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Trail Report

Light snow falling early Sunday morning. Mild temps below freezing, great day of skiing on tap! Mid winter ski conditions! Great skiing this week with moderate temps. Frost snow falling on the most recent groom with a few snow showers sprinkled on top making for special skiing. Conditions couldn’t be much better and now is the time to come to Maplelag if you haven’t made winter plans!

Wednesday saw grooming on all the double track trails. Tuesday we set track on Roy’s Run for the first time this year and the entire loop groomed up nicely. Just a very short section at the north end with one small rough area. Grooming on Wavy Gravy and Island Lake on Thursday. Skaters Waltz and the extension groomed Thursday as well and Skaters Waltz groomed Friday evening. Touch up grooming Saturday morning.

Trails that have been groomed and open with tracks set: Sukkerbusk, Twin Lakes, North Loup, Rootin Tootin, Mother North Star, Sap Run, Wavy Gravy, Island Lake, Roy’s Run and JibFly. Skaters Waltz, the extension groomed for skating. Please no skating on trails other than Skaters Waltz, and the extension of Skaters. Trails open with skier made track include  Lucky’s Loype and Bullhead. Please note portions of certain trails will not be groomed this year due to change in the lease on AMA property.

Total snowfall since December 15th=21″, compacted base on trail 4-7″. Snow depth in the woods 12-16″. Overall the trails have very good coverage, a few rough spots on the marsh/lake crossings to use caution, especially on Bullhead trail. Total snowfall since December 1st, 27″. Total snowfall since November 20th= 29″. We had a warm spell that melted most of the snow from November 20th and December 1st other than the north facing areas. First grooming of the season on November 20th after 2″ of snowfall.

The trails are open for public day skiing. Trail access pass is $15. Ski rental is $15 a day. After January 3rd, lunch will be available for day skiers during the Midweek by reservation. Contact us to reserve and for pricing.

January 21st Trail Report Photos

Jeanne and Mark ready to hit the trails proper

Jeanne and Mark ready to hit the trails proper

Grooming Skaters Extension

Grooming Skaters Extension

Robert and Maryann heading out for a afternoon ski

Robert and Maryann heading out for a afternoon ski

Beth and Collin on Sukkerbusk

Beth and Collin on Sukkerbusk

John and Mary on Sukkerbusk

John and Mary on Sukkerbusk

Island lake trail as it passed by the west side of south twin lake!

Island lake trail as it passed by the west side of south twin lake!

Group of tamarack trees on west side of north twin lake.

Group of tamarack trees on west side of north twin lake.

Twin Lakes crossing. Another incredible frosty day.

Twin Lakes crossing. Another incredible frosty day.

Frosty birch tree

Frosty birch tree

Night grooming

Night grooming

January 20th Trail Report Photos

 

Frosty day!

Frosty day!

Canadian guests JoAnne and Harvey enjoying the frost and fresh snow.

Canadian guests JoAnne and Harvey enjoying the frost and fresh snow.

Setting fresh double track on North Loup. The feedback has been to keep NL double tracked.

Setting fresh double track on North Loup. The feedback has been to keep NL double tracked.

Rootin Tootin

Rootin Tootin

Every tiny little branch and stem coated in frost today

Every tiny little branch and stem coated in frost today

 

 

Twin Lakes crossing. The low areas near the sloughs and ponds coated heavy.

Twin Lakes crossing. The low areas near the sloughs and ponds coated heavy.

 

 

 

 

Paul Johnson enjoying a late afternoon ski on Skaters Waltz. On tap for grooming Thursday morning.

Paul Johnson enjoying a late afternoon ski on Skaters Waltz. On tap for grooming Thursday morning.

January 19th Trail Report Photos

Morning skate on the ice rink. We finally got the rink ready for ice skating! Various sizes of skates available in the warming house.

Morning skate on the ice rink. We finally got the rink ready for ice skating! Various sizes of skates available in the warming house.

Setting new track on Roy's Run Tuesday morning

Setting new track on Roy's Run Tuesday morning

Area on Roy's Run with the deepest snow back on the trail system, measuring around 15" of snow after Tuesday evening fresh snow.

Area on Roy's Run with the deepest snow back on the trail system, measuring around 15" of snow after Tuesday evening fresh snow.

Detroit Lakes Nordic ski team members enjoying an extended MLK holiday weekend skiing on the trails.

Detroit Lakes Nordic ski team members enjoying an extended MLK holiday weekend skiing on the trails.

Heading out during a trademark "praire clipper" snow event that would drop 2-3" of snow Tuesday late afternoon early evening.

Heading out during a trademark "praire clipper" snow event that would drop 2-3" of snow Tuesday late afternoon early evening.

Snow covered pines in the Square field.

Snow covered pines in the Square field.

January 16th Trail Report Photos

Benilde St Margaret ski team Saturday morning

Benilde St Margaret ski team Saturday morning

Members of the North Star Ski Touring Club out snowshoeing

Members of the North Star Ski Touring Club out snowshoeing

Track set at the start of Lucky's Loype. Middle sections of Lucky's not groomed (AMA parcel)

Track set at the start of Lucky's Loype. Middle sections of Lucky's not groomed (AMA parcel)

Through the pines and protected from the chill!

Through the pines and protected from the chill!

 

Holy Family Catholic Skiers ready for the afternoon ski

Holy Family Catholic Skiers ready for the afternoon ski

January 15th Trail Report Photos

Morning scene at the trail head

Morning scene at the trail head

Fresh tracks on Sukkerbusk

Fresh tracks on Sukkerbusk

Sunrise over slough near Island Lake trail

Sunrise over slough near Island Lake trail

Fresh grooming at Twin lakes crossing

Fresh grooming at Twin lakes crossing

Fresh tracks!

Fresh tracks!

JibFly

JibFly

Smoothing out skaters waltz

Smoothing out skaters waltz

Sukkerbusk

Sukkerbusk

Double track on North Loup. We set tracks with cooler temps on the weekend. Skate lane will return either this weekend or early next week.

Double track on North Loup. We set tracks with cooler temps on the weekend. Skate lane will return either this weekend or early next week.

North Loup

North Loup

Peder ready to hit the trails

Peder ready to hit the trails

Setting new track on Wavy Gravy

Setting new track on Wavy Gravy

Mink tracks at twin lakes crossing

Mink tracks at twin lakes crossing

Return from western trails

Return from western trails

On way to the western trails

On way to the western trails

Eddy Lawther getting a ski in on Rootin Tootin upon arrival

Eddy Lawther getting a ski in on Rootin Tootin upon arrival

Trail Report

Winter returns! A dusting of snow greeting us this morning with windy conditions making it feel like the single digits. Wow, quite a change from earlier in the week. Looks like an inch additional of snow possible today as cooler weather is welcomed to start freezing down the ground. The trails are in great shape and ready for more snow which looks promising the next 10 days. Thanks to the newly formed Moorhead Nordic ski team for coming out early Saturday morning to help clear trail.

Overall it has been great conditions to be in the woods this fall as we fine tune the trails. We have been mainly clearing deadfall and leaves off the trail, preparing them for the first snows and early season skiing.

October 28th we had our first snowfall of the year which was just enough for a quick morning ski before for the kids before heading off to school! The snow melted off from the warm ground underneath but light snow fell throughout the day. At dusk the snow started to pick up again with almost 4″ setting on the ground.  A night ski with headlamps was on order and a fun ski was had on the inner trail. The falling snow turned to rain and temps warming during the night melted off the snow by Thursday morning. Although it was too early for snow to stay, it is always exciting to see white on the ground and trees flocked beautifully.

We had a beautiful fall of color with some fantastic scenes in the forest.  Photos of the fall color can be found on the fall color page.  or Facebook page.

The mountain bike trails are closed for the season. (Click here for latest mountain bike trail report and information on mountain biking at Maplelag.) 

Overall the trails are looking great as we have been mowing almost daily preparing them for winter. We are over 1000 miles of mowing so far this summer and fall! Sounds like a lot but with almost 40 miles of trails and each trail taking 4-6 passes to mow entire trail and some trails mowed up to 20 times during a season it adds up!

Total rainfall since the middle of May has been around 30″ of rain bringing the water tables to normal levels after a dry winter and spring.

We spend just as many hours if not more on the trails outside the winter season to be prepared for low snow years and to be able to open the trails on as little as 3″ of dense snow. We thrive on grooming and having the trails open on as little snow as possible and prepare the trails in the off season with this mindset. We are now busy as ever on the trails, preparing them for the winter season.

 

Newly formed Moorhead Nordic Ski team ready for a morning of clearing on the trails. November 14th, 2015.
Newly formed Moorhead Nordic Ski team ready for a morning of clearing on the trails. November 14th, 2015. Thanks for coming out to help  clear trails!

 

Winter scene in front of the lodge Thursday afternoon. November 12th, 2015.
Winter scene in front of the lodge Thursday afternoon after a short return of winter. November 12th, 2015.

 

November 13th Trail Report Days

Archery area morning winter scene

Archery area morning winter scene

Back bowl Friday morning

Back bowl Friday morning

 

Sap Run

Sap Run

Mother North Star

Mother North Star

Bottom of Suicide Hill

Bottom of Suicide Hill

Skinny field

Skinny field

Skaters Waltz left Sukkerbusk right

Skaters Waltz left Sukkerbusk right

Frosted poplar tops from rain/snow freezing on top

Frosted poplar tops from rain/snow freezing on top

 

One last mowing/clearing on Suicide Hill. Ready for skiing on just a few inches of snow! November 11th, 2015.
One last mowing/clearing on Suicide Hill. Ready for skiing on just a few inches of snow! November 11th, 2015.

 

Back bowl area in fantastic shape, ready for snow, skiers and sledders! November 10th, 2015.
Back bowl area in fantastic shape, ready for snow, skiers and sledders! November 10th, 2015.
Kamikaze hill, Skaters Waltz. November 10th, 2015.
Kamikaze hill, Skaters Waltz. November 10th, 2015.
Skaters Waltz, November 10th, 2015.
Skaters Waltz, November 10th, 2015.

 

Coating of ice on Kohlepp pond. November 7th, 2015.
Coating of ice on Kohlepp pond. November 7th, 2015.

November 5th Trail Report Photos

Clearing on the ski trails, removing leaves and deadfall. It has been an incredible fall for trail maintenance. Outside of the regular mowing during the summer, this is the most trail we have cleared for early season skiing. Let it snow!

Clearing on the ski trails, removing leaves and deadfall. It has been an incredible fall for trail maintenance. Outside of the regular mowing during the summer, this is the most trail we have cleared for early season skiing. Let it snow!

Foggy damp weather the end of the week as seen on shore of Little Sugarbush

Foggy damp weather the end of the week as seen on shore of Little Sugarbush

Back bowl area cleared of leaves earlier this week and ready for snow. This area is used for sledding, ski lessons and general Nordic play!

Back bowl area cleared of leaves earlier this week and ready for snow. This area is used for sledding, ski lessons and general Nordic play!

Tracks in the skinny field from a evening ski on October 28th. Nearly 4" had fallen making for a nice first ski of the year.
Tracks in the skinny field from a evening ski on October 28th. Nearly 4″ had fallen making for a nice first ski of the year.

 

October 28th Trail Report Photos-First Snow!

Coating of fresh snow on the deck

Coating of fresh snow on the deck

Obligatory first ski on first snow....quick before school!

Obligatory first ski on first snow....quick before school!

 

Switchyard

Switchyard

Ski games area

Ski games area

Saplings flocked with snow

Saplings flocked with snow

Nearby slough with coating of white

Nearby slough with coating of white

Pine sapling with a dusting of snow

Pine sapling with a dusting of snow

 

The tamarack trees are the only coniferous tree to loose their needles and always provide nice color when the other trees have lost their leaves. October 21st, 2015.
The tamarack trees are the only coniferous tree to loose their needles and always provide nice color when the other trees have lost their leaves. October 21st, 2015.

October 21st Trail Report Photos

Sukkebusk ski trail after leaf clearing today

Sukkebusk ski trail after leaf clearing today

Ready for snow!

Ready for snow!

 

 

Great afternoon for a late season mountain bike ride. Singletrack near Twin Lakes

Great afternoon for a late season mountain bike ride. Singletrack near Twin Lakes

 

View from east end of the island on Island lake. Still have plans for a outpost cabin here. Skiers could ski out here in the winter time and spend a night or two! Ask about it at the resort this winter! October 17th, 2015.
View from east end of the island on Island lake. Still have plans for a outpost cabin here. Skiers could ski out here in the winter time and spend a night or two! Ask about it at the resort this winter! October 17th, 2015.
Panoramic view of Twin Lakes from mountain bike trail. October 15th, 2015.
Panoramic view of Twin Lakes from mountain bike trail. October 15th, 2015.

 

Beautiful fall scene at top of Suicide Hill, October 13th, 2015.
Beautiful fall scene at top of Suicide Hill, October 13th, 2015.
Scene from the bottom of Suicide Hill. October 13th, 2015. We will continue fall grooming on trails up until the snow flies!
Scene from the bottom of Suicide Hill. October 13th, 2015. We will continue fall grooming on trails up until the snow flies!
Freshly cleared trail on the mountain bike course. October 13th, 2015.
Freshly cleared trail on the mountain bike course. October 13th, 2015.

 

 

October 6th and 7th Trail Report Photos

Refuge lodge surrounded nicely by fall color Tuesday morning

Refuge lodge surrounded nicely by fall color Tuesday morning

Panoramic view at the trail head

Panoramic view at the trail head

End of Sap Run ski trail

End of Sap Run ski trail

 

Looking towards north end of Bullhead lake. Tamarack trees starting to change, latest and only coniferous tree to do so.

Looking towards north end of Bullhead lake. Tamarack trees starting to change, latest and only coniferous tree to do so.

Fall grooming on Suicide Hill. Will continue to clear leaves here up until the snow flies for earliest season skiing

Fall grooming on Suicide Hill. Will continue to clear leaves here up until the snow flies for earliest season skiing

Top of Suicide HIll

Top of Suicide HIll

Loon Return ski trail

Loon Return ski trail

Sukkerbusk ski trail

Sukkerbusk ski trail

Sukkerbusk

Sukkerbusk

Nice coating of frost Wednesday morning

Nice coating of frost Wednesday morning

 

 

October 2nd Trail Report Photos

Fall color at the end of Maplelag driveway

Fall color at the end of Maplelag driveway

Color along Sukkerbusk ski trail

Color along Sukkerbusk ski trail

Skaters Waltz ski trail

Skaters Waltz ski trail

Great color on the mountain bike trail

Great color on the mountain bike trail

Frosted marsh area at Twin Lakes crossing. September 29th, 2015.
Frosted marsh area at Twin Lakes crossing. September 29th, 2015. First real frost of the season and always gets us excited for the upcoming winter!

 

Beautiful weekend on the trails. September 26th, 2015.
Beautiful weekend on the trails. September 26th, 2015.

 

September 21st Trail Report Photos

 

Early fall color in the switchyard

Early fall color in the switchyard

Fall color along the Maplelag driveway

Fall color along the Maplelag driveway

Colorful woods

Colorful woods

Loon return ski trail

Loon return ski trail

 

Early fall color near the stone wall at Maplelag. September 20th, 2015.
Early fall color near the stone wall at Maplelag. September 20th, 2015.

 

September 16th Trail Report Photos

Large maple falling down from strong winds earlier this week on bootleg extension ski trail.

Large maple falling down from strong winds earlier this week on bootleg extension ski trail.

Great mountain biking on the mountain bike course this week. Fall riding!

Great mountain biking on the mountain bike course this week. Fall riding!

Snapping turtle on Twin Lakes crossing this week.

Snapping turtle on Twin Lakes crossing this week.

 

Early fall color in front of the main lodge. September 15th, 2015.
Early fall color in front of the main lodge. September 15th, 2015.

 

Fall scene over one of the Maplelag ponds. September 10th, 2015.
Fall scene over one of the Maplelag ponds. September 10th, 2015.

 

Calm evening on Little Sugarbush, lake Maplelag sits next to. August 9th, 2015.
Calm evening on Little Sugarbush, lake Maplelag sits next to. August 9th, 2015.

 

August 5th Trail Report Photos

Skaters Waltz ski trail after a recent mowing. We have logged over 1000 miles on the mower so far this summer, keeping up with the grass growing like crazy.

Skaters Waltz ski trail after a recent mowing. We have logged over 1000 miles on the mower so far this summer, keeping up with the grass growing like crazy.

Acorns on the singletrack. Looks like a bumper crop this year!

Acorns on the singletrack. Looks like a bumper crop this year!

Trail work on the singletrack.

Trail work on the singletrack.

Mossy singletrack.

Mossy singletrack.

 

 

Hail on the ground after a quick moving storm Sunday morning. August 2nd, 2015.
Hail on the ground after a quick moving storm Sunday morning. August 2nd, 2015.

 

Acorn on the ground. August 1st, 2015.
Acorn on the ground. August 1st, 2015.
Good crop of acorns this year as seen on a fallen branch from wind earlier in the week. Old timers say cold and snowy winter ahead when good acorn crop!! August 1st, 2015.
Good crop of acorns this year as seen on a fallen branch from wind earlier in the week. Old timers say cold and snowy winter ahead when good acorn crop!! August 1st, 2015.

 

July 2nd Trail Report Photos

Wild iris flowers on the side of Mother North Star trail

Wild iris flowers on the side of Mother North Star trail

 

Mowing on Skaters Waltz ski trail. We have logged close to 700 miles of mowing already this year! The woods as lush as ever with all the rain this spring and early summer.

Mowing on Skaters Waltz ski trail. We have logged close to 700 miles of mowing already this year! The woods as lush as ever with all the rain this spring and early summer.

Suicide Hill mowed multiple times already this year

Suicide Hill mowed multiple times already this year

 

June 17th Trail Report Photos

Bumper crop of wild rose flowers this year

Bumper crop of wild rose flowers this year

 

Maple seedlings on the forest floor

Maple seedlings on the forest floor

A wide variety of mushrooms expoding in the woods with all the recent rain.

A wide variety of mushrooms expoding in the woods with all the recent rain.

 

Mossy mountain bike singletrack

Mossy mountain bike singletrack

View of south twin lakes from mtb trail after recent storm pushed through

View of south twin lakes from mtb trail after recent storm pushed through

 

 

 

Water droplets on on poplar leaf. June 3rd, 2015.
Water droplets on on poplar leaf. June 3rd, 2015.

 

Group of trumpeter swans on a misty morning. Twin Lakes. June 3rd, 2015.
Group of trumpeter swans on a misty morning. Twin Lakes. June 3rd, 2015.

 

Yellow slippers blooming in the past few days. May 27th, 2015.
Yellow slippers blooming in the past few days. May 28th, 2015.

 

 

Nice crop of "Pigs Feet" as seen on Sukkerbusk trail yesterday. May 27th, 2015.
Nice crop of “Pigs Feet” as seen on Sukkerbusk trail yesterday. May 27th, 2015.
Pair of trumpeter swans sharing the waters of Little Sugarbush with a loon and a beaver in the far background. May 21st, 2015.
Pair of trumpeter swans sharing the waters of Little Sugarbush with a loon and a beaver in the far background. May 21st, 2015.

 

May 18th Trail Report Photos

Tens of thousands of Bellwort flowers on the forest floor

Tens of thousands of Bellwort flowers on the forest floor

Marsh marigolds popping out in recent days. Hopefully surviving the cold weather!

Marsh marigolds popping out in recent days. Hopefully surviving the cold weather!

New life from a small pond that was dry before the rain.

New life from a small pond that was dry before the rain.

Smaller ponds filling back up with water that had dried out during the past 6-7 months.

Smaller ponds filling back up with water that had dried out during the past 6-7 months.

Trail work on new singletrack!

Trail work on new singletrack!

Sukkerbusk ski trail "greening" up. Won't be long until we begin mowing the ski trails and preparing them for winter! May 13th, 2015.
Sukkerbusk ski trail “greening” up. Won’t be long until we begin mowing the ski trails and preparing them for winter! May 13th, 2015.
Ferns in the forest enjoying the sunshine on Tuesday and waiting for warmer temps. May 13th, 2015.
Ferns in the forest enjoying the sunshine on Tuesday and waiting for warmer temps. May 12th, 2015.
Red Headed woodpecker making a visit to the Maplelag grounds this week. May 11th, 2015.
Red Headed woodpecker making a visit to the Maplelag grounds this week. May 11th, 2015.

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Cardinal one of the many birds visiting the Maplelag feeders this week. May 8th, 2015.
Cardinal one of the many birds visiting the Maplelag feeders this week. May 8th, 2015.

 

Eagle nest near Twin Lakes crossing active this year . May 3rd, 2015.
Eagle nest near Twin Lakes crossing active this year . May 3rd, 2015.

 

 

Kira and Anna planting trees near Twin Lakes this week. April 28th, 2015.
Kira and Anna helping plant trees near Twin Lakes this week. April 28th, 2015.

 

 

April 22nd Trail Report Photos

Ski trail segment of mtb course surrounded by snow Wednesday morning

Ski trail segment of mtb course surrounded by snow Wednesday morning

Mountain bike singletrack. The rain/snow was good, freezing at nights making it greasy when it thaws out. Looks like will before the weekend before fully opened.

Mountain bike singletrack. The rain/snow was good, freezing at nights making it greasy when it thaws out. Looks like will before the weekend before fully opened.

Pines in skinny field planted as seedlings growing along nicely. Maplelag has planted over 100,000 trees since its existence. Happy Earth Day!

Pines in skinny field planted as seedlings growing along nicely. Maplelag has planted over 100,000 trees since its existence. Happy Earth Day!

Pines planted as seedlings back in the 90's now growing nicely through the square field

Pines planted as seedlings back in the 90's now growing nicely through the square field

Skinny field pines

Skinny field pines

Pothole created for watefowl back in the 80's

Pothole created for watefowl back in the 80's

Spruce trees planted as seedlings 20 years ago

Spruce trees planted as seedlings 20 years ago

Norway and spruce trees planed along Rootin Tootin providing wind break from the slough to the right.

Norway and spruce trees planed along Rootin Tootin providing wind break from the slough to the right.

Aerial photo taken by Greg Ames of Little Sugarbush ice free. Maplelag on the east shore. April 16th, 2015.
Special aerial photo taken by Greg Ames of Little Sugarbush ice free. Maplelag on the east shore. April 16th, 2015. Thanks Greg!

 

 

Patch of ice on Little Sugarbush, April 14th, 2014.
Patch of ice on Little Sugarbush, April 14th, 2014.
May flowers blooming this week. April 14th, 2015
May flowers blooming this week. April 14th, 2015

 

Top of Suicide Hill. April 14th, 2015.
Top of Suicide Hill. April 14th, 2015.

 

 

April 13th Lake Photos

Ice coverage on Little Sugarbush on Saturday. Still 95% covered as of Monday morning.

Ice coverage on Little Sugarbush on Saturday. Still 95% covered as of Monday morning.

Sunday evening sunset.

Sunday evening sunset.

 

April 9th Trail Report Photos

Clearing singletrack on Twin Lakes loop

Clearing singletrack on Twin Lakes loop

Eagle View singletrack segment on Twin Lakes

Eagle View singletrack segment on Twin Lakes

Hudson taking a swim in south Twin lake. Should be ice free by the weekend!

Hudson taking a swim in south Twin lake. Should be ice free by the weekend!

Very little sign of spring in the woods as far as flora. This patch of moss sticking out.

Very little sign of spring in the woods as far as flora. This patch of moss sticking out.

Top of Eagle View on Twin Lakes ski trail

Top of Eagle View on Twin Lakes ski trail

Group of swans enjoying open water

Group of swans enjoying open water

Little Sugarbush still covered with ice.

Little Sugarbush still covered with ice.

South Twin half frozen. North Twin free of ice

South Twin half frozen. North Twin free of ice

Berm work on the singletrack

Berm work on the singletrack