Skiing

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For those wishing to enjoy winter’s solitude with Nordic skiing, the Grand Rapids area offers more than 212K of skiing on 19 groomed trails.  Enjoy a variety of terrain for the beginner, intermediate and expert; both classic and freestyle techniques. Use the handy trail head locator and map to plan your outing.

Minnesota Ski Pass

A Minnesota Ski Pass is required on all grant-in-aid trails. Some trails require a Great Minnesota Ski Pass which may be purchased at any electronic licensing agent. Funds generated by the sale of ski passes help local, county and state organizations maintain trails. Trails are maintained  by the Itasca County Parks & Trail Department, Chippewa National Forest, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Trails & Waterways division, and the Northern Lights Nordic Ski Club volunteers.  Your support to help maintain the trails is appreciated.

skipassThe Department of Natural Resources offers three ways for cross-country skiers to get the Great Minnesota Ski Pass. Cross-country skiers aged 16 and older must have a ski pass on most public ski trails.

  • Purchase online
  • Phone: You can purchase licenses by phone: 1-888-665-4236 (1-MN-LICENse). Call any time of day or night, seven days a week. This toll-free call provides immediate licensing by way of a license identification number, which will be issued at the time of the call. The license identification number is valid until you receive an actual license in the mail. All purchases must be made by credit card. There is $3.50 convenience fee per call.
  • In Person: You can purchase a pass over the counter at any electronic ticket agent in the State system – anywhere you can buy a fishing license, you can also purchase a ski pass.  In the Grand Rapids area that includes most convenience stores, L&M Fleet Supply, Glen’s Army Navy, Rapids West End Marketplace, and Reed Drug.

Ski Passes Cost $6.00 per person for a day pass, or $20 for a full season pass that is valid everywhere in Minnesota.

Support the Itasca Area Cross Country Ski Clubs that groom and maintain the trails.  To learn how to become a member or a business sponsor contact the Northern Lights Nordic Ski Club at 218-326-1313 or email: cat@mclynn.net.

Itasca Maintained Trails

Alder Pond


Phone: (218) 327-4490
KM: 8
Skill Level: Beginner
Base (In Inches): N/A
Map
Location & Description: 
E. Hwy 169 across Prairie River, 2 miles E on Co. 21, 1 mile south on E Rangeline Road, 1 mile to trailhead parking. Dogs allowed.

Amen Lake


Phone: (218) 327-2855
KM: 6.9
Skill Level: Beginner / Intermediate
Map
Location & Description: 
North Hwy 38 12 mi., west on 19, 2 mi. right on Co. 246. Hilly trails connect with Suomi Trails

Big Ridge


Phone: (218) 327-2855
KM: 10
Skill Level: Intermediate
Map
Location & Description: 
From Goodland, 4 mi. N. on Hwy 65, then W. on Co. Rd. 560 for .5 mi. to parking

Blueberry Hills


Phone: (218) 327-5191
KM: 12
Skill Level: Intermediate / Expert
Map
Location & Description: 
West Hwy 2 to Deer River, north on Hwy 6 2 mi., 3 mi east on Chase Lake Rd, then right half-mile into trailhead building often heated on weekend afternoons. Skate and classic.

Boomer Blue Multipurpose Trail


Phone:
KM: 6.5
Skill Level: Beginner
Location & Description: 
River Road south 6 mi. turn right and stay on Wendigo Rd. 4 mi. Turn left into parking lot at green gate. Double tracked forest road. Allows for dogs or snowshoe travel out 2 mi. & back. Intersects Cowhorn ski trail (no pets or foot travel on Cowhorn).

Cowhorn


Phone:
KM: 7.6
Skill Level: Intermediate
Map
Location & Description: 
River Rd south 6 mil., turn right on Wendigo Rd 3 mi., turn left on Co 427 to trailhead. Classic ski only. No foot travel or pets.

Forest History Center


Phone: (218) 327-4482
KM: 4.5
Skill Level: Beginner
Location & Description: 
South Hwy 169 to Golf Course Rd, west 2 miles, 1/2 mi. on Co Rd 76. Trails wind through 1900 Logging Camp and Virgin timber. Interpretive Center open daily. Full moon ski in January.

Golden Anniversary / River Road


Phone:
KM: 2.7
Skill Level: Intermediate
Map
Location & Description: 
River Road south 7 mi. Watch for signs on the left. Hills, pines.

Legion Trails


Phone: (218) 327-2500
KM: 3.5
Skill Level: Beginner / Intermediate
Map
Location & Description: 
Grand Rapids City Park with lighted trails located near High School just off North Hwy 38. Skate lane and classic tracks set.

Minnesota Power


Phone: (218) 328-5711
KM: 3.4
Skill Level: Beginner
Location & Description: 
West Hwy 2 to Cohasset, turn left (one block after stoplight) on to Co. Rd. 87. One mile to Trailhead building and lighted trails that loop along the Mississippi River. Deer often on trail. Skate and classic.

Mt. Itasca


Phone: (218) 245-3487
KM: 10
Skill Level: Intermediate / Expert
Map
Location & Description: 
East Hwy 169 to Coleraine west on Co. 61 to RR track. Hilly terrain for skate and classic. Fee for use of Biathlon range, public trails west of chalet. Snowmaking facilities, chalet.

Portage Park


Phone: (218) 328-6225
KM: 4
Skill Level: Beginner
Location & Description: 
West Hwy 2, turn left on to Co. Rd. 63 for 2 miles, then right on Lake Street to sports complex and trail head in Cohasset. Level classic track.

Scenic State Park


Phone: (218) 743-3362
KM: 16.1
Skill Level: Intermediate
Location & Description: 
From Big Fork, 7 mi., SE on Co. Rd. 7 or from Grand Rapids Hwy 169 E 10 miles, 40 miles northwest on Co Rd 7.

Simpson Creek


Phone: (218) 246-2123
KM: 20
Skill Level: Beginner / Intermediate
Location & Description: 
From Deer River, 18 mi. NW on Hwy. 46 to Cutfoot Sioux Visitor Center at Junct. of Hwy 46

Stony Ridge


Phone:
KM: 8
Skill Level: Beginner / Intermediate
Map
Location & Description: 
Approximately 20 miles north of Nashwauk along Highway 65

Sugar Hills


Phone:
KM: 28
Skill Level: Intermediate / Expert
Map
Location & Description: 
South Hwy 169 7 mi., West on Co. 17 4 mi., south on Co. 449. Challenging hilly terrain through hardwood forest. Panoramic view. Skate and classic.

Suomi Hills


Phone: (218) 246-2123
KM: 34.3
Skill Level: Intermediate / Expert
Location & Description: 
North Hwy 38 13 mi. to south Suomi or 15 mi. to north Suomi parking. Hilly terrain winds through forest and lakes. South trail connects to Amen Lake trails.

Sylvan Point Trail


Phone: (218) 326-2500
KM: 6
Skill Level: Beginner
Location & Description: 
1 mile west on Golf Course Road, north on SW 14th Ave. to trailhead. Connects new Grand Itasca Hospital with Forest History Center

Thistledew


Phone: (218) 999-7923
KM: 16
Skill Level: Beginner / Intermediate
Location & Description: 
34 mi. N. of Nashwauk on Hwy. 65, then 4 mi. W. on Hwy. 1 to parking at Carpenter Town Hall.

Trout Lake Joyce Estate & Doan Lake


Phone: (218) 246-2123
KM: 10
Skill Level: Beginner / Intermediate
Map
Location & Description: 
North Hwy 38 12 mi., east on Co 60 two mi., north on Co 335 2 mi. Double tracked classic ski 3 mi. out to Historic site and return, or venture off into the Doan Lake trail that is connected.

University of MN North Central Exp Station


Phone: (218) 327-4490
KM: 8
Skill Level: Beginner
Location & Description: 
East Hwy 169 to first college entrance road to end, park by gate. Classic trails through pine overstory.

Wabana Trails


Phone: (218) 327-2855
KM: 9.7
Skill Level: Beginner / Intermediate
Map
Location & Description: 
North Hwy 38 7 miles, NE on Co 49 8 miles, continue east on Co 59 half mile. Scenic winding classic trail.
Mt. Itasca Winter Sports Center Contact: Gene Eklin
Address 200 Mount Itasca Dr Coleraine MN 55722 Phone: 218-259-7726