Minnesota Trail Report

Some areas of northern Minnesota received nearly half a foot of snow earlier this week. In some areas it’s still snowing, with additional accumulation expected this weekend. Ski trails throughout the northern one-third of Minnesota are groomed and in good to excellent condition. And many snowmobile trails are open and in good condition, including at Ely, Finland, Grand Marais, Grand Rapids, Hibbing, International Falls and Lutsen. Please note that trail conditions can change on a daily basis; please call ahead for the most current conditions. whitebirchresort.net

Explore Minnesota will report winter trail conditions each Thursday afternoon during the winter season, with updates as changes in conditions warrant. Information used to compile the Winter Trails Report is provided courtesy of the Department of Natural Resources Climatology Office, Voyageurs National Park, the Three Rivers Park District, and communities throughout the state. exploreminnesota.com

A Snowmobile State Trail sticker is required for all snowmobiles operating on state or grant-in-aid trails. All cross-country skiers on state park or forest ski trails, or on state or grant-in-aid trails, who are 16 years old or older must have a Minnesota Ski Pass. For further information, contact the Department of Natural Resources, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at 1-888-646-6367. To order cross-country ski passes and snowmobile trail stickers, dial 1-888-665-4236 or access the DNR Online License Sales web site. To locate a license center in Minnesota to purchase ski passes and snowmobile stickers, check out DNR License Agents.

For a customized travel planner to help you plan your Minnesota getaway, contact one of our travel counselors at 888-TOURISM (888-868-7476), or request a planner at Contact a Travel Counselor.

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Northeast Region

International Falls

The Koochiching State Forest Tilson Creek Ski Trail is in very good condition for classic and skate skiing. The base of the trail measures more than 3 inches, with more than 8 inches of snow on the ground. The trail has been groomed with double skate lanes and tracks. Area snowmobile trails running through Voyageurs National Park and throughout the Rainy Lake vicinity are reported to be in good shape. The ice roads on Rainy Lake are open and the snowmobile trails are marked and groomed. Riders are asked to please watch for pressure ridges along the way! More information is also available at www.rainylake.org

Side Lake/N of Hibbing

Skiers report very good conditions on trails within McCarthy Beach State Park. Roughly 6 miles of trails have been groomed, with a base measuring 4 inches. The snowmobile trails have also been groomed, and are reported to be in fair condition–the base averages 2 inches. Just to the west, snowmobile trails running through George Washington State Forest have been freshly groomed following the recent 5-6 inches of snow. The trail base measures 3 inches, and conditions are good throughout the area. Riders are asked to be aware of active logging activity, especially along the south end of the Circle L system. Ski trails in the forest have a 2-3 inch groomed surface, and are in good condition. And just to the north, the section of the Arrowhead State Snowmobile Trail running north of Orr is in good condition, with a 3 inch groomed surface. The entire trail should be regroomed prior to the weekend, improving conditions even more. Approximately 10 inches of snow covers the ground.

Tower/Soudan

The snowmobile trails running through Lake Vermilion State Park are reported to be in fair condition, with a 4 inch base. Please use caution due to sections of thin trail base that may expose rocks as trail use increases. Temporary snowmobile trails run through some of the best viewing areas of the park, and connect with the Lake Vermilion ice trail and a spur of the Taconite State Snowmobile Trail that runs through Soudan Underground Mine State Park. The nearby segment of the Taconite Trail has a 2-4 inch groomed surface, but conditions are poor to fair. Local snow depth is 8-11 inches. The Taconite should be fully regroomed prior to the weekend.

Ely

Five inches of fresh snow has fallen over the past few days, and it continues to snow! The Hidden Valley Cross Country Ski Trails and Babbitt Golf Course Trails are reported to be in excellent condition for classic and skate skiing, with a nice solid 8 inch base overall. The Bear Head Lake State Park campground loops and some of the other ski trails are freshly groomed and in good condition, with an 8 inch base. The snowmobile trails are also groomed and in good condition. These trails have a 6 inch base. Local snow depth is 13 inches. A Guest House and five camper cabins are open in the winter. All snowmobile trails in the Ely vicinity should be freshly groomed prior to the weekend. Conditions are considered fair to good, including along the Putnam/Fishing Lakes Trail running through Bear Island State Forest. These trails have a 3-5 inch base on average, however riders are asked to watch for exposed rocks on portions of the Fishing Lakes Trail. While the lake trails are in very good shape, riders should use caution and stay on the staked trails due to several pressure ridges on some of the lakes. Area snowcover measures 8-10 inches. Please note that trail conditions can change on a daily basis–more information is available at www.ely.org.

Grand Marais/Gunflint Trail

In Cook County, just outside of Grand Marais up the Gunflint Trail, Central Gunflint Trail ski trails have a 7-8 inch packed powder surface, and are reported to be in excellent shape. There are 70 kilometers of trails groomed for traditional skiing, and 40 kilometers groomed for skate skiing. Roughly 17 inches of snow covers the ground in this area. In the Upper Gunflint Trail vicinity, total accumulation in the woods is 16-18 inches. Most trails in this area have an 8 inch base, and skiers report excellent conditions. And riders report that area snowmobile trails are in good condition overall, with a trail base of 5-7 inches.

Lutsen/Tofte

Up the Sawbill Trail, located inland from Lutsen, ski conditions are excellent at the end of the trail. These backcountry trails receive minimal grooming–the base measures roughly 16 inches. Since this area is very remote, please have plenty of gas in a good operating vehicle and come prepared with winter survival gear. Travel to the very end of the Sawbill Trail, walk over the snowbank, and you’ll see the trail. It’s old fashioned skiing at its best! And just east of here, all 17 kilometers of the Deeryard Loop have been groomed for classic skiing. The trail base measures 2-8 inches, and conditions are excellent from Caribou to the ski hill road– the Hall/Massie is marginal to good. Nearby, Cascade River State Parkoffers 18 miles of packed and groomed ski trails. The base measures 2-6 inches, and conditions are good overall. Please note that the base is thinnest near Lake Superior. The frozen waterfalls are spectacular, and just a quick hike or snowshoe from the Trail Center. Snowshoes are available for rent at the park office. From 3-9 inches of snow covers the ground at Cascade River State Park. The two miles of snowmobile trails running through the park are groomed, with a 2-8 inch base–conditions are good.

Finland/Grand Marais

The portion of the North Shore State Snowmobile Trail running from the Sawbill Trail north to the Gunflint Trail Junction just south of Grand Marais was groomed earlier this week. The trail base measures 3-5 inches, and conditions are good. The section south of the Sawbill Trail has some rough and thin spots, and conditions are poor to fair. Local snow depth ranges from 3 inches to the south to 13 inches at Grand Marais.

Grand Rapids

The Cow Horn Road cross-country ski trails running through Golden Anniversary State Forest are reported to be in good condition following the additional 4 inches of fresh snow. The trail base measures 2 inches, and local snow depth is 7 inches. To the north, Scenic State Park ski and snowmobile trails have been groomed, and conditions are good. The base of these trails measures 4-5 inches. Area snow cover measures 1 foot.

Northwest Region

Williams/NW of Baudette

Zippel Bay State Park cross-country ski trails are now fully groomed, with a 6 inch base. Conditions are very good. The snowmobile trail has not yet been groomed, and conditions remain poor. Local snow depth is 1 foot.

Lake Bronson/far NW corner

Lake Bronson State Park ski trails are partially groomed, and conditions are reported to be good. The base on the trails measures 2-3 inches, and approximately 7 inches of snow covers the ground.

Argyle/NW of Thief River Falls

The ski trails at Old Mill State Park were groomed February 22. The trail base measures 2 inches, and conditions are good. A Candlelight Ski will be held here this Saturday, February 25 from 6:30-9:00 p.m.

Bemidji

The ski trails at Lake Bemidji State Park are in very good condition following the recent snowfall, and the trails will be regroomed tomorrow which will improve conditions even more! The trail base measures roughly 4 inches. The snowmobile trails remain ungroomed and in poor condition. Local snow depth is 14 inches. A Candlelight Ski will be held this Saturday, February 25, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.

Glyndon/E of Moorhead

Buffalo River State Park offers a three mile river loop for cross-country skiing. This trail was groomed February 21, and conditions are good. The trail base measures 2 inches.

Most other ski and snowmobile trails in this region of the state are either in poor condition or remain closed due to a lack of snow.

Central Region

Pelican Rapids/Fergus Falls

Maplewood State Park received roughly 5 inches of fresh snow on February 20, enough to pack the one mile ski trail around Cataract Lake. The base of the trail measures 2 inches, and conditions are good. The Friends of Maplewood will be hold a Candlelight Ski, Snowshoe & Hike on Saturday, February 25 from 6:00-8:30 p.m.

Most other ski and snowmobile trails in this region of the state are either in poor condition or remain closed due to a lack of snow.

Twin Cities Greater Metropolitan Vicinity

Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Scott and Wright county parks

As of Wednesday, February 22, Elm Creek Park Reserve, located in Maple Grove and part of the Three Rivers Park District, was reported to offer good conditions for classic and skate skiing. The lesson area is also packed, tracked and in great shape for both types of skiing. The lights have been turned on, and rentals are available at Elm Creek. The chalet is open from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. These trails typically receive heavy use from area ski teams–please call ahead for scheduled race and practice times. 763/559-6778, ext. 2. And some trails at Cleary Lake Regional Park at Prior Lake and French Regional Park at Plymouth have now been packed and are in fair condition.

Minneapolis

Theodore Wirth Park, part of the Minneapolis Park System, has snow-making equipment and continues to offer skiable trails. Skiers report good conditions for classic and skate skiing due to consistent grooming and well-maintained trails. There are trails for beginner, intermediate and advanced skiers, as well as a practice area, lessons, equipment rental, and a 3.1 kilometer lighted manmade snow loop. The lighted loop is busiest from 3:00-6:00 p.m. weekdays when high school cross-country ski teams use the trail–please call ahead for a schedule of practice times and upcoming races. 612/230-6400

Lake Elmo

Green Acres Recreation Area has 6 kilometers of trails overall, and 2.5 kilometers with manmade snow. Skiers report good conditions, with consistently well-groomed trails for traditional and skate skiing. Please note that these trails generally receive heavy use from area ski teams during late afternoon and early evening hours–please call ahead for scheduled race and practice times. 651/770-6060

Most other ski and snowmobile trails in this region of the state are either in poor condition or remain closed due to a lack of snow.

Southern Region

All ski and snowmobile trails in this region of the state are either in poor condition or remain closed due to a lack of of snow.

Contact White Birch Resort for Your Next Minnesota Vacation Experience
218-835-4552

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WHITE BIRCH RESORT

Bemidji Region - Minnesota
18882 North Blackduck Lake RD NE Hines, MN 56630 Office 218-835-4552 Cell 218-553-0210
Email - vacation@whitebirchresort.net