Best Places to Cross Country Ski in Duluth
Duluth has no shortage of opportunities for outdoor enjoyment and is home to some of the best cross-country skiing in the Midwest. From early-season man-made snow loops to mid-season beauty, world-class skiing is right at your fingertips. With this in mind, we are going to deep dive into the top three areas to ski in the Duluth area. This list is completely subjective, as there are MANY different areas to cross-country ski in the region. Everyone has their favorite!
#3 Snowflake Nordic Center
This privately owned cross-country specific ski facility is home to roughly 13 kilometers of winding, twisting trails. With paths for beginners as well as advanced skiers, you can get a wide variety of individuals enjoying the system. This facility has a cozy warming shack and is open to skijoring as well (skiing behind a dog)! There is a daily fee to enjoy these trails as well as a season pass option. Check out their website for more details!
#2 Grand Ave Nordic Center
One of the newer trails to the Duluth area is the Grand Avenue Nordic Center (GANC)! This system is located at the base of Spirit Mountain on Grand Avenue in West Duluth. With the ability to make snow at this location, it is often the stomping grounds of skiers wanting to put in the early season work. While there is not an abundance of trails in this system, there are hills! The course winds you partially up Spirit Mountain before you shoot down to the bottom and start all over. This being said, there are cutoffs for beginners who don’t want to take the plunge! Complete with an expansive warming chalet, this facility is perfect for early season skiing when natural snow trails are not an option. Daily passes are required. Visit their website for more details!
#1 Lester Park
It is really hard to beat a mid winter day at Lester. With a good mix of rolling hills and stunning views, this trail has captured the hearts of skiers all across the region. With roughly 15 kilometers of pristine paths, it is hard to go wrong. This system is maintained by the City of Duluth with heavy equipment; this means if there is enough snow, the trails will be well packed and ready for action. Make sure to visit the Chalet located just up Seven Bridges Road for some hot chocolate when you finish your ski. A Great Minnesota Ski Pass is required at this location and can be purchased by clicking the link HERE! Check out the other city-operated trails HERE!
To be clear, there are many, MANY other trail systems in Duluth. The listed systems all stand out for one reason or another and are must-ski destinations! Whether you are skiing loops at Grand Avenue or taking in the beauty of Lester, make sure to have fun and be safe! We can’t wait to see you out there!