We’re begging for some courtesy. Help keep the city’s cross-country ski trails in good condition by taking hikes and walks elsewhere. Footprints and other impressions (even angels) ruin the trails, so the Duluth Parks and Recreation staff would like to remind you that it’s prohibited to use them for non-skiing activities.
It’s one thing to walk on them when there’s no snow and conditions are dry, but now the trails are packed and tracked for skiers, not for walking with Fido (and who names their dog Fido these days, anyway?)
Here’s how to keep ski trails in tiptop shape:
- Ski in the direction indicated
- Try to fill any holes and smooth the track if you should fall
- Don’t let pets anywhere near trails
- Don’t hike on groomed trails
For ambulatory excursions, use the Lakewalk and other clear-of-snow paths. Skiers will thank you.
Chester Bowl ski hill has announced its winter break and winter carnival schedule for the week. The hill’s lift will be open from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day. In addition:
- A partner ski race starts at 2 p.m. today.
- The obstacle course opens at 2 p.m. Thursday. There will be no evening ski lessons.
- A freestyle ski and snowboard jumping contest begins at 2 p.m. Friday. There will be no evening freestyle.
- The hill hosts its winter carnival from 1-4 p.m. Saturday and will release a detailed schedule of events later this week. Volunteers are needed. If you can help, please e-mail email@example.com. In addition, early registration for Sunday’s race will be held from 2:30-4:30 p.m.
Race registration will be open from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday; the race starts at 1:15 p.m. with all participants receiving trophies.
Chester Bowl is at 1800 E. Skyline Parkway. Daily lift tickets for all ages are $5.25. Go to chesterbowl.org for more information.
If you knock at the door of the new Grand Avenue Chalet at Spirit Mountain today and no one answers, don’t be offended. The chalet will be closed for a one-time private event related to its recent opening. It will reopen to the public Thursday morning.
Here’s another unconventional way to mark Valentine’s Day: by taking a ride on a ski lift with a Duluth City Council member.
Councilors Emily Larson and Patrick Boyle will be going round and round on the chair lift at Chester Bowl from 5:30-6:15 p.m. During that time you can hop on with one of them and bend their ear without any danger of them walking away. Then you can ski or snowboard back down feeling good about your civic engagement.
Larson has the Parks and Recreation portfolio on the City Council, and Boyle represents the district that includes Chester Bowl.
If you don’t feel like skiing, Larson and Boyle will go from riding the lift at 6:15 to serving cocoa and other goodies until 8:30 p.m. in the chalet.
The city of Duluth reports that with the recent snowfall its cross-country ski trails are in excellent condition.
The city trails include:
- Hartley, with a double-looped 5-kilometer trail groomed for traditional cross-country skiing at beginning and intermediate levels.
- Piedmont, with a 5K double-tracked loop that is appropriate for traditional skiers of all levels.
- Lester/Amity, with 18K of trails groomed for both traditional and skate-style skiing.
- Spirit Mountain, with 22 kilometers of double-tracked trails with skating lanes and 1K, 5K and 11K loops.
Hikers and dogs are not allowed on groomed trails. Skiers older than 15 require a Minnesota ski pass on all Grants-in-Aid trails.
Information on trail conditions can be found on the ski hot line at (218) 730-4321 or by searching for “duluthparksmn” on Facebook.
The new blanket of snow we were forecast to receive overnight should set up some great conditions for Saturday’s free candlelight ski on the Afterhours Trail in Northwestern Wisconsin’s Brule Rive State Forest.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources reports that the event, held from 5-9 p.m., will include a bonfire, hot apple cider, a gas grill for cooking and a warming shelter — and two miles of candle-lit ski trails, of course.
The Afterhours Trail is located off U.S. Highway 2 just west of Brule, or about 30 miles east of Superior.
Whether you hit the trails in Brule or get outdoors at some other spot in the Northland, this weekend should feel like a heat wave after our recent cold weather. Highs on Saturday are forecast to reach the teens — above zero — and on Sunday we may see highs in the mid- to upper 20s.
Despite last summer’s devastating flood damage and last weekend’s rain that devastated snow on the ground, Chester Bowl’s chairlift will open for the 2012-13 season today at 4:30 p.m. when Duluth Mayor Don Ness will cut the ceremonial ribbon to kick off another year of downhill skiing.
Crews have been making snow and there’s enough covering the main hill to open operations despite melting temperatures last week and a lack of snow from Mother Nature.
The hill will be open from 4:30-8:30 p.m. today and Friday and from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and then closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Ski camp will be available for novice, intermediate and more experienced skiers Dec. 26-30 with skiing 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day. The season’s first race is set for 1 p.m. on New Year’s Eve.
Season and daily passes are available. Info: (218) 724-9832 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Duluth Cross Country Ski Club is putting the call out for volunteers to help clear and rebuild the Lester Park ski trails that were hit hard by the June deluge and flood.
All you have to do is show up, dress for the weather, wear sturdy shoes, bring water and wear eye protection and gloves.
Cleanup sessions are set for 9 a.m. to noon today; 5-8 p.m. Tuesday and 4-7 p.m. Wednesday. Today and Wednesday, meet near the playground, with sessions focusing on clearing gravel and debris. Bring a wheelbarrow if you have one.
On Tuesday, meet at the main parking lot and the session will focus on weed clearing and anyone with weed trimmers is asked to bring them.
Go to duluthxc.com for more information.