We have great news from the Whitefish Chain for all the cross-country skiers out there: we have snow and trails are being groomed! If you want a vacation that makes the most of winter, the Whitefish Chain is a great area. Among our large repertoire of winter outdoor fun is cross country skiing, and there are several great places to ski just a short drive from the Chain.
You’ll find that ski trails in the Whitefish Area travel through a variety of beautiful forests, with towering pines, fields of birch, frozen swamps and frozen, snow-blanketed glades. It’s hard to beat the feeling of gliding over the snow and taking in the beauty of nature.
Some resorts, like Boyd Lodge have their own ski trails. Public ski trails, though, are in abundance. To help you find your next ski outing, we’ve listed some area ski trails you’ll enjoy.
Cut Lake Ski Trail just began grooming its trails on Jan. 14. You can find a digital (and printable) map of the trails here (http://www.co.cass.mn.us/document_center/land/trails/Cutlake_Skiing_Mountain_Bike_Trail.pdf) or find them posted at the trails. The ski area is located west of Pine River on 24th St. SW. Because these trails are DNR-managed, they require a DNR ski pass. These are relatively reasonably priced, though, at $6 a day or $20 for a year. You can purchase the passes at nearly any gas station or online. Children under 16 do not need a pass.
Nordic Ridge Reacreation Area, located on the property of the Crosslake Community Center, has both 5k and 10k loops. The trail winds around a beautiful lake with scenic views, and grooming began Jan. 15. Separate trails are available for snowshoeing and skate skiing. All the trails are free to use, and the nearby community center and library serve as a place to warm up or use the restroom during building hours. Find a trail map here or pick one up in the community center.
If you’d like to go night skiing, the Northland Arboretum in Brainerd lights around 5 of its 20 kilometers of trails every evening from 4:30 to 10 p.m. The arboretum requires a DNR ski pass and also requests $5 per adult and $1 per child, 12 and under. Or, become a member of the Arboretum and ski free. Find more information and a map of trails here.