Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Gunflint Pines Resort: Skijoring on lake and Amerpage ski trail

Gunflint Pines Resort, way up Minnesota's gunflint trail is "family and pet friendly" and offers skijoring trails ...

We do offer Skijoring on the Amperage Skitrail, which is located right behind our property, and of course you can always skijor on the lake.

The Amperage ski trailis is one of the last to come online each season, as its course passes through a swamp, and it must be frozen solid enough to support our grooming equipment safely before we can groom it properly.

Bob & Shari Baker
Gunflint Pines Resort

Surprisingly, the neighboring and fairly dog friendly Gunflint Lodge has no skijoring at all!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Skijoring - Sugarbush Trails, Tofte MN

Sawtooth Outfitters tells me (they should know) that there are two skijoring trails on the Sugarbush trail system near Tofte MN. Skijorers can also use snowmobile trails.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Skijoring and MN DNR winter activities guide

The MN DNR has an excellent Winter Activities Guide. Rumor is that there will soon be a skijoring section.

Itasca state park officially allows skijoring, and I know that Big Woods unofficially permits skijoring on their snowmobile trails. For now the page may only have Itasca, but the DNR is asking around. It's a start!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Minnesota wildlife refuge nordic trails - many MSP region

The US Fish and Wildlife service has a web page listing national wildlife refuge ski trails across the US - but most are MN/WI! I wonder if some of the mixed-use trails might informally allow skijoring  (emphases mine) ...
Best Little-Known Spots for Cross-Country Skiing 
... Some refuges loan out ski equipment free or rent it at low cost... 
Seney National Wildlife Refuge, MI Ski through a mature stand of sugar maple, beech and yellow birch trees. Admire hardwood forests, marshes and the frozen Manistique River.
Trails: The Northern Hardwoods Cross Country Ski Area includes more than 9 miles of trails groomed for classic cross-country skiing. Trails are rated “easiest” to “most difficult.” Trails usually are groomed weekly. Get a map here.
Rydell National Wildlife Refuge, MN Ski a rolling terrain along savannah, wetlands and maple basswood forest.
Trails: 7 miles of wide groomed trails, shared by skiers, hikers and snowshoers. A trail guide is available at the refuge. 
Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, MN Use an extensive ski trail network in the Minnesota River flood plain to explore parts of the refuge that are inaccessible most of the year. Flat trails lead past forest, prairie and marsh. Borrow snowshoes free with an ID at the Rapids Lake and Bloomington visitor centers.
Trails: About 100 miles of trails include refuge trails that link with those on adjacent state and municipal land. Refuge trails are ungroomed. Some state trails are groomed.
Trempeleau National Wildlife Refuge, WI Ski along wooded edges of prairies and wetlands. Some backcountry trails are shared by hikers. The refuge offers some guided snowshoe tours and cross-country ski tours. See the website for schedule. Snowshoes are available free for use on site.
Trails: Ungroomed trails cover about 4 miles. Pick up a trail guide at the refuge or download it from the website.

Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge, MN Ski along scenic lakes through Northern woodlands
Trails: About 8 miles of occasionally groomed trails. The Pine Lake Ski Trail consists of two loops: a relatively flat 2.2 mile loop and a hillier and more challenging 5.7 mile loop. Call for date of last grooming. Pick up a trail map at the refuge visitor center or information kiosk.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Nordic skiing: Explore Minnesota and DNR

A recent strib article reminded me of the Explore Minnesota snow sports and DNR ski trail sites.

The Explore MN site would be more interesting if I were looking at an area I didn't know. A search around my St Paul home simply provided an unremarkable list in a peculiar sort order. Not useful.

The DNR site provides online purchase of the multi-season nordic ski pass ($55 for 3 years, need ages 16 and up) and some very useful information including ...

  • snow depth measure: with very topical reports throughout the state. This looks really well done. In early Dec two trails in SE MN have coverage.
  • ski pass trails map: lots and lots of trails
  • Sortable table of trails: click header to sort by region, length or name. Why can't anyone else do this? Some of the entries link to Skinny Ski reports.

The DNR site feels like a labor of love. The biggest missing piece is ski trail maps. For example, the Harmony-Preston Valley Ski trail page suggests emailing the DNR information center for a map!

Nothing about skijoring I could find. Email them to ask for that addition!