Shhhh…you are now entering the boreal forest
It’s a serene and awe-inspiring cathedral. And while we often invoke the stillness of the winter wood, in truth, it is very much alive. Alive with rustling trees, squirrels and foxes, singing birds, and the joyous souls who follow the cross-country trails. If you are one of those souls, Cook County has the largest network of cross-country (Nordic) trails in North America, just waiting for you.
The trails aren’t quite ready yet for winter 2019-20 but with the snow and cold we have been getting, it won’t be long! We will update these pages as the trails open.
The Banadad offers 41 kilometers of intimate classical groomed trails, most of which go through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW). The trail system is located in Northern Minnesota along the Gunflint Trail and 32 miles inland from the Lake Superior coastal town of Grand Marais. For more information about the Banadad Ski Trail, call Banadad Trail Association at 218-388-4487. The Great Minnesota Ski Pass is required.*
CENTRAL GUNFLINT TRAILS
The Central Gunflint Trails are located midway up the Gunflint Trail. The 70 km of trails are privately groomed by Golden Eagle Lodge and Bearskin Lodge. All trails are tracked for classic skiing and large portions of the trails are also groomed for skate skiing. Sections of the trail are also lit for night skiing. For the most up-to-date grooming information, as well as specific trail conditions, please contact Bearskin Lodge (800-338-4170) or Golden Eagle Lodge (800-346-2203). The Central Gunflint Ski Pass is required and may be purchased at either of the lodges.
NORPINE SKI TRAIL
The Norpine Ski Trail system is a public trail located on the west end of Cook County, covering Deeryard, Cascade, and Lutsen. The system includes 58.2 km of classic and skate skiing. The trails are maintained by Norpine Trail Association and North Star Ski Touring Association. The Great Minnesota Ski Pass is required.*
PINCUSHION MOUNTAIN SKI TRAIL
The Pincushion Mountain Trail system is a public trail located right outside of Grand Marais, along the Gunflint Trail. It offers scenic overlooks of Lake Superior and 25 km of classic and skate skiing trails, including 1.6 km of lighted trails for night skiing. These trails are maintained by North Superior Ski & Run Club and volunteers. The Great Minnesota Ski Pass is required.*
SUGARBUSH SKI TRAILS
The Sugarbush Ski Trails are located on the west end of Cook County, in Lutsen and Tofte. This 65 km, public trail system offers classic and skate skiing, with skijoring on select sections. The Sugarbush Ski Trails are groomed by the North Star Touring Club and require The Great Minnesota Ski Pass.*
UPPER GUNFLINT SKI TRAIL
The 75 km of the Upper Gunflint Ski Trail system is located up the Gunflint Trail, surrounded by Gunflint Lodge, Gunflint Pines, and Heston’s Lodge. It is privately groomed by the Gunflint Lake Trails Group, and the Upper Gunflint Trail Ski pass is required for usage. More information can be found at https://www.gunflint.com/, or by calling 800-328-3325. Please support our trails by purchasing an Upper Gunflint Trail Ski Pass from any business on the South Gunflint Lake Road.