Cross Country Skiing
North Shore Cross-Country Ski Trails
Cross-country skiing is a glorious way to spend a winter day and the North Shore has some of the finest trail systems in the Midwest. Glide through the woods taking in wildlife, passing through pine forests, skirting river edges, exploring the woods and breathing the clean fresh winter air.
The North Shore Ski Trail
The North Shore Ski Trail is the 196-kilometer trail system stretching from Tofte to north of Cascade River State Park. Beginners to experts, classic skiers and skaters, short loops to day-long picnic loops, its all within a few miles of Caribou Highlands Lodge. You will appreciate the variety of trails, the consistent grooming and the glorious scenery. http://www.northshoreskitrail.com
Skiing on any of the trails requires a Minnesota Ski Pass, which is available at a variety of local shops or online from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/licenses/skipass/index.html
Top Cross-Country Ski Trails
- Maple & Upland Loops Moose Fence Ski Area in Tofte
Ski the easy, relatively flat Upland Loop through a balsam and spruce plantation. Continue on to the more difficult, semi-hilly Maple Loop for a great 4-mile ski.
- Wood Duck & Piece of Cake Loops Sugarbush Trailhead in Tofte
Beginners will love this series of short interconnected loops. Take off and you can keep adding on half- to one-kilometer loops past a pond and through gently rolling maples covered hills.
- Oberg Loop Oberg Mountain in Lutsen
Warm up along the wide easy trail leading north, then begin a slow steady climb up and around Oberg, ending with a big downhill return - all in 4.5 miles
- Lutsen Mountains Nordic Trails Lutsen Mountains
Challenge yourself to some skiing! Ride the chairlift to the top of Ullr or Mystery Mountain for easy and more difficult trails. The trails traverse 27-kilometers along the edges of the mountains.
- Massie & Hall Loops Spruce Creek in Lutsen
A figure-eight set of trails traveling through meadows with Lake Superior views, cedar groves and moderate terrain. The Hall Loop, when skied clockwise, climbs the first half, levels out in a stand of tamarack and then you get nice downhill for the remainder of the trail.
- Deeryard Lake to Cascade Lodge Cascade Trail System in Lutsen
You'll need two cars for this fabulous ski! Drop one at the parking area at the mouth of the Cascade River and driver the other inland to the trailhead. Ski open flats, through pine forests, past a beaver pond, and down a long descent down Pioneer Loop, eventually skiing across the footbridge over the Cascade River and on to the parking area.
- Cascade River State Park Lutsen
Ski all sorts of combinations of easy and more difficult trails through the state park. Beautiful scenery, good chance to see deer, centrally located and a woodstove-heated shelter.
- Pincushion Mountain A few miles North of Grand Marais
Ski 25-kilometers of beautiful loops set atop the ridgeline overlooking Grand Marais and the harbor. A great mix of easy to most difficult loops with a variety of shorter loops and the longer Pincushion Loop.
Best Ski Trail Systems for:
Families Sugarbush & Pincushion
Multiple Skill Levels Cascade River State Park & Pincushion
Skiers Who Like Hills Oberg, Lutsen Mountains & Spruce Creek
2-Car Ski Deeryard to Cascade
In the Woods, Not too Hard Cascade River State Park & Moose Fence
Cross-Country Ski Rentals & Passes
Sawtooth Outfitters in Tofte Visit Site
Winter Recreation Center at Superior National at Lutsen Visit Site
Lutsen Rec on the Ski Hill Road Visit Site
Cascade Lodge Visit Site