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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

Trail Report

Spring skiing conditions! Big time melting this week and the snow is going fast! Boo! Despite the rapid warm off, we were able to ski all the way around North Loup late Wednesday morning. The coverage was good and a great spring ski hitting the transition time. Some thin areas but for the most part, good coverage.

Froze down hard last night so a quick and probably last grooming run of the year, on Suicide Hill to comb out the good coverage there. With warm temps forecasted through the week, the days are numbered.

A ski late morning on Tuesday found good coverage on Twin Lakes and Sukkerbusk, few more thin areas opening up from intense March sun but melting fast. We went from mid winter to spring conditions just like that! Typical for this time of year and a bit unusual to have no days above freezing in March until Sunday. The beginning of March was fantastic skiing, some of the best of the year. This past weekend was as good as it gets! Nice to see all the folks out and the large group of snowshoers as well.

Spring skiing typically finds hard, fast icy conditions in the morning getting softer as the day passes. “Sweet spot” skiing is the point where it transitions from hard to soft and is usually the best time for spring skiing. This also happens in the late afternoon when it cools down again, typically around sunset.For those familiar with spring skiing, it can be some of the best skiing of the year with the right timing.

March 11th Trail Report Photos

Grooming Suicide hill Wednesday morning. Most likely the last grooming run of the year!

Grooming Suicide hill Wednesday morning. Most likely the last grooming run of the year!

Striding North Loup

Striding North Loup

Jonell striding on Roy's Run. Still some pockets here and there with good spring snow.

Jonell striding on Roy's Run. Still some pockets here and there with good spring snow.

Panoramic view on North Loup towards the old dipsy doodle. Great skiing through here.

Panoramic view on North Loup towards the old dipsy doodle. Great skiing through here.

Coming down the hills.

Coming down the hills.

Low area with water, just ski around.

Low area with water, just ski around.

Down the hill!

Down the hill!

 

March 11th Trail Report Photos

Grooming Suicide hill Wednesday morning. Most likely the last grooming run of the year!

Grooming Suicide hill Wednesday morning. Most likely the last grooming run of the year!

Striding North Loup

Striding North Loup

Jonell striding on Roy's Run. Still some pockets here and there with good spring snow.

Jonell striding on Roy's Run. Still some pockets here and there with good spring snow.

Panoramic view on North Loup towards the old dipsy doodle. Great skiing through here.

Panoramic view on North Loup towards the old dipsy doodle. Great skiing through here.

Coming down the hills.

Coming down the hills.

Low area with water, just ski around.

Low area with water, just ski around.

Down the hill!

Down the hill!

 

 

 

March 10th Trail Report Photos

Nice spring skiing on Twin Lakes late Tuesday morning

Nice spring skiing on Twin Lakes late Tuesday morning

Top of Eagle View on Twin Lakes late Tuesday morning

Top of Eagle View on Twin Lakes late Tuesday morning

Skaters Waltz around noon on Tuesday. Still good coverage throughout with a few thin areas opening up on southern exposed

Skaters Waltz around noon on Tuesday. Still good coverage throughout with a few thin areas opening up on southern exposed

Skaters Waltz at far north end

Skaters Waltz at far north end

Top of Suicide Hill around noon on Tuesday. Still level and smooth with good coverage

Top of Suicide Hill around noon on Tuesday. Still level and smooth with good coverage

March 8th Trail Report Photos

Spring skiing on Roy's Run Sunday late afternoon

Spring skiing on Roy's Run Sunday late afternoon

Start of North Loup/Roy's Run Sunday afternoon.

Start of North Loup/Roy's Run Sunday afternoon.

Snow fleas on the trail

Snow fleas on the trail

Great March skiing on Roy's Run Sunday afternoon

Great March skiing on Roy's Run Sunday afternoon

Bente's Bump on Rootin Tootin

Bente's Bump on Rootin Tootin

March 7th Trail Report Photos

Fresh track set on Roy's Run Saturday morning

Fresh track set on Roy's Run Saturday morning

Fresh track set Saturday morning on Bootleg extension

Fresh track set Saturday morning on Bootleg extension

Through the pines on bootleg extension. Heads up before the marsh!

Through the pines on bootleg extension. Heads up before the marsh!

New track on the north end of Bullhead leading up to Loon Dance ranch

New track on the north end of Bullhead leading up to Loon Dance ranch

Skating on North Loup. Skating bit slower with sun hitting the fresh snow. Should be a bit snappier Sunday mornig before getting softer and slower. Get out early for skating for faster conditions!

Skating on North Loup. Skating bit slower with sun hitting the fresh snow. Should be a bit snappier Sunday mornig before getting softer and slower. Get out early for skating for faster conditions!

March 6th Trail Report Photos

Mother North Star

Mother North Star

Touch up grooming on Skaters Waltz Friday morning

Touch up grooming on Skaters Waltz Friday morning

Tom Doohey out for a Friday morning ski

Tom Doohey out for a Friday morning ski

Tracks on the track!

Tracks on the track!

Dead Horse Gulch on Wavy Gravy. Fresh track Friday morning.

Dead Horse Gulch on Wavy Gravy. Fresh track Friday morning.

Fresh track on Wavy Gravy Friday morning

Fresh track on Wavy Gravy Friday morning

Island lake trail with fresh snow from earlier in the week on top of more recent grooming

Island lake trail with fresh snow from earlier in the week on top of more recent grooming

Wavy Gravy

Wavy Gravy

Heading out to Twin Lakes

Heading out to Twin Lakes