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Itasca State Park
Park Rapids, MN
Trail Length: 45K  Maps: |
Groomed: Skating/Classical    Lighted: No Snowmaking: No
Contact: 218-699-7251    Weather: [ NWS ]  
Notes:   Here you will find the Headwaters to the Mississippi amongst towering pines. Trails are easy to difficult.

Trail Reports:   2016-2017 season  view previous season     File a new report

1 to 5 of 5    Month: Feb | Jan | Dec
Thursday, February 09, 2017  posted: 2/10/2017 8:19:23 AM
Firsthand 
[ Good skis ]
  3-4 inches fresh snow this week was groomed. Skied South Entrance to Wilderness drive which was groomed skate with 2 sets of classic tracks. Red Pine, De Sota and Ozawindib were groomed classic with a small skate lane. Itasca is in prime condition with great snow coverage!
(Anne Ellefson)
Tuesday, January 17, 2017  posted: 1/19/2017 8:31:35 AM
Firsthand Secondhand 
[ Trails Open: Most, Good skis ]
  Conditions are generally good, and when I skated the south entrance road, the classic tracks just went to Wilderness Drive, then it was all skate lane with skier-tracked classic till Red Pine Trail. It looks like the groomer was pulled by a tracked vehicle, and there was some ridging, but mostly good skating. They have had some groomer problems this season, but rumors are they will have a new unit soon. Mixed precip and warmer temps will cause variable conditions this weekend.
(Deane Johnson)
Saturday, January 14, 2017  posted: 1/16/2017 3:05:04 PM
Firsthand 
[ Trails Open: All, Good skis ]
  Classic skied north from the visitors center to the headwaters. Conditions were as good as one could ask for, on a perfect sunny day! The trail has been rerouted and widened since the last time I skied it three years ago. It is now groomed for both classic and skate. It looked like it might be a little narrow for skate without straying onto one of the classic tracks, but since I didn't skate I can't say for sure. The new route stays on the east side of the park road, further from the lake, all the way to the boat launch area. It seems a little less hilly than the old one, but is every bit as beautiful as the old one. Overall it was very enjoyable. After lunch I skated south, and found that the south entry road had been packed for skating all the way to the parking lot at the south end. The skate deck, which appeared to have been made with two passes of the groomer, was firm and relatively smooth, with the only problem being a ridge in the middle. Most places it was not a concern, but there were places where it made the deck a little narrower than ideal. But overall it was some of the best skiing I've experienced at Itasca in years. I also skated down the trail to Douglas Lodge and towards the Ozawindib trail, but turned back because the trail was not wide enough for both classic and skate. Some other skate skiers told me that the rest of the Ozawindib trail was too soft for good skating. The park has significantly reduced the number of trails they are grooming at all. Besides the trails I've mentioned, there are only a few other trails near the fire tower being groomed. Much as I loved skiing the Nicolett trail when conditions were good, they seldom were, so I'm not completely disappointed. If grooming fewer trails means that they can do a better job grooming the rest of the trails, I think that is a good trade-off.
(Lois Braun)
Monday, January 02, 2017  posted: 1/2/2017 4:20:24 PM
Firsthand Secondhand 
[ Trails Open: Most, B skis ]
  We skied Itasca today, seemed alone in the park except for two others. The trails are packed and groomed but not tracked. Their website said that there wasn't enough snow under the big pines and fir to reliably track on all trails. We had 3" fresh snow, so broke trail, and there are classic trails tracked by skiers after that busy weekend. Itasca is such a beautiful, quiet place to ski, that conditions are secondary. I did put B skis, as they reported some of the trails had an occasional rock at the surface. The big trees on the S end of Ozawindib, and spots on Nicollet do hold a lot of snow, but the shorter Deer Park - Myrtle Crossover - Ozawindib loop we did today had full coverage.
Photos:  
(Deane Johnson)
Sunday, December 25, 2016  posted: 12/27/2016 12:03:44 AM
Firsthand 
[ Trails Open: All, Good skis ]
  Good snow coverage at Itasca Park which is just to the east of Maplelag. Groomer had rolled the trails Ozawindib, Eagle Scout, Nicollet, Wilderness Dr, DeSoto and Deer Park which I skied in that order. Also based on my observation, I think it was groomed it with tid tech but not a good job (did it under warm, moist conditions) and no classic track as of that day. Nonetheless having a firm base to push off from made the classic skiing enjoyable with Swix 65 and especially when I had the whole park to myself and it's semi-wilderness character with wolf pack and all. It was blowing all day with the ice pellets and snow coming down hard just as I got to the car at dusk. Received a couple inches of snow after that overnight into Monday, and when it cools off and dries out should be good for some more xc skiing.
Photos:  
(Greg Klave)


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