Monday, January 20, 2014

Pine Valley Park/Ski Area - Cloquet, MN

Atypically cold weather meant we didn't do the skijoring we'd planned on our brief visit to Cloquet (Duluth area, MN). Kateva stayed home and we visited a couple of local trails -- Snowflake Nordic Ski Center and Cloquet's almost secret Pine Valley Park/Ski Area.

Snowflake disappointed. It's a maze of interconnecting poorly marked trails, and although it's not cheap they had no attendant and no maps. I think it's really just for members these days.

Pine Valley is a gem though. There are 5k, 3.5k and 2k loops -- which sounds short but these are lovely trails and very well managed. There are also two amazing ski jumps -- we didn't know that and got the full surprise of the looming madness. Still in use -- I wonder how the city manages the insurance.

There's a bit of mystery about these trails. To find them you drive towards the arenas and keep going around the back. It's as though the locals want to keep 'em quiet.

The trails are on 'Olympic drive'. I couldn't find any explanation of how these trails were built, but I wonder if they and the nearby arenas had 1980 winter olympics funding.