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.
Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Cross Country Ski this Winter
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 older, using non-Federal trails, must purchase a Minnesota State Ski Pass, or, if skiing on Central of Upper Gunflint Trails, a Ski Ticket from the operator. The fees help maintain trails and ensure that future maintenance will be of the highest quality. A Minnesota Ski Pass may be purchased for the day or on an annual basis, either online or at a local gas station.
Georeferenced Ski Trail Maps available on the these trails:
- Pincushion Ski Trail System: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/superior/recreation/wintersports/recarea/?recid=64787&actid=91
- Sugarbush Ski Trail System: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/superior/recreation/wintersports/recarea/?recid=64789&actid=91
- Bally Creek Ski Trail System: Bally Creek Ski Trails – Geo Referenced – USFS – 2020