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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: 301
(18 reports not shown due to Reporting level)
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Minnesota Metro Area
  Twin Cities area [ forecast/conditions ]
  • Nov 28 - Theodore Wirth Regional Park (Minneapolis): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Fair 2 inches of snow, poles hit pavement when over it. JD Rivers loop south of 55 north of Glenwood Ave. Not groomed.
    Enough for most spots but will go through in others. Rock Skis. Did whole loop and enjoyed.
    (Monte McIlroy)
  • Nov 28 - Hyland Lake Park Reserve (Bloomington): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Heavenly! Groomed to perfection!
    The skate deck was fast, firm, with a little loose snow to get a perfect edge. Thank you Hyland crew! Classic tracks were in very nice shape as well.
    (Dick Stardig)
  • Nov 28 - Lake Elmo Park Reserve (Lake Elmo): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Closed for a reason.
    Attempted the Eagle Point 6K loop. Made it 9/10th around. Gave up and walked back to the car. Really bad on the skis. :-(.
    (Daniel Nelson)
  • Nov 28 - Lake Elmo Park Reserve (Lake Elmo): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Poor. Icy with an inch of light snow on top. Poles didn't have any bite. Gravel and grass showing through all over.
    I made it around but nearly did a couple of headers when my skis suddenly stopped. My rock skis have several new gouges to show for it.
    (Lloyd Vasilakes)
  • Nov 28 - William O'Brien State Park (Marine on St. Croix): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Marginal - The hill after the RR tracks is dangerous.
    Just enough snow to scud by on your rock skis. Going down the hill after crossing the RR tracks is nasty rocky. If you did not start out with rock skis, you'll finish with them. I would suggest walking down that hill out of respect for your base - I put a couple of deep groover in mine and I had no choice but to try and scoot to the side but the damage had already been done.
    (Dan Murphy)
  • Nov 28 - Hyland Lake Park Reserve (Bloomington): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Firm skate deck but not icy or hard packed, just about perfect.
    A lot of folks, including a number of families, out at Hyland on Friday afternoon. The skate deck was surprisingly holding up well under all the traffic, remaining firm. Nice afternoon ski, outside of the five minute sleet/ice shower around 2 pm.
    Photos:  
    (Bruce Adelsman)
  • Nov 28 - Como Golf Course (Saint Paul): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Mostly good, some thin spots.
    Skied this morning with a local high school team. Minimal ice and the new snow made it easy to get an edge skating. No classic tracks seen. The trails are mostly covered but grass is showing through on the heavily used sections of the trail. Be prepared to get slowed down by grass and watch out for the asphalt golf cart trails that are poking through here and there. Recommend using B skis and getting out before warmer weather.
    (Sandy Schreyer)
  • Nov 28 - Battle Creek Regional Park West (Saint Paul): 
    Grooming 

    All Winthrop trailhead trails rolled. Snow cover very thin. Rock skis and caution strongly advised.
    (Bill Kosfeld)
  • Nov 28 - Elm Creek Park Reserve (Maple Grove): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Fresh snow skied in. Nice surface.
    Lots of people out at Elm Creek today. No signs of any grooming but the classic tracks and skate deck were skied in nicely. Classic tracks were a bit thinner than yesterday with the new snow packed down and were broken in a couple of places but in good shape overall. The skate deck had been packed down from all the traffic and was in great shape. What a difference an 1" of fresh snow makes! The fresh soft surface gave good purchase; having covered yesterdays hard packed surface. No sliding sideways today.
    (Leif Irgens)
  • Nov 27 - Woodland Trails (Elk River): 
    Grooming 

    Pretty darn nice, considering. Our afternoon lap was much improved over Tuesdays'. It is amazing how one little inch of snow can quiet a crunchy trail and improve traction. Grooming plan: Rookie 14.1 is leading Darth Evader on a grooming mission pulling the tandem screens this evening for our Friday ski. Neither has led a grooming run before so I asked them to bring bread crumbs. Wrong Way can lead them out when she makes first track in the morning if they are still out. Expect a hard, but mostly skiable skate deck in the morning. Not much left of our per meltdown tracks. I will be back on buckthorn duty tomorrow, so if someone can post conditions, that would be great. Enjoy!
    (Dave Anderson, Elk River Nordic Ski Club)
  • Nov 27 - Battle Creek Regional Park West (Saint Paul): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Groomed 5k course, rock ski conditions.
    I was pleasantly surprised to find Battle Creek quite skiable. The front trails in the open were the best. There was some grass and leaves, but few rocks. The ridge along the top had underlying rocks that would stop you dead in your tracks and put a nice, random stonegrind in your bases. Overall it was a great Thanksgiving day ski and we were thankful to be skiing. Thanks to the groomer(s) for getting out there with such a thin base.
    (Torry Kraftson)
  • Nov 27 - Hyland Lake Park Reserve (Bloomington): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Good skating. Skate deck was firm and surprisingly fast for the cold temps. Classic tracks present but appeared a bit washed out.
    Course did not appear to have been groomed on the holiday, but conditions were still good. Fair number of skiers (20-25) out for Thanksgiving afternoon. [ Hyland staff announced previously they would not be grooming on Thanksgiving Day --Ed ]
    (Sue Schroeder)
  • Nov 27 - Elm Creek Park Reserve (Maple Grove): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Firm, slow. Classic tracks pretty good.
    Skied around 1 pm. Only a few cars in the parking lot by then, pretty quiet on the trails; only saw 4-8 other skiers. Looked like they might have groomed this morning but the skate deck looked like it had seen a lot of traffic earlier and was packed down really hard. Couldn't hardly get an edge in on the skate skis and slid sideways a lot (OK, some of that is my life-long battle with technique problems). Classic tracks were really good most of the way around the man-made loop; a little shallow in a few spots. Tracks were also a bit firm but I had decent kick with Start Green considering it was my first classic ski since last March.
    (Leif Irgens)
  • Nov 27 - Phalen Golf Course (Saint Paul): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Good snow, no track, a little thin but skiable.
    Surface is excellent, dry and fast, if you don't mind the occasional stick or acorn. Recommend rock skis. I skied BC skis and was able to carve a few turns on the hills.
    (Peter Borden)
  • Nov 26 - Hyland Lake Park Reserve (Bloomington): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Good striding with the newer snow.
    Classic skied the snowmaking loop tonight, and the tracks were washed out in places, but were overall in pretty good shape. Almost got taken out by a very large buck during our intervals.
    (Nathan Porath)
  • Nov 26 - Battle Creek Regional Park West (Saint Paul): 
    Firsthand 

    Grass was showing in spots but skiable. And the groomers were rolling the snow. I stayed within the 1k loop. Didn't trust the snow depth.
    Went in on the trail at the bottom of the sledding hill. Worth the practice.
    (Stanley Sledz)
  • Nov 26 - Theodore Wirth Regional Park (Minneapolis): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Not good; no skiable snow on front 9.
    Trails were in rough shape. Tried to ski at around 3pm today. There was no base, grass poking through everywhere. Not a single track to be seen. The warmer temps really blew the lid off. Hopefully snow making can resume after the holiday.
    (Darius Montazemi)
  • Nov 26 - Battle Creek Regional Park West (Saint Paul): 
    Grooming 

    Conditions: Marginal with minimal snow depth.
    The Bronze and Silver loops were rolled and combed this afternoon. Hope that cold temps will cause snow to firm up and freeze to the ground. Ground is barely covered so ski with extreme caution, especially on the big down hills.
    (John Fitzgerald)
  • Nov 26 - Elm Creek Park Reserve (Maple Grove): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Fairly firm surface, good classic track, fresh snow.
    Skied around 9 am. Encountered almost whiteout conditions as a snowband passed through for about an hour, dropping a fresh inch on the trails and slowing down the snow speed! A lot more people out there this morning, but plenty of room still in the parking lot, as well as on the trail. Temps and winds nice - in the upper 20s, light winds.
    (Bruce Adelsman)
  • Nov 26 - Hyland Lake Park Reserve (Bloomington): 
    Grooming Scheduling 

    Conditions: Good - groomed daily in the evenings but not re-grooming Thanksgiving evening (not re-grooming on Friday).
    Star, Willow Creek and Frog Town trails are open. Trails are packed, tracked and in GOOD condition. Lights are on for Star, Willow Creek and Frog Town until 10:00 PM. Visitor Center is open 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM today; closed on Thanksgiving. Beginning Nov 28th, Visitor Center is open 9 AM - 9 PM weekdays, 8 AM - 9 PM weekends. Rentals available when Visitor Center is open.
    (Sonja Bercich, Three Rivers Park District)
  • Nov 26 - Elm Creek Park Reserve (Maple Grove): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Just about perfect for a Wednesday ski (on the man-made snow loop).
    The new snow on top of a solid base made for outstanding skate ski conditions. Just enough fluff to get an edge and not so much to significantly slow down the glide. Classic tracks looked well set and no longer icy. A few teams were out but there was plenty of space for everyone to ski at their own pace and enjoy the winter conditions. Nice to see so many smiles!
    (Sandy Schreyer)
  • Nov 25 - Hyland Lake Park Reserve (Bloomington): 
    Firsthand 

    Great! Ball bearings are gone, now we have some nice sugary snow and great conditions for both skating and classic. The Frog Town loop was closed for snowmaking operations so the hamster wheel was a little smaller tonight.
    (Bill Oyler)
  • Nov 25 - Woodland Trails (Elk River): 
    Firsthand Grooming 

    Lickety split. My late afternoon lap started about 4:30 on a trail that was really quick with just enough traction when it was needed. I went out with Buckthorn Bob who passed me thee times(on his way to a PR for 10.385k) as I took short cuts to get my old eyes out of the forest before dark. We have groomed up most of the snow that we had left to groom into a thin till on top of a layer of hard pack and ice. Translation; additional grooming without more snow will do little good to improve conditions. Definitely not conditions for your number one skis. Good edges, however, will come in real handy. Enjoy with caution.
    (Dave Anderson, Elk River Nordic Ski Club)
  • Nov 25 - William O'Brien State Park (Marine on St. Croix): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Rock ski conditions with a light dusting of snow on top of an icy base.
    Snow recon stop 4 of 5: I skate skied the Wetland trail and found less grass poking through the icy base than at neighboring Jackson Meadow. The long climb up to the Wedge Hill Savanna trail looked okay, but I took off my rock skis to avoid rocks on the short loop up.
    Photos:  
    (David Byrne, Minnesota Rovers Outdoors Club)
  • Nov 25 - Jackson Meadow (Marine on St. Croix): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Rock ski conditions. Trails north and east of the entrance were rolled today.
    Snow recon stop 3 of 5: I skate skied the 4k Main Loop. There's grass poking through the icy base in many places, and a few rocks that could be hidden by another inch of snow (but still might scratch your skis).
    Photos:  
    (David Byrne, Minnesota Rovers Outdoors Club)
  • Nov 25 - Como Golf Course (Saint Paul): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Rock ski conditions.
    Snow recon stop 1 of 5: I skate skied the loop around the Glacier. Lots of grass showing, but there's a nearly continuous icy base on the south side, near the zoo. The light snow on top gave me a nice fast workout.
    Photos:  
    (David Byrne, Minnesota Rovers Outdoors Club)
  • Nov 25 - Elm Creek Park Reserve (Maple Grove): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: The snowmaking loop was really great except for one spot with a couple easily avoidable ridges in one section from the groomer as another report mentioned, otherwise perfect for skating and pretty fast. A classic track set.
    When I left around 4:30 the parking lot was almost full. Going to be the go to place till we get more snow or Wirth opens up.
    (Clayton Keim, RollerSkiShop.com)
  • Nov 25 - Elm Creek Park Reserve (Maple Grove): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Freshly groomed, good surface with some slow sections by the active snowguns.
    Skied around 10 am, a lot more people - roughly 20 skiers out. Sunny to start, clouded over by the time I took a few photos at the end. Nice conditions, not as icy fast as Monday. One short segment on the return to the chalet that had two ridges (unusual by Elm Creek standards), looked like they had groomed out some snowmaking excess from the night before. Sections by the running snowguns felt like sandpaper (to be expected). Nice morning ski.
    Photos:  
    (Bruce Adelsman)
  • Nov 25 - Hyland Lake Park Reserve (Bloomington): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Nice for skate and classic. Loop is less than 2km due to snow making.
    Icy top has been worked up by skiers. Pretty fast, don't bother waxing. I love the smell of snow making in the morning.
    Photos:  
    (Kevin Wendland)
  • Nov 24 - Elm Creek Park Reserve (Maple Grove): 
    Firsthand 

    Still very hard packed this evening in the skate lane. Snowmaking was going for the downhill slope. With the wind, the classic tracks were filled in several spots. The Guru -3 to -15 wax worked surprisingly well for kick (even better than fishscales).
    (Ted Lystig)
  • Nov 24 - Woodland Trails (Elk River): 
    Grooming 

    Conditions: Skiable and very fast.
    Woodland trails after multiple grooming passes has been restructured to the point of being skiable and will reopen Tuesday. The trail is very hard and very fast. Use appropriate caution on downhill sections. Need new snow to restore good conditions.
    (Dave Kallemeyn)
  • Nov 24 - Hyland Lake Park Reserve (Bloomington): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: 75% of the snowmaking loop is like skiing on ball-bearings, and about 25% is a bit kinder, gentler, and softer.
    I skied the man-made snow loop after dark. Despite the fairly icy surface and cool temps, it was enjoyable. Good balance practice. Just enough grip for edging. Classic tracks were good for double-poling. The black diamond and double black diamond loops are still not open yet. The rest of the snowmaking loop survived the weekend melt-down quite well. One word of caution: the lights are not working on the first half of the Frog Town loop, so be careful on that descent.
    (Bill Oyler)
  • 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)

 

Minnesota Northeast

  Duluth area [ forecast/conditions ]
  • Nov 28 - Magney-Snively Trail (Duluth): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Variable. Not recently groomed.
    Our first time here, the trail was wide and had some sections that were good. The main trail had been rolled and was okay. Some of the other loops just had skier tracks on them. Lots of icy downhills...the signage was excellent, and the view on Barod's peak was great!
    (Margie Rock)
  • Nov 27 - Spirit Mountain (Duluth): 
    Firsthand 

    Spirit Mt did not get quite as much snow after last weekend's melt as Snowflake did, nonetheless the campground loop is very reasonable skiing. Skating a tad icy here and there, classic track exists but very well used. A bit nippy on a Thanksgiving morning. Hope the snow tomorrow is at least a couple of inches! (Note on the picture that you have to keep it below 16 km/hr, 10 mph on the campground loop--that's not a problem for me anymore!).
    Photos:  
    (Tim Holst)
  • Nov 26 - Snowflake Nordic Ski Center (Duluth): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Better than expected - but freestyle only and on older skis.
    The 5k was very skiable - minus the Special K loop, which hadn't been groomed and cold temps have frozen the ruts that had been there. We skied the 10k, too, which I would avoid next time - sparse snow and a lot of rocks. Hopefully the 5k will get a little lovin by the groomers soon as the ski traffic is high.
    (Kris Osthus)
  • Nov 25 - Snowflake Nordic Ski Center (Duluth): 
    Grooming 

    Conditions: Thin snow cover on the 10k better snow cover on the 5k.
    I took the Ginzu groomer around one time on the 10k on Tuesday to pack down the 2-3 inches of new snow. The snow cover was thin on the sections of trail at lower elevations...near the new school and better up higher and closer to the 5k trail. You should use your B grade or rock skis right now. I am not sure if grooming with the teeth down is possible right now on the 5k. It might bring up more leaves and stuff...I am going to ski it in a bit and decide if grooming is possible or if we wait on the snow that is in the forecast for Friday. I will let you know.
    (Dave Johnson)
  • Nov 25 - Snowflake Nordic Ski Center (Duluth): 
    Firsthand 

    I skied it not long after they groomed. Very skiable for skate when I started at noon Tuesday, I was the first one out after grooming. By the time I left there were skied-in classic tracks on all of 5 K including Special K. Dave groomed 5 K except for Special K. Amazingly good skate skiing. I honestly did not feel any of the ruts from the frozen crud below where he had groomed. Surprisingly fast (on Fast Wax blue paste) for new snow. I skied Special K too, where it had not been groomed, and still fun, but I could "feel" the ruts, etc in the frozen base. I did not venture out on 10 K, the new snow might be hiding some things at bottoms of steeper hills than the 5 K has. Thanks for grooming Dave, it was great!
    Photos:  
    (Tim Holst)
  • Nov 25 - Boulder Lake Management Area Ski Trails (Duluth): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Ungroomed - 1" fluff on top of crusty mess of tire tracks and footprints.
    Skied a couple of loops around bearpaw. Real rough. Enough snow to sort of ski but a few more inches might really help. At this point, it is possible to do a little classic touring. Skating is not recommended. Blue ox loop has been logged near the west parking lot in the last month and is unskiable until more snow is received.
    (Scott Laven)
  • Nov 25 - Snowflake Nordic Ski Center (Duluth): 
    Grooming 

    Conditions: 3-4 inches of powder over an icy base.
    Over the past few days we experienced a warm-up that included rain, sleet and melting of some of our base. Yesterday a clipper came through and dropped 3-4 inches of snow that this morning I was able to pack down using the Ginzu. Snow cover is thin, rocks are visible here and there. Might be the best skiing in town.
    Photos:  
    (Dave Johnson)
  • Nov 24 - Lester Park (Duluth): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Slick, fair coverage, rock skiing.
    Lester was skiable today, but just barely. The little bit of snow we got today helped, but there are definitely bare patches and rocks peeking out. It was rough going especially at the base of downhills and where the city has had trucks out trying to repair the lights on the lighted loop. Still, it was skiable--should be much better with a little more snow.
    (Annalisa Harrington Peterson)
  • 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)
  Iron Range area [ forecast/conditions ]
  • Nov 27 - Mount Itasca (Coleraine): 
    Grooming 

    Conditions: Good with single classic track on man made snow.
    Plenty of snow. Hard pack. Grooming plans: Will be groomed Friday.
    (Alan Dettmer)
  • Nov 26 - Sugar Hills (Grand Rapids): 
    Grooming 

    Tuesday and Wednesday Packed (rolled) 3" snow and cleared (again) trails.
    (Greg Moritko)
  • 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

  Detroit Lakes area [ forecast/conditions ]
  • Nov 28 - Maplelag Resort (Callaway): 
    Firsthand Grooming 

    Conditions: Fair to very good early season/rock skiing. .75" new snow past 24 hours. Compacted base 1-3". Snow depth 3-4". Grooming on 23km of trail. 16 degrees.
    The dusting of new snow last night was pressed on select trails this morning. Very light snow falling after grooming. Skied with Jack early afternoon and the new snow skied really silkylike. Fun ski. Still some rough and thin spots but overall good to very good for rock skiing with some really nice sections.
    We will continue to be open this Thanksgiving weekend with limited services (no ski rental) and there is no charge to use the trails. Recommended to stay on Skaters Waltz or Sukkerbusk. Suicide Hill in great shape. Skaters are welcome on Sukkerbusk at this time. Use caution if adventuring on other trails. We will continue grooming after any new snow and will open and groom more trail once we receive 1" or more.
    Photos:  
    (Jay Richards, Maplelag Resort)
  • Nov 26 - Maplelag Resort (Callaway): 
    Firsthand Grooming 

    Conditions: Fair to good early season/rock skiing. .75" new snow past 24 hours. Compacted base 1-3". Snow depth 3-4". Grooming on 21km of trail. 6 degrees.
    Happy Thanksgiving from Maplelag Resort! The dusting of new snow last night was pressed on select trails this morning. It was the best grooming run so far this year. A ski patrol at lunch found best ski conditions of the year. Still some rough and thin spots but overall good for rock skiing with some really nice sections. The grooming set up quickly thanks to single digit temps. Observation of other trails found good coverage, waiting for additional snow to groom and open for skiing.
    We will continue to be open this Thanksgiving week on through the weekend with limited services but there is no charge to use the trails. Recommended to stay on Skaters Waltz or Sukkerbusk. Skaters are welcome on Sukkerbusk at this time. Use caution if adventuring on other trails. We will continue grooming after any new snow and will open and groom more trail once we receive 1" or more.
    Photos:  
    (Jay Richards, Maplelag Resort)
  • 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)

 

Minnesota Central

  Brainerd area [ forecast/conditions ]
  • Nov 28 - Northland Arboretum (Brainerd): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Very Good for skating.
    I was very happy to arrive at Northland Arborteum to find the trails had been groomed. Great skating. Thank you groomers!
    (Laura Beilke)
  • 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 28 - Ney Park (Maple Lake): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Ungroomed trail, but tracks laid by previous skiers. Snow was soft, but skiable.
    We were the only ones out there and had a great time! The trail is mostly flat with some rolling hills.
    (Kali Pelham)
  • Nov 28 - Quarry Park and Nature Preserve (Waite Park): 
    Firsthand 

    Groomed since snow last night, wonderful butter cream frosting consistency. Great edge for skating. Middle classic trails are pretty walked on.
    (Michael Latsch)
  • Nov 28 - Graystone Trails (Saint Cloud): 
    Grooming 

    Conditions: Orchard, Warm-up, and Hilltop groomed in fresh snow for classic and skate this morning.
    Coverage is still great, rare thin areas.
    (Dan Fark)
  • Nov 27 - Graystone Trails (Saint Cloud): 
    Firsthand 

    Hard, crusty, and fast on Orchard and Hilltop loops. Some leaves. Sets are shallow everywhere, but they're in better shape on the orchard.
    (Michael Latsch)
  • Nov 26 - Warner Lake Park (Saint Augusta): 
    Grooming 

    Conditions: All the trails are in good condition.
    The inside loop was groomed this afternoon.
    (Julie Nistler, Stearns County Parks)
  • Nov 25 - Graystone Trails (Saint Cloud): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Orchard loop - very good for skate, good for classic. Icy so klister would be good.
    Big shout out to Sam K . . . thanks a million for getting out there and grooming! The trails are pretty good given the melt down.
    (Bruce Busta)
  • Nov 24 - Graystone Trails (Saint Cloud): 
    Grooming 

    Conditions: Hilltop, Orchard, and Warmup groomed for both classic and skate.
    Trail was groomed tonight and is still in surprisingly good shape after the weekend thaw. Track is shallow and the skate deck was tilled up and a little uneven. Need some new snow to restore conditions. Otherwise should be in pretty fast shape for Tuesday.
    (Samuel Kilpela)
  • 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)
  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)
  Mora/Hinckley area [ forecast/conditions ]
  • Nov 28 - Spirit River Nature Area (Cambridge): 
    Firsthand Grooming 

    Conditions: Good for skate and diagonal. Remember it's November. Not perfect but very skiable.
    Fresh 1 1/2 of snow. Did not groom. Will skate trails in. Had good skate this morning on fresh snow. Ice base with powder top. Will groom after Saturday's warm weather if snow holds up.
    (David Larson)
  • 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)
  Other locations
  • Nov 28 - Wild River State Park (Center City): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Decent, not tracked, on the Deer Creek loop. The 2 inches of new snow last night made skiing possible.
    Possible rocks in a few thin stretches.
    (Sue Leaf)
  • 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)

 

Minnesota Southern

  Rochester area [ forecast/conditions ]
  • Nov 28 - Honey Tree Farm (Austin): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Classic good, skating so so.
    The base is thin which makes it easy to catch an edge when skating. The packed powder works very well for classic since you are using a flat ski.
    (Steve Williams)
  • Nov 27 - Quarry Hill Park (Rochester): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Great rock skis skiing.
    The base is thin but very skiable with rock skis. A few areas you could use better than rock skis but grass and some dirt poking through. Groomed Wednesday night after a 3" snowfall it packed well. Many skiers out today enjoying a little turkey burn.
    (Henry Walker)
  • Nov 27 - Honey Tree Farm (Austin): 
    Grooming 

    Conditions: Packed powder: no classic tracks.
    Yesterday's 5 inch snowfall has now been groomed into about 1 inch of corduroy. With the blue sky and the new snow it is really quite beautiful.
    (Steve Williams)
  • 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)
  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)

 

Wisconsin Northwest

  Cable/Hayward area [ forecast/conditions ]
  • Nov 27 - Birkie Trail (Hayward): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: fresh snow and nicely groomed.
    Really good from OO to Boedecker and back. That's a 10k without repeating anything. Nice classic track. Super for November.
    Photos:  
    (Joel Harrison, New Moon Ski Shop)
  • Nov 27 - Birkie Trail (Hayward): 
    Firsthand 

    Strided from OO to Bodeker on Classic trail and then back on Birkie trail and south on lighted loop. Good fresh tracks and coverage. Lots of fresh new snow, beautiful.
    (Audun Mikkelson)
  • Nov 26 - Birkie Trail (Hayward): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Good classic tracks.
    Skied the lighted trails at OO. The tracks were set on one side of all of the trails and were in good condition. It was great skiing until the lights on the south end of the trails shut off at 9:00 leaving me in the dark. The lights on the north end stayed on until shortly after 10:00. Other than a few minutes skiing in the dark it was a great stop.
    (Ben Mullin)
  • Nov 24 - Birkie Trail (Hayward): 
    Firsthand 

    Skied this afternoon out of Fish Hatchery. Foot of new heavy snow. Underneath that an inch of slush. No groooming yet. Skate skiing impossible, classic skiing difficult. It will probably set up well after it gets colder.
    (Mike McCloskey)
  • 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)
  Superior area [ forecast/conditions ]
  • Nov 28 - After Hours Ski Trail (Brule): 
    Firsthand 

    Classic tracks were set on about half of the trails, and the trails without set tracks were fine for classic too (a couple of inches of fresh powdery snow over a firm base). All the skiers we saw were also from Duluth, but we didn't recognize any of the hunters.
    Photos:  
    (Anne Flueckiger, Duluth XC Ski Club)
  • Nov 28 - After Hours Ski Trail (Brule): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Good to very good. Packed and tracked with about 2" fresh on top.
    Beautiful day at After Hours. Trails had received a couple inches since the last grooming... Most trails groomed for both skate and classic. Severals trails had not been groomed as recently. Few places where slush, now frozen, could be seen under fresh snow. I was on rocks skis, but good skis could have been used. Maybe a dozen skiers and two hunters on trails. Deer hunting is still open through Sunday... After hours has a few blaze orange vests available in the warming house.
    (Sue Schroeder)
  • Nov 28 - After Hours Ski Trail (Brule): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Very good with 2" to 3" of new snow on top of some the best snow in memory for this early in the season.
    Even with the new snow the trails were in great shape!
    (Rick Agar)
  • Nov 26 - After Hours Ski Trail (Brule): 
    Grooming Scheduling 

    All trails were rolled and packed today; all trails are groomed and tracked except Classic, White Pine, and Little Joe. There are still spots of water seepage on some trails. Trails will not be groomed further until Monday, December 1st. Please remember the firearms deer season is still open, and the After Hours system is open for hunting; wear blaze orange or borrow a blaze vest from the ski hut while sking. Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!
    (Matt Miranda, Wisconsin DNR)
  • Nov 25 - After Hours Ski Trail (Brule): 
    Firsthand 

    Soft but skating is good. Excellent coverage. No track set, maybe soon.
    (Jeff Adams)
  • Nov 25 - After Hours Ski Trail (Brule): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Soft, no set track.
    The DNR said they were starting to pack the new snow and that I should come on over and enjoy the winter wonderland. So I did. There were only a couple of ice/slush spots, easy to spot. Otherwise plenty of snow on the trails and on the trees.
    (Anne Flueckiger, Duluth XC Ski Club)
  • 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)
  Ashland/Bayfield area [ forecast/conditions ]
  • Nov 28 - Mt. Ashwabay Ski Trails (Bayfield): 
    Grooming 

    Today Anchor, Seagull and Telford were groomed for skate, Raven and Black Bear - including Deer Path between Sugarbush and Black Bear - were tracked for classic only trails.
    (Scott Nesvold)
  • Nov 26 - Mt. Ashwabay Ski Trails (Bayfield): 
    Grooming 

    Tracked Sugarbush Classic today, has a wet area NW of Oppedahl's.
    (Scott Nesvold)
  • Nov 25 - Mt. Ashwabay Ski Trails (Bayfield): 
    Grooming 

    This morning we groomed and tracked: Anchor, Seagull, Rollercoaster, and Telford. We rolled or packed Jolly Long, Oppedahl's, Birch Hill, Deer Path, and Raven.
    (Scott Nesvold)
  • 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)
  Rice Lake area [ forecast/conditions ]
  • Nov 25 - Balsam Branch Trails (Amery): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Rock ski conditions.
    Snow recon stop 5 of 5: Wear blaze orange (I wore a Hi-vis bike rain jacket) while skiing in Wisconsin until deer hunting season ends on Sunday. There are deep vehicle ruts on maybe half the trail system that have now frozen. The trails without ruts are not too bad, having survived the meltdown with a couple inches of icy base. I did not ski the longest loop when I saw the ruts heading there and some evidence of hunters. I also sang loudly to avoid being mistaken for a deer.
    Photos:  
    (David Byrne, Minnesota Rovers Outdoors Club)
  • Nov 25 - Spooner City Trails (Spooner): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Fantastic! Recently groomed after the last snowfall. Firming up and very little debris. Like mid-winter this morning. Amazing job Spooner groomers!
    Got out for an early ski Tuesday morning. Area received approx 6" of snow Monday but was very warm underneath...so as it cooled down Monday night the groomers got out to roll it down. Base is finally getting harder underneath and the skiing is amazing...especially for Nov 25th!
    Photos:  
    (Ben Popp, American Birkebeiner)
  • 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)
  Eau Claire area [ forecast/conditions ]
  • Nov 26 - Tower Ridge Ski Area (Eau Claire): 
    Grooming 

    Conditions: Rock skis only.
    Trails have been rolled. The snow cover is thin. Tower Ridge is open to deer hunting during the day. There are multiple parking lots so do not assume no hunting activity if the lot is empty.
    (Bob Schwartz)
  • Nov 26 - Lowes Creek County Park (Eau Claire): 
    Grooming 

    Conditions: Rock skis only.
    Trails have been rolled, the snow cover is thin. Lowes Creek is not open to deer hunting.
    (Bob Schwartz)
  • 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)
  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)
  Other locations
  • Nov 26 - Willow River State Park (Hudson): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Off trail skiing in the beach to dam area is not good. I skied classic.
    I was out working on trails during the snowfall today. Trails would not have gained enough snow for skiing. Maybe two inches of snow was down by 7:00pm. I skied the open area from the beach to the dam tonight. Mowed grass (short) is sticking up in much of the area as are drifts of leaves. There was little or no glide resulting in almost walking on skis. Where the snow had full coverage its okay skiing with excellent glide and clean kicks. Its a scattered pattern of all conditions so its impossible to sustain any kind of real skiing. So why go skiing? I had to try out the latest set of woodies, a "touring" width track ski. It could be a tough choice between the touring or race width woodies in a timed event. Remember, the main gun hunt for deer runs through Sunday. The roar of chain saw vs. brush on ski trails resumes Monday, most likely on the Purple trail.
    (Jeff Bolte)
  • Nov 24 - Willow River State Park (Hudson): 
    Grooming Scheduling 

    Conditions: Unskiable following the rain on Sunday. If you come out to hike, wear bright colors since there is a deer hunt in progress. Information is posted at the office and at trail heads.
    I was out doing trail brushing work today on the Purple Trail. Hopefully the pile of brush at the trail split will be out of there tomorrow. This fix is more for the groomers than for skiers. Skiers won't have to deal with a wrecked piece of skate deck from jack knife turns with grooming gear. Repeats on the loop can be non-stop with this area opened up. As long as the trails are in driving condition there will be brushing work by volunteers; maybe beyond drive condition. With the main gun hunting season for deer in progress, brushing will be on the light side this week.
    (Jeff Bolte)
  • 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)

 

Wisconsin Northeast

  Phillips area [ forecast/conditions ]
  • Nov 26 - North Lakeland Discovery Center (Manitowish Waters): 
    Grooming 

    Conditions: Classic ski trails are being groomed and tracked with the new snow fall.
    New snow on the ground has allowed us to send out the groomer. Discovery Center trails will be groomed and tracked by the end of today and ready for use during the holiday break. Office will be closed Thursday-Sunday. The warming hut/office building with bathroom will remain open for use from dusk till dawn. Happy Thanksgiving!
    (Azael Meza)
  Rhinelander/Eagle River area [ forecast/conditions ]
  • Nov 28 - Three Eagle Trail (Eagle River): 
    Grooming 

    Conditions: Very good classic. Skating is good but still a bit soft.
    Groomed 2" of new dry snow at 4:00PM today. Should set up nicely tonight. Freezing precip could make it fast tomorrow until temps climb above freezing.
    (Tom Rulseh)
  • Nov 28 - Afterglow Lake Resort (Phelps): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Fabulous! A fresh 2" of dry fluff made for smooth, quiet striding. Skate lane felt quite firm under the newly fallen snow.
    All open trails are in great shape.
    Photos:  
    (Tom Rulseh)
  • Nov 28 - Afterglow Lake Resort (Phelps): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Very Good! Classic track is firm with great kick, and was quite quick despite the cold and fresh snow. Skate lane looked flat and smooth. No Debris.
    Great skiing today. Lots of animal tracks. Not to many other people out there. Thanks for the great trails!
    (Jonathon Rulseh)
  • Nov 28 - Minocqua Winter Park Nordic Center (Minocqua): 
    Grooming 

    Conditions: We rolled and groomed 11km for beginner and intermediate skaters and striders alike. Good skis are ok. Trails are firming up nicely, and another inch has fallen so far this morning.
    Through Sunday, November 30th, blaze orange is required. All other trails that are in good condition will be open Monday, December 1st.
    (Tim Collins, Minocqua Winter Park and Nordic Center)
  • Nov 27 - CAVOC Trails (Rhinelander): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Good with some soft spots and a 6" base.
    With Northwoods Golf Course and Washburn both being closed till after hunting season it was a pleasant surprise to go here for the first time and find some nicely groomed trails with fun terrain and great skiing. They were grooming the new 2" although the snow was low moisture so the trails may not set up really firm but still a great option to get in some K's.
    (Jeff Schnelle)
  • Nov 27 - Minocqua Winter Park Nordic Center (Minocqua): 
    Grooming 

    Conditions: Last night's trail rolling went well. Excellent snow coverage, although the base is still a bit soft. Grooming plans: We will groom 10.6km tonight for skating and striding.
    About 5km beginner skating & striding and 5km intermediate skating and striding will be open this week. Blaze orange clothing is required. All trails that are in good condition will be opened on Monday, December 1st.
    (Tim Collins, Minocqua Winter Park and Nordic Center)
  • Nov 27 - WinMan Trails (Winchester): 
    Grooming 

    Conditions: With the exception of a couple damp spots trails are in very good shape.
    All 7.4 miles of ski trails were rolled, groomed and trackset this morning. There are a couple damp spots that are easily skiable around and just a couple bumpy sections. Happy Thanksgiving.
    Photos:  
    (Robert Polic)
  • Nov 26 - Afterglow Lake Resort (Phelps): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Excellent classic tracks, firm and true with excellent base.
    classic skied all except one of the opened trails this afternoon. Trails groomed yesterday. The classic tracks were firm and true, not icy. The downhills are smooth, fast with great control. The trails are in excellent mid-season form. Bring your best skis, the base is excellent. Pete is at it again. Give yourself a Thanksgiving feast and ski Afterglow Resort. Don't forget your blaze orange during gun season. Enjoy!
    (Ron Harms)
  • Nov 26 - Three Eagle Trail (Eagle River): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Very good classic. Skating is quite soft.
    A fresh inch of dry fluff has fallen since yesterday's grooming. The forest was exceptionally quiet today aside from the social chatter of fellow skiers. The welcome traffic helped to keep the classic tracks very enjoyable. And, the trees are beautiful, even on this gray day. No regrooming plans till maybe Friday after Thanksgiving depending on conditions.
    Photos:  
    (Tom Rulseh)
  • Nov 26 - Afterglow Lake Resort (Phelps): 
    Grooming Scheduling 

    Very good! Full depth classic tracks. Smooth flat skate lane. Trails have been groomed 9 times this season. Already have had 1/3 of a normal winter snowfall (120" or 10'). Blaze orange is mandatory until hunting season is over. Trail 5 and the Phelps trail will not be open until hunting season is over. Fat Bikes are now allowed on skate lanes and snowshoe trails at Afterglow. Never schedule a vacation when an 18" snowstorm blankets your ski resort while you are gone and your fall work is not complete.
    (Pete Moline, Afterglow Lake Resort)
  • Nov 25 - Three Eagle Trail (Eagle River): 
    Firsthand 

    Great conditions for classic skiing in the tracks. Fast ski conditions. Skied in early evening -- moon was great with some shadow.
    Photos:  
    (Joe Laux)
  • Nov 25 - Three Eagle Trail (Eagle River): 
    Grooming 

    Conditions: Beautiful but skate lane is a bit soft. Classic tracks should be quite firm.
    Made a single pass with the TiddTech over 5" of fairly dry snow. The track setter cut down to the old base so bottom of tracks should be firm and fast. Skate lane should firm up a bit over night but it did get sliced up immediately after grooming.
    Photos:  
    (Tom Rulseh)
  • 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)
  Wausau area [ forecast/conditions ]
  • Nov 24 - Iverson Park (Stevens Point): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Ungroomed. 5" heavy new snow, still coming down.
    Night ski through the park. Picture postcard pretty with the wet, clingy snow. Added bonus is a pub at the halfway point and a locally brewed, double imperial bourbon barrel-aged beverage.
    (Rick Bie)
  Green Bay area [ forecast/conditions ]
  • Nov 28 - He-Nis-Ra Park (Green Bay): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: 2" base with 1" fluff on top.
    They ran a snowmobile over all the trails it would seem in effort to pack the trail. It worked, creating a 2 inch base. There are no tracks set yet. Some walker footprints on almost every trail but still a decent ski with old waxless classical skis. The trail is in a city park so no need to worry about deer hunting activity. Avoid the trail directly to the west of and below the water tower. It has some very deep erosion ruts at the bottom of the trail. The ruts are 1 to 2 feet deep and dangerous. City should probably close off this one section of the trail.
    (Dan Statz)
  • Nov 25 - Bridgewood Resort (Neenah): 
    Grooming Scheduling 

    3-4' new snow. Trails will remain closed till ground freezes more and we have some more snow. Please keep checking.
    (Greg Hollub)
  Door County area [ forecast/conditions ]
  • Nov 25 - Crossroads at Big Creek (Sturgeon Bay): 
    Grooming 

    Conditions: Received 5 inches moisture laden snow Monday night. Groomed for skating at this time (not enough base to set a classic track). Firm with only a few bare spots under the pines and just a couple icy areas.
    This was the first grooming of the year. Very nice before Thanksgiving skiing.
    Photos:  
    (Chesla Seely-Anschutz)
  • Nov 25 - Whitefish Dunes State Park (Sturgeon Bay): 
    Grooming 

    Conditions: Marginal, at best.
    4-5" of moisture laden snow was rolled Tuesday afternoon. Despite concerns of it being too warm, the snow packed down nicely on all trails except the portion of the Green Trail on the north side of County WD. Most areas are covered and should firm up overnight but track won't be set until there is more base. Skiers are cautioned that deer hunting is allowed in the park and if you do go out one is advised to wear a blaze orange vest, available at the Nature Center during normal work hours. Whitefish Dunes State Park is groomed for classic only.
    (Rich Dirks)
  Other locations
  • Nov 25 - Nepco Lake County Park (Wisconsin Rapids): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Freshly rolled - 3 to 5 inches.
    Got some good striding on the no wax rock skis. Should be do-able with the skate rock skis too! Get out and start your training.
    Photos:  
    (Andrew Jennings)
  • 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)

 

Wisconsin Southeast

  Sheboygan area [ forecast/conditions ]
  • Nov 25 - Greenbush Ski Trails (Greenbush): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: 4 in new snow on top of slush; not groomed.
    Greenbush received 4" of snow and trees were painted white, as well. Strided with waxless rock skis and it was nice to have an opportunity to make my first entry into the 14-15 log in November. Lots of trucks, boot tracks and even passed one hunter on the Green Trail, so stop at Fleet and get some blaze orange if you're going.
    (Clark Reinke)
  Madison area [ forecast/conditions ]
  • Nov 27 - Norsk Golf Bowl (Mount Horeb): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Good, for November in Southern Wisconsin.
    Skied in tracks made for a delightful Thanksgiving morning ski. Falling snow made for a light dusting in the tracks. Appears the tracks have been getting some use since Monday's snowfall.
    (Adam Dowling)
  • Nov 26 - Odana Hills Golf Course (Madison): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Groomed today. Enough snow to ski with waxless skis.
    The city groomed the trails then went over them with truck tires to sort of track them. They did a great job with limited snow!
    (Sue Hoffenberg)
  • 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)
  Milwaukee area [ forecast/conditions ]
  • Nov 28 - Lapham Peak (Delafield): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Couple of inches of dense snow, groomed, with occasional patches of leaves. Rock skis a must.
    Lapham was a very busy place today, with many skiers enjoying the great early season conditions. Trails are fully covered, but not too deep, and areas of leaves can be problematic. Significant progress has been made in grooming out the snowmaking trails, which will be fantastic when fully covered and groomed.
    (John McCartjy)
  • Nov 28 - Nordic Ski Trail (La Grange): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Full coverage, not groomed,.
    Skated the green Friday morning. Ungroomed but somewhat enjoyable. Reminded me of last years Birkie! I was the only one there, past and present!
    (Robert Garner)
  • Nov 27 - Lapham Peak (Delafield): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Good, full coverage, groomer made a pass.
    Skated at 7:00am the entire black loop, some leaves and rocks poking through but easily avoidable. Great gift for this time of year!
    (Bob Garner)
  • Nov 26 - Lapham Peak (Delafield): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Rolled and skiable, soft in some areas.
    Most of the big piles of man-made snow were spread today. The lighted loop is in good shape for B skis. It looks like snowmaking has continued on the man-made hill.
    (John Hallett)
  • Nov 26 - Fox Hill Nordic (West Bend): 
    Firsthand 

    The east loops at Fox Hill Nordic remain in decent condition for skating. Enough coverage to get good purchase and never caught an edge or hit a bare spot. Parking in the small lot just east of the main lot allows you to avoid the wet spot before the first bridge. B-skis for now. Thank you groomer Jerry!
    Photos:  
    (Jeff Grotenhuis)
  • Nov 25 - Lapham Peak (Delafield): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Freshly groomed, high-moisture snow, ranging from soft to firm. Not very deep, with some leaves in places, but... Pretty darn good.
    Report is for lighted loop. Rock skis, of course, but I never hit anything or was "grabbed" on numerous circuits around the loops. Lights out on part of the trail, and snowmaking area is covered with whales of snow, waiting to be groomed (soon!). Overall very nice for a first ski in SE Wisconsin.
    (John McCarthy)
  • Nov 25 - Fox Hill Nordic (West Bend): 
    Firsthand 

    The east loops are in good condition and the open areas are better than the tree lined areas, but all are skiable. They have been groomed for skating as there is not enough snow to set track. The west loops/more heavily wooded areas have not been groomed yet. I used my b-skis and would recommend them until we get more snow. There is some leaf litter but besides the wet/icy stretch (maybe 20 feet worth) at the bottom of the first downhill, the trails are pretty dang nice! First November post that I can recall making!
    Photos:  
    (Jeff Grotenhuis)
  • Nov 25 - Fox Hill Nordic (West Bend): 
    Grooming 

    Conditions: Very good skate.
    Groomed and skated the fields, did not groom woods. Thin but very good coverage. Would not use your better skis. Best to park at Memorial Rock north of main entrance.
    (Jerry Gensch)

 

Michigan Upper Peninsula

  Ironwood area [ forecast/conditions ]
  • Nov 28 - ABR (Ironwood): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Excellent A-ski snow.
    Beautiful skiing. Trails had about an inch on top of hard pack. Best skiing in the Midwest by far.
    Photos:  
    (Tamer Mische-Richter)
  • Nov 28 - ABR (Ironwood): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Excellent. We skied Thanksgiving day and this morning.
    They have midwinter conditions at ABR. Loads and loads of snow and more coming as we skied. Beautiful tracks and a perfect skate deck. One wanted to be in better shape with all these fabulous trails stretched out ahead.
    Photos:  
    (Jenneke Oosterhoff)
  • Nov 28 - Wolverine Ski Trail (Ironwood): 
    Grooming 

    Conditions: Freshly PB groomed this morning by dedicated volunteers. Cliff hanger groomed for skating.
    A bit soft but PB will continue to pack things down after 15" plus dry snow. Fresh biscotti in chalet for a donation!
    Photos:  
    (Deborah Leonard-Polich, Wolverine Nordic Ski Trails)
  • Nov 27 - ABR (Ironwood): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Winter Wonderland.
    Fantastic, albiet slightly cold and slow skiing at ABR today. Today I was very thankful for all of the lake effect snow, the grooming crew at ABR, the fact that they were open on the holiday, and all of the enthusiastic other skiers I met on the trail. I exchanged many excited smiles and shouts of encouragement with other skiers as we enjoyed the day.
    Photos:  
    (Ben Mullin)
  • Nov 25 - ABR (Ironwood): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Beautiful -- 12 inches of fresh snow; the groomers did a great job getting the trails ready for a great day of skiing!
    It was a fine day of classic skiing: 2 hours in the morning; 1.5 hours in the afternoon. It's worth the drive to visit ABR -- its time to get out there and ski! Skating will be superb tomorrow!
    (Bruce Manske)
  • Nov 24 - ABR (Ironwood): 
    Grooming 

    We are back to winter conditions. The base that softened slightly on Sunday is now frozen again and we will continue normal daily grooming. 6 inches of snow so far today! We are presently grooming and skiing 38km and will be ready to ski 70 km soon.
    (Eric Anderson, ABR Trails)
  • 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)
  Marquette area [ forecast/conditions ]
  • Nov 27 - Blueberry Ridge Trail (Sands): 
    Grooming 

    Husky and crossroads classic tracks were set yesterday. Some snow overnight so they were skied in today. Spartan loop has not been groomed. Wolverine and lighted loops were groomed for both skate and classic and superior for skate only. As mentioned overnight snow has been skied in today. Overall trails are good.
    (Oscar Forsman)
  • 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)
  Houghton area [ forecast/conditions ]
  • Nov 28 - Michigan Tech University Ski Trails (Houghton): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Daily tilled and tracked, high season smooth and flat.
    Haven't skied the Lower Loops nor the Nara Trails. What a jump on the ski season!
    (Geoff Harrison)
  • 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 25 - Rendezvous Ski Trails (West Yellowstone, MT): 
    Firsthand 

    Conditions: Snow ... A lot of snow!
    I woke up this morning to a very snowy West Yellowstone. At 4:45 PM it is still snow. The area got about 10" of new snow so needless to say the trails were really soft. Once the trails get groomed it will be amazing! It's hard to describe how much snow the trails got. It made for some beautiful pictures during my ski.
    Photos:  
    (Vince Rosetta, ONE WAY Sport USA)
  • 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 

    Conditions: Decent base, variable conditions.
    We had a nice ski on all the groomed loops this morning!
    (Kyia Anderson)
  • 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)

 


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