Easiest ski trail in the Duluth area

In a land of steep hills and deep valleys, where can a beginning cross-country skier in Duluth go without fear of hills and spills? Check out the new trails and new parking at Boulder Lake on my blog. Now we just need Slim Goodbuzz to check out the adjacent Island Lake Inn.

18 Comments

woodtick

about 9 years ago

If you believe there are still hills to contend with on the 4.5k loop at Boulder Lake Ski Area then I cannot help in any way; that nearly 5k loop is the flattest trail this side of Ohio.  To me it is THE local loop to learn to ski on.

Claire

about 9 years ago

My pal Lane Ellis loves Boulder Lake! I'll have to check it out this weekend with the fam.

Andrew Slade

about 9 years ago

I thought those trails were totally flat too, until I skied them with a fearful child. The slightest incline, not even enough to roll a snowball, froze that kid solid. The campground loop really is fl-l-l-lat.

hunter

about 9 years ago

Gooseberry is really flat in some loops.

edgeways

about 9 years ago

This year I have started x-skiing. As I am cheap I've decided not to plop for the $25 MN pass until I can avail myself of more of the trails, thus it is cheap flat skiing until further notice. Bolder Lake is awesome. Also awesome is finding a frozen lake/pond (Hartley) or multiple ball fields stuck together and blazing a trail. I wish golf courses would groom a few trails, once there is enough snow to protect their lawns, then have cheap day passes.

brian

about 9 years ago

Northland Golf Course gets groomed. I don't know if you need a MN Ski pass there or not.

dbb

about 9 years ago

Edgeways- the $25 fee goes toward trail maintenance, so I would encourage you to pony up if you are using the trails which require that pass. 

If you elect to not do so, I know that Lester golf course is often windblown enough to make easy skiing everywhere, with some decent views.

Bill

about 9 years ago

Boulder was nice until you posted this post. If you like a place shut up about it. As the great Yogi Berra once said, "don't follow the crowd, no one goes there anymore because it's too crowded." Now Boulder lake will be too crowded. If people find it on their own, good for them. Sam Cook has the same problem. In his attempt to make a living as an outdoor writer he has spoiled more quiet, meditative spots than any other person I can think of off hand. If you want flat go to Rice Lake just north of town and ski in a snowmobile track. You will find it perfectly groomed and the snowmobiles usually stay far away from skiers. You can work on your skiing basics and it is very beautiful to tour the shoreline of the lake as there is very little development.

conrad

about 9 years ago

Boulder lake is already too crowded.  If I do go (I do like it a lot out there) it tends to be late afternoon and with a head lamp for the way back. I like the dog friendliness on Thursday and Sunday.  

But the more the better in my mind.  The more people go out and enjoy beauty we have here, the better.

bluenewt

about 9 years ago

The city sometimes grooms a loop on the Lester Park Golf Course. I assume you need a state pass to ski that, as you do with all the city trails. The golf course is the only trail groomed by the city that allows dogs. It's not flat, though.

heysme

about 9 years ago

Millennium Trail near Billings Park in Superior is  wonderful and flat for the first two short loops. I know you wanted Duluth but this short trip over the bridge is close and fabulous.

There is a $5 daily charge or (I believe) $15 per season.

Loki

about 9 years ago

I also vote for the trails in Superior.  The place is flat as pancake, always groomed, no busy trails ever.  Best kept skiing secret in the twin ports.  Has the ability for slightly bigger hills as well if people pick up the sport fast.

hunter

about 9 years ago

What's the biggest cc skiing hill to go down in the area? The old ski hill in Walker MN is the scariest adrenaline-filled hill run I've been on.

bluenewt

about 9 years ago

The biggest adrenaline rush hill might be Iso Maki at Korkki.

Resolut

about 9 years ago

Hunter wrote: "The old ski hill in Walker MN is the scariest adrenaline-filled hill run I've been on."

You must be talking about Shingobee in the Chippewa National Forest?

If so, they do have some great hills on the xc trails.  I took my lady to Shingobee when she was a beginner and was chastised for taking her on 'expert' trails.


The following year it was fun to go back and see her rip down all the winding hills that were so intimidating the first time.

Mick Dodds

about 9 years ago

Check the link.

Cross-Country in the City: Beginner-Friendly Ski Trails in Duluth

- Pay the trail fee!  We are seriuosly spoiled with the amount of trail we have available for $25. If you want to have it maintained - PAY THE FEE! Plus, the fine is ALOT more than $25. I do not recommend skiing on snowmoblie trails...uff da.

- Take a lesson! Snowflake or community ed classes will show you how to get up and down those hills. Learn how to do it right and suddenly it's easy.

 - Just ski more. Trust me - even those of us who are addicted to the sport have a hard time getting out after work when it's dark and cold. Just go - once you're on the trail you will be really happy you did. The more you ski - the easier it gets.

Resolut

about 9 years ago

"Pay the trail fee! We are seriuosly spoiled with the amount of trail we have available for $25."

That's true. One more way "up north" is better than "the cities." 

Some places in MSP conform with the $25 Great MN Ski Pass spoken about here.  The City of Minneapolis has their own $45 pass for their many parks.  Hennepin County has yet another pass for all of the Three Rivers parks (In Hennepin County but outside of Mpls) for $50.

It's great to have so many options for one $25 annual pass!

bluenewt

about 9 years ago

The article Mick links to has some good info, but I disagree about Korkki being a good place for  beginners. Most of it is quite hilly, and the narrow trail leaves little room for error. I tried to teach someone to ski there, and she freaked and fell even on the little hill leading to Dorothy's Loop. The article also says you need a MN Ski Pass at Korkki, and I'm pretty sure you don't. It's private. You donate $ each time you ski, or take out a membership.

But, yes, buy the pass if you're going to enjoy the city's grooming. I have seen them checking for passes and giving people tickets a couple of times (once at Lester and once at McCarthy Beach).

Leave a Comment

Only registered members can post a comment , Login / Register Here

Read previous post:
Pilot has a PDD thanks to Cirrus!

Pilot unhurt after plane's parachute cushions crash near Kiowa

Close