All posts by Jay Richards

Trail Report

Beautiful fall weather in place. Leaves starting to change more and more each day. Cooler weather back in place with a touch of frost Thursday morning.

We have been mowing select ski trails and continue clearing deadfall etc. Overall a wet summer with around 16″ of rain the past 7-8 weeks.

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 will continue to update the trails page with photos with updates as we transition from fall and prepare for winter.

Fall color in the switchyard, September 16th, 2020.
Fall color in the switchyard, September 16th, 2020.
Mother North Star ski trail, September 16th, 2020.
Sukkerbusk ski trail, September 16th, 2020.
Fall scene near Skaters Waltz extension ski trail, September 15th, 2020.
Maplelag driveway, September 15th, 2020.
Fall scene at Twin Lakes crossing. Good crop of high bush cranberries this year. September 14th, 2020.
Maplelag driveway, September 14th, 2020.
Fall color near the start of North Loup ski trail, September 13th, 2020.
Mossy rocks in creek near Bullhead Bootleg, September 13th, 2020.
Early evening scene from the woods, September 1st, 2020.
Aspen leaf with early signs of fall, August 30th, 2020. (Zavoral photo)
Mushroom growth on oak tree, August 30th, 2002. (Zavoral photo)
First maple leafs changing color, August 26th, 2020. We should have fantastic fall color this season the next 4-6 weeks.
Late summer scene over North Star slough, August 21st, 2020.
Early signs of fall on the ski trails, August 22nd, 2020.
Beautiful afternoon capture by Barry Buhr out riding Saturday afternoon, August 22nd, 2020.
Summer sunset over Little Sugarbush, August 22nd, 2020.
Many mushrooms popping up everywhere with all the moisture this summer, August 21st, 2020.
Sugarbush sunset, August 21st, 2020.
Split wood for the old sauna, August 17th, 2020.
Load of blocks cleared from the ski trail to be split for sauna firewood, August 17th, 2020.
Summer grooming on Twin Lakes crossing, July 22nd, 2020.
Lush carpet on Skaters Waltz, July 24th, 2020.
Tall grass on Skaters Waltz extension, July 22nd, 2020.
Hints of fall on maple tree near Skaters Waltz, July 22nd, 2020.
Lush conditions at end of Twin Lakes trail, July 22nd, 2020.
Another mowing on Suicide Hill, July 21st, 2020. We’ve been mowing regularly on the key trails throughout the summer.
Calm waters on Little Sugarbush looking towards the main lodge, July 14th, 2020.
Sunset over Little Sugarbush, July 16th, 2020.
New mountain bike trail work, July 16th, 2020. Nice work Keith!
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 are open. Surface conditions mix of dry/tacky. Great fall riding in place. Toot, Fargo and Moorhead singletrack cleared with leaf blower Monday, bridge section, starter loop cleared on Tuesday and Bente’s Bump and Toot Singletrack cleared on Wednesday.

We have been clearing on the trails almost daily the past two weeks to stay on top of the wind events. As always, use caution if venturing out.

Good job to all the riders completing the LagChilada challenge the past few weeks! The challenge is simply to ride most of trail system on a loop created on Strava in one ride/day. We have special custom t-shirts for anyone that completes this challenge. More details or contact us at 218-849-7669 for more information if interested.

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 with roots and rocks. There are beginner segments but most of the riding is intermediate/expert rating. Latest trail map, new map to be released this fall.

Maplelag trails on Trailforks

Three new loops of trail completed this spring and summer on the Maplelag property now open. “Bjorp’s Stump” (1.75 miles) is accessed off the sport comp expert loop and “SukkerWest” (.4miles) is accessed from the end of the driveway. Look for signage. Phase one of “North Loup Gnar”, a loop across the Goat Ranch rd on Maplelag property features many “slow tech” features. We will work on phase two this fall. The phase one loop is just under 2 miles.

There is no trail fee at this time but ask folks to donate to offset trail maintenance costs and property taxes by purchasing a $15 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!

Twin Lakes singletrack, September 15th, 2020.
Wood feature on Bjorp’s Singletrack, September 15th, 2020.
Great fall riding in place!
Fall scene from Twin Lakes singletrack, September 15th, 2020.
Fargo singletrack, September 14th, 2020. Great riding on this segment after clearing!
Hazy scene along the ski trail, September 14th, 2020.
Maplelag driveway, September 14th, 2020. Access to SukkerWest singletrack and North Loup Gnar singletrack.
Bullhead Bootleg, September 13th, 2020.
Fall color scene along side of North Loup Gnar singletrack, September 12th, 2020.
Clearing on Hudson’s Hula singletrack, September 10th, 2020.
Singletrack on the doubletrack! September 10th, 2020.
Evening fall scene along the side of North Loup Gnar singletrack, September 9th, 2020.
Rock garden on North Loup Gnar, September 9th, 2020. Option to ride on the side.
Clearing out “the Gnar”, September 9th, 2020.
Heidi Olson on Twin Lakes singletrack en route to completing the LagChilada, September 6th, 2020.
Ben Olson on Twin Lakes rock garden en route to completing another LagChilada, September 6th, 2020.
Brittany Diederich on a bridge segment en route to completing the LagChilada, September 5th, 2020.
Busy week clearing trail after breezy conditions, September 4th, 2020.
Corner on new trail “North Loup Gnar”. September 2nd, 2020.
Clearing out “Fargo” singletrack segment, August 27th, 2020.
Evening ride on on Bootleg trail, August 25th, 2020.
Rolling along Twin Lakes singletrack, August 22nd, 2020.
Jacob Olson rolling through the rock garden on Moorhead singletrack en route to completing the LagChilada challenge, August 23rd, 2020.
Barry Buhr riding the wood berm high on Bjorp’s Stump singletrack during the LagChilada challenge, August 23rd, 2020.
Nice job Derek Chinn completing the LagChilada this weekend!
LagChilada complete! Nice job 13 year old Max! Youngest rider to complete the challenge.
Treston and Ryan heading out for a crack at the “LagChilada”, August 20th, 2020.
Trail tuning on the starter loop, August 20th, 2020.
Trail feature on Bjorp’s Stump, August 20th, 2020.
Another berm completed on new trail “North Loup Gnar”. We plan to have this new loop officially opened for the weekend. August 19th, 2020.
Rock garden on “North Loup Gnar”, August 19th, 2020. (Riding lines around the rocks as well). Rocks harvested from Roy’s Field
Tuning on Twin Lakes singletrack, August 17th, 2020.
Tuning on Twin Lakes singletrack, August 17th, 2020.
Sunday Funday! August 16th, 2020.
Testing another completed section on new trail “North Loup Gnar”. We hope to have the full loop completed and officially open , weather permitting, by the end of the month/early September. This will be a trail with many “slow tech” features. August 15th, 2020.
Switchback on new trail “North Loup Gnar”, August 16th, 2020.
Feature on new trail “Bjorp’s Stump”, August 16th, 2020.
Sunny Saturday, August 15th, 2020.
Dylan rolling through rock garden on “Moorhead” singletrack en route to riding the “LagChilada” challenge, August 12th, 2020.
John M riding on Bootleg singletrack en route to completing the “LagChilada” Nice work John! August 11th, 2020.

Denny B riding on Bootleg singletrack en route to completing the “LagChilada” Nice work Denny! August 11th, 2020.
Mat and Alicia Fisk completing the “LagChilada” challenge today, August 10th, 2020.
Rolling through Bullhead Bootleg singletrack, August 10th, 2020.
Rock garden on Bente’s Bump singletrack segment, August 10th, 2020.
Ayden taking a short break en route to riding the whole “LagChilada”, August 2nd, 2020. (Rick Ochs photo). Ayden is the first female and youngest rider! Nice job Ayden!
Lakeside Twin Lakes, July 27th, 2020.
Shane K testing out trail feature on new trail, North Loup Gnar, July 27th, 2020.
Ski trail segment, July 27th, 2020.
Dropping in to the Twin Lakes rock garden, July 27th, 2020. Nice job Shane completing the whole “LagChilada”!
Lush conditions around the singletrack, July 25th, 2020.
Twin Lakes singletrack, July 25th, 2020.
Bootleg bridge crossing, July 25th, 2020. Creek running strong with all the recent rain.
Rock garden on Moorhead singletrack, July 25th, 2020.
Testing new hand cut singletrack on North Loup Gnar, July 23rd, 2020.
Clearing out Twin Lakes singletrack, July 22nd, 2020.
Another segment of hand cut singletrack complete! July 22nd, 2020.
Calm conditions near Twin Lakes, July 20th, 2020.
Natural log/wood feature on new trail “North Loup Gnar”, July 20th, 2020. W
Plenty of slow tech rock challenges on North Loup Gnar, July 20th, 2020.
North Loup Gnar, July 20th, 2020.
Trail post clearing, July 18th, 2020.
Deadfall from Friday night storm, July 18th, 2020.
Wood berm action on new trail “Bjorp’s Stump, July 16th, 2020.
Making good progress on new trail near North Loup, July 16th, 2020. Nice work Keith!
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.
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… 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 winter grows. We appreciate those that have reached out regarding the status of Maplelag and have made reservations for this upcoming winter season.

We are accepting new reservations for the upcoming season and continue to hold all existing reservations. We will be sending deposit letters out in later September. 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 based on changes with occupancy and accommodating guests this winter. 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.

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.

An exact plan has not been set or put in place as we are still months away from winter operations but we know we will most likely have to have less occupancy. At this point it does not look like we will be able to host ski teams for ski camps.

We will most likely not have the hot tub, sauna or steam room in operation. There will be adjustments in serving food and other lodge services. We will continue to update this page with latest plans and of course we ask anyone with specific questions to reach out. Thank you and be well!

Laddies Loppet Decision

We have made the decision to cancel this years 30th Laddies Loppet mountain bike race weekend and postpone the 30th celebration until next year. The health, comfort, and safety of our staff and guests has always been our number one priority.

The Laddies Loppet weekend is a very special event to us as we have been hosting for 30 year, meeting so many wonderful people along the way and forging life long friendships and meeting new people each year. We look forward to the same for our 31st year of mountain biking at Maplelag in 2021 hosting the 30th Laddies Loppet!

We continue to have the “LagChilada” challenge in place and the mountain bike trails remain open daily for riding until early November. More details on the LagChilda can be found here. As we enter some of the best months of the season to ride, stay tuned for information on group rides, tech lessons and feel free to reach out if interested in a guided ride. 218-849-7669.

Thank you to everyone that has supported the Laddies Loppet and mountain biking at Maplelag. Keep the wheels moving!