Trail Conditions in Cook County

Lutsen and Tofte

Cook County MN has the largest network of largest cross country trails in North America with 400KM of groomed ski trails. Find complete cross country ski trail conditions report here; updated weekly once the season begins.

Sugarbush Trail System

The Sugarbush Trail System is an extensive cross country ski trail network and a developing single-track mountain bike trail system in Northeastern Minnesota along the shores of Lake Superior. The system provides a variety of recreation opportunities in the Sawtooth Mountains for the beginner to advanced skier and bicyclist. A small board of volunteers oversees all aspects of the Sugarbush xc ski trail system. We fund trail improvements, purchase and maintain grooming equipment, make sure the trails are groomed, maintain the Oberg warming shack and keep it stocked with wood and put on the Annual Tofte Trek Fundraiser. STA also works cooperatively with Cook County's Superior Cycling Association to develop single-track mountain bike trails in our area.

We want to thank the North Star Ski Touring Club from the Twin Cities for providing support to us over the years. They provided us a grant for a new Yellowstone Ginzu groomer two years ago and provided funding to replace our trail intersection maps this year. The club is active year around and organizes adventure trips.

We want to remind folks that Sugarbush trails are only open to cross country skiing. Fat biking trails are available on the Norpine Trail system in Lutsen. Snowshoeing and hiking are available on the Superior Hiking Trail. Information on recreational trails throughout the county can be obtained from the Visit Cook County Information Center in Grand Marais; 218-387-2524.

This is the season, when non-profit organizations solicit supporters for financial support and Sugarbush Trail Association (STA) is one of them. We would like to encourage you to donate directly to STA through our website at Sugarbush Ski Trails or mail to: Sugarbush Trail Association, PO Box 2112, Tofte, MN 55615. We greatly appreciate any financial contributions to help us with our $40,000 operating budget. Thanks in advance.

Ski Pass Required: Minnesota Ski Pass required. They may be purchased online or in-person at any Holiday Station Store, Sawtooth Outfitters in Tofte, or Clearview store in Lutsen. More information on the pass and a link to purchase on-line is located at https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/licenses/skipass/index.html

Sugarbush Annual Meeting

Open to everyone
Tuesday, December 13 - 5:30pm
Superior Ballroom at Surfside Resort in Tofte

A light dinner will be served.

This will be our first annual in-person meeting in 3 years.

Agenda

Call to Order
Approval of previous annual meeting minutes

Reports:

  •     Treasurer's 
  •     President's
  •     Trail maintenance
  •     Grooming
  •     Equipment


New Business

  1. Approval of annual budget for fiscal year October 1, 2022  to September 30, 2023
  2. Annual election of board members
  3. Meeting schedule for 2023

Grooming grant provided by the North Star Ski Touring Club. Visit their website at http://north-stars.org


Sugarbush Trails - Britton Peak & Moose Fence in Tofte

  • Date: 12/1/2022
  • Trail Base: 4"
  • Snowfall Last 24 Hours: 2"
  • Snowfall Last 7 Days: 2"
  • Total Snowfall for Season: 17"
  • Average Depth off the Trail: 12"
  • Trail Conditions Update/Notes: 12/1/2022: We received 2" of new snow yesterday and waited until the high winds subsided to groom Onion River Road (ORR) for skate and classic early this morning. We plan to work on the rest of the trails as conditions permit.
  • Trail Conditions Update/Notes: 11/27/2022: Onion River Road is groomed for skate and classic skiing. Some parts of the trail system have running water. At this time, grooming is not possible on most of the system, due to insufficient snow. Some parts of the trail have running water. Currently, Onion River Road is the only groomed trail.
  • Typical grooming schedule: Our budget allows for grooming the entire system on Thursday and/or Friday (evening) of each week, starting with priority trails. Touch-up on priority trails (as needed) Monday or Tuesday. (Schedule may be adjusted if there is new snowfall)
  • Firsthand Trail Reports: From skinnyski.com, Nov. 27: Classic tracks were icy and thin with debris, and some debris was ski stoppers, therefore B ski recommendation. Tracks were too fast to stay in on the way down. Skate deck was refreshed last night and deck was firm and fast although a bit bumpy still. But skating should be fine as long as temps stay down. Don't stop dancing till it snows! (Tim Nelson)
  • Firsthand Trail Reports: From skinnyski.com, Nov 23:  6.5 K of the Onion River Road is groomed and tracked, making a beautiful 13K out and back. Well worth the drive today!
    (Maria Stuber) 
  • Firsthand Trail Reports: From skinnyski.com, Nov. 23: Striding the Onion River trailhead out and back. Double tracked with a middle skate lane in good condition. St. Scholastica team out training. A beautiful wolf crossed the trail about 150' from the trailhead. Tracks indicated that there were two. Rabbits seen in that area.(Bill Greiter)

 

Sugarbush Trails - Oberg Mountain Area Trails in Lutsen

  • Date: 12/1/2022
  • Trail Base: 4"
  • Snowfall Last 24 Hours: 2"
  • Snowfall Last 7 Days: 2"
  • Total Snowfall for Season: 17"
  • Average Depth off the Trail: 12"
  • Trail Conditions Update/Notes: 12/1/2022: We received 2" of new snow yesterday and waited until the high winds subsided to groom Onion River Road (ORR) for skate and classic early this morning. We plan to work on the rest of the trails as conditions permit.
  • Trail Conditions Update/Notes: 11/27/2022: Onion River Road is groomed for skate and classic skiing. Some parts of the trail system have running water. At this time, grooming is not possible on most of the system, due to insufficient snow. Some parts of the trail have running water. Currently, Onion River Road is the only groomed trail.
  • Typical grooming schedule: Our budget allows for grooming the entire system on Thursday and/or Friday (evening) of each week, starting with priority trails. Touch-up on priority trails (as needed) Monday or Tuesday. (Schedule may be adjusted if there is new snowfall)
  • Firsthand Trail Reports: From skinnyski.com, Nov. 27: Classic tracks were icy and thin with debris, and some debris was ski stoppers, therefore B ski recommendation. Tracks were too fast to stay in on the way down. Skate deck was refreshed last night and deck was firm and fast although a bit bumpy still. But skating should be fine as long as temps stay down. Don't stop dancing till it snows! (Tim Nelson)
  • Firsthand Trail Reports: From skinnyski.com, Nov 23:  6.5 K of the Onion River Road is groomed and tracked, making a beautiful 13K out and back. Well worth the drive today!
    (Maria Stuber) 
  • Firsthand Trail Reports: From skinnyski.com, Nov. 23: Striding the Onion River trailhead out and back. Double tracked with a middle skate lane in good condition. St. Scholastica team out training. A beautiful wolf crossed the trail about 150' from the trailhead. Tracks indicated that there were two. Rabbits seen in that area.(Bill Greiter)

 

Norpine Trail System

The Norpine Trail System is 57km of machine groomed X-C ski trails between Cascade River and Ski Hill Road. Trails include Deer Yard Lake, Pioneer Trail, Hall and Massey Loops. The Norpine Trail Association is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and is operated exclusively for charitable and educational purposes, including maintaining, preserving, and enhancing the historic Norpine Trail System in Cook County, Minnesota, (which includes Cascade River State Park trails, Deer Yard Loop trails and Hall-Massey trails).

Norpine Trails are maintained with the help of the North Star Ski Touring Association, www.north-stars.org, and many other Norpine members and volunteers.

More information: www.norpinetrails.org

Ski Pass Required: MN ski passes are required on our trail system. Passes can be purchased on-line or they may be purchased in-person at any Holiday Station Store, Sawtooth Outfitters in Tofte, or Clearview store in Lutsen.

More information on the pass and a link to purchase on-line is located at https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/licenses/skipass/index.html

Norpine Trails - Deer Yard - Lutsen

  • Date: 11/23/2022
  • Trail Base: 2" - 4"
  • Snowfall Last 24 Hours:
  • Snowfall Last 7 Days
  • Average Depth off the Trail: 6" - 12"
  • Trail Conditions Update/Notes: 11/23/2022: Some East End trails rolled 11/21. Poor conditions on Pioneer, Ridge, Deeryard Main Loop, and Firetower. Short Loop and Lookout Mountain closed until further notice (dangerous conditions due to exposed rocks and open water). Efforts were made to roll West End trails 11/22 but conditions are not favorable for grooming. More snow and colder temps needed to facilitate trailwork. Check back for updates. Cautions: Early season skiing. No tracks set. Open water and bare ground to be found throughout system. ROCK SKIS recommended! Trails Report Here
  • Firsthand Trail Reports


Norpine Trails - Hall/Massie Loop

  • Date: 11/23/2022
  • Trail Base: 2" - 4"
  • Snowfall Last 24 Hours:
  • Snowfall Last 7 Days: 
  • Average Depth off the Trail: 6" - 12"
  • Trail Conditions Update/Notes: 11/23/2022: Some East End trails rolled 11/21. Poor conditions on Pioneer, Ridge, Deeryard Main Loop, and Firetower. Short Loop and Lookout Mountain closed until further notice (dangerous conditions due to exposed rocks and open water). Efforts were made to roll West End trails 11/22 but conditions are not favorable for grooming. More snow and colder temps needed to facilitate trailwork. Check back for updates. Cautions: Early season skiing. No tracks set. Open water and bare ground to be found throughout system. ROCK SKIS recommended! Trails Report Here
  • Firsthand Trail Reports: 

 

Norpine Trails - Cascade River Area Trails

  • Date: 11/23/2022
  • Trail Base: 2" - 4" 
  • Snowfall Last 24 Hours:
  • Snowfall Last 7 Days:
  • Average Depth off the Trail: 6" - 12"
  • Trail Conditions Update/Notes: 11/23/2022: Some East End trails rolled 11/21. Poor conditions on Pioneer, Ridge, Deeryard Main Loop, and Firetower. Short Loop and Lookout Mountain closed until further notice (dangerous conditions due to exposed rocks and open water). Efforts were made to roll West End trails 11/22 but conditions are not favorable for grooming. More snow and colder temps needed to facilitate trailwork. Check back for updates. Cautions: Early season skiing. No tracks set. Open water and bare ground to be found throughout system. ROCK SKIS recommended! Trails Report Here
  • Firsthand Trail Reports: 

 

 

Sawbill Campground - Tofte

Sawbill Ski Trail is a 6k classic ski trail on a loop through the Superior National Forest. This is a privately maintained ski trail that we are happy to share with others. Park in the plowed parking lot and access the trail from the four-way intersection. No dogs or snowshoes please!

 

Grand Marais Trail Conditions

Cook County MN has the largest network of largest cross country trails in North America with 400KM of pristinely groomed ski trails. Find the complete cross country ski trail conditions report here.

Gunflint Trail Trail Conditions

Welcome to winter on the Gunflint Trail. Cross country skiing is one of the #1 activities on the Gunflint Trail in winter. Trail reports are updated weekly once the season begins, typically mid-November – April.