We maintain nearly 70 kilometers of ski and mountain bike trails. Most of the trails are groomed double wide classical (traditional) style, but we also have skating trails as well. Skating on Skaters Waltz, Skaters Extension and North Loup for a total of 13km. Skaters Waltz can be skied in either direction.
Note: Please, do not skate on the classical tracks, or walk on any of the groomed trails.
Mountain Bike Trails
Maplelag maintains a top-notch mountain biking trail system in the summer and fall, offering trails for all ranges of ability. There are wide open ski trail segments and tight singletrack with steep drops for the most technical riders. We continue to add new trail segments, so check in with us before you head out.
Note: There are short changes due to a lease variation on the DNR AMA property — no mountain biking allowed on AMA property.
Ski Trail Descriptions
- JibFly (3.0 km): JibFly is a new trail we cut in the Fall of 2006. The trail is named after the two new Border Collie pups, Jib and Fly which we acquired in May of 2006. The trail starts off of Sukkerbusk near the last Freight House. A real nice beginner trail with “easy” hills and a good starter loop or end of the day, one more trail loop.
- Single Green (.8 km): Single green is a nice option to ski Bullhead Lake trail that starts off of double green. The straight downhill is one of the longest hills on the Maplelag trail system!
- Lucky’s Loype (3.4 km): Lucky’s Loype is a newer trail that we built the fall of 2003. It is the only singletrack classic trail on the trail system. Most early Nordic trails were one track classic so you could say this trail has a “retro” feel to it. The trail was named after Maplelag mascot, Lucky. The trail begins to the right of Sap Run ski trail and follows the upper shore of Little Sugarbush before heading deep into the woods towards the top of Suicide Hill. The trail has a lot of up and downs, keeping skiers “on their toes”, finishing in the back bowl.
- Mother North Star (4.1 km): Named for Jinny McWethy, one of the founders of the North Star Ski Club in Minneapolis, which is the oldest cross country skiing and touring club in the country. This nice one-way trail is skied counter-clockwise, starting where Poki-Loki ends. Good up and down action, with a steep hill called The Toot to add some excitement along the trail. Christened by two Norwegian girls who had a hill like this one in their area called Toten. For those who wish to avoid the hill, The Toot has an easy by-pass.
Although you’ll find no running water along the trail, there is an interesting beaver dam built right on the trail, making a small pond in the woods. The beavers here have gnawed on many of the non-aspen trees in the area, such as oak, ash, and elm. The change in dining habits may be the result of shortages in the food supply.
- Sap Run (1.3 km): A nice short trail with a just-right-size hill for beginners. In the spring, this trail used to be one of our main sap hauling routes when we hauled the maple sap to the sugarhouse. Skied in a counter-clockwise direction, the trail is just over one km in length.
- Island Lake Trail (7.1 km): Starting at the same point where Twin Lakes Trail begins, the Island Lake Trail heads to the southwest, offering many scenic views of Island Lake. A shallow lake with no fish, Island Lake does support a large waterfowl population, as well as leeches. Early in the summer it becomes a busy leech-trapping lake.
The major hill on this counter-clockwise-skied trail is Bird Stand Hill, so called because our banker, Dick Clemenson, was going to sit in a “birch stand” of trees at the top of the hill (during deer season), and our son Jay got the message as “bird stand.” As the trail heads out, it passes between Twin Lakes, where you’ll see the beaver channel connecting the two lakes as well as the two beaver houses.
- Rootin Tootin Trail (3.2 km): As all loyal Three Stooges fans know, Rootin Tootin was the Egyptian king the Stooges were always seeking. Skied in a counter-clockwise direction, it’s a great trail with a natural rhythm that really lets you stride out. Go right when you are at the top of the hill by the
“Toot.” (The big hill named the “Toot” is part of Mother North Star, not Rootin Tootin.)
- Kristin’s Kutoff (.7 km): Named for one of the Norwegian girls who helped cut the trail, this cut off connects the two accesses to the Bullhead Lake Trail. Those who want to practice on Suicide Hill can ski down, and then ski up to the Square Field and take the Kutoff back over to Suicide. The Skinny Field in which Suicide Hill is found was once an old Finnish homestead site.
- Debbie Woodle’s Cutoff (.2 km): A shortcut for those who don’t wish to ski the entire length of Mother North Star. Named for our daughter, Debbie, who was known as Debbie Woodle in her younger days.
- Roy’s Run (10.1 km): This long trail, created by a dozer in the fall of ’86, starts where the North Loup trail begins. This one-way trail, skied in a counter clockwise direction, heads through the big timber country. When you head northwest, you’ll get into county tax land that is being managed for timber and fuel wood sales. As the land has been cut over, new growth is sprouting up, inviting a lot of deer back to this section, Keep your eyes peeled for deer or tracks. You might even be one of the lucky ones to spot a moose. Three packs of elusive brush wolves also work the country, but chances of see ing them are slim.
Roy used to live just east of the trailhead, but he now lives in a nursing home in Lake Park and is still a character who could have stepped out of the pages Lake Wobegon. Roy was a renowned skier in these parts and used to make his own skis by hand from carefully selected ash trees which he then hewed out with a hand ax. He found our tracks too skinny for him, so he skied through the woods on top of the snow using the old style single Norwegian ski pole. Roy loves music and still entertains for many events at the nursing home with his concertina and guitar. We have since purchased his land, but his spirit still abounds north of the county road.
- Double Green Trail (1.4 km): This trail heads you in the direction of the Bullhead Lake Trail, passing by the soccer field and going through the Square Field. In early days, the Square Field was the site of an early Finnish homestead.
- Mother Hen (1.1 km): Judged by many to be the best beginner trail, you’ll find the Mother Hen an easy trail: both short and flat. It takes off from Poki Loki in a counter-clockwise direction. You can come back home when it hits Sap Run or continue on to the start of Bullhead Lake Trail or Double Green. Named after one of the great trip organizers of all time, Bryant Dunshee, a long-time North Star member.
- Loon Return (1.3 km): The closest trail to Little Sugarbush lake, this is a two-way access trail that connects Sukkerbusk and the Main lodge.
- North Loup Trail (8.2 km): A long-time favorite, you’ll take a fancy to the great hills and natural flow of this trail that heads you into the wild north country. The trail skirts around Dry Lake and returns to the country road known as the Goat Ranch road. The unusual name comes from an adventurous homesteader who in the early 1900s fenced in a square mile section for his herd of goats, which he thought would clear out the brush for him. Unfortunately, it didn’t work but the name stuck. The trail also lays claim to one of the trickiest hills in the area, Dipsy Doodle. Its deceptive appearance has been the nemesis for many an expert skier.
- Wavy Gravy (7.4 km): This trail has become a favorite for its length and challenge of small ups and downs. Heading northwest from the Twin Lakes trailhead, it comes close to the north edge of Island Lake and offers a good view of the island. (Future plans call for an outpost cabin on the island). Wavy Gravy was the first trail completed totally by a dozer, and Ben Chromy from Waubun was the operator on the project. Ben also left his mark on the trail, which we call Chromy’s Cut. We dropped the dozer into the swamp in 200 below weather, and considered ourselves very lucky to get it out! On a very sad note, a year later on his last job of the year, and the last job ever as he was ready to retire, Ben was loading his cat on the lowboy, and due to the ice, it slipped off and he was killed. His memory lives on as Ben was such a wonderful and gentle person. The trail’s namesake (Wavy Gravy) is a mime who teaches brain-damaged children in the Berkeley, CA area.
- Skater’s Waltz (4.1 km): This trail is used exclusively for skating so it is packed but there are no tracks set on it. It is laid out so that it can be skied in either direction and starts where Poki Loki begins. Racers will find it a great place for practice and for those who want to try skating, this is the spot to give it a try. The tricky downhill run on Kamikaze Hill is for EXPERTS ONLY. (Hint: it turns to the left, so be ready). Please use this trail only for skating or freestyle. All the other trails are for classical or traditional track skiing. PLEASE DON’T SKATE ON THE CLASSICAL TRACKED TRAILS.
- Sukkerbusk (3.4 km): This main loop, starting right behind the Norwegian Log cabin, allows you to take off on one of the many other trails that connect with the loop. The two-way trail is gentle enough for the beginner skier. Sukkerbusk is the Norwegian word for Sugarbush.
- Bullhead Lake Trail (4.9 km): A scenic journey that loops around Bullhead Lake. More advanced skiers will enjoy the challenge of Suicide Hill, while the intermediate skier may opt for entering the Bullhead Lake Trail via the Square Field. On the east side of the Bullhead Lake Trail is a new two km loop, which is skied counter-clockwise. Here you’ll discover the flowing spring which was once the source of water for the Sugarbush Town ship bootleg operation. On the south end of Bull head Lake you’ll pass two beaver dams, which indicates where the water flows into Little Sugar- bush lake. On the northwest side of the lake, you’ll come upon the home of Ted and Carol Torgerson and the Sugarbush Sign Studio. Carol paints all our great trail signs. Their dog loves to retrieve so don’t be surprised if he entices you to stop and throw a stick for him.
- Twin Lakes Trail (5.6 km): A nice intermediate trail with gently rolling hills and a nice rhythm. You’ll wander around the Twin Lakes, which you can glimpse through a break in the trees. North Twin Lake is one of the deeper lakes around. When the country was first homesteaded by Finnish settlers in the early 1900s, they told of Indians fishing for giant northern pike that would run 20 pounds or more. The one-way trail is skied in a clockwise direction.
- Poki-Loki (1.0 km): A good, short beginner trail that ends when it hits Sap Run, where it becomes Mother North Star. Named after our Blue Heeler dog, Loki, which the kids called Poki-Loki. Since he seemed to have an incurable habit of nipping skiers clad in green outfits, we no longer have Loki with us.