Locals Enjoy the Dog Days of Winter at Pine Valley Ski Area

In This Week's Great Outdoors, Local Ski Enthusiasts Share Experience, Passion as the Season Winds Down

CLOQUET, Minn. – The dog days of winter are coming to a close, but that’s not stopping energetic Northland residents from getting in the final few weeks of cross-country skiing.

One popular place for cross country skiing in the Northland is Pine Valley Ski Area in Cloquet.

“Boy what a nice day,” said John Bankson, a resident of Duluth. “It’s practically spring-like outside!”

It’s a natural setting made fit for a snowy storybook.

With temps warming weekly, and snow quickly melting, time is ticking before skiing switches to hiking for many outdoor enthusiasts.

“Now more than ever people need to get outside, and they should get outside and recreate,” said Bankson.

Whether it’s a fun trip to burn off some steam or a day on the trails with the team, these avid skiers say there’s room for everyone to enjoy the picturesque beauty of Pine Valley.

“We have cross-country ski practice here tonight. I came a little early to practice so I can get in another lap,” said Cale Prosen, a resident of Cloquet. “It’s just really beautiful out here and there’s so much to enjoy.”

For Prosen, cross country skiing is an activity he couldn’t live without.

“I’ve been cross country skiing since I could walk pretty much. My parents encouraged me to get into the sport and get out there into nature and on the trails,” said Prosen.

Others on the trail have a mission to complete before winter winds down.

“I’m out here because I want to ski every trail in the greater Twin Ports. This is my 14th trail out of 20 plus trails in the area,” said Bankson.

Bankson said he isn’t letting the pandemic keep him cooped up.

“I don’t think there’s ever a bad day skiing, I rarely have a bad day skiing,” said Bankson.

Instead, he’s taking time to embrace and enjoy the natural entertainment the Northland has to offer.

“Weather is just weather! I’ll go out in anything,” said Bankson.

These hearty Northlanders encourage everyone, especially those new to the sport, to check out Pine Valley, as it offers a variety of views and levels of endurance.

“It can be interesting if you take it fast, but it’s a course for all levels of skiing,” said Prosen. “It just feels great. I’ve been sitting in my room for eight hours now. Just being able to get outside and ski is so much fun every day. It’s a nice change.”

Click here for more information on the trail conditions at Pine Valley Ski Area.

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