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Cross-Country Ski Guide

Published September, 2006

Photo courtesy of Explore Minnesota Tourism

Any time of year, you’d be hard-pressed to find a sport that offers a better workout than cross-country skiing. Loved by many Minnesotans, skiing works the whole body with invigorating cardiovascular exercise. Unlike downhill skiing, which offers quick runs at thrilling speeds, you can enjoy cross-country skiing at any pace. And those on skinny skis rarely get cold, because they are constantly moving.

Skiing immerses you in Minnesota’s winter landscape. Take to the trails, where a fresh perspective waits. With no foliage on the trees, new vistas open up at familiar places. The linear shapes of deciduous trees and long blue shadows cast across pure snow create surroundings that are a study of shape and contrast.

You may find yourself contemplating the awesome silence of a thick pine stand after a heavy snowfall. Perhaps you will track along a river, marveling at sparkling ice formations. You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment after the challenge of skiing up a hill, then revel in the exhilarating downhill ride. You’ll enjoy frozen lakes, whose flat surfaces are perfect for skiing. You’ll see plenty of wildlife, but few people.

Minnesota has more than 100 well-maintained ski trails, with an immense variety of scenery and terrain for all
skill levels.

For the complete winter getaway, spend the day skiing, then retire to a cozy cabin or lodge and relax with a steaming cup of cocoa in front of a roaring fire.

The chart below will help you find the perfect destination, whether you’re a veteran or a novice. Choose a trail based on length, terrain, track-set or difficulty.


This chart lists the groomed, track-set, cross-country ski trails of ten kilometers or more in Minnesota. Groomed trails have been cleared of obstacles and the surface of the snow has been tracked or smoothed for skate-skiing.

  1. Gunflint Trail
  2. North Shore
  3. Iron Range
  4. Ely Area
  5. Grand Rapids- Voyageurs Area
  6. Duluth
  7. East Central
  8. Northwest
  9. Bemidji-Park Rapids Area
  10. Leech Lake Area
  11. Brainerd-Mille Lacs Area
  12. St. Cloud-Monticello Area
  13. Western Lakes
  14. Southern Minnesota
  15. Twin Cities Area
a map of Minnesota cross-country ski regions

 

Your Key to Ski

For the chart below

EG = Easygoing: Level trails with few to no hills
INT = Intermediate: Moderately rolling trails with some hills
EX = Expert: Challenging, steep hills and turns
AL = All Levels: Variety of skill levels represented

Track-Set Kilometers: The number of trail kilometers groomed with a set track.

Skate-Ski Kilometers: The number of trail kilometers without a set track for gliding/skating type of cross-country skiing.

Signs Note Difficulty: Trail signs ensure that every skier will find the right trail for his/her ability.

Maps Along Trail: Maps are posted for your convenience.

Toilet: Facilities can be found on-site.

MN Ski Pass Required: State law requires ski-trail passes for use at designated trails.

MN Ski Pass Sold: You can purchase a ski pass at the trailhead.

Other Fees: Vehicle permits or entrance fees required at some parks or ski areas (including all state parks).

Note: A vehicle permit is required for entry into any Minnesota state park and can be purchased at a park or at the Department of Natural Resources in St. Paul.

 

1. Gunflint Trail

Location

Track-Set
km
Skate-Ski
km
Difficulty
Rating
Signs Note
Difficulty
Maps Along Trail Toilet MN Ski Pass Req'd MN Ski Pass Sold Other Fees Description
Banadad Ski Trail
Boundary Country Trekking
218-388-4487, 800-322-8327; boundarycountry.com
36.8   INT   X   X X X 30 miles NW of Grand Marais. BWCA’s longest tracked trail connects with Central & Upper Gunflint Nordic Trails System. Snowmobile groomed.

Central Gunflint Ski Trail System
Bearskin Lodge and Golden Eagle Lodge
218-388-2292, 218-388-2203

 77.0 50.0 AL X X X   X   27 miles N of Grand Marais. Equipment rental. Lessons. 3 km lighted trails. Warming houses. Lake views and high bluffs in a pine forest with lots of wildlife. Trails running adjacent to BWCA.

Pincushion Mountain Ski Trail
Pincushion Mountain B&B; 218-387-1276, 800-542-1226; pincushionbb.com

25.0 25.0 AL X X X X     2 miles N of Grand Marais. Lighted trails. Warming houses. Views of river gorge and Lake Superior. Gentle to rolling terrain.
Upper Gunflint Ski Trails
Gunflint Lodge, Gunflint Pines, Heston’s, Moosehorn B&B, and Tuscarora; 800-338-6932; gunflint-trail.com
90.0 17.0 AL X X X     X 43 miles NW of Grand Marais. Equipment rental. Lessons. Warming houses. Scenic trails in Laurentian Highlands overlooking Canada.

 

2. North Shore

Location

Track-Set
km
Skate-Ski
km
Difficulty
Rating
Signs Note
Difficulty
Maps Along Trail Toilet MN Ski Pass Req'd MN Ski Pass Sold Other Fees Description
Bally Creek Trails
Bear Track Outfitting/Bally Creek Camp; 218-387-1162, 800-795-8068
 25.0 5.0 INT X X   X     6 miles NW of Grand Marais. Equipment rental. Lessons. Intimate trails through gently rolling hills covered with forest. Ski through to Cascade Park. 1 km skijorging. 
Britton Peak/Moose Fence/Oberg Mt. Trails
Lutsen Tofte Tourism Association; 888-61-NORTH; 61north.com
65.0 65.0 AL X X X X     Located in Lutsen and Tofte. Equipment rental. Custom designed by a trail-design expert.
Cascade River/Deer Yard Lake
Cascade Lodge; 218-387-1112, 800-322-9543; cascadelodgemn.com
60.0 25.0 AL X X X X X X 9 miles N of Lutsen. Equipment rental. River and lake views within a pine and hardwood forest. 
Cascade River State Park
218-387-3053; dnr.state.mn.us
16.0   AL X X X X X X Located between Lutsen and Grand Marais. Spruce, birch, and aspen forest. Warming house. 
Flathorn/Gegoka Trail
National Forest Lodge; 877-353-0707, 218-663-7280; nationalforestlodge.com
37.6   AL X X X X     7 miles N of Isabella. Warming huts. Large white and red pine forests with river views. 
Gooseberry Falls State Park
218-834-3855; dnr.state.mn.us
19.2   INT X X X X X X 13 miles N of Two Harbors. Rolling birch and conifer hills with views of Lake Superior and the Gooseberry River. Warming house in visitor center with fireplace. 
Lutsen Nordic Center
Lutsen Mountains; 218-663-7281; lutsen.com
16.0 16.0 AL X X X       Located at Lutsen Mountain Ski Area. Lift access to mountaintop trailhead with spectacular Lake Superior and inland forest views. Full service base area offers rental center, dining and trailside lodging. 
North Shore Ski Trail
Lutsen Tofte Tourism Association; 218-663-7804, 888-61-NORTH; 61north.com
175 102 AL X X   X     Several access points between Little Marais and Grand Marais. Equipment rental. Lessons. Views of Lake Superior. 
Split Rock Lighthouse State Park
218-226-6377; dnr.state.mn.us
12.8   INT X X X X X X 20 miles NE of Two Harbors. Lake Superior shoreline trail winds through birch forest. Warming house.
Temperance-Cross River Trail
Temperance River State Park; 218-663-7476; dnr.state.mn.us
19.2   INT X X X X X X 1 mile N of Schroeder. Trail follows falls and rapids along rugged river gorges.
Tettegouche State Park
218-226-6365; dnr.state.mn.us
24.8   INT X X X X X X 5 miles NE of Silver Bay. Pine and hardwood forest cover. 

 

3. Iron Range

Location

Track-Set
km
Skate-Ski
km
Difficulty
Rating
Signs Note
Difficulty
Maps Along Trail Toilet MN Ski Pass Req'd MN Ski Pass Sold Other Fees Description
Big Aspen Trail
USDA Forest Service; 218-229-8800; fs.fed/us/r9/superior
32.0   AL X X X       12 miles N of Virginia. Trail runs through pine and hardwood forest in the process of regeneration. 
Bird Lake Trail
USDA Forest Service; 218-229-8800; fs.fed/us/r9/superior
15.0   AL X X X       East edge of Hoyt Lakes. Scenery includes bogs and forest. 
Carey Lake Ski Trail
Hibbing Parks and Recreation; 218-263-8851
22.4 12.0 AL X X X     X 4 miles E of Hibbing. 4 km of lighted combination trails. Quad loop with pine and hardwood forest. Trail groomed with Yellow Stone Ginzugroomer. 
Giants Ridge Cross-Country Ski Trails
218-865-3000, 800-688-7669; giantsridge.com
60.0 60.0 AL X X X   X X 5 miles E of Biwabik. Equipment rental. Lessons. Lighted trails. Diverse scenery and wildlife. 
Lookout Mountain Trail
USDA Forest Service; 218-229-8800; fs.fed/us/r9/superior
24.0   AL X X X       4 miles N of Virginia. Trail crosses the Laurentian Divide. Streams north of divide flow toward Hudson Bay; streams south flow toward Atlantic Ocean.
McCarthy Beach State Park
218-254-7979; dnr.state.mn.us
14.4   INT X X X X X X Located N of Hibbing. Warming house. Terrain with pine and birch woods. 
Sturgeon River Trail
USDA Forest Service; 218-229-8800; fs.fed/us/r9/superior
34.0   AL X X         10 miles N of Chisholm. Solitary ski experience in a diverse forest setting. 

 

4. Ely Area

Location

Track-Set
km
Skate-Ski
km
Difficulty
Rating
Signs Note
Difficulty
Maps Along Trail Toilet MN Ski Pass Req'd MN Ski Pass Sold Other Fees Description
Bear Head Lake State Park
218-365-7229; dnr.state.mn.us
11.2   AL X X X X X X Located S of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Red and white pines, birch, aspen, and fir trees along trail. 
Bear Island Trail
Northern Lights Lodge (218-827-2501 or 800-777-4406; northern-lights-lodge.com
21.5   AL             10 miles S of Ely. Opportunities to see deer, moose, and timberwolves.
Hidden Valley Cross-Country Ski Trails
Ely Nordic Ski Club; 218-365-3077; elynordic.org
25.0 7.5 INT X X X X     1.5 miles E of Ely. Trail connects downtown Ely with the Hidden Valley Recreation Center.   

 

5. Grand Rapids-Voyageurs Area

Location

Track-Set
km
Skate-Ski
km
Difficulty
Rating
Signs Note
Difficulty
Maps Along Trail Toilet MN Ski Pass Req'd MN Ski Pass Sold Other Fees Description
Big Ridge Trail
Itasca County; co.itasca.mn.us
10.4   AL   X X X     5 miles N of Goodland. Beginner to advanced loops. Rolling terrain and timbered areas. 
Black Bay/Echo Bay Ski Trails
Voyageurs National Park; 218-283-9821; nps.gov/voya
25.0   AL X X X       Black Bay: 11 miles E of International Falls. Echo Bay: 3.5 miles NW of Kabetogama Lake Visitor Center. Rolling hills through pines and aspens. 
Blueberry Hills Trail
Northern Lights Nordic Ski Club; 218-246-8195, 800-355-9740
12.0 12.0 AL X X X X     5.5 miles NE of Deer River. Pine and hardwood forest with challenging hills. Heated building. 
Cowhorn Ski Trail
DNR Trails and Waterways; 218-999-7922
11.0   INT X X X       7.5 miles S of Grand Rapids. Pine and hardwood forest. 
Kab-Ash Trail
Voyageurs National Park; 218-283-9821; nps.gov/voya
32.2 32.2 AL             Near Ash River and Kabetogama 3 trail heads follow County Road 122 or 129. Trails wind through forest and wetland along Sullivan Bay. Not groomed.
Sugar Hills Cross-Country Ski Trail
Northern Lights Nordic Ski Club; 218-326-5033, 800-355-9740
28.0 28.0 INT X X X X     7 miles S of Grand Rapids. Climb to Thunder Peak, surrounded by rolling hardwood forest. 
Suomi Hills Ski Trail
Chippewa National Forest; 218-246-2123; visitgrandrapids.com
34.3   INT X X X X     14 miles N of Grand Rapids off state Highway 38. Birch and pine forest with rolling hills. 
Tilson Creek Ski Trail
DNR Trails and Waterways; 218-327-4408, 888-MINNDNR; dnr.state.mn.us
16.4 12.0 AL X X   X   X 6.5 miles E of International Falls. Flat bog areas and steep rock ridges surrounded by pine and hardwood forest. 
Trout Lake Recreation Area
218-832-3161
10.0   INT X X X       13 miles N of Grand Rapids. Trail follows the forested shoreline of Trout Lake. 
Wabana Trail
Itasca County; 218-327-2850
10.4   INT   X X X     6 miles N of Grand Rapids on Highway 38, and 6 miles N on County Rd. 49. Winding trail along Clearwater Brook with diverse terrain. 

 

6. Duluth

Location

Track-Set
km
Skate-Ski
km
Difficulty
Rating
Signs Note
Difficulty
Maps Along Trail Toilet MN Ski Pass Req'd MN Ski Pass Sold Other Fees Description
Boulder Lake Management Area
218-721-4903; blma.org
21.0 8.0 AL X X X       18 miles N of Duluth. Large pines with rolling hills. Ridges formed by glaciers. Travel and weather conditions available on website. 
Fond Du Lac State Forest Ski Trail
DNR Trails and Waterways; 218-327-4408; dnr.state.mn.us
29.5   AL X X   X     6 miles NE of Cromwell. Warming houses. Trails wind through mixed-age conifer/hardwood forest. Very limited grooming. Snowshoeing. 
Jay Cooke State Park
218-384-4610; dnr.state.mn.us
51.2   AL X X X X X X 5 miles E of Carlton. Warming house located in park office. Diverse scenery and wildlife in a rugged river valley. 
Lester-Amity Trail
City of Duluth; 218-723-3586; ci.duluth.mn.us
15.0 15.0 AL X X   X     Located in eastern Duluth. Lighted trails. Trail winds between Lester and Amity Creeks. 
Magney-Snively Trail
City of Duluth; 218-723-3586; ci.duluth.mn.us
14.0 14.0 INT X X   X     Located in western Duluth. Hardwood forest overlooks St. Louis River. 
Snowflake Nordic
218-726-1550; skiduluth.com
15.0 15.0 AL X X X     X Located in Duluth. Equipment rental. Lessons. Lighted trails. Warming house. Pine and hardwood forest with rolling hills. 
Spirit Mountain
218-624-8544, 800-642-6377 ext.544; spiritmt.com
22.0 22.0 AL X   X X X X 5 minutes S of Duluth. Equipment rental. Lessons. Warming huts. Wooded scenery and diverse wildlife. 

 

7. East Central

Location

Track-Set
km
Skate-Ski
km
Difficulty
Rating
Signs Note
Difficulty
Maps Along Trail Toilet MN Ski Pass Req'd MN Ski Pass Sold Other Fees Description
Banning State Park
320-245-2668; dnr.state.mn.us
17.6   EG X X X X X X 4 miles N of Sandstone. Trail runs along the Kettle River through aspen, birch, maple, and pine forest. 
No Achen Trail
Aitkin County Land Dept.; 218-927-7364; co.aitkin.mn.us
10.3 10.3 AL X X X X     1 mile W of Aitkin on HWY 210, S on 422nd Place. Trail winds around several small lakes and through forest, bogs, and meadows.  
Remote Lake Trails
DNR Forestry; 218-426-3407
19.3   INT X X X X     7 miles N of McGregor. Warming houses. Hardwood forest with some conifer stands along rolling hills. 
Savanna Portage State Park
218-426-3271; dnr.state.mn.us
19.2   INT X X X X X X 20 miles N of McGregor. Warming houses. Rolling hills through pines and hardwoods. 
St. Croix State Park
320-384-6591; dnr.state.mn.us
17.6   EG X X X X X X 15 miles E of Hinckley. Warming house located in trail shelter. Level terrain through mixed pine forest. 
Vasaloppet Public Ski Area
Mora Vasaloppet; 320-679-2629, 800-368-6672; vasaloppet.org
26.0 26.0 EG   X X       12 miles N of Mora. Portions of trails used for Mora Vasaloppet Ski Race in February. 
Wild River State Park
651-583-2125; dnr.state.mn.us
56.0   INT X X X X X X 11 miles E of North Branch. Trail center with fireplace, stove, and restrooms. Trails wind through prairie and hardwood forest. 

 

8. Northwest

Location

Track-Set
km
Skate-Ski
km
Difficulty
Rating
Signs Note
Difficulty
Maps Along Trail Toilet MN Ski Pass Req'd MN Ski Pass Sold Other Fees Description
Lake Bronson State Park
218-754-2200; dnr.state.mn.us
11.2   EG X X X X X X 2 miles E of Lake Bronson. Warming house located in picnic shelter. Level terrain through prairies, oak savannas, and woodlands. 
Old Mill Trail
Old Mill State Park; 218-437-8174; dnr.state.mn.us
11.2   AL X X X X X X 35 miles NW of Thief River Falls. Equipment rental. Candlelit trails for special events. Warming house. Prairie and woods line rolling trails in historic Old Mill State Park. 
Zippel Bay State Park
218-783-6252; dnr.state.mn.us
14.4 4.8 EG X X X X X X 18 miles NW of Baudette. Warming house. Level terrain in pine and hardwood forest. 

 

9. Bemidji-Park Rapids Area

Location

Track-Set
km
Skate-Ski
km
Difficulty
Rating
Signs Note
Difficulty
Maps Along Trail Toilet MN Ski Pass Req'd MN Ski Pass Sold Other Fees Description
Buena Vista Ski Trail
Buena Vista Ski Area; 218-243-2231, 800-777-7958; bvskiarea.com 
25.0 25.0 AL X   X X     12 miles N of Bemidji. Within nine lakes in a pine forest. Located on a continental divide. Home of the Finlandia Ski Marathon and Buena Vista Snowjourn. 
Itasca State Park
218-266-2100; dnr.state.mn.us 
51.0 51.0 AL X X X X X X 2 miles N of Park Rapids. Warming house with fireplace. Lakes and pine forest surround the source of the Mississippi River. 
Lake Bemidji State Park
218-755-3843; dnr.state.mn.us
17.6   AL X X X X X X 7 miles N of Bemidji. Warming house in visitor center. Rolling trails through pine and hardwood forest. 
Movil Maze
Bemidji Area Cross-Country Ski Club; 218-444-3541, 800-458-2223; visitbemidji.com
14.0 14.0 EG X X X X     7 miles N of Bemidji. Equipment rental available in town. Lessons. Lighted trails. A favorite trail for ski racers who want to condition. 
Rainbow Resort Trail
888-734-1140; rainbowresort.com
23.0 23.0 AL X X X   X X 20 miles W of Itasca State Park. Ski free with cabin rental. Heavily forested area. Equipment rental, including snowshoes and ice skates. 
Soaring Eagles Trail
Itasca Tour Ski Club; 218-652-2611, 800-247-0054
12.1 7.0 EX X X X X     8.5 miles N of Park Rapids. Scenic trails through pine and aspen forest. Rolling hills. Public chalet. 
Three Island County Park
Bemidji Area Cross-Country Ski Club; 218-444-3541, 800-458-2223;
visitbemidji.com
32.0 32.0 AL X X X X     12 miles N of Bemidji. Equipment rental available in town. Lessons. Lighted trails. Trails frame the snowcapped, open-flowing Turtle River corridor. 

 

10. Leech Lake Area

Location

Track-Set
km
Skate-Ski
km
Difficulty
Rating
Signs Note
Difficulty
Maps Along Trail Toilet MN Ski Pass Req'd MN Ski Pass Sold Other Fees Description
Cut Lake Ski Trail
Cass County Land Office; 218-947-3338
16.5   AL X X   X     11 miles W of Pine River. Varied terrain in Foothills State Park. 
Deep Portage Ski Trail
Deep Portage Environmental Learning Center; 218-682-2325; deep-portage.org
18.2 6.0 AL X X X       12 miles E of Hackensack. Main lodge along trail. Rolling hills in Cass County/Deep Portage Conservation Reserve. 
Goose Lake Ski Trail
Cass County Land Office; 218-947-3338
15.0   EG   X X X     5 miles W of Longville. Gently rolling hills around wetlands. 
Washburn Lake Solitude Area
DNR Trails and Waterways; 218-833-8710
22.5   AL X X   X     2 miles N of Outing. Diverse lake and woodland trail in Land O’Lakes State Forest. 

 

11. Brainerd-Mille Lacs Area

Location

Track-Set
km
Skate-Ski
km
Difficulty
Rating
Signs Note
Difficulty
Maps Along Trail Toilet MN Ski Pass Req'd MN Ski Pass Sold Other Fees Description
Crow Wing State Park
218-825-3075; dnr.state.mn.us
10.0   EG X X X X X X 9 miles S of Brainerd. Nearly level trails along the Mississippi River through pine and oak forest. 
French Rapids Cross-Country Ski Area
Brainerd Nordic Ski Club; 218-963-4762
12.0 12.0 EX   X   X     5 miles E of Brainerd on TH 210. Very challenging trails in glaciated area next to the Mississippi River. 
The Pines Ski Trail
Grand View Lodge; 800-432-3788; grandviewlodge.com
25.0 10.0 AL   X       X Located 13 miles N of Brainerd. Trails follows the scenic Pines Golf Course. Season/day passes available.
Larson Lake Ski Trail
Crow Wing County Parks Department; 218-824-1057
20.0   AL X X X X     3 miles W of Deerwood. Rolling terrain in mature oak forest. 
Mille Lacs Kathio State Park
320-532-3523; dnr.state.mn.us
32.0   AL X X X X X X 8 miles N of Onamia on US Highway 169. Warming house with fireplace. Equipment rental. Diversely forested trails.  
Northland Arboretum
Brainerd Nordic Ski Club; 218-829-8770
16.0 20.0 INT   X X X   X 2 blocks N of Westgate Mall, off Excelsior Road. Warming houses. Lighted trails. Jackpine and savanna with wetlands and dune-type hills. 
Pine Beach Ski Trail
Kavanaugh’s Resort; 218-829-5226, 800-562-7061; kavanaughs.com
40.0   AL X X         4 miles N and 7 miles W of Brainerd. Warming houses. 
Wolf Lake Ski Trail
Crow Wing County Parks Department; 218-824-1057
15.0   AL X X         10 minutes NE of Brainerd. Warming huts. Mixture of young and mature pines with hardwood. 

 

12. St. Cloud-Monticello Area

Location

Track-Set
km
Skate-Ski
km
Difficulty
Rating
Signs Note
Difficulty
Maps Along Trail Toilet MN Ski Pass Req'd MN Ski Pass Sold Other Fees Description
Lake Maria State Park; 763-878-2325; dnr.state.mn.us 22.4 8.0 AL X X X X X X 8 miles W of Monticello. Trail winds through hardwood forest and around lakes and ponds. 
Wildwood Trail; 320-255-6172 10.0   AL X X X X     2.5 miles W of St. Joseph. Located 2 miles W of County Road 2 on County Road 51. Trail winds through wooded setting. 

 

13. Western Lakes

Location

Track-Set
km
Skate-Ski
km
Difficulty
Rating
Signs Note
Difficulty
Maps Along Trail Toilet MN Ski Pass Req'd MN Ski Pass Sold Other Fees Description
Andes Tower Hills; 320-965-2455, 87-SKI-ANDES; andestowerhills.com 15.0 15.0 AL X X       X 15 miles W of Alexandria. Equipment rental. Lessons. Lighted trails. Trails cut through and around lakes and forest. 
Maplelag Trails, Maplelag Cross-Country Ski Resort; 218-375-4466, 800-654-7711; maplelag.com 45.0 15.0 AL     X   X X 20 miles N of Detroit Lakes. Equipment rental. Lessons. Maple forest with rolling hills. Destination cross-country ski resort. 
Spidahl Ski Gaard; 218-736-5097; skigaard.com 20.0 12.0 AL X   X     X 14 miles NE of Fergus Falls. Equipment rental. Trails through sugar maple hills. 
Trollskogen/Spruce Hill Trails, Douglas County Public Works Dept.; 320-763-6001; co.douglas.mn.us 15.0   AL X X X X     Trollskogen: 15 miles W of Alexandria. Intermediate trails through wooded glacial hills. Spruce Hill: 15 miles N of Alexandria. Gentle wooded hills.  

 

14. Southern Minnesota

Location

Track-Set
km
Skate-Ski
km
Difficulty
Rating
Signs Note
Difficulty
Maps Along Trail Toilet MN Ski Pass Req'd MN Ski Pass Sold Other Fees Description
Cannon Valley Trail; 507-263-0508; cannonvalleytrail.com 31.7 31.7 INT   X X X     30 miles S of St. Paul/Minneapolis. Trail runs between Red Wing and Cannon Falls. Level terrain runs along river and through hardwood forest and prairie. 
Douglas State Trail, DNR Trails and Waterways; 507-285-7176; dnr.state.mn.us 20.9 20.9 EG   X X X     Trailhead located in Rochester. Trail runs through bluffs and woods. Very limited grooming. 
Flandrau State Park; 507-233-9800; dnr.state.mn.us 12.0   AL X X X X X X Located in New Ulm. Warming house located in picnic shelter. Varied terrain through combination of hardwood forest and grasslands in Cottonwood River Valley.
Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park; 507-352-5111 17.6   AL X X X X X X 6 miles S of Wykoff. Warming house. Heavily wooded blufflands. 
Great River Bluffs State Park; 507-643-6849; dnr.state.mn.us 14.0 2.0 EG X X X X X X 17 miles SE of Winona. Varied landscape passes by river valley overlooks. 
J.C. Hormel Nature Center; 507-437-7519 15.0 3.0 EG     X X   X Located in Austin. Equipment rental. Lessons. 
Kaplan Woods Trail, City of Owatonna; 507-444-4321; ci.owatonna.mn.us 10.0 10.0 INT   X X X X   Located in Owatonna. Equipment rental. Lighted trails. Warming house. 225 acres of hardwood forest. 
Mississippi National Trails, City of Red Wing/Aura Ski Club; 651-385-3674 16.0 6.0 AL X X X X     2 miles S of downtown Red Wing. Trail rolls across gentle hills. Occasional views of bald eagles. 
Nerstrand Big Woods State Park; 507-333-4840; dnr.state.mn.us 12.8   AL X X X X X X 12 miles SE of Northfield. Warming house. Rolling river valley runs through hardwood forest. 
Root River State Trail/Harmony-Preston Valley Trail, DNR Trails and Waterways; 507-285-7176 96.3   EG   X X X     45 miles SE of Rochester. River views from trail. 
Sibley State Park; 320-354-2055; dnr.state.mn.us 16.0 3.2 AL X X X X X X 15 miles N of Willmar. Warming house. Rolling, wooded hills located near Lake Andrew. 
Oakridge Wet Bark Trail–Richard J. Dorer State Forest, DNR Forestry; 507-724-5264; dnr.state.mn.us 14.2 14.2 INT X   X X     5 miles W of Houston. Warming houses. Very limited grooming. Picturesque landscape consists of hardwood forest and southern bluff lands. 

 

15. Twin Cities Area

Location

Track-Set
km
Skate-Ski
km
Difficulty
Rating
Signs Note
Difficulty
Maps Along Trail Toilet MN Ski Pass Req'd MN Ski Pass Sold Other Fees Description
Afton State Park; 651-436-5391; dnr.state.mn.us 24.0   AL X X X X X X 5 miles S of Afton. Warming house with wood stove. Views of the St. Croix Valley from trails. 
Baker Park Reserve, Three Rivers Parks and Trails; 763-694-7660; ThreeRiversParkDistrict.org 12.9 12.9 AL X X X     X Medina. Equipment rental. Lessons. Hardwood forest with rolling hills. 
Carver Park Reserve, Three Rivers Parks and Trails; 952-446-1801; ThreeRiversParkDistrict.org 21.6 7.6 INT X X X     X Victoria. Diverse scenery and wildlife. 
Cleary Lake Regional Park, Three Rivers Parks and Trails; 763-694-7777; ThreeRiversParkDistrict.org 16.5 16.5 INT X X X     X Prior Lake. Equipment rental. Lessons. Lighted trails. Rolling hills and forests. 
Cottage Grove Ravine, Washington County Parks; 651-430-8368; co.washington.mn.us 8.4 4.8 AL X X X X   X 2 miles S of Cottage Grove. Wooded ravine with occasional clearings. 
Eagle Lake Regional Park, Three Rivers Parks and Trails; 763-694-7894; ThreeRiversParkDistrict.org 8.0 2.5 INT X X X     X Plymouth. Trails through woods and meadows. 
Elm Creek Park Reserve, Three Rivers Parks and Trails; 763-694-7894; ThreeRiversParkDistrict.org 17.9 12.6 INT X X X     X Maple Grove. Equipment rental. Lessons. Lighted trails. New lodge. Snowmaking. Diverse scenery and wildlife. 
French Regional Park, Three Rivers Parks and Trails; 763-694-7750; ThreeRiversParkDistrict.org 10.2 8.1 AL X X X     X Plymouth. Ski rental. Concessions. Lighted Trails. Natural setting. 
Fort Snelling State Park; 612-725-2389; dnr.state.mn.us 12.8 12.8 EG X X X X X X Located near Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport on the Minnesota River. Warming house. Level terrain along the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers. 
Gateway State Trail, DNR Trails and Waterways; 651-772-7937; dnr.state.mn.us 16.1 16.1 INT X X X X   X Located in rural Washington County near Stillwater. Former railroad grade runs through woods, wetlands, lakes, and farms. 
Hyland Lake Park Reserve, Three Rivers Parks and Trails; 763-694-7687; ThreeRiversParkDistrict.org 11.3 11.3 AL X X X     X Bloomington. Equipment rental. Lessons. Lighted trails. Rolling hills and prairie. 
Lake Minnewashta Regional Park, Carver County Parks; 952-466-5250; co.carver.mn.us/parks 10.0 5.0 AL X X X X   X Located S of Lake Minnetonka. Diverse scenery and wildlife. 
Lebanon Hills Regional Park, Dakota County Parks, 651-438-4660; 651-438-4671; co.dakota.mn.us 20.4 3.8 AL X X X X X   Located in Eagan. Hilly terrain winds through woods, meadows, and lakes. 
Murphy-Hanrehan Park Reserve, Three Rivers Parks and Trails; 763-694-7777; ThreeRiversParkDistrict.org 19.4 19.4 EX X X X     X Burnsville. Downhill runs and uphill grades through thick oak woods. Reputation for challenge.
Ritter Farm Park, Lakeville Parks and Recreation; 952-985-4600, 952-985-4690 20.0 20.0 AL   X X X     3 miles S of Buck Hill Ski Area. Lessons. Rolling hills with diverse scenery. 
UMore Park, Dakota County Parks; 952-891-7000; co.dakota.mn.us 17.7 17.7 AL   X X     X Located in Rosemount city limits. Gently rolling terrain over ridges, past agricultural land, along wetlands, and through heavily forested areas. Interesting variety of scenery. 
William O’Brien State Park; 651-433-0500; dnr.state.mn.us 19.2 19.2 INT X X X X X X 2 miles N of Marine on St. Croix. Diverse scenery and wildlife. 
Wirth Winter Recreation Area; 763-522-4584; minneapolisparks.com 11.7 11.7 AL X       X X Located in Golden Valley. Equipment rental. Lessons. Lighted trails. Both level and hilly terrain. Snack bar. May increase to 30 km along lakes.