All posts by Jay Richards

Trail Report

The woods and trails are very lush and green after rainfall measuring about 8″ the last three weeks. Another .2″ today, the 14th. We have been mowing select ski trails and continue clearing deadfall etc. The spring and start of summer had been very dry with only around 1″ of precipitation. The recent rain and warmer temps exploding the forest floor with flora. Many different wildflowers coming out throughout the summer.

Even though we are closed due to “COVID” we have been busy mowing on the ski trails preparing for the winter, clearing deadfall off the trails and cutting firewood for the wood burning stoves, planting trees and also working on the mountain bike trails. For latest updates on the mountain bike trail conditions, click here. Trails are closed to horse and motorized travel.

We enjoyed the last of the snow skiing the entire Twin Lakes loop on April 7th for the last official ski of the year.

We will continue to update the trails page with photos and text as we transition to spring and summer.

Summer seen along Mother North Star trail, July 12th, 2020.
Calm waters on Little Sugarbush lake, July 12th, 2020.
Mossy carpet on Sap Run ski trail, July 9th, 2020.
Black Eyed Susan at bottom of Suicide Hill, July 9th, 2020.
Deer along waterway at Sugar Creek, July 9th, 2020.
Moss covered basswood trees, July 9th, 2020.
Lush conditions on the bike trail, July 5th, 2020.
Sunset on Little Sugarbush, July 5th, 2020.
Summer scene from north Twin Lakes, June 23rd, 2020.
Lush conditions on the singletrack, June 23rd, 2020.
Summer grooming on the ski trail at Sugar Creek crossing, June 23rd, 2020.
Maple “gnarly” near Rootin Tootin ski trail, June 22nd, 2020.
First mowing on Sukkerbusk ski trail, June 5th, 2020.
First mowing on Suicide Hill, June 4th, 2020.
Mossy singletrack, June 3rd, 2020.
Record “crop” of yellow slippers this year, May 29th, 2020.
Swamp scene near Rootin Tootin ski trail, May 29th, 2020.
Wild Columbine flowers blooming this week, May 27th, 2020.
Sunset at Sugarbush creek at Twin Lakes crossing, May 28th, 2020.
Sap Run ski trail, May 27th, 2020. Woods have really come to life with recent warm weather. In the next week or so we will begin mowing the trails!
Lush and green on the mountain bike singletrack, May 27th, 2020.
Feeders very busy this week with hundreds of gold finches, May 20th, 2020.
Wildflowers (marsh marigolds) along the side of the trail, May 17th, 2020.
Spring scene along the trail. Trees starting to fill out more and more each day, May 17th, 2020.
Loons on Little Sugarbush! The lake is always very active in the spring with the sounds of loons, and a few more this year. May 3rd, 2020.
Moon rising through a poplar stand, May 3rd, 2020. The poplar trees are the first to bud and recent warm temps have brought the first buds out.
Wildflowers have exploded with warmer temps this week, April 30th, 2020.
All the ponds and sloughs are now free of ice, April 30th, 2020.
Hauling out another load of oak deadfall for sauna firewood, April 28th, 2020.
Planting potted pines, April 28th, 2020.
Planting potted pines, April 28th, 2020.
Evening paddle board on available open water, April 24th, 2020.
Season opener dirt ride on the mountain bike course, April 23rd, 2020.
Berm action on new Bootleg singletrack near Bullhead lake on Maplelag property, April 23rd, 2020.
Scene from south side of south Twin Lake, still half covered in ice. April 23rd, 2020.
First spring flowers emerging from the forest floor, April 21st, 2020.

Clearing out mountain bike singletrack, April 21st, 2020. The mountain bike trails are now open for riding.
Little Sugarbush Lake still ice covered, April 18th, 2020.
Fingerling swimming above the ice in the melted water, April 18th, 2020.
Cutting deadfall for firewood, April 17th, 2020.
Sunset over Bullhead Lake, April 11th, 2020.
Spring scene near JibFly slough, April 9th, 2020. Still ice on many of the ponds and sloughs.
Scene at Twin Lakes crossing, April 9th, 2020.
One last lake ski, April 9th, 2020. Still a foot of solid ice on the lake.
Patches of snow on the Twin Lakes ski trail, April 10th, 2020.
Moss first sign of spring on ski trail, April 10th, 2020.
Little Sugarbush lake, lake Maplelag is next to still ice covered, April 10th, 2020.
Rings around the sun! April 10th, 2020.
Riding on the frozen singletrack, April 9th, 2020. Riding has been possible in the mornings when frozen. Frost should be out and trails open for dirt riding later in April.
Full “pink” moon, April 8th, 2020.
Enjoying the last of the snow on Twin Lakes trail, April 7th, 2020.

Mountain Bike Trail Report

Trails open! Damp conditions from morning rain. Drying out now, riding be good in the afternoon. Bugs are out (deer flies)…keep the wheels moving! We are tuning on the Twin Lakes singletrack today. Overall the course is riding very good thanks to steady maintenance this summer.

We have a low key challenge in place, called the “LagChilada Challenge”. The challenge is simply to ride the entire trail system in one ride/day. We are collaborating with a local business to provide a t-shirt for anyone that completes this challenge. We are keeping track of everyone that has completed the challenge so far. More details or contact us at 218-849-7669 for more information if interested.

We have been working on three new trail loops called “Bjorp’s Stump”, “SukkerWest” and “North Loup Gnar”. We have the first two loops fully completed and open to ride. Bjorp’s Stump is accessed off the sport comp expert loop and SukkerWest is accessed from the end of the driveway. Look for signage. We continue to work when we can on “North Loup Gnar”, a loop across the Goat Ranch rd on Maplelag property that will feature many “slow tech” features. We hope to complete this loop late summer.

The lodge is closed and no services are available. Park in the far parking lot where blue recycling dumpsters are located and ride. Porta bathroom available. Trails are closed to horses and motorized equipment.

Trailhead starts near the flagpole in the middle of the cabins for the inner loop. Twin Lakes singletrack loop can be accessed from the driveway. Bootleg singletrack loop is accessed to the east from Hiway 34. Look for orange Maplelag tape at entrance and ride the loop clockwise for Bootleg. For all other trails, look for red signs and white signs for Kids Comp/Citizen (beginner) and Sport/Comp/Expert (intermediate/advanced) options. The Maplelag trails are old school/classic cross country with many slow tech features. There are beginner segments but most of the riding is intermediate/expert rating.

There is no trail fee at this time but ask folks to donate to offset trail maintenance costs and property taxes by purchasing a summer pass on our website. The Maplelag trails are self funded on private property and do not receive any grants or outside funding. We love to mountain bike and are happy and glad to share the trail with others!

Wooden berm on new trail, Bjorp’s Stump, July 12th, 2020.
Berm/dirt work on Bootleg trail, July 10th, 2020.
Beautiful evening ride, July 9th, 2020.
Trail tuning, July 9th, 2020. We continue to tune on the course weekly on random segments of trail.
Trail tuning, July 9th, 2020
Wood berm feature added to new trail “Bjorp’s Stump”, July 7th, 2020.
Keith putting the finishing touches on feature added to the new trail Bjorp’s Stump, July 7th, 2020.
Air time on the singletrack! July 5th, 2020.
Lush conditions on the singletrack as seen at access to Twin Lakes, July 5th, 2020.
Berm action on new trail, “Bjorps Stump”, July 3rd, 2020.
Bridge crossing on Bootleg trail, creek running gently from recent rain. July 1st, 2020.
Berm action on Bootleg, July 1st, 2020.
Great riding the last day of June! Keep the wheels moving as bugs are bad when stopping!
Riding on the new trail “Bjorp’s Stump”, June 26th, 2020.
Rock feature on new trail “Bjorp’s Stump”, a ride around option possible. June 26th, 2020.
Rock garden on Moorhead, June 26th, 2020.
Great midweek riding! June 25th, 2020.
Twin Lakes rock garden, June 25th, 2020.
Excellent surface conditions, June 23rd, 2020.
Corner on Twin Lakes singletrack before brushing, June 23rd, 2020.
Fern Gully segment on Bootleg singletrack, June 20th, 2020.
Twin Lakes singletrack, June 20th, 2020.
Rock feature on new singletrack, Bjorp’s Stump! June 20th, 2020.
Fargo Singletrack segment in great riding condition after brushing and clearing this week, June 18th, 2020.
Before brushing out overgrown area on Fargo Singletrack, June 18th, 2020.
After!
Bear Pass singletrack brushed and cleared this week, June 18th, 2020. Stay high left on bottom part.
Beautiful riding conditions Saturday morning, June 13th, 2020.
Bootleg creek crossing, June 13th, 2020.
Lush forest surrounding the trail, June 13th, 2020.
“Fern Gully” on Bootleg singletrack loop, June 12th, 2020.
Brushing out overgrown areas on Lakeside drop segment, June 9th, 2020.
Signage for start of new “Bjorp’s Stump” singletrack, June 6th, 2020.
Look for mushrooms along the trail!
Mowing on Suicide Hill, ski trail segment of bike course. All ski trail segments mowed today, June 4th, 2020.
Hudson’s Hula segment on the Twin Lakes singletrack after blowing out,, June 3rd, 2020.
Ski trail segment, June 3rd, 2020. The woods are very green!
Rolling on the ski trail, May 29th, 2020.
Navigating Twin Lakes garden…..in reverse direction! May 29th, 2020.
Nature scene along the singletrack on Bente’s Bump singletrack, May 29th, 2020.
Be on the look for wild flowers exploding in the woods. May 29th, 2020.
Deep lush woods singletrack, warm temps and rain bring the forest to life! May 27th, 2020.
Rolling on the mossy ski trails, May 25th, 2020.
Navigating the singletrack, May 25th, 2020.
Navigating the singletrack, May 25th, 2020.
Twin Lakes singletrack, May 25th, 2020.
Flora exploding in recent days as seen on Twin Lakes singletrack, May 23rd, 2020.
Rolling down ski trail start of course, May 23rd, 2020.
Bootleg singletrack lakeside, May 23rd, 2020.
Bootleg singletrack, May 22nd, 2020.
Checking out new trail “Bjorg’s Stump”, May 21st, 2020.
Ferns emerging from the forest floor on “Fern Gully” segment on Bootleg singletrack, May 20th, 2020.
Twin Lakes singletrack, May 20th, 2020.
Twin Lakes singletrack, May 20th, 2020.
New singletrack “Bjorg’s Stump”, May 20th, 2020.
Spring flowers along a creek crossing on Bootleg trail, May 17th, 2020.
Optional line rock feature on new Bjorg’s Stump singletrack, May 17th, 2020.
Spring scene along the bike trail, May 17th, 2020.
Twin Lakes singletrack, May 13th, 2020. The main loop of Twin Lakes blown free of leaves in the afternoon.
Twin Lakes singletrack lakeside, May 12th, 2020.
Hudson’s Hula segment, Twin Lakes singletrack, May 12th, 2020.
Mossy edges, May 12th, 2020.
Testing out new trail “Bjorg’s Stump”, May 10th, 2020.
Navigating rock garden on new “Moorhead” singletrack, May 10th, 2020.
Berm action on new trail “Bjorg’s Stump”. May 10th, 2020.
Snowy singletrack ride, May 9th, 2020.
Testing berm on new trail build “Bjorg’s Stump”, May 5th, 2020.
Rolling through Twin Lakes rock garden, May 3rd, 2020.
Early evening lakeside, April 29th, 2020.
Steve navigating rock garden on new “Moorehead” singletrack, April 29th, 2020. Steve helped build some of the original singletrack the first year of mountain biking at Maplelag back in 1990. Still riding strong 30 years later!
Wayne rolling through, April 29th, 2020.
Jacob and Tyler out on trail, April 26th, 2020.
Working on new trail “Bjorg’s Stump”. April 27 2020. This new 1.25 mile loop will branch of the existing original singletrack on the main loop and will also be accessed off the gravel road “Goat Ranch Rd.”. We hope to complete the trail and open for riding by late May.
Berm tuning on Bootleg loop, April 27th, 2020.
Bridge on Bootleg, April 26th, 2020.
Mossy ski trail on inner loop, April 25th, 2020.
Berm action on Bootleg loop, April 25th, 2020.
Bridge crossing on Bootleg loop, April 25th, 2020.
Tuning berms on Bootleg loop, April 24th, 2020.
Dirt season opener! Twin Lakes lakeside, April 23rd, 2020.
Bootleg singletrack loop, April 23rd, 2020.
Bootleg singletrack, April 23rd, 2020.
Bridge segment, inner loop, April 23rd, 2020.
Bootleg singletrack, April 23rd, 2020.
Rock garden on new “Moorhead” singletrack loop. April 23rd, 2020. This new loop is marked off the existing inner loop with “Sport/Comp/Expert” sign.
Twin Lakes lakeside, April 23rd, 2020.
Clearing leaves off the singletrack, April 20th, 2020.


Checking out a fresh blown section of singletrack, April 20th, 2020.
Lakeside singletrack, April 20th, 2020.
Frozen singletrack with dusting of snow on top, April 13th, 2020.
Rock solid rock garden on new “Moorhead” singletrack, April 13th, 2020.
Frozen hard deck making early dirt riding possible, Bootleg singletrack April 12th, 2020.
Bridge crossing Bootleg singletrack, April 12th, 2020.
Frozen hard deck making early dirt riding possible, Bootleg singletrack April 12th, 2020.
Frozen singletrack ride, April 10th, 2020.
Last winter ride of the year? Dusting of snow on top of frozen deck making for one more ride, April 9th, 2020.
Testing out a wooden berm that will be added to new trail built last fall, April 2nd, 2020.
Thanks Keith for building! April 1st, 2020.

Covid-19 Update at Maplelag

As the landscape continues to change, day by day, our anticipation for fall and winter grows. We appreciate those that have reached out regarding the status of Maplelag and have made reservations for this upcoming winter season! This gives us hope and encouragement. (More information on winter reservations below) We continue to keep positive and control the things we can control, physically and mentally.

The Maplelag family is all-encompassing; we are guests, staff, friends, neighbors, partners, and community.  Our family and our Maplelag family (guests) is our life. We are going to do everything we can to protect their health, safety, livelihoods, and trust.

As these times remain uncertain, we are closely monitoring advisories and updates regarding COVID-19 from the CDC, WHO, MDH, OSHA and a variety of  healthcare and regulatory organizations. We are prepared to make changes as necessary to our protocols and procedures.  The safety and health of our guests and staff are our top priority while maintaining balance.

We are accepting new reservations for the upcoming season and continue to hold all existing reservations. We will be sending deposit letters out later this summer, like usual. We understand people might not be comfortable making a deposit with the uncertainty that lies ahead but like always, we will honor all deposits fairly. We rely on the deposit revenue to maintain operations and this fall will be especially critical with the loss of business from cancelling so many events during this pandemic.

30th Laddies Loppet Mountain Bike Weekend

September 4, 2020 5:00 pmtoSeptember 7, 2020 5:00 pm

A decision on hosting this years race will be made on August 1st, if not earlier. We are working with all officials and monitoring guidelines and regulations on how to handle the event safely and responsibly with the current COVID situation. The health and safety of all is number one priority.

We have a low key challenge in place called the “LagChilada”. This is an opportunity to ride all trails at Maplelag on one ride/day. A the end of the challenge (October 15th), all participants will receive a free t-shirt! More information here.

LagChilada Challenge

We have a low key challenge in place, called the “LagChilada Challenge”. The challenge is simply to ride the entire mountain bike trail system in one ride/day! With racing on hold for now, the challenge provides an opportunity to test skill and endurance. The total mileage including the connector to Bullhead Bootleg is around 21 miles. There is a specific Strava segment but the Challenge can be completed riding all trails at various sequence. If not on Strava, simply contact us to share your ride information. The Strava segment starts with the Expert starter loop and continues on riding all the singletrack segements, staying to the right including access to Bootleg than back on the main loop using the connector. After the main loop segments, cross over to Twin Lakes for the singletrack loop than back across the road to finish!

We are collaborating with a local business to create a t-shirt and give to anyone that completes this challenge. The Challenge will run until October 15th. Later this fall, we hope to have a get together to recognize riders that completed the challenge and celebrate 30 years of mountain biking at Maplelag! We are keeping track of everyone that has completed the challenge so far (photos below of some of those riders). Contact Jay at 218-849-7669 if any questions. We will also have Maplelag team members available to guide riders on limited days and times. Contact to set up a time.

There is no fee to enter the challenge other than the season pass which is also open for anyone interested in helping out with trail maintenance to keep the self funded Maplelag trail in best riding condition possible. Riders assume all responsibilities and actions when riding knowing unmarked obstacles exist and conditions can change at anytime.

Riders that have completed the challenge:

Greg Ames, James Burg, Ben Olson, Bryan Schoenberger, Bob Tolliver, Steve Hausman, Ryan Schutte, Peder Arneson, Steve Wenzel, Matt Engen, Wayne Carlson, Keith Moors, Jake Richards

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