This Sunday, Jan. 29, one of the longest-running ski races in the state will take place at the Northland Arboretum in Brainerd. The Lumberjack Jaunt, now in its 43rd year, is a family-friendly race that's open to all ages and all abilities.
Registration prices are from $20-$33 and include a bib, timing and lunch after the race. Kids races are free! Prizes will be given to race winners and door prize drawings will be held for all participants!
Both Classic and Freestyle races will be held, with two age groups in each: 18 and under and 19 and over. Each race will have both a 6k and 16k option. Registration is available online here until Jan. 26.
Bib pickup and registration begins at 9 a.m. the day of the race, Jan. 29. Classic races will start at 11 a.m. with freestyle starting just 10 minutes later.
At noon, free fun races will be held for kids ages 4-12 with age-appropriate distances of up to 2 km. Lunch will be served and prizes awarded after the races.
If you have questions about the Jaunt, email firstname.lastname@example.org. The Lumberjack Jaunt is hosted by the Brainerd Nordic Ski Club, a non-profit.
If you can't make it to the race or are new to cross-country skiing, the Arboretum is a great place to visit and ski. The Arboretum has nearly 20 kilometers (that's 12 miles!) of ski trails, and many of those trails are lighted for wintertime recreation. This makes it a great place to go if you're looking to extend your recreation beyond the daylight hours and explore more of the area. Lighted trails are available from 4:30-10:30 p.m.
The trails wind around wetlands and through forested areas and red pine plantations. Use of the trails requires a Minnesota Ski Pass, which can be purchased anywhere DNR permits are sold or at the Arboretum Visitor Center, which is open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. A day pass costs $6, a yearly pass is $20 and a three-year pass is $55. Children under 16 do not need the pass. The Arboretum also charges a $5 parking fee for non-members. Your ski pass will also come in handy at trails around the Whitefish Chain and the state. See a map of where the ski pass is required here.
Hiking and snowshoeing are also allowed at the Arboretum, but only on non-groomed trails. The arboretum asks that skate-style skiers not ski over the set tracks.
Inside the visitor's center, you'll find an art gallery and gift shop. Classes are also held at the Arboretum, including beekeeping, stargazing, growing orchids at home, and more. Find more information about all the Arboretum has to offer at its website.