How Far Can You Go?

Cook County is home to the largest cross country skiing MN offers. In fact, our cross country ski trail network is the largest in North America, totaling over 400 km. Whether you’re an expert looking to stretch your legs and skills, a family hungry for some outdoor winter togetherness or a couple looking for a romantic ski through the trees, the perfect path of well-groomed corduroy awaits you.

View Trail Conditions

Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Cross Country Ski this Winter

  1. Affordable and fun!
    Not only is cross country skiing affordable, it is loads fun! Pick up a Minnesota Ski Pass for as little as $6/day or $20/year, or try one of the privately maintained trails on the Gunflint Trail. In no time you’ll be giggling with your friends as you glide through the forest. No gear, no problem! You can rent equipment from many local resorts and outfitters for under $40/day. Some resorts even offer complimentary rentals with your stay.
  2. View wildlife and nature up close
    They call it a “Silent Sport” for a reason. Traveling by cross country ski through the Superior National Forest is akin to being a cat on the prowl. As you move quickly and quietly through the pristine forest, keep your eyes open for wildlife like moose, deer, owls, and other boreal forest creatures. Make sure you bring your camera!
  3. Endless adventure opportunities
    With over 400 km of groomed cross country trails in Cook County, you can ski to your heart’s content. In addition to groomed trails, you can venture off-trail into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Remember to bring a map and a compass if you decide to venture off-trail.
  4. Full-body workout
    Tone both your upper and lower body while having fun. What could be better than cruising along snow covered trails while gabbing with fellow skiers and taking in the spectacular scenery? If you really want to break a sweat, lead the pack by breaking trail.
  5. Après ski
    Enjoy your post-ski happy hour guilt-free after burning around 500 calories an hour. Top that off with a nice soak in the hot tub, a massage and a great meal and you’ll know you are doing vacation right.

Ski Pass Information

Skiers between the ages of 16 and 64, using non-Federal trails, must purchase a Minnesota State Ski Pass, or, if skiing on Central of Upper Gunflint Trails, a Ski Ticket. The fees help maintain trails and ensure that future maintenance will be of the highest quality. A pass may be purchased for the day or on an annual basis.

Click on the numbered circles on the map below for a detailed map of each trail.

Cook County Cross Country Ski Trails Map
Sugarbush Trail SystemSugarbush Trail SystemLutsen MountainsLutsen MountainsNorpine - Hall/Massie Trail SystemNorpine - Hall/Massie Trail SystemCascade/Deer Yard Trail SystemCascade/Deer Yard Trail SystemBally Creek TrailsBally Creek TrailsPincushion Mountain Trail SystemPincushion Mountain Trail SystemGeorge Washington Memorial ForestGeorge Washington Memorial ForestCentral Gunflint Trail SystemCentral Gunflint Trail SystemBanadad Trail SystemBanadad Trail SystemUpper Gunflint Trail SystemUpper Gunflint Trail System
1

Sugarbush Trail System

Description:

Publicly maintained. Mountains and Lake Superior views.

2

Lutsen Mountains

  • DISTANCE: 3 Kilometers
Description:

Privately maintained, trail pass from Lutsen Mountains required. Call Lutsen Mountains for updated grooming report.

3

Norpine - Hall/Massie Trail System

Description:

Publicly maintained. Groomer’s report. Some beginner-friendly trails. Adjacent to Cascade River State Park system.

4

Cascade/Deer Yard Trail System

Description:

Publicly maintained. Groomer’s report. Some beginner-friendly trails. Adjacent to Cascade River State Park system.

5

Bally Creek Trails

Description:

Publicly maintained.

6

Pincushion Mountain Trail System

Description:

Publicly maintained. Mountainside trails beside Lake Superior.

7

George Washington Memorial Forest

Description:

Publicly maintained.

8

Central Gunflint Trail System

  • DISTANCE: 70 Kilometers
Description:

Privately maintained. Well-groomed trails amongst wildness.

9

Banadad Trail System

Description:

Publicly maintained. Winds through the BWCAW, connects with Central Gunflint Trail System.

10

Upper Gunflint Trail System

  • DISTANCE: 70 Kilometers
Description:

Privately maintained. Wild beauty, spectacular views and roller-coaster terrain.

Cross Country Skiing Outfitters & Guides

Outfitters & Guides

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Don’t just visit Cook County. Experience it like a pro with the hottest deals in the state. We’ve worked with our local vendors, artisans and owners to curate the best prices and most unique packages for our out-of-town visitors. Check out our hot deals today.

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