open!
    (Jay Adams)
  • Nov 18 - William O'Brien State Park (Marine on St. Croix): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Ungroomed but a solid base with loose stuff on top. No bare spots and decent man-made tracks in sections. Skied all of the flat sections.
    First time at WOB this year and it was a pleasant surprise. Used my beater classic skis but could have used good ones. Not sure what wax--whatever I finished with last year. Snow was fast enough and thin enough that I talked myself out of going on any hills (at my age I need a cushion when I go down). But looking at all the hills I went by, they did all look skiable. Completely bare under the railroad tracks but better quality snow on other side. Neat experience when a sharp-shinned or Cooper's hawk flushed up right in front of me by the campgrounds. Looked down and there was a freshly killed blue jay.
    (Mike Chrun)
  • Nov 18 - Lake Elmo Park Reserve (Lake Elmo): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Fair to good. Some grass and dirt clumps.
    Skied around noon on a mostly empty trail system. Reasonable coverage throughout but with some grass sticking out here and there and occasional dirt spots. Trails are hard packed near the lodge but quite nice the further out you go. Recommend B skis.
    Photos:  
    (Sandy Schreyer)
  • Nov 18 - Hyland Lake Park Reserve (Bloomington): 
    Grooming Secondhand 

    According to the Three Rivers Park Web site, the Star and Willow Creek loops are now open for skiing. [ Hyland snowmaking trails officially opened today. --Ed. ]
    (Sue Schroeder)
  • Nov 18 - Lake Elmo Park Reserve (Lake Elmo): 
    Grooming 

    On east side - orange and brown loops packed today. Pretty good coverage - some grass showing. Lights will be on tonight. Office open until 8:00 and Nordic Center open until 10:00.
    (Theresa Young, Washington County Parks)
  • Nov 18 - Elm Creek Park Reserve (Maple Grove): 
    Grooming Observation 

    Tracks set...can't be long now. [ Elm Creek is open! 2K of the 2.5K loop is groomed out and ready to go. --Ed. ]
    Photos:  
    (Mark Lahtinen)
  • Nov 18 - French Regional Park (Plymouth): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: As nice as you could ask for in mid-November!
    All of the trails in French Park with the exception of the Challenge Hill plateau were open and groomed this morning. The Three Rivers web site says that there may be bare spots, but I didn't see anything scary. The only hard ground I hit was in the parking lot when I overtrusted the thin layer of snow over the asphalt. There is some leaf litter, especially on the trails close to the trailhead, but nothing to worry about. Thank you groomers!
    (Adam Himes)
  • Nov 17 - Baker Park Reserve (Maple Plain): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Multi-use trail: Fair, rutted but powder, so skating was OK. Sunny, windy, cold, nice afternoon! Fast wax teal, great glide.
    Looped the multi-use starting around 3 pm this afternoon, first time out this year. Wanted to see if conditions were OK for taking the Two Fangs out skijoring tomorrow; got around in 45 min, fast snow! The north loop was well skied, mostly classic tracks, the south loop was less traveled, both are quite skiable, no pavement showing, a small amount of drifting on the south loop return section, but not a problem with the light powder. Tomorrow the Two Fangs make their 2014 debut!
    (Steve Evans)
  • Nov 17 - Woodland Trails (Elk River): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Lots of snow, rolled for skating and tracks set for classic (made me very happy)!
    Worth the trip! Great conditions! Nice work to all involved in getting the trails open! You beat the snow makers! I love it. It's so nice to see this sport want to take advantage of the conditions and put in the effort. Great job.
    (Bob Oltman)
  • Nov 17 - University of Minnesota Golf Course (Falcon Heights): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Ungroomed and windblown, but skiable.
    Skated and classic skied this afternoon on the windy trails. The trail was heavily windblown with a good layer of powder on much of it, but overall great snow coverage. I could tell a lot of skiers had been out this weekend, but the tracks/ skate deck they skied in were mostly washed over. Once the wind dies down and the new powder layer gets skied in, it should be some fantastic skiing.
    Photos:  
    (Melissa Berman)
  • Nov 17 - Baker Park Reserve (Maple Plain): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Pretty decent, some spots where grooming dug up stuff but great base forming.
    Haven't heard much for Baker conditions so checked it out. Groomed for skate only and pretty good but a couple dozen spots where debris was groomed up so I would stick with B skis. Can't believe the Baker Shaker is still 2 months away. With Wirth not grooming this might be the best option for those in the west metro.
    Photos:  
    (Clayton Keim, RollerSkiShop.com)
  • Nov 17 - French Regional Park (Plymouth): 
    Grooming 

    French have now opened - packed only, no rentals, but the lights are on. Skiers may find a few bare spots.
    (Beth Nash)
  • Nov 17 - Lake Elmo Park Reserve (Lake Elmo): 
    Grooming Scheduling 

    Northern Lights (yellow) and Lake Elmo (green) trails rolled today. Pretty good coverage - a few thin spots and some debris. Staff will roll Brown's Pond (brown) and Bur Oak (orange) loops on east side tomorrow. We plan on turning the lights on Tuesday evening.
    (Theresa Young, Washington County Parks)
  • Nov 17 - Hornet Hiihto Trails (Edina): 
    Grooming 

    Conditions: Wind blown, added 1/2 mile of classic tracks.
    The skate lanes are wind blown, but skiable. Stay out of the wooded trails with your good skis. At 11 am on Monday, added 1/2 mile of double classic tracks on the snow making loop. Down to our final 100 meters to complete our 1.25 km made snow loop - should be done in 24 hours.
    (Craig Jarvinen)
  • Nov 17 - Anoka Nature Preserve (Anoka): 
    Grooming 

    Groomed today. Conditions are good with no bare spots. Open for winter skiing!
    (Larry Norland)
  • Nov 17 - Green Haven Golf Course (Anoka): 
    Grooming 

    Groomed today, due to wind some bare spots but mostly good conditions. Will groom again on Tuesday!
    (Larry Norland)
  • Nov 17 - Carver Park Reserve (Victoria): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: OK on sky, sugar bush and lake.
    No grooming. Hit bottom 3 times.
    Photos:  
    (Kevin Wendland)
  • Nov 17 - Theodore Wirth Regional Park (Minneapolis): 
    Grooming Scheduling 

    Snowmaking to start this week! As Theodore Wirth was operating as golf course until Nov 9th, ground preparations for winter activities could not begin until Nov 10th. Most of the preparations will be completed by Wednesday, Nov 19 when snowmaking is scheduled to begin. Thanks for your patience. It's going to be a great year!
    (Robin Smothers, Minneapolis Parks and Recreation)
  • Nov 16 - Theodore Wirth Regional Park (Minneapolis): 
    Firsthand Crime 

    Conditions: Slow, cold, well-covered.
    Trails are well-covered although a bit rutted. Cold on Sunday morning at 9 degrees! I saw too late the notice to stay off until trails are groomed, although I'm wondering why the snow guns have not been going already here.
    On a sadder note, two vehicles were broken into at the par 3 parking lot (windows smashed) on Sunday morning at about 8:45 am. Another reminder to bring all valuables with you when you leave your car.
    (Mike Miller)
  • Nov 16 - Como Golf Course (Saint Paul): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Wonderful! No bare spots. Plenty of cover for classical and skate.
    Skied for about an hour today from 2-3pm on classical skis. Followed some tracks and made my own at other times. Sunny and rather pleasant with only what seemed like a breeze.
    (Stanley Sledz)
  • Nov 16 - Woodland Trails (Elk River): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Amazing early season conditions. 100% coverage; no need to use rock skis. Snow was dry and slower as you would expect with high single digits temps. Used Fastwax Teal LF.
    This is a really tough place to start the season for a 62 year old like me. (Hockey and biking just aren't enough to get into shape for ski skating.) Climb to X2 involved a lot of walking the longer hills but moved pretty well on the downhill return. Fingers froze a couple of times before I stopped to warm them.
    (Keith Carlson)
  • Nov 16 - Woodland Trails (Elk River): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Top notch conditions for any time of the season.
    The Woodland Trails were the last place I skied this April and the first place I skied this November, so these volunteers sure know what they are doing. Well worth the drive from Minneapolis. The grooming is world-class, and it reminded me of mid-January conditions. Sunset at Woodland Trails is a magical experience. I must say it is impressive to be opening before and closing after the man-made snow venues, all with natural snow and a volunteer crew. Cheers to many more great skis at Woodland Trails!
    Photos:  
    (Bill Oyler)
  • Nov 16 - Hyland Lake Park Reserve (Bloomington): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Fair on non snowmaking trails.
    All trails except where snowmaking is underway, are packed with good initial cover and reasonably good for skating. The snowmaking trails are not skiable and ungroomed.
    (Stefan Helgeson)
  • Nov 16 - Battle Creek Regional Park West (Saint Paul): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Ungroomed but skiable.
    Monday's little bit of snow has hardened to a nice crust, and about 2 inches fell on top to that Saturday. The trails along the lighted portion are pretty well packed down by all the happy skaters. Out on the gold loop the snow is a little fluffier. There're a few spots where a small amount of dirt has been kicked up by poles or pedestrians, but my rock skis only found one rock on the whole trail. Not bad for a pre-Thanksgiving ski.
    (Rachel Van Heel)
  • Nov 16 - Woodland Trails (Elk River): 
    Grooming 

    Very good. I started my skate lap just after noon and found the trail to be holding up well under the traffic of another busy ski day. Build It, groom it, and they will come. Having the snow market cornered doesn't hurt either. We are very pleased to be able to share our little 'field of dreams' with so many. Thanks for skiing Woodlands this weekend and thanks for your donations. It was big fun.
    Grooming plan: Chainsaw and Evinrude pulled the medium screens this evening to do a cleanup lap on the outer loop. This was less aggressive than the conditions warranted because we are going to slip into snow conservation mode for a few days. This will help conserve snow and but may leave a trail with a firmer center in some areas than is ideal. Enjoy!
    (Dave Anderson, Elk River Nordic Ski Club)
  • Nov 16 - Woodland Trails (Elk River): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Excellent, firm, packed powder with good skate deck, no ice and great grooming.
    The trails at Woodland were in excellent shape, much of the main loop was well-groomed for both skate and classic. The classic tracks were fairly deep and held well. Skate skiing was fast, smooth and firm throughout the trail system. It felt like mid-winter skiing during a great winter. There was no ice and skiing up and down and around the hills was safe and bracing. Phenomenal so early in the season. Highly recommended.
    Photos:  
    (George Wawro)
  • Nov 16 - Jackson Meadow (Marine on St. Croix): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: All trails groomed for skate; no tracks set.
    This is a good time to skate ski on the narrow trails with challenging hills before classic tracks are set.
    Photos:  
    (David Byrne, Minnesota Rovers Outdoors Club)
  • Nov 16 - Theodore Wirth Regional Park (Minneapolis): 
    Firsthand 

    Skied from Wirth Beach through Eloise Butler and Quaking Bog area then east side of the lake. Not groomed but no bare spots and packed from skiers in most places. Five miles of skate trail in Nov is is pretty good.
    (John Quinn)
  • Nov 16 - Woodland Trails (Elk River): 
    Firsthand 

    Quite good conditions for classic this afternoon. Much of the expert portion of the area is groomed for skate only, but there is still more than enough length and variety of classic tracks to keep things interesting. There was even a set of classic only tracks heading south to the golf course, but unfortunately it was mostly filled with windblown snow by early afternoon. Still, overall another great early season day at Woodland.
    (Ted Lystig)
  • Nov 16 - Carver Park Reserve (Victoria): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: No grooming. Full coverage.
    Lake trail was good. No rocks.
    Photos:  
    (Kevin Wendland)
  • Nov 16 - Irondale Trails (New Brighton): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Well covered, pretty firm and fast for skating with some drifting in the open areas.
    Skied around noon time. Surprisingly cold for mid-November (temps in the mid teens!), especially with the winds in the open. Practice field was a bit drifted, but the wooded trails were just fine. Coverage was better than expected appears to have been skied in since the light snowfall this weekend. Fun trails, and the woods provide a great break from the winds. Such a nice treat by the Irondale team!
    Photos:  
    (Bruce Adelsman)
  • Nov 16 - Baker Park Reserve (Maple Plain): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Hill trail fair to good. [ As of today, Baker Park trails are open -- Ed. ]
    There were a few spots where the groomer hit dirt or grass but they were minimal. The surface was groomed but a bit uneven. All in all, great mid-November skiing. Definitely recommend for "b" skis and if I only had "a" skis I'd go and ski carefully.
    Photos:  
    (Kevin Crystal)
  • Nov 16 - Hornet Hiihto Trails (Edina): 
    Grooming 

    Conditions: Pretty good! All trails groomed today.
    Skiing on the fields is really very good. All trails were groomed for skate at 10 am Sunday. Still a bit rough in the woods, definitely avoid wooded trails with good skis. We complete 1km of made snow. It is a loop on the inside of the running track, behind the concrete storage building, and then around the running track (all behind the high school). We are working on the final 250 meters of made snow in the wood which includes a very good hill.
    Photos:  
    (Craig Jarvinen)
  • Nov 16 - Lake Elmo Park Reserve (Lake Elmo): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Good (for not being groomed).
    Glass half full. The conditions are surprisingly good, despite only a few inches of base and no grooming. The trails are clean, fast and fairly well packed from lots of skiing. Fairly bumpy, but can't complain.
    (Emmerson Ward)
  • Nov 16 - Columbia Golf Course (Minneapolis): 
    Grooming 

    Please stay off the golf course. The trails are not yet open for the season. When you ski on the golf course turf, particularly the greens, you are damaging and killing the turf with ice build up. Please stay off the course until trails are groomed so we can direct you where to go.
    (Troy Tschida, Minneapolis Parks and Recreation)
  • Nov 16 - Hiawatha Golf Course (Minneapolis): 
    Grooming 

    Please stay off the golf course. The trails are not yet open for the season. When you ski on the golf course turf, particularly the greens, you are damaging and killing the turf with ice build up. Please stay off the course until trails are groomed so we can direct you where to go.
    (Troy Tschida, Minneapolis Parks and Recreation)
  • Nov 16 - Francis Gross Golf Course (Minneapolis): 
    Grooming 

    Please stay off the golf course. The trails are not yet open for the season. When you ski on the golf course turf, particularly the greens, you are damaging and killing the turf with ice build up. Please stay off the course until trails are groomed so we can direct you where to go.
    (Troy Tschida, Minneapolis Parks and Recreation)
  • Nov 16 - Theodore Wirth Regional Park (Minneapolis): 
    Grooming Scheduling 

    Please stay off the Wirth golf course. The trails at Wirth are not yet open for the season. When you ski on the golf course turf, particularly the greens, you are damaging and killing the turf with ice build up. Please stay off the course until trails are groomed so we can direct you where to go. We plan to start snowmaking operations at Wirth this coming week.
    (Troy Tschida, Minneapolis Parks and Recreation)
  • Nov 16 - Lake Elmo Park Reserve (Lake Elmo): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: 1-2 inches of fresh powder.
    In the east side, great skate ski conditions with the 1-2 inches of fresh snow fallen overnight on top of what have been packed down by skiers. The low temp (~12F) make it feel like Jan or Feb.
    (Ji Chen)
  • Nov 15 - Bunker Hills Regional Park (Coon Rapids): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Not groomed but driven on by park vehicles.
    I tried the skijoring side (west of RR tracks) first and a park vehicle with dual wheels drove on some of the trail possibly to trim branches or else attempt to pack the snow down. I classic skied in the tire tracks and in some other skiers' tracks. There was a sign posted about a controlled archery hunt until Dec 7th. I didn't go into the archery area which is north of the dog park. On the golf course side, I saw the same tire tracks as well as what looked to be groomer tracks (treads) but no grooming. Skating would be very difficult there with the tire tracks throughout.
    (Jennifer Bennett)
  • Nov 15 - Phalen Golf Course (Saint Paul): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: No grooming. 1"-2" of new snow on top of fairly heavy crust, so you can feel the crust breaking under you but does not give way - skis do not get stuck, and you will rarely have to pull out the pole basket.
    Stuber and I skated for over an hour and skied wherever we felt like going. Conditions are not bad - you could certainly use good skis without fear, as nothing is exposed and the cart trails are hard-covered. Pretty fun skating! Classic wouldn't be so good if you depend on deep tracks, since skied-in tracks are no more than 2" deep most places. --"Live to skate, skate to live!".
    (Pete Thurmes)
  • Nov 15 - Theodore Wirth Regional Park (Minneapolis): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Complete coverage on the Front Nine ( the part across the road from the Par 3 bldg.) - no grooming.
    Very fun and way better than typical early season conditions. I skate skied for about an hour and had a great time. There is a few inches of snow and I did not see any bare spots even under the railroad bridges.
    (Steve Eberly)
  • Nov 15 - Woodland Trails (Elk River): 
    Grooming 

    A great ski, an over flowing parking lot, an overflowing donation tube and trails full of new and old ski friends - it doesn't get much better than that. For the Trail Crew you couldn't script a better start to their 27th year of trail building and grooming at Woodlands. Grooming report: Eagle 17 (the 17th Eagle Scout that I mentored) just reported in that he and the Accountant, had just finished their grooming run with the medium screens for our Sunday skiing pleasure. Enjoy!
    (Dave Anderson, Elk River Nordic Ski Club)
  • Nov 15 - Como Golf Course (Saint Paul): 
    Firsthand 

    Not groomed, fair, some portions are skied in, others have just a few skate tracks. East glacier is fairly rough with lots of tracks, many of the paved sections have very thin snow, easy to go around in daylight (i won't ski at night here for a while). Good enough to do 20k.
    (Karl Dewahl)
  • Nov 15 - Woodland Trails (Elk River): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Solid base, perfectly groomed and holding up well. Good coverage, good skis would be fine -- only a couple of ice spots out on the prairie loop. Even had some nice classical tracks out on Washboard Flats and the connecting trail.
    Waited for a little rise in temps to the low 20s before heading up to Elk River. Judging by the cars along the entrance road, it had been very busy in the morning. Still lots of cars in the lot, but only encountered a half dozen skiers once on the trails. Really excellent conditions, about as perfect as Woodland gets. The only thing reminding you its not mid-January is the calendar.
    Photos:  
    (Bruce Adelsman)
  • Nov 15 - Jackson Meadow (Marine on St. Croix): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Great conditions for this early.
    If you can get out to Jackson meadow to ski - you won't be disappointed. Great early season conditions. Lots of people. Decent coverage. Use your B skis.
    (Adam Segar)
  • Nov 15 - Ramsey County Parks (Saint Paul): 
    Grooming 

    Based on lower than anticipated snowfall amounts throughout the county, no packing or grooming of cross-country ski trails will take place at this time. Trail areas did not receive an adequate amount of snow cover to create a base. Some trail locations were closer to reaching base levels than others. Staff will reassess Monday after this weekend's snowfall.
    (Allison Winters, Ramsey County Parks)
  • Nov 15 - Woodland Trails (Elk River): 
    Firsthand 

    Great conditions this afternoon for skating. We were out from about 2 to 4 pm, and the trail was still very good. A nice amount of loose snow on top for edging and control, without too much loose stuff in the corners or on uphills. You can easily use your good skis. A couple spots with ice under the snow on trails closer to the parking lot, but it was something that you heard maybe even more than you felt through your feet. Hats off to the groomers.
    (Ted Lystig)
  • Nov 15 - Lake Elmo Park Reserve (Lake Elmo): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Wonderful skate conditions. No classic tracks.
    With less snow in the southern metro there's no problem with soft trails. 100's of HS students have packed the trails with their skate skis. Very good coverage and firm sold pole plants, nice loose snow on top. Trails are the usual early season bumpy. Very enjoyable skate ski for the first time out. Hopefully they'll turn on the lights this week. Get out there, definitely worth the trip for skating.
    (Steve Thatcher, Ride and Glide Bike & Ski Club)
  • Nov 15 - Woodland Trails (Elk River): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Wow! Really good.
    The guys at Woodland have the power to bring joy, and they did it again. Skate grooming throughout and classic tracks set on several trails. Deck was quite firm, only soft on some hills. Coverage was good. I was on rock skis but you could safely have used good ones.
    (Sue Schroeder)
  • Nov 15 - Woodland Trails (Elk River): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Very good for skate and classic. Good skis OK.
    In only five days, the Woodland Trails firmed up nicely to have a perfect place for the first ski of the year. A huge thanks to the volunteer grooming crew! Skate deck was nicely groomed and you can go ahead and bring your good skis. A nice deep classic track was set on the inner loops and some of the wider sections of the outer loop. Well worth the drive from the metro as we wait for the other parks to open. There were over 100 cars in the parking lot when we left around 11am.
    (Matt Jorgensen)
  • Nov 15 - Tamarack Nature Center (White Bear Township): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Good to fair. Not groomed, but skied-in tracks along most of inner loop. Solid snow base throughout most of trail. Scattered sticks, tire ruts and pedestrian potholes.
    Stay to left leaving nature center to avoid first small loop-too many tire ruts. Otherwise good through inner loop. Watch for flooded/frozen section near end. Outer hill loop best left to those seeking adventure, with sketchy tracks, more sticks and footprints, and fast packed downhills.
    Photos:  
    (Mark Oswood)
  • Nov 15 - Lake Elmo Park Reserve (Lake Elmo): 
    Grooming Scheduling 

    Lake Elmo only got about two inches of snow. We need about four inches to get the equipment on the trails. However, ski teams were on the trails Wednesday and Thursday, and they have packed them somewhat. Lights will not be on until trails are groomed and in good shape. Park hours are 7:00 am until 1/2 hour after sunset.
    (Theresa Young, Washington County Parks)
  • Nov 14 - Hornet Hiihto Trails (Edina): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Rock skis, groomed but lots of debris.
    One of the few places that has groomed trails. Lots of debris, dirt, and grass, so grab those rock skis and have fun. Watch out for high school practice as things get crazy.
    (Pat Nelson)
  • Nov 14 - Woodland Trails (Elk River): 
    Grooming 

    Conditions: Plenty good. The trails are in near mid season shape. This is thanks to a favorable storm track, plenty of cold weather and the hard work of the all volunteer Woodlands Trail Crew. After some pretty serious chaos in the grooming cave early Monday, they rallied to bring us some great skiing the last three days. Starting Monday they have spent 25 hours riding the Skandics, logging over 250 miles, all for our skiing pleasure. They would like to thank all of their old ski friends who came out to share in the fun this week and welcome the many new ski friends that visited Woodlands for the first time. Thanks as well to those who chipped in to the donation tube. We could not do what we do without your financial help.
    Grooming plan: Shear-Pin is leading the Irish Rookie on tonights grooming run with the medium screens. With several of his ski buddies coming up to ski with him in the morning, I can pretty much guarantee a well groomed trail for your Saturday ski as well. You should also see some early season tracks in the morning as the Engineer is training Evolution and Rookie 14.1 on the joys of track setting this evening. Enjoy!
    (Dave Anderson, Elk River Nordic Ski Club)
  • Nov 14 - Francis Gross Golf Course (Minneapolis): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Nothing groomed, but good snow conditions.
    About 3" of snow, no bare spots, no grooming yet, but good conditions. I used my backcountry skis and they worked well. You sink in about an inch in most places, unless it's got a crust from sun exposure.
    (Roger Merrill)
  • Nov 14 - Woodland Trails (Elk River): 
    Firsthand 

    Trail has firmed up and great coverage. Groomers have done an excellent job and worth the drive from Minneapolis. Groomed for skating only and you can use your good skis.
    Photos:  
    (Clayton Keim, RollerSkiShop.com)
  • Nov 14 - Theodore Wirth Regional Park (Minneapolis): 
    Firsthand 

    Stopped by Wirth and skied the front 9. No grooming but plenty of skier activity. There is a fairly well packed trail, but it was a little rutted this afternoon. Pretty good coverage, I used rock skis but B skis probably would have been OK. I started to head south, on the connector towards Hwy 55, but it was pretty torn up and thin so I bailed out after the first 100 yards.
    Photos:  
    (Bruce Adelsman)
  • Nov 14 - Highland 9-hole Golf Course (Saint Paul): 
    Firsthand 

    Skating lane, skier made in a short loop, ~1+K. Not great, but not bad either and B skis are fine. Leaves continue to fall, thin coverage, a few bare spots that can be dodged. Well within the range of "acceptable" for this early.
    (Russ Ludeke)
  • Nov 14 - Woodland Trails (Elk River): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Good for skating. No track for classic.
    Many thanks to the groomers. The trail was well packed in the center and smooth. I found only two patches of ice and a few places where pole would punch through. Truly exceptional skiing this early.
    (Tom Ferry)
  • Nov 14 - Jackson Meadow (Marine on St. Croix): 
    Firsthand 

    Lots of fun skating this morning. Great job of grooming to prepare a deck this well in mid-November. The southwest corner was the most fun, with good flow to the trails and a slightly wider, more even deck. The highlight of the day was Ridge Trail - great in either direction.
    Photos:  
    (Ted Lystig)
  • Nov 14 - Como Golf Course (Saint Paul): 
    Grooming 

    Prom Management does the clubhouse concessions during the winter program, the City of St. Paul will continue to operate the winter program including all grooming. We had a fantastic golf season! Please stay off the greens and fairways while skiing.
    (Don Siggelkow)
  • Nov 14 - Jackson Meadow (Marine on St. Croix): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Good for this time of year. Fast and firm.
    First time: nice rolling hills and curves. Beware of dog in northeast section.
    (Greg Boettner)
  • Nov 14 - Hornet Hiihto Trails (Edina): 
    Grooming 

    Conditions: Almost 1km of made snow freshly groomed.
    We have completed an almost 1km loop of made snow behind Edina High School. Freshly groomed at noon on Friday- trail ranges from almost 3 meters wide to 8 meters wide, with one small 3 meter climb. All the other 4km of trails were also groomed Thursday night with conditions good on the fields, and not very good on any wooded trail. Edina High School practice from 3:30 to 5:15pm M-F has priority, otherwise the trails are open to the public free of charge.
    Photos:  
    (Craig Jarvinen)
  • Nov 14 - Sunfish Lake Park (Lake Elmo): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Not groomed, so skied on dog and footprints, but snow is nice, soft and quite good coverage for this date.
    First time here and look forward to more skiing. Lovely views, quiet, and rolling hills and valleys. Such a surprise for us newcomers to the area.
    (Sonja Hinderlie)
  • Nov 14 - Francis Gross Golf Course (Minneapolis): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Nothing groomed wind swept.
    Great to be able to ski this early.
    (Randy Easter)

 

Minnesota Northeast

  Duluth area [ forecast/conditions ]
  • Nov 24 - Snowflake Nordic Ski Center (Duluth): 
    Grooming 

    We received about 1 inch of snow last night we have beautiful skiing throughout!
    (George Hovland, Snowflake Nordic Center)
  • Nov 22 - Jay Cooke State Park (Carlton): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Ungroomed, lots of snow!
    We classic skied today when temps were hovering around freezing at Jay Cooke by the campground. Thank you to whoever skied the nice track in! There were about 6 inches or more of snow on the trail. Very nice ski!
    (Eve Graves)
  • Nov 20 - Spirit Mountain (Duluth): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Good early season skiing.
    A couple of loops in the woods were rolled but not tracked some time ago and now have a dusting of new snow. There are a few rocks and bits of dirt here and there, but you can use your "B" skis. The campground loop has been well-used by skaters and kickers but still has very good coverage and well-used, shallow tracks.
    (Catherine Winter)
  • Nov 20 - Spirit Mountain (Duluth): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Hard packed almost concrete like on campground tracks still pretty good.
    We were out after dark and the skate lane is so well used it is slippery with a slight edge. The classic tracks are still holding up well!
    (Eve Graves)
  • Nov 20 - Lester Park (Duluth): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Fair throughout ... no classic tracks.
    We had 2+ inches of snow last night which as very localized to the Lester / Amity Trails. This significantly helped the trails, and lateral control of one's skis is back! While conditions are not great, they are safe and fun again. The City of Duluth was out working on the trail lights. While they were using an ATV for access, they were being careful. Thus, these are good ATV tracks! Thanks to the City of Duluth for working on the system getting us on the trails early this season.
    For the couple who was skiing with their dog, thank you for calling off your dog, Farley. Coming around a bend in the trail and suddenly having an unleashed dog rush me while barking was scary. Both Snowflake (members only) and Boulder Lake (general public) on certain days allow skiers with dogs on leashes.
    (Rich Hoeg, NorthStarNerd)
  • Nov 20 - Snowflake Nordic Ski Center (Duluth): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Nice skate skiing.
    Good skate skiing on the 10 k loop in the morning, on both yesterday and today, with 1" layer of new snow each day on hard base layer of snow. Great conditions for mid November!
    (Bob Beresford)
  • Nov 19 - Pine Valley (Cloquet): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Great for skate! An inch of fluff!
    I skated the main loop today around midday and so far this trail get an "A" as being the most pleasant to skate in town! The surface was very even except in a couple of spots, all the debris was covered and there were signs of tracks either groomed in or skied in well on each side of the trail. I did encounter two people walking down the middle of the groomed trail who I'm guessing either didn't speak English or couldn't read because when I let them know they were not supposed to walk on a groomed ski trail they walked on by ignoring me as if I were speaking a different language. I highly recommend making the drive out to Cloquet if you want some fun on hills! It was snowing and in the low 20's when I was there.
    Photos:  
    (Eve Graves)
  • Nov 18 - Magney-Snively Trail (Duluth): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Good early trail conditions for skate.
    The main loop has been rolled and Bardon Peak and Ely's Peak loops are skier tracked. I skated the main loop and had a blast but would suggest rock skis and caution as there are quite a few rocks at the surface scattered throughout the trail. There are also a few places with deep ruts. There were a number of logs I was able to move off the trail but the rocks and ruts will need to wait for more snow. The connector is packed and partly rolled and looks pretty good though I did not ski the whole thing. It is great the groomer came out to roll the trails.
    (John Ipsen, Duluth XC Ski Club)
  • Nov 18 - Spirit Mountain (Duluth): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Much better than expected! Nice classic track and nice skate deck.
    We were out skiing after dark tonight and the campground loop was much better than the last time I was there. The skate deck was nice with an edge, not concrete like last time. The classic tracks are not perfect, but they are solid and the only in town!
    (Eve Graves)
  • Nov 18 - Magney-Snively Trail (Duluth): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Character building, kinda like trail running on skis.
    I skated part of the Magney trail that had been rolled and it is very well used. I found it to be good training with all the mogules, random rocks, scattered icy spots, and a few mysterious ruts and holes. With that said, skating much better than classic as there are no tracks and it is hard packed but not concreted like, and it is November, just ski with caution and your eyes wide open!
    Photos:  
    (Eve Graves)
  • Nov 18 - Lester Park (Duluth): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Below D: Horrible; Above D: Fair.
    Today will be my last ski of Lester till we have more snow. The lower system has been extensively walked and biked upon. The upper trails are okay, but the steeper downhills are now a challenge at the base due to icy roller coasters run outs where each ski has a mind of its own. A fall would not be fun, and would hurt. On the way back down near the Chalet Loop an ATV has put some horrible ruts in the trail. Although the ruts are avoidable there is huge trail damage. If the temperature gets reasonably above freezing I will walk up and try repair as best I can with a spade.
    (Rich Hoeg, NorthStarNerd)
  • Nov 16 - Magney-Snively Trail (Duluth): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Fair to good, use caution.
    I just skied Magney (main loop & Bardon's Peak, on fish scales) and I wouldn't want someone to go out there and be frustrated or disappointed. Fun to be had if you're careful.
    (Anne Flueckiger)
  • Nov 16 - Magney-Snively Trail (Duluth): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Great! Just a few ice patches and rocks.
    Had a great no-wax ski this morning. Great coverage all the way through. The city rolled the main loop, but no tracks. The side loops to the overlooks are not rolled, but there are skied in tracks leading out there. There are ice patches at the bottom of some hills, and just a few rocks exposed, but if you're careful you'll be fine. No idea what the connector trail to Spirit looks like, I didn't give it a try.
    Photos:  
    (Lizzie Condon)
  • Nov 16 - Magney-Snively Trail (Duluth): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Good - partially rolled.
    The main loop is rolled, not tracked. The Barton's Peak and Ely's Peak loops are not rolled but have have skied-in tracks. Overall conditions are surprisingly good. There is a lot of snow, and there are stretches that will fool you into thinking it's midwinter. But you have to watch your speed on the hills and watch for hair-raising obstacles, like logs, frozen mud patches, and even a couple of little streams that are still running. We saw not another soul on the trail.
    (Catherine Winter)
  • Nov 16 - Spirit Mountain (Duluth): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Well used tracks campground, no tracks rest of trails.
    I skated parts of the 3k and 5k before heading over to meet my group on the campground loop. The 3k and what I skied of the 5k were rolled and very well used. There are a few grass and other ski stopping surprises you will encounter on the trail so keep your eyes open wide. The bottom of some hills are ice so be cautious. The campground loop continues to have outstanding tracks and the skate lane is very well used with no surprises.
    Photos:  
    (Eve Graves)
  • Nov 15 - Spirit Mountain (Duluth): 
    Firsthand Observation 

    Conditions: Campground (Larry Sorenson) - very good and heavily skied. 3K (Charlie Banks) - good with icy spots. 5K/11K Pete Fosseide/George Hovland) - was great backcountry - now rolled, good with some water hazards.
    Skied parts of the Campground loop, the 3K, and the 5K/11K trails. There is a new reroute of the northern black trails that avoids some wet areas. Skiing was solid on the Campground with the classic track widened by lots of use. The 3K was a great skate with a couple of icy areas to watch out for. The initial part of the 5K/11K trail was rolled when I started and good early skiing (some areas of stubble) with one significant water hazard at the bottom of the first big downhill. The remainder of the 5K/11K was amazingly wonderful backcountry classic through fresh powder but by now most of it is packed and rolled - as it should be. There are a number of water hazards - the streams are not yet frozen and there is one big tree down not yet out of the way. Thanks to Andre and Adrian for hours of grooming and to many others for great work on the Spirit system this year! Of note: as I passed by the Connector I saw it had been rolled so I expect much if not all of the Magney system has been rolled.
    (John Ipsen, Duluth XC Ski Club)
  • Nov 15 - Lester Park (Duluth): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Rolled, not tracked.
    Lester is skiable, but it was in better shape for classic skiing before the groomer came through. The grooming obliterated the skied-in tracks, and you can't really ski in a new track in the stiff furrows the groomer left behind. The lower loops have been used by fat bikers and a lot of hikers. A vehicle had also driven on parts of the trail. All that said, there's enough snow for a low-expectations ski, the woods are beautiful, and it's not even Thanksgiving yet.
    (Catherine Winter)
  • Nov 15 - Hartley Park (Duluth): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Rolled, run on, snowshoed on, thin base.
    We classic skied at Hartley around 10:30 today and it would be better for skating right now. There is some grass and some rocks sticking up, most is easy to avoid, some not. It has been rolled, however, the public doesn't seem to remember that it's only for skiers once rolled! A runner went past us and I was reminding him that there are other places to run in Hartley, he ignored us and kept right on going making nice holes in the trail!
    Photos:  
    (Eve Graves)
  • Nov 14 - Snowflake Nordic Ski Center (Duluth): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Good but uneven (very good considering the date).
    Full coverage on 5 and 10 K, save a few sticks and a couple of roots (in only 2-3 spots), but if careful you could even use your good skis - if very careful. As expected, it is early season uneven but very skiable with good quality snow. The 10 K was softer and less used. George and the crew have done a nice job to treat use to a mid November ski. I skated but it looks like a shallow skied in classic track but nothing set yet. You can always count on Snowflake to have the most snow too -- at least 8-9" out there.
    (Tom Heinitz, Duluth XC Ski Club)
  Iron Range area [ forecast/conditions ]
  • Nov 20 - Mount Itasca (Coleraine): 
    Grooming 

    2.5k man-made loop at Mt. Itasca is snowed in. So far 1.2 k is skiable and by this weekend whole 2.5 k will be groomed for classic and skate.
    Photos:  
    (Vlad Cervenka)

 

Minnesota Northwest

  Bemidji area [ forecast/conditions ]
  • Nov 14 - Bemidji High School (Bemidji): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: 2-3" of fresh powder.
    A low pressure system dropped a few fluffy inches on the Northland and made for some great waxless skiing at the high school trails.
    (Michael Meehlhause)
  Detroit Lakes area [ forecast/conditions ]
  • Nov 24 - Maplelag Resort (Callaway): 
    Firsthand Grooming Scheduling 

    Conditions: Light dusting of fresh snow on top of 1-3" hard, crusty base. Fair with a few good sections, early season/rock skiing conditions. 7 degrees, nw wind.
    We had a nice Saturday of skiing with folks out on the trail up until early afternoon before it got warm.
    Light rain on Sunday that saw just a few skiers out.
    This morning I went out with the roller and combed 2km before realizing it wasn't enough new snow to make it count. (However, the base is almost in better conditions with the melt and subsequent hard freeze than it was going in to the weekend. Grooming last week helped drive the frost down and provide an refrigeration effect during the warm spell)
    Went skiing on Skaters Waltz, Sukkebusk, Twin Lakes and North Loup clearing off sticks and branches from the wind. Found good coverage throughout most of the trails with just a few thin areas on those trails. Best coverage was on Sukkerbusk and Skaters Waltz. Was chilly with strong nw winds and single digit temps but had a great ski.
    We will continue to be open for skiing this week and on through Thanksgiving weekend. There is no lodging and limited services available at the lodge until middle of December but folks are welcome to use the trails at no charge.
    Grooming plans: We are ready to groom any additional dustings. Just an inch or two is all that is needed to greatly improve the conditions with this solid crusty base in place.
    Photos:  
    (Jay Richards, Maplelag Resort)
  • Nov 23 - Rainbow Resort Trails (Waubun): 
    Grooming Scheduling 

    Conditions: Up to 6" new snow past 2 weeks; trails roll packed twice past 7 days; average base depth 1"; ground frozen; current temp 33*F above; trais not open at this time.
    What a great start for the upcoming season. Since the 5th of November we have had over 8" of snow and below normal temps. The ground has froze, lake has iced over, and we have roll packed the trail system twice within the last week. Our base averages about 1" and is very compact for early season. Trail system will not be open for Thanksgiving however hopefully with another good shot of snow we will be ready to go. Have a Happy Thanksgiving.
    (Doug Schumann, Rainbow Resort)
  • Nov 21 - Maplelag Resort (Callaway): 
    Grooming Scheduling 

    Conditions: Fair to very good early season/rock skiing. 1-2" compacted natural organic base on groomed, 3-5" snow depth in woods. Total snowfall this season at 7".
    We have been grooming daily this week on selected trails and have 6km of early season rock skiing now open. We have packed/combed around 35km of trail but skiing has found the best continuous conditions on skaters waltz and suicide hill. There are a few rough/thin areas to use caution, particularily in the start area and south facing hills but overall for early season, nice skiing. There is no charge to use the trails this weekend. There are no services available in the lodge this weekend due to a private party reserving the entire resort. However, anyone in the area looking to get in some early season k's is welcome to pull in to the parking lot, click in and just ski! The cold temps has allowed us to prepare the ice skating rink and this is the earliest we have had it ready by two weeks!
    Photos:  
    (Jay Richards, Maplelag Resort)
  • Nov 19 - Maplelag Resort (Callaway): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Fresh couple of inches on top of the grooming from last night. Dry snow, fast and light.
    Skied a few laps on Skaters Waltz and a some junctions on Wednesday afternoon. It had been snowing off and on all day, so there was a good couple of inches of snow on top, which was easy to ski through. Only hit a couple of thin spots, trails are almost ready. Really beautiful in the woods, and sheltered from a cold north wind - peeks of sunshine were icing on top.
    Photos:  
    (Bruce Adelsman)
  • Nov 16 - Maplelag Resort (Callaway): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Super thin base/coverage. Dusting of new snow past 24 hours.
    Jake and I had some fun skiing over the weekend on a 3km loop that has been roll combed after each little dusting. There are some sections that aren't too bad, including suicide hill, as usual. It requires some skill to keep upright on the poor sections but we had fun and avoided any major crashing. We need more snow to officially open the trails for safe skiing.
    Photos:  
    (Jay Richards, Maplelag Resort)

 

Minnesota Central

  Brainerd area [ forecast/conditions ]
  • Nov 19 - Northland Arboretum (Brainerd): 
    Grooming 

    Conditions: Hard packed 2 inch base with a dusting of new snow. Some thin areas but overall good for November.
    Lights are finally all on after some technical issues.
    (Owen Baird)
  • Nov 19 - Wolf Lake Ski Trails (Brainerd): 
    Grooming 

    Conditions: Groomed and no tracks set. Shelter trail not groomed.
    Minimal snow for good skiing conditions. Sticks, leaves and even dirt showing through. Bring your rock skis and you could skate ski or classic ski without tracks.
    (Bryan Pike, Crow Wing County Parks)
  St. Cloud area [ forecast/conditions ]
  • Nov 24 - Mississippi River County Park (Sartell): 
    Grooming 

    Conditions: The trails are in poor condition.
    The last few days of warm temps and rain has changed the conditions considerably. Grooming was planned but not done this morning.
    (Julie Nistler, Stearns County Parks)
  • Nov 24 - Quarry Park and Nature Preserve (Waite Park): 
    Grooming 

    Conditions: Trails are in poor condition.
    Some grooming was done this morning. The last few days of warm temps and rain has changed the conditions considerably.
    (Julie Nistler, Stearns County Parks)
  • Nov 21 - Graystone Trails (Saint Cloud): 
    Grooming 

    North Loop groomed classic and skate this evening. All the trails are ready for a great day of skiing on Saturday (except Baltos dog loop).
    (Dan Fark)
  • Nov 21 - Graystone Trails (Saint Cloud): 
    Grooming 

    Conditions: Hill Top, Warm up and Orchard great shape.
    Our groomers are amazing. Today the corn fields adjacent to the ski trails were harvested. A huge combine and heavy corn bin hopper trailers crossed parts of the trail. But our groomers were on it and the trails have minimal damage and are in near perfect shape!
    (Bruce Busta)
  • Nov 21 - Kraemer Lake-Wildwood County Park (Saint Joseph): 
    Grooming 

    Conditions: Trails are in very good condition.
    All the trails were groomed this afternoon.
    (Julie Nistler)
  • Nov 20 - Warner Lake Park (Saint Augusta): 
    Grooming 

    Conditions: Trails are in very good condition.
    All the trails were groomed this afternoon.
    (Julie Nistler, Stearns County Parks)
  • Nov 20 - Mississippi River County Park (Sartell): 
    Grooming 

    Conditions: Trails are in excellent condition!
    All the trails were groomed this afternoon.
    (Julie Nistler, Stearns County Parks)
  • Nov 20 - Graystone Trails (Saint Cloud): 
    Grooming 

    Conditions: Excellent - freshly groomed.
    Orchard, Warm up and Hilltop newly groomed. Fast classic track. Fun!
    (Bruce Busta)
  • Nov 20 - Quarry Park and Nature Preserve (Waite Park): 
    Grooming 

    Conditions: Trails were groomed today!
    The skate trails are excellent. The traditional (classic) trails are very good!
    (Julie Nistler, Stearns County Parks)
  • Nov 19 - Graystone Trails (Saint Cloud): 
    Grooming 

    Conditions: Groomed tonight for both classic and skate.
    Orchard, Hilltop, and Warmup all groomed. Trail is firm and coverage is great!
    (Samuel Kilpela)
  • Nov 16 - Mississippi River County Park (Sartell): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: 1" fresh snow over a good base. Slightly soft all around.
    Great conditions on the old school classic trails at Mississippi River park. Over a foot of snow earlier this week with an inch from last night over the base. Groomed and skied in, it is a little soft, but great overall with good coverage. I used my race skis with no worries.
    (Bob Baldwin)
  • Nov 16 - Graystone Trails (Saint Cloud): 
    Firsthand 

    Very good conditions. Classic skied around noon today. Nicely set tracks with about 1/2" of new snow. A few leaves on the trail, so was happy to have fish scales. Felt and looked like January. Could use good skis.
    (Mary Luoma)
  • Nov 15 - Graystone Trails (Saint Cloud): 
    Grooming 

    Conditions: Fresh groom on Orchard tonight.
    Fresh tracks and skate lane on Orchard. Warmup and Hilltop in good shape but will have some fresh accumulation on top. Great conditions!
    (Samuel Kilpela)
  • Nov 14 - Lake Maria State Park (Monticello): 
    Grooming Scheduling 

    Conditions: Ungroomed. Currently user tracks only.
    Lake Maria SP experienced catastrophic failures of both their primary and back-up groomers. Until they are able to get one of them back on the trails, or can work out a substitute, they will not be able to groom. Please be patient. Park management is working to get back up as quickly as possible.
    (Hans Erdman, Backcountry Trail Patrol)
  • Nov 14 - Graystone Trails (Saint Cloud): 
    Grooming 

    Conditions: Excellent! Hilltop, Warmup, and Orchard all in fantastic shape!
    Groomed for both classic and skate. Smooth skate lane and solid tracks.
    (Samuel Kilpela)
  • Nov 14 - Quarry Park and Nature Preserve (Waite Park): 
    Grooming 

    Conditions: All the trails are very good!
    The outside Skate Trail was groomed this afternoon.
    (Julie Nistler, Stearns County Parks)
  • Nov 14 - Graystone Trails (Saint Cloud): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: North loop was very good.
    North Loop groomed for both classic and ski. In very good shape. One icy spot in a low area where a stream has not frozen yet, but can cross-over and avoid it. Thanks to the groomers. It's bonus to ski before Thanksgiving, so get out there!
    (Bruce Busta)
  Fergus Falls/Alexandria area [ forecast/conditions ]
  • Nov 22 - Andes Tower Hill Ski Area (Kensington): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Fair to poor as of early afternoon.
    "You should have been here yesterday" (The Endless Summer anyone?). That quote certainly described the radical change in conditions given the warm temperatures and bright sunshine today. Yesterday I would have reported excellent skiing (didn't have a chance to post), but today the snow was becoming waterlogged and very slow, the snowpack thinning, and the dirt spots growing. There were some short shaded sections that still skied nicely, but few and far between. However we're still skiing before Thanksgiving!
    (Keith Brugger)
  • Nov 20 - Andes Tower Hill Ski Area (Kensington): 
    Firsthand Secondhand 

    Conditions: Mixed; previously groomed section firm, newly groomed softer.
    Skied a few sections (e.g. FInland) that were first groomed yesterday and found the conditions to be soft, but skiable. Friends skiing the Deep Wood loop reported the same. Some newly groomed stretches were fine. Those sections that have been groomed several times remain firm and the skating was very good. No classical tracks yet.
    (Keith Brugger)
  • Nov 19 - Andes Tower Hill Ski Area (Kensington): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: One inch (+) soft new powder over firm skating deck. Very good skiing.
    Got up on the trails this afternoon as they were being groomed. Although a bit slow due to the newer dry falling and blown snow, the sections I covered skied nicely. Fewer dirty spots. Virtually all the trails have been groom now. I did not ski any of those that were groomed for the first time this afternoon, preferring to have them set-up for tomorrow.
    (Keith Brugger)
  • Nov 17 - Spidahl Ski Gaard (Fergus Falls): 
    Grooming 

    First comb on beginners trail, Emma's. High school team skiing but not open to the public yet.
    Photos:  
    (David Spidahl)
  • Nov 16 - Andes Tower Hill Ski Area (Kensington): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Still very good.
    Nothing much to add to yesterday's report, but hopefully photos give a better idea of the conditions out here. These are typical of the overall trail, but there are several thin and/or dirty spots, but as mentioned previously these are not a problem and do not detract from the skating.
    Photos:  
    (Keith Brugger)
  • Nov 15 - Andes Tower Hill Ski Area (Kensington): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Quite good! Mostly firm and fast.
    About 7 km of trails have been rolled and packed, and although thin in spots coverage is pretty good. Rock skis are not necessary, I only found one stretch of 5 m where I had to double pole to avoid the dirty spots. For this early start to the season, I would say excellent skating. No classical tracks are set as snowpack is not deep enough yet.
    (Keith Brugger)
  Mora/Hinckley area [ forecast/conditions ]
  • Nov 20 - Spirit River Nature Area (Cambridge): 
    Grooming 

    Conditions: Good base. Groomed for skate and diagonal.
    Skate lane graded Monday night. Level and good skating. Diagonal grooves still in good shape. 6.5k groomed. 5k groomed for diagonal. Park on east side of bridge and walk across bridge on sidewalk due to road construction.
    (David Larson)
  • Nov 16 - Vasaloppet Nordic Center Trails (Mora): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Excellent track and skate near Nordic Center.
    Some additional segments of the Nordic Center and Eldris trails are also being worked in. Dry granular snow on top skied better than the cold morning temps would indicate.
    Photos:  
    (Jeff Pesta)
  • Nov 16 - Spirit River Nature Area (Cambridge): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Very good classic track, mostly good skate lane.
    A scenic trail near the river with great conditions right now. Ran into the volunteer groomers on the trails.
    Photos:  
    (Jeff Pesta)
  • Nov 16 - Spirit River Nature Area (Cambridge): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Mid-winter good.
    After skating the last few days my knees were begging for classic track. Since Cambridge got a cool 17 inches and the reports were good I thought I would give this place a shot. It was difficult to find the trails. I parked in the B lot at the college, just west of the Rum River and found a rolled path across from the main entrance to the college. It did not look promising but it was going in the right direction. When I got to the bottom of the hill I found about a 5k loop groomed for skating in the middle and a classic track on either side. The trail was very flat but scenic as it closely followed the river. The tracks were firm and plenty deep with lots of base. Good skis were no problem. I would kick a loop then double pole a loop - repeat. Great fun, great conditions.
    (Jim Smith)
  • Nov 15 - Spirit River Nature Area (Cambridge): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Well groomed, excellent conditions.
    Surprisingly great condition, no rough spots and the grooming is great. Like mid-season in mid November. Worth the drive from the Cities!
    (Thomas Lindsay)
  • Nov 14 - Springvale County Park (Cambridge): 
    Grooming 

    Conditions: 6k were groomed this week with the best trails off of the main paved west trail.
    Classic ski trails were groomed Friday, as well as a groomed hiking trail through the disc golf course.
    (Barry Wendorf)
  Other locations
  • Nov 24 - Wild River State Park (Center City): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Found 99.9% total snow cover on the Deer Creek Loop this morning. Light covering of new snow over crusted base made for skiable conditions. Had to stay in the middle mostly between groomer tracks but except for two very short spans by the bridge, never hit dirt.
    Was surprised that it wasn't solid ice and was able to cut through easily mostly making my tracks. On the old military road was able to actually get into a rhythm. Definitely rock skis though as the usual areas from the horse erosion had exposed rocks where the trail runs within sight of Dee Creek. Did check out the paved trail after, and while it's also totally covered, it is much more icy.
    (Mike Chrun)
  • Nov 21 - Wild River State Park (Center City): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Good; well-defined tracks, but icy base in places.
    I've skied each of the last three days, including the rolled Dry Creek Trail with a little fresh snow on top Wednesday, and the Mitigwaki and Old Logging trails the last couple days. There are new tracks on the latter trails. The tracks formed nicely. They are a bit shallow and there is an icy base in some sections, especially along the paved trail. Then again, those are the most consistent tracks. I also enjoyed skiing from the office out to the start of the Advanced Loop, which was freshly combed today. The grooming has turned up a little bit of leaf litter here and there.
    Photos:  
    (Kris Backlund)
  • Nov 20 - Sibley State Park (New London): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Good on the skate trail.
    The skate deck was freshly rolled and combed. It was firm with good coverage. There were a few spots with grass showing through or leaves in the trail. We had classic skis on and there was a track set along some of the trail. I had nice kick with my green special.
    (Margie Rock)
  • Nov 19 - Swan Lake Ski Trails (Willmar): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Groomed for skating. Windswept down to the grass in places, with some icy patches and a bit of paved cart paths showing through.
    I wouldn't bring the good skiis out just yet. When we got out of the wind, the coverage was much better. Not all the loops had been recently groomed.
    (Margie Rock)
  • Nov 18 - Sibley State Park (New London): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Skier tracks on old grooming in most areas, with walkers' footprints. A bit of leaves and sticks on the trails from recent windy days.
    There was a classic track set in the campground, about 1.5 km or so. They pushed down to the slush layer with the tracksetter and it is somewhat icy in those tracks.
    (Margie Rock)
  • Nov 17 - Wild River State Park (Center City): 
    Firsthand 

    Packed sections held up well over the weekend. No bare spots on Mitigwaki and paved sections. About 1" of new snow. Some skate tracks.
    (Mike Chrun)
  • Nov 16 - Sibley State Park (New London): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Everything had been rolled, but no tracks were set.
    That said, the coverage was very good. The trailbed was a little soft, there was an okay set of skied in tracks to follow. Sibley had 11 inches last Monday, and another two inches of fluff over the weekend. It was beautiful to be out in mid November. They are not having a hunt this year, so there are not going to be any park closures.
    (Margie Rock)
  • Nov 15 - Wild River State Park (Center City): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Several loops have been rolled, but no track set.
    14" of snow fell here on Monday. We broke trail on the ungroomed Deer Creek trail on the south side of the park with our waxless Atomic Skintecs and met one other couple on backcountry skis. The trails that were rolled Friday are firming up nicely.
    Photos:  
    (David Byrne, Minnesota Rovers Outdoors Club)
  • Nov 15 - Wild River State Park (Center City): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Park has conditions listed as fair to good, but, considering it's mid-November, they might be too modest. No tracks, but a great job of rolling has left a very solid base.
    Good kick, glide and plant combined with hoar frost scenery made for a wonderful ski. There were a few thin spots, and in places the groomer tracks left a soft strip so probably not very skiable.
    (Mike Chrun)
  • Nov 14 - Wild River State Park (Center City): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Fair to good, early season conditions.
    Took a quick tour around the Mitigwaki Loop, which had been recently packed but not tracked. The base was mostly firm, with a few soft spots, and occasional encroaching vegetation. The base was definitely more shallow where the paved trail lies underneath, but there was snow coverage througout. I had to break my own trail for the section between the Mitigwaki Loop and the trails that are located behind the office. Nice to be out skiing in the snowy woods in mid-November.
    (Kris Backlund)
  • Nov 14 - Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center (Spicer): 
    Grooming Scheduling 

    Conditions: Sorry, really sorry, but the tTrails are closed until after deer hunting season.
    We received about 10" of snow earlier this week and have been packing trails, but please stay off of trails in the interest of skier safety and preserving good relations with our hunting neighbors who generously allow PWELC trails to cross their land. Thanks!
    (Dave Pederson)

 

Minnesota Southern

  Rochester area [ forecast/conditions ]
  • Nov 22 - Quarry Hill Park (Rochester): 
    Grooming 

    Conditions: Trail has been packed but it is very thin, but great rock ski conditions for early November. This warm up will likely be the end of our early season gift skiing in Rochester.
    After today the trail will be marginal due to warm up. Bike trails are not in skiable condition yet. The newly added Northern Hills loops contain erosion control fabric from recent completion, groomers ask that the matting is not damaged so avoid this area when the snow is too thin. The new bridge crossing works quite well and allows skiers to avoid the bike path.
    (Henry Walker)
  • Nov 18 - Honey Tree Farm (Austin): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Very thin base but very good skiing for November.
    With the the temperature moderating the snow has sped up significantly when compared to yesterday's cold blow. It was very nice skating on rock skis with with fast wax teal for glide.
    (Steve Williams)
  • Nov 16 - Honey Tree Farm (Austin): 
    Grooming 

    Conditions: Packed corduroy.
    We received 5 inches of fluffy snow yesterday it has now been packed into 1 inch of corduroy. Super skiing for mid November.
    Photos:  
    (Steve Williams)
  Red Wing/Winona area [ forecast/conditions ]
  • Nov 19 - Great River Bluffs State Park (Winona): 
    Firsthand 

    25 degrees, snow showers and brisk northwest wind at noon with about three inches of snow on the trails. Coverage was adequate on the grassy trails on both sides of the park which I skied with waxless skis. I didn't think snow was sufficient for heading out the campground road. A decent first ski.
    (Bob Cieslak)
  • Nov 16 - Saint Mary's University (Winona): 
    Grooming 

    Conditions: Fresh manmade snow.
    We have created a practice loop on the meadow in Yon's. The loop is approx .5 Km. We will be blowing snow on the lighted loop this week and hope to have the 3 KM loop done by next weekend.
    (Bruce Johnson)
  Faribault area [ forecast/conditions ]
  • Nov 16 - Carleton College Arboretum (Northfield): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Not ready for skiing.
    Craig and I made it about 300m on the lower arb trails before we hit a patch of gravel that threw both of us over the front of our skis. We need more snow before any grooming will happen.
    (Nathan Porath)
  • Nov 15 - New Prague Golf Course (New Prague): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Not groomed, snow is all powder but the glide isn't bad.
    A good 2-3 inches of snow. Gliding over the powder/grass with my rock skis. It will be groomed once we get enough snow.
    (Maria Berg)

 

Wisconsin Northwest

  Cable/Hayward area [ forecast/conditions ]
  • Nov 22 - Voyager Village Golf Course (Webb Lake): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Good coverage and a firm base.
    Skated the main trail system this morning. There were a few thin spots under some of the bigger trees, but overall the trail had good coverage. Did not punch through the base anywhere with either a ski or pole.
    (Aris Apostolou)
  • Nov 20 - North End Ski Trail (Cable): 
    Grooming 

    Conditions: Trails are in excellent condition. The A and B loops were groomed for skate and classic this afternoon and are in mid-winter shape.
    A decision has been made to groom only the A and B loops until after deer season. Please use caution as all NE trails are on public land and are regularly hunted during deer season.
    (Irv Berlin)
  • Nov 18 - Birkie Trail (Hayward): 
    Grooming Scheduling 

    Conditions: Good base, firming up, lots of skiers!
    The Birkie grooming crew is still working on rolling some of the early snow (on the far north end), as well as cleaning up some areas of debris on the very south end from the big fall storm that created all the trail damage (and is now being logged- that will be finishing up Dec 1st). This Weekend (Nov 22) rifle season begins - so be advised - much of the Birkie Trail is on public land that can be hunted. The loops at OO and the trail north to Bodecker Rd (skate/classic) will continue to be groomed - however be advised that there will be hunters in the woods. If you head out, wear blaze orange. Following the end of deer hunting, we will begin grooming the entire trail system, weather permitting.
    (Ben Popp, American Birkebeiner)
  • Nov 18 - North End Ski Trail (Cable): 
    Grooming 

    Conditions: All trails are in good condition. The NE Classic Trail was groomed this afternoon, as was the World Cup Trail.
    The North End Club has taken over grooming of about 5K of the World Cup trail formerly groomed by Telemark Resort. All NE trails are on land open to deer hunting and have been regularly hunted in past years.
    (Irv Berlin)
  • Nov 18 - Drummond Ski Trails (Drummond): 
    Grooming Scheduling 

    Conditions: Fine if you like backwoods skiing. No tracks set.
    The Drummond Ski Trails will not be groomed until after the gun deer season is over (November 30th). We did get about 11-12" in our first snowfall and a couple more 3" falls.
    (Jim Crandall)
  • Nov 16 - North End Ski Trail (Cable): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Great! Some freshly groomed. Some groomed yesterday. Use your best skis.
    Strided the North End trail this afternoon. Tracks were deep and firm under blue skies. The skate deck had a little new snow but looked firm. A very fun ski!
    (Ned Zuelsdorff)
  • Nov 16 - North End Ski Trail (Cable): 
    Firsthand Secondhand 

    Conditions: Great conditions.
    We decided to ski the North End trails today after hearing how good the conditions were there. I'm happy we did. The conditions were fantastic, better than I expected. I ended up skiing about 25K. The groomers were out the whole time I was there. I talked to a few of them and they plan to have everything groomed by midweek. Most of the loops had classic tracks set too. Some of the loops were a little soft but with the colder temps at night those should firm up soon.
    (Vince Rosetta, ONE WAY Sport USA)
  • Nov 15 - Birkie Trail (Hayward): 
    Firsthand 

    Just crazy to think that it is November 15th and there was a pack parking lot at OO today. There wasn't really anything I could say bad about the trail today. We passed so many smiling faces it was crazy. All the lighted sections at OO were groomed. Other than being a little bumpy, they were in great condition. I used my race skis to test a new grind and never once thought to take them off and change them. The lighted loops had classic tracks too. They seemed in great shaped when I hopped in to double pull a bit. The grooming seemed to stop at picnic bench hill. I went down the hill and it was pretty rutted and bumpy though Across the street going north on OO was mid January trail conditions. Personally I feel the north trail was a little nicer. The hills are still there though. Thank god it's only November and the Birkie is in February :).
    Photos:  
    (Vince Rosetta, ONE WAY Sport USA)
  • Nov 15 - Birkie Trail (Hayward): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Very good. Skate deck firm, classic track set.
    With cold overnight temperatures (-10) and morning grooming, loops at "OO" were firm and fast. Classic track set. Some minor debris was easily avoidable. Used good skis without any issues. Ventured a little bit beyond the loops which were quite bumpy from the initial rolling (not re-groomed). A full parking lot and great November skiing conditions!
    (Brian Vamstad)
  • Nov 15 - Hayward Recreational Forest (Hayward): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Excellent. Skate deck was hard. Classic tracks were fresh.
    Great condition for early season skiing. A few spots had some leaves and pine needles. This trail is a hidden gem right in town. Parking lot wasn't plowed, but managed OK with my KIA.
    (Dan Campion)
  • Nov 14 - Hayward Recreational Forest (Hayward): 
    Grooming 

    Groomed and tracked Friday evening. Trail conditions excellent for both skate and classic style skiing.
    (Kurt Proctor)
  Superior area [ forecast/conditions ]
  • Nov 21 - After Hours Ski Trail (Brule): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Excellent. Freshly groomed today.
    Freshly groomed with excellent track. Thanks for one more great November ski before the deer hunting season starts tomorrow.
    Photos:  
    (Gene Karwoski)
  • Nov 21 - After Hours Ski Trail (Brule): 
    Grooming 

    All trails were re-groomed today with tracks set except Classic Trail. Skiers are reminded that the firearms deer season runs Saturday, Nov 22 to SundayNov 30; After Hours is open to hunting. If you choose to ski, please wear blaze orange vests provided at the warming house. Please be respectful of other property users.
    (Matt Miranda, Wisconsin DNR)
  • Nov 20 - Superior Municipal Forest (Superior): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Ungroomed with snowshoe tracks, ski tracks, foot prints, animal prints and some mysterious ruts.
    We classic skied the Red and Green trails today. There is quite a bit of snow, however, it appears that the city did not get out to mow prior to the snowfall so there is also a lot of weeds sticking through the snow in sections. We skied over a previously skied in track and my mini toy trak skis did just fine. Everything is frozen, pretty good coverage except for the stuff that goes beyond the snow, the runners have stayed off of the tracks but the snowshoers smashed some up.
    Photos:  
    (Eve Graves)
  • Nov 17 - After Hours Ski Trail (Brule): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Almost mid winter perfect.
    When I arrived at After Hours around noon, even though it was sunny just over in Duluth, lake effect snow was dumping on the Brule area. By the time I left 3 new inches of white stuff had fallen. The classic tracks, including the classic only trails, were superb. As noted by other folks, you may wish to stay off River Trail. My skis did clump up from a higher moisture content when I was skiing next to the Brule River. Having said that, it was so beautiful on River Trail with the snow covered pines and open water in the river, that it was worth the one stop to clean the bottom of my skis. Remember firearms deer season starts in Wisconsin this Saturday. Wear blaze orange or red.
    Photos:  
    (Rich Hoeg, NorthStarNerd)
  • Nov 16 - After Hours Ski Trail (Brule): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Very good skate and classic.
    It could have been January for snow this nice. Fine coverage everywhere we went with very rare icy spots and rocks easily avoided - we stayed off the Classic and River trails.
    (John Ipsen, Duluth XC Ski Club)
  • Nov 15 - After Hours Ski Trail (Brule): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Great coverage for skating.
    With all the sketchy comments on the Duluth area trails we drove to Brule in the hopes of being able to use our good skis. It was a good move. The skating deck was very well covered - only a few icy spots that were easily avoidable. We stayed off the river trail based on that suggestion of DNR staff. No walkers or fat bikes to deal with! Overall a great day.
    (Trent Wickman)
  • Nov 15 - After Hours Ski Trail (Brule): 
    Firsthand 

    As reported by DNR, a number of icy spots where it had been wet on River trail and classic only trail. I was glad I had my rock classic skis on the classic only trail, but you could use at least "B" skis for both skate and classic on all tails groomed for both classic and skate, with the possible exception of River Trail, but you could if you are careful. They had 14" of snow, and the woods are beautiful. The Brule River was running high! Skate trails nicely groomed, if a bit "early-season soft". These trails can stand quite a bit of traffic as they are now.
    Photos:  
    (Tim Holst)
  • Nov 14 - After Hours Ski Trail (Brule): 
    Grooming 

    All trails are groomed and tracked with a 4" base. Trails are a bit bumpy and uneven yet due to the early season, but overall conditions are good. River and Classic trails have some spots of water seepage due to unfrozen ground.
    (Matthew Miranda, Wisconsin DNR)
  Ashland/Bayfield area [ forecast/conditions ]
  • Nov 21 - Mt. Ashwabay Ski Trails (Bayfield): 
    Grooming 

    Between last night and this morning, we groomed for skate and classic: Anchor, Seagull, Rollercoaster, and Telford. Raven was also tracked.
    (Scott Nesvold)
  • Nov 20 - Mt. Ashwabay Ski Trails (Bayfield): 
    Grooming 

    Dennis went out this evening and packed Seagull with a flat drag, then packed and tracked it with the Tidd Tec drag.
    (Scott Nesvold)
  • Nov 19 - Mt. Ashwabay Ski Trails (Bayfield): 
    Grooming 

    Today we groomed Jolly Long for skate and classic, and tracked Sugarbush Classic. There is one bad wet spot on Jolly Long, about 2/3rds of the way down the first hill, if doing the loop counter-clockwise. Otherwise one of the groomers lost a cement block between the tin shed, and being back at the parking lot.
    (Scott Nesvold)
  • Nov 19 - Ashland Ski Trail (Ashland): 
    Firsthand 

    I got out for a quick skate loop around the trail tonight just before dark. There is a light layer of recent snow on top of the most recent grooming, but not enough to prevent skating. The low spots are generally hardened up. A few sticks and blades of grass are still showing through the base, but skiing in mid-November is pretty hard to beat!
    (Mark Luehring)
  • Nov 18 - Mt. Ashwabay Ski Trails (Bayfield): 
    Grooming 

    Today we fully groomed Anchor, Rollercoaster, and Telford trails. We packed Jolly Long, the Jolly Connector, and Birch Hill. Almost all of the trails have been rolled at least once, except there is some logging effecting Deerpath, so will wait a week or so to try and get that one in shape.
    (Scott Nesvold)
  • Nov 14 - Mt. Ashwabay Ski Trails (Bayfield): 
    Grooming 

    We got Anchor, Seagull, Rollercoaster, Telford, and Sugarbush Classic packed and tracked. Probably a little soft yet, but the cold overnight temps should help it set up.
    (Scott Nesvold)
  Rice Lake area [ forecast/conditions ]
  • Nov 23 - Trade River Trail (Frederic): 
    Grooming 

    40 degrees and misty rain. Settled the base to a couple inches. Snow and freezing temps needed.
    (William Johnson)
  • Nov 23 - Coon Lake Trail (Frederic): 
    Grooming 

    40 degrees and misty rain. Settled the base to a couple inches. Cold and more snow, we'll be back in good condition.
    (William Johnson)
  • Nov 19 - Spooner City Trails (Spooner): 
    Grooming 

    Conditions: Good to very good.
    Spooner City Park was groomed and tracked this evening. After our initial 15 plus inches of snow, we have received a few dustings that have added up to some additional snow on the trails. When skiing, you may experience a few uneven or soft spots. Generally speaking, the trail appears to have a pretty good base and should provide some very good early season skiing...the lights are on. Enjoy!
    (David Martin)
  • Nov 16 - Coon Lake Trail (Frederic): 
    Grooming 

    Conditions: First grooming today. Fair skiing conditions.
    Last week's 12 inches of new snow were allowed to settle for a days, and we rolled the trail today. No tracks set yet. The ground was not frozen underneath, so we are being real careful. Great start to get snow before Thanksgiving!
    (William Johnson)
  • Nov 16 - Balsam Branch Trails (Amery): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: As good as it gets: an inch of fresh powder on top of a firm base for a fast and silky smooth glide. No tracks for classic.
    The small parking lot was full at noon, but the fresh powder on the trails is not yet all packed down. There are nice rolling hills here up and down glacial ridges through woods and wetlands.
    Photos:  
    (David Byrne, Minnesota Rovers Outdoors Club)
  • Nov 15 - Balsam Branch Trails (Amery): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Good and getting better!
    Balsam trails are looking really good and there were plenty of people out enjoying the trails. Groomed full width with only a few rocks sticking through. When I started skiing there were a few icy patches, but the groomer was out the entire time I was out skiing, so by the time I left the trails were in wonderful condition. Thanks to the groomers for making the most of this early snow!
    (Craig Cardinal)
  • Nov 14 - Blue Hills Trail (Bruce): 
    Firsthand 

    Skated the groomed loop on the west side- A-B-C-I-J-B-A. The skate deck is a little uneven but quite firm and very skiable. Tracks have been set on this loop as well, really smooth and firm - hard to believe its only the middle of November.
    (Ron Jasperson)
  Eau Claire area [ forecast/conditions ]
  • Nov 20 - Tower Ridge Ski Area (Eau Claire): 
    Grooming 

    Conditions: Has been rolled. Good but not complete coverage.
    Trails have a fair amount of snow and attempts to compact it have begun. Still soft in spots. A careful skier could bring good skis but the hills could use another good snowfall to cover up bare spots. Tower Ridge is open for deer hunting during the day but has lighted trails for evening use.
    (Bob Schwartz)
  • Nov 20 - Lowes Creek County Park (Eau Claire): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: 100% groomed. Rock skis recommended.
    Firm, thin, uneven skate deck. Conditions poor to pretty good. No classic tracks.
    (Randy Davis)
  • Nov 16 - Tower Ridge Ski Area (Eau Claire): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Not groomed, but ski-able.
    The trails at Tower Ridge aren't groomed yet, but there are some nice skier-made tracks out there! The trails are beautiful, and it is possible to get some skate skiing and some double poling in.
    (Erin Brault)
  • Nov 15 - Tower Ridge Ski Area (Eau Claire): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Plenty of snow to ski on, but not groomed yet. Beautiful trails!
    Nice warming chalet with bathrooms and changing area. Heard quite the loud chorus of maybe coyotes (not sure if there are any wolf packs in that area?) while skiing!
    (Sarah Winn)
  Phillips area [ forecast/conditions ]
  • Nov 20 - Camp Forest Springs (Westboro): 
    Grooming Scheduling 

    The trails are still rolled but not groomed. Open for skiing but also for deer hunting, so I'm holding off on ski trail grooming 'til Dec 1st.
    (Scott Everson)
  • Nov 15 - Camp Forest Springs (Westboro): 
    Firsthand 

    I just had to get out on the rock skis for a short time today. The trails are rolled but not groomed, but it was great to be on skis in November! You could ski on good skis without damaging them if you are careful but rock skis are the better way to go.
    (Scott Everson)
  • Nov 14 - Camp Forest Springs (Westboro): 
    Grooming 

    I just rolled and packed the trails. The 10" snow cover rolled out very well but it is a bit bumpy and there are several wet/muddy spots that will now freeze up and then be ready for more snow. I'm planning on trying it out tomorrow morning on my rock skis.
    (Scott Everson)
  Other locations
  • Nov 18 - Willow River State Park (Hudson): 
    Firsthand Grooming 

    Conditions: Ungroomed skier tracks, hiking tracks, vehicle tracks with ruts. Uneven trail situations. Stick ups. Snow depth varies widely. I skied classic.
    The route was the Red including the Prairie loop, Brown, Purple with the River loop, Green up through the 300 campground and the Yellow back to the Group Camp. The woodland trails are generally much better than anything in the open. With more hiker traffic on them the wooded trails are firm but bumpy. There is loose snow on the outer edges. I used it a lot. On the prairie, I broke through the unbroken snow crust. That became walking on skis. The downhills in the woods were fast on the packed but bumpy surfaces. The wood skis tracked well without wobble. I almost cleaned the flying S turn on the Brown. It took one double pole to launch down the second hill. I skied in a track on the Purple with the River loop. Snow on the asphalt trails and campground roads is very thin. Waxing was Start Black Tar for glide and Toko Binder for kick on the long woodies. Suggestions: beginners would be okay on the Purple, intermediates would be fine on anything with a blue label but look the downhills over (fast!) before you commit, advanced skiers would be good anywhere. I'd stay off the Green except as needed to reach the next trail. I could see asphalt.
    Wednesday afternoon, two of the grooming team will be on the trails in a truck. The tree top that blocks part of the Yellow hill to the 300 campground will come out. We'll be on the Red Prairie loop, Brown and Purple depending on how the time goes.
    (Jeff Bolte)
  • Nov 17 - Willow River State Park (Hudson): 
    Grooming Scheduling 

    Conditions: Un-groomed but passable for those with the skills to ski this condition. No plans to groom. Trail work with vehicles on trails will continue.
    Willow is not groomed but people are skiing both skate and classic. There's probably five inches of snow on the trail. Please do not expect to find groomed ski trails until after December 15th when the current offering of hunting seasons close. Willow has its share of problems with hikers on groomed ski trails in a normal season in spite of ample signage. Grooming now would give the false impression that its okay to walk the groomed trail. Mid-December is typical for the start of skiing at Willow. There will be various vehicles on the Willow trails for brushing and other work. Willow staff or groomers will be driving a snowmobile around randomly on trails to loosen up the rebuilt engine before the machine pulls anything. The Gator is still on wheels but it will have tracks on it. We can still get around in the trucks on the trails. Trail brushing work will continue since we are not grooming; such as today. I finished up our Saturday brushing job on the Yellow trail.
    (Jeff Boler)
  • Nov 14 - Willow River State Park (Hudson): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Off trail; beach to dam area; quasi Keewenaw Crust. Skis were classic rock skis first then the 220 cm woodies.
    This sun drenched flat area has a firm crust with a little to some fluff over the top and loose snow in shaded areas. It is a picnic area so it has a mowed turf surface underneath. The asphalt trails have been packed by hikers so there's little danger of ski damage crossing those. The pole baskets can stick in the crust due to thin cover on top. Even the big baskets would catch in the crust. I skied for an hour tonight. The crust cracks but does not break under the skis. Skis tracked straight mostly. Strong poling does break through. In unbroken snow the woodies were gliding 2-3 meters at an easy touring pace. In the skied in track, there was much more glide. I can't remember the wax details on the woodies from last season. At 12 degrees, it worked. Skate or classic, its a really fun condition to ski. This condition is similar to the late season crust skiing in the UP. Find an open mowed area and the crust is probably there anywhere in the Metro area.
    (Jeff Bolte)

 

Wisconsin Northeast

  Rhinelander/Eagle River area [ forecast/conditions ]
  • Nov 24 - Minocqua Winter Park Nordic Center (Minocqua): 
    Grooming Scheduling 

    Conditions: Although we lost a couple inches from our base during the weekend warmup, the temp has fallen and the snowfall has returned. All trails will be closed through Thanksgiving Day.
    On Friday, November 28, we will open 10km of skiing for skate and classic. All trails will open on Monday, December 1st.
    (Tim Collins, Minocqua Winter Park and Nordic Center)
  • Nov 23 - Nordmarka Ski Trails (Eagle River): 
    Grooming Scheduling 

    Warm wet weather have closed Nordmarka trails for the time being. Suppose to start snowing again and get colder later in the week. Until then "think snow!".
    (Joe Laux)
  • Nov 22 - Three Eagle Trail (Eagle River): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Striding: Excellent. Skating: Good.
    Arrived at 10: 30 with temp of 34 degrees, the skating deck was already, soft, slow, and sticky. We skated to the end and back which turned out to be quite the workout with slow deck. Without a doubt the best classical track around - firm, deep, fast racks. There were some pine needles and those pesky oak leaves in the track. Left at 12:30, saw no deer hunters, heard no shots - wear orange!
    Photos:  
    (Greg Dahl)
  • Nov 22 - Nordmarka Ski Trails (Eagle River): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: I groomed two days ago and the surface is holding up well! Firm, packed corduroy with some debris on the trail from the wind - but not bad. Used my race skis and the course has great complete snow coverage. With the warmer temps today it was slower and a little sticky feeling. No tracks have been groomed in but surface is great to classic or skate.
    Quite a few were out today with the opening of deer season. This was the place to ski because it is in the city limits with no hunting allowed! In other words, a safe haven!
    (Joe Panci)
  • Nov 22 - Three Eagle Trail (Eagle River): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Superb tracks and skate lane.
    Just a little debris here and there under the pines - otherwise fantastic skiing!
    (Joe Panci)
  • Nov 21 - Three Eagle Trail (Eagle River): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Very good. Solid tracks and pole plants. Crisp corduroy on the skate lane. Some windblown debris in a few places.
    As always, the Three Eagle Trail is open, however, extra caution is advised during the firearm deer season because some properties adjacent to the trail are used by hunters.
    Photos:  
    (Tom Rulseh)
  • Nov 21 - Minocqua Winter Park Nordic Center (Minocqua): 
    Grooming Scheduling 

    Conditions: Trails have been rolled and bases are good throughout the park. We will be ready to go open more than 70km after gun-deer season.
    All trails will be closed through Thanksgiving Day. On Friday, November 28, we will open 10km of skiing. All trails will open on Monday, December 1.
    (Tim Collins, Minocqua Winter Park and Nordic Center)
  • Nov 21 - Three Eagle Trail (Eagle River): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Very good, new grooming.
    Skied the trail mid-morning. Brand new grooming, tracks were fantastic, skate deck was perfect. Some debris down, especially on the south end, and snow coverage seemed slightly thin on the one hill, but otherwise near-perfect conditions. Nice job Tom!
    (Dan Mckissack)
  • Nov 20 - Nordmarka Ski Trails (Eagle River): 
    Firsthand 

    Just groomed this afternoon and just finished skiing tonight (8:30 p.m.). Conditions are excellent with good fast snow. Look forward to the weekend of great skiing.
    (Joe Laux)
  • Nov 20 - Three Eagle Trail (Eagle River): 
    Grooming 

    Conditions: Very good. Tracks were reset and skate lane was refreshed at 5:00PM today.
    All surfaces should set up well in tonight's sub zero temps. We'll see what the weekend weather brings. Keep in mind that there may be hunting on neighboring properties and bright clothing could help extend your ski season.
    (Tom Rulseh)
  • Nov 20 - McNaughton Lake Trail (Lake Tomahawk): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Striding: Fair conditions. Skating: Good.
    Unfortunately hunters have walked all over the classical loops. The skating deck is in better shape. I skating the whole loop with some footprints from the shelter towards the lake. A truck has driven on backside of the trail, but trail is very skiable.
    (Greg Dahl)
  • Nov 19 - McNaughton Lake Trail (Lake Tomahawk): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Striding: Good conditions. Skating: fair conditns.
    All the trails have been rolled only. We strided the outside blue loop and found varied coverage. We skied in a shallow track. The deck was firm and pole plants we great. The skating deck was firm with about two inches of powder on top. The trails are very skiable and the woods are still full of snow. Deer hunting starts Saturday, wear orange.
    (Greg Dahl)
  • Nov 18 - Three Eagle Trail (Eagle River): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Very good conditions.
    Strided the trail this afternoon. Skate deck had a couple of new inches of snow on it, but still decent shape. Classic tracks were in great shape, some recent windy conditions left a fair amount of debris on the trail, but cold kickwax hardly picked anything up.
    (Dan Mckissack)
  • Nov 17 - Razorback Ridges Trail (Sayner): 
    Grooming 

    Conditions: Doug groomed a once-over pass on all trails today, cutting out and moving many trees, some huge, that came down since I finished mowing three weeks ago. No tracks set yet, although there's plenty of snow to do it. Since our trails are completely on the Northern Highland State Forest we tend to wait until after deer season to really get serious about grooming and tracking.
    The entire ski system is very popular with deer hunters, so if you decide you must ski or snowshoe, beginning Saturday make sure you wear plenty of blaze orange, or better yet wait until after Thanksgiving.
    (Will Maines)
  • Nov 17 - Anvil National Recreation Trail (Eagle River): 
    Grooming 

    Conditions: Good 4" base, groomed on green trails.
    Officially not open until December 11th after deer hunting season, but you're welcome to use while we do maintenance. Wear orange!
    (Jeff Higley, US Forest Service)
  • Nov 16 - Three Eagle Trail (Eagle River): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Classic. Good conditions.
    Skied the trail (classic) late in the afternoon. There was an inch or two of new snow slowing things down, but not too badly. The classic tracks had a fair amount of weekend use but were in great shape. Skate deck seemed on the soft side, but pretty dang good for late-fall skiing :).
    (Dan Mckissack)
  • Nov 16 - Minocqua Winter Park Nordic Center (Minocqua): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Skating: Excellent conditions.
    Arrived about 1:00 pm so all the trails were well skied on, firm, very fast, and a blast to ski. Rex blue med fluoro was lightening fast for how cold it was (22 degrees). The trees were still flocked with snow and it is still a winter wonderland. Thanks Winter Park for a early season Christmas present!
    Photos:  
    (Greg Dahl)
  • Nov 16 - Minocqua Winter Park Nordic Center (Minocqua): 
    Grooming 

    Conditions: Very good trails, with some minor flaws. Groomed our 10.6km again last night, and had some difficulty getting deep striding tracks in patches here and there. We received more than 0.5 inches of snow this morning, so it's slow-going until noon.
    The Chalet and Shop are open until 5pm Sunday. The Ski Shop will have limited hours during the next two weeks.
    (Tim Collins, Minocqua Winter Park and Nordic Center)
  • Nov 15 - Minocqua Winter Park Nordic Center (Minocqua): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Excellent skate deck, solid tracks until near end of day.
    The folks here did a fantastic job of grooming the new snow. No breakthroughs, fast and clean throughout. A wolf-killed deer carcass just off Tornado made for extra interest (unplanned by the staff, of course!).
    (Dave Minden)
  • Nov 15 - WinMan Trails (Winchester): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Trails are good to very good.
    Skate skied all the trails this evening. Skate lane has really firmed up, pole plants are solid, snow is fast. The tracks we set yesterday are deep and holding up well. The few areas we had water have iced over and are no longer an issue.
    (Robert Polic)
  • Nov 15 - Three Eagle Trail (Eagle River): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: 17F degrees, plenty of snow.
    Tracks were good, skate late soft as would be expected with the amount of snow that has fallen. Skate lane was softer north of Mud Creek. The big snowfall has been compressed down to about 5 to 6 inches of base. Could have used good skis today. Looks like the middle of winter in Three Lakes.
    Photos:  
    (Dan Statz)
  • Nov 15 - Minocqua Winter Park Nordic Center (Minocqua): 
    Grooming 

    Conditions: All of the 10.6km that we groomed have firmed up well from skiers, groomings, and the cold air. Skate lanes and classic tracks on all trails. Deep snow bases, so you can bring your good skis.
    We're open 9am-5pm this Saturday and Sunday.
    (Tim Collins, Minocqua Winter Park and Nordic Center)
  • Nov 14 - WinMan Trails (Winchester): 
    Firsthand Grooming 

    Conditions: Trails are in good shape.
    Re-groomed and reset tracks on the ski trail this afternoon and re-groomed the main snowshoe loop. Skate skied it tonight and it was mostly firm and very fast. There are a couple wet areas on the trail (narrow, and can be skied around, should freeze up tonight) and some brushy areas that we'll clean up in the next week (watch for the occasional blackberry vine creeping into the trail).
    (Robert Polic)
  • Nov 14 - Minocqua Winter Park Nordic Center (Minocqua): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Mighty nice....November style. Both classic and skate.
    Back in the track today, although I did find the skate lane occasionally. No surprise that repeated grooming improved everything, and sun, and smiles, and lots of Friday skiers, some from afar. Life is good. Jump in!
    (Ken Schoville)
  • Nov 14 - Minocqua Winter Park Nordic Center (Minocqua): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Stiding: excellent. Skating: very good, soft deck.
    Excellent mid-winter conditions - a winter wonderland! Classical track was full depth, good pole plants, and getting faster as the day went on. Skating deck had 1 inch fluff on top of a well groomed deck. With all the new snow the deck was soft in most places. Thanks so much for grooming Ken! A great day of skiing for Feburary - oops its only November!
    Photos:  
    (Greg Dahl)
  • Nov 14 - Three Eagle Trail (Eagle River): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Plenty of snow with good coverage. Skate lanes were a little soft but classic tracks were very fine.
    Very enjoyable day. First time I skied here very flat but great early season skiing. Amazed by the amount of snow. Nice to discover a bathroom about .5 k into the trail form the north end.
    (Al Zinzindorf)
  • Nov 14 - Minocqua Winter Park Nordic Center (Minocqua): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Excellent, groomed corduroy.
    They opened early just for the weekend and conditions were excellent: 20F, sunny, perfectly groomed with 20" in woods and 5" base on trails. Not all trails were open but enough to get a good workout. Only issue was a few soft spots. Worth the trip!
    (Dan Dudley)
  • Nov 14 - Minocqua Winter Park Nordic Center (Minocqua): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Excellent to very good track and skate lanes. Imperfections are noticeable but spotty: the track is canted here and there, and the skate deck has some dips. Snow covers everything, so bring your good skis.
    A light dusting covered the trails after last night's grooming, so your first lap or two will be slow.
    (Tim Collins, Minocqua Winter Park and Nordic Center)
  • Nov 14 - Nordmarka Ski Trails (Eagle River): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Very good skiing for skate and classic but have not put in the grooves yet for classic but I ski classic all the time and really don't like the grooves.
    Very good skiing. This is the best night ski trail anywhere with lots of nice challenges on the trail. Eagle River snow crew did a great job opening the road to the Golf Course Club House -- so you have no excuse to not get out there. You did a great job of grooming Joe P!
    Photos:  
    (Joe Laux)
  Other locations
  • Nov 18 - Lakewood XC Ski Trails (Lakewood): 
    Grooming 

    Downhills are fast, flats are a little bumpy. The snow is holding up well. More snow will allow additional grooming to level the trail.
    (Steve Peplinski)
  • Nov 16 - Lakewood XC Ski Trails (Lakewood): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Solid base, firm and fast conditions.
    The loop that starts at the golf course is groomed. The base is very solid and the skate skiing was fast and fun. 98% coverage with a little stubble and a few exposed rocks that are easy to avoid...can use B skis. So happy that the trails were groomed and we can take advantage of this great early season skiing.
    (Jim Beno)
  • Nov 16 - Lakewood XC Ski Trails (Lakewood): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Fair/good skating conditions, no tracks set.
    Some small sticks and leaves on the trail in spots but otherwise good skiing with challenging hill loop near from the golf course.
    (Cheryl Corbeille)

 

Wisconsin Southeast

  Madison area [ forecast/conditions ]
  • Nov 18 - Odana Hills Golf Course (Madison): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Not skateable at 8am.
    Maybe kick-and-glide works better, I just tried skating and it was sticky, jerky, treacherous skiiing. Do it only if you think heavy poling in this condition is fun!
    (Dave Minden)

 

Michigan Upper Peninsula

  Ironwood area [ forecast/conditions ]
  • Nov 22 - Wolverine Ski Trail (Ironwood): 
    Grooming 

    Conditions: Today, Piston Bully groomed & tracked Powderhorn, Cliffs and Three Sisters Trails. Tracks were solid and skate lane firm considering temps were mid 30's. Volunteers working to ready Cliff Hanger and Wolverine Trails. Snowshoe trails packed with winter wonderland views. Winds showered some areas with Thanksgiving leaves.
    A group of dedicated skiers had a fun time trial today! Great waxless stride day.
    Photos:  
    (Deborah Leonard-Polich, Wolverine Nordic Ski Trails)
  • Nov 20 - ABR (Ironwood): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Excellent/Mid-winter conditions in mid November.
    Did about 10k of striding today right after the grooms had finished up. Trails are nice and firm despite all the recent snowfall with deep striding tracks. A few thin layers of Green did the trick for kick. Gliding was fair with the new snow and cold temps. I've lived here all my life and have never seen so much snow in November!
    (Luke Wyzlic)
  • Nov 18 - ABR (Ironwood): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Excellent even after 15.2" of snow over night.
    This was our 3rd day of skiing at ABR, overnight they received 15.2" of lake effect snow so we didn't know if anything would even be groomed when we arrived at 9 a.m. The 15" didn't seem to phase them at all, the parking lot was totally plowed and all the classic trails were packed and tracked when we arrived. River Trail was also done with the Piston Bully for skating. We classic skiied the Sunset,Jack Pine,White PIne and Hemlock Trail and all of them were in beautiful shape. Trees were draped in a blanket of snow so super pretty. The groomers were busy all day working on the trails and more snow is expected Wednesday.
    Photos:  
    (Laurie Fabrizius)
  • Nov 17 - ABR (Ironwood): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Beautiful with lake effect snow falling making skiing slow today.
    It was about 9 am when we started skiing this morning. Sun was out and some snow had fallen overnight. Very pretty but slower skiing today than yesterday. By 2 pm the snow really started coming down, my tracks were filled in when I headed back from the white pine trail. The snow on the trees make it a winter wonderland. Head to ABR if you can.
    Photos:  
    (Laurie Fabrizius)
  • Nov 16 - ABR (Ironwood): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Outstanding! Deep snow, skate deck and nordic tracks firm, impeccably groomed.
    Snow and trail conditions believable for mid-January; surprising and extraordinary for mid-November. Kudos to Eric and the crew for excellent grooming.
    (Patrick Bryan)
  • Nov 16 - ABR (Ironwood): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Trail conditions were fantastic.
    On the snow 10:15 am, 18 degrees. Off the snow 1:45 pm, 23 degrees. A Winter wonderland in mid November.
    Photos:  
    (Tom Lane)
  • Nov 16 - ABR (Ironwood): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Great! Classic tracks firm, great skate deck, great skiing weather!
    Eric, Angela and the ABR crew as usual have done an awesome job of getting their great trails in shape after an early season storm - the trails are nearly in perfect shape, already in mid-November!
    (Dan Bloomquist)
  • Nov 16 - ABR (Ironwood): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Awesome! Piston Bully used on skating lanes, firm and smooth. Classic tracks set and perfect shape. Great glide.
    The trails are just beautiful, we used our classic skis today but the skating deck was firm and smooth. Sun was out, wind wasn't bad in the woods. Temps were in the 20's so had nice glide. It's the earliest we have ever made the 4 hour trip to ski and we are so glad we did. Only a few trails aren't open yet due to lease agreements. Topped off the day with a Packer win, can't beat that!
    (Laurie Fabrizius)
  • Nov 15 - Wolverine Ski Trail (Ironwood): 
    Grooming 

    Conditions: Groomed and trackset.
    Wolverine has been grooming since Wednesday and there are 12 km of trails open for skating and striding. Some areas are uneven and there is softness, but with 40+ inches of snow this week that's to be expected. The chalet was open this morning, and reports for now say that it will be open on weekends. Skiers are reminded to stay off ungroomed trails. Deer season opened today and there are hunters in those areas.
    (Dave Johnson)
  • Nov 14 - ABR (Ironwood): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Good. Skate deck a little soft and uneven, but tracks were set up fine. Enough snow for the Pisten Bully....
    I never say too much snow, but I could. Good skis can be used...skate deck soft, and uneven, just because of the volume of snow had here, but skiing was like mid-season, and tracks were set up and fine. Can you remember good skiing conditions before Thanksgiving?
    (Dan Leider)
  Marquette area [ forecast/conditions ]
  • Nov 21 - Blueberry Ridge Trail (Sands): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Fair to very good.
    Skied Blueberry Wed., Thurs. and Friday this week. Lighted Loop and Wolverine in very good condition except for the first steep climb after steep downhill on Wolverine, where groomer plowed up dirt and rocks that NMU coach shoveled snow to cover. Superior has portions that are very good, but grooming is quite uneven with some sections rutted and others where small mounds of snow are left on trail thus the "fair" label. Wildcat was blocked off as of Friday at 1:00. Classic tracks were set and firm on Wolverine and Lighted.
    (Charlie Dee)
  • Nov 20 - Noquemanon Trail (Marquette): 
    Grooming 

    We groomed Noque to 14k, Animoosh and Mukwa Thursday night for skate and re-set the classic tracks. Although not likely to be "race ready" hard, trails must be firming up by now after the heavy snow. Very cold temperatures may have aided that process. Friday night through Monday evening look to be a thaw so groomers will have to be parked. Skiers are reminded that Michigan's firearm Deer Hunting season runs through the 30th. If you do choose to ski, you must wear blaze orange. Please do not disturb hunters. It is not only a courtesy but the law.
    (Nikki Dewald, Noquemanon Ski Marathon)
  • Nov 18 - Valley Spur (Munising): 
    Grooming 

    Conditions: 9"of fresh snow last night. Temps around 20. Plenty of base from last week.
    Dan and I groomed A, C, D and Z. Easy to kick wax with fresh cold snow.
    (John Gierke)
  • Nov 16 - Blueberry Ridge Trail (Sands): 
    Firsthand 

    NMU men training at Blue Berry Ridge ski trails here in Marquette Mi. The snow storm last week has made for some busy days grooming, the three major ski areas in the Marquette area are groomed and ready for skiing, Blueberry Ridge, the NTN trails and the Al Quaal trails in Ishpeming.
    Photos:  
    (Sten Fjeldheim)
  Houghton area [ forecast/conditions ]
  • Nov 23 - Michigan Tech University Ski Trails (Houghton): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: 36F at 10:00AM, 46F at 2:00PM. Powertilled and trackset on Friday, still very good classic skiing today with Fischer zeros. A little slower and punchy out of the track, but not bad.
    These trails have been good to excellent for skiing 166 out of the last 365 days. That's 45.5% of the past year. Oh yeah!
    Photos:  
    (Ken Wikgren)

 

Canada

  Thunder Bay area [ forecast/conditions ]
  • Nov 22 - Kamview Nordic Centre (Thunder Bay): 
    Grooming 

    Conditions: Almost 1km manmade snow loop tilled and track set.
    Classic/skate great and you can use your good boards. Frozen Thunder mid Canada!
    (Peter Crooks)

 

United States

  • Nov 23 - Rendezvous Ski Trails (West Yellowstone, MT): 
    Firsthand 

    Classic tracks are perfect. Skating was soft in the morning, but firmed up great towards the afternoon.
    (John Wessling)
  • Nov 23 - Rendezvous Ski Trails (West Yellowstone, MT): 
    Firsthand 

    I was out this morning before most of the crowds arrived, and all trails were groomed last night and are in pretty good condition. Tracks are full depth and the skate deck is generally firm (there are a few soft spots still). There is some dirt showing through, but another few inches, and things should go from pretty good to perfect.
    Photos:  
    (Bryan French)
  • Nov 19 - Rendezvous Ski Trails (West Yellowstone, MT): 
    Firsthand 

    Good skiing in town on B skis. 4 inch packed base. Occasional clumps of grass showing. Storms forecast for this weekend should set things up well for the festival. Nice to be skiing in town. Temperatures in the single digits in the morning rising to mid twenties in the afternoon.
    Photos:  
    (Brian Gregg, City of Lakes Loppet)
  • Nov 17 - Steamboat Ski Touring Center (Steamboat Springs, CO): 
    Grooming 

    Good thin early season conditions. One trail open to skier tunnel and back to center. 8"-10" on ground with packed base of 2"-3". 3K of trail groomed with snowmobile and Tidd Tech for skate and classic. Going back out to freshen skate lane Tuesday morning as a herd of elk are bedding down near the trail. Bruce's Trail up on Rabbit Ears pass was groomed Monday night with the Pisten Bully snowcat for classic and skate on 5K. That will be excellent with up to 20" on the ground.
    (Scott Beattie)
  • Nov 16 - Snow Mountain Ranch (Granby, CO): 
    Grooming 

    8" of new snow on top of the 12" from the previous week has just made the conditions go from fair to good. The deck is still soft and some grass here and there. 15K packed, rolled, combed, and track set. Things just got a whole lot better.
    Photos:  
    (Bill Pierce)
  • Nov 14 - Rendezvous Ski Trails (West Yellowstone, MT): 
    Grooming 

    First real grooming of the year. Eight inches of new on Friday, groomed Rendezvous and Deja View. 14" wide with the PistenBully. Snowing steady this evening and will groom again in the morning. No classic yet, but a good solid base.
    Photos:  
    (Moira Dow, Yellowstone Ski Festival)
  • Nov 14 - Snow Mountain Ranch (Granby, CO): 
    Grooming 

    Early season rock skiing. We have received 10"-12" this week and expect more by tomorrow night. 8K has been rolled 4 times this week in front of the Nordic Center. The trail base is thin, soft, undulating, with no track, some exposed grass, and the occasional dirt spot. In other words...perfect early season November old school skiing!! Enjoy.
    Photos:  
    (Bill Pierce)

 


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