Duluth Parks & Recreation Crews Busy Grooming Cross-Country Ski Trails

DULUTH, Minn.–Cross-country skiing is a popular activity for many in the Northland, but keeping the trails groomed between snowstorms can be a full-time job.

With Duluth seeing nearly 3 feet of snow in the past few weeks, some may say the conditions are a snow bunny’s dream, but having to clear off over 30 miles of cross-country ski trails may seem overwhelming.

Regardless of the weather, city crews have been busy this season making sure trails are clear of brush and the ground is level enough to ski on.

A local skier took a break from his workout to share his love for skiing on a freshly groomed trail.

Duluth resident, Steven Kuross, said, “For a person who has the outdoor sport like skiing, and have the availability, I mean everyone looks forward to winter, you know and you’re sad when the snow goes. It’s just such a great pass time. One of the main reasons we moved to Duluth was because of the skiing. The trails for cross-country skiing is just phenomenal really”.

We checked in with the Trail Coordinator with Duluth Parks and Recreation to get an update on the progress crews have been making. Unfortunately a lot of the work being done has been removing fallen trees and debris before even getting to start the grooming process.

Duluth Parks & Rec. Trail Coordinator, Matt Andrews, said, “So this wet heavy snow came along and really made quiet a mess of a lot of our trail systems, so before we can get the grooming equipment out, we’ve had a lot of our city foresters, sawyers, our tree sawyers out there chain sawing and not just trees and branches, but brush and debris and we’re still struggling with it. Trees blocking the trail has literally stopped us in our tracks”.

Andrews tells Fox 21 that in years past, they’ve had the cross-country ski trails fully groomed by Christmas, but because of the recent snowfall, this year’s process is taking a bit longer.

As of Thursday, almost all 5 cross-country ski trails in Duluth have been cleared. Trails through the Lester, Chester, and Piedmont neighborhoods have been completely groomed, and Hartley being 50% clear.

Crews have not made it out to West Duluth to work on the Magney-Snively trails yet.

All of the ski trails within Duluth are open to the public, but a Great Minnesota Ski Pass is required to enjoy them. You can sign up for one of those passes through the Minnesota DNR’s website.

 

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