All posts by Jay Richards

April 16th News Update

With the ice going off Little Sugarbush Lake next to Maplelag on April 6th, a new season is ushered in and welcomed. April has been a typical mix of weather with cool and damp days and warm almost summer like days. The trails have dried up nicely and we opened the mountain bike trails last weekend. (Latest report on the bike trail report page.)

Calm morning on Little Sugarbush Lake, April 15th, 2024. The vibrancy of waterfowl and wildlife is one of our favorite times of year on the lake is the spring before the lake sees the summer traffic. Waterfowl

The woods has been slow to green, naturally, but a few signs emerging. Being surrounded by nature’s beauty is something we do not take for granted and grateful for every day. As we move forward with “rebuilding” our focus remains to share this with as many people as possible whether it would be overnight stays or day visits. With that said, here are some updates and reports on projects we have been working on.

Lapland Lodge

We have made great progress on phase 2 of the Lapland Lodge, completing the exterior work during a mild late February and March. Work has now shifted to the interior as we finish up the sheet-rocking, tile work and flooring. The final phase will be the installation of the fully equipped kitchen and finishing work. We are very excited how this cabin is taking shape and can’t wait for the final stage to be completed! This lodge will be available to rent this summer once it is completed. We have already booked weekends for next winter so if you are interested, check back for photos and full description in a month or so.

Brant Lodge

The Brant cabin has seen a big time makeover with the store being phase one. We appreciate everyone that made a visit and purchased items. We still have a longer term goal to sell online but first need to complete other projects before venturing into online selling. This spring we have added more seating space for day users and currently are remodeling the main level bathrooms. Keith has done a fantastic job and grateful for his skills. On a side note, we know it was difficult for many long time guests that were loyal to the Brant. No major decisions are easy and know this was not a simple decision.

Sitting space in the Brant for “brown bag” lunching.

Candy Store Lodge

The Candy Store continues to see improvements after the major renovation last fall. Thanks everyone who visited and stayed there this past season! The reviews have been good and after the winter season, we have done some upgrades in the bathrooms and bedrooms.

Trail Report

Cooler weather in place after wet weather Tuesday and Wednesday that resulted in a welcomed .44″ of precipitation.

Slowly more signs of spring after warm and sunny weather over the weekend.A few wildflowers popping up with the warm days Saturday and Sunday and other wild plants. Ice went off Little Sugarbush lake Saturday April 6th. True to form, the loons returned the same day and combined with other waterfowl the lake is busy with activity and one of the more special times of the year on the lake. 

Mountain bike trails now open. (click here for updates)

We are now able to be on the trails clearing deadfall and have begun working on the mountain bike trails before we transition to heavier ski trail work and tree planting. We will have a big season of tree planting this year! Summer ski trail work will include fixing rutted areas, working on drainage and removing rocks and filling in low spots. 

We logged a final ski on April 1st (no fooling!) after a fun Easter week and weekend of skiing on a late season snow storm before warm temps deteriorated the snow.

Although this year was one of the lowest snow years to date on record, it was an opportunity to learn more about grooming, preparing the trails for winter and being prepared for future low snow years. For as long as we have been grooming, every year is different and what makes it interesting and enjoyable! 

Thank you to everyone that has visited us this past year from the overnight guests to the day users. We appreciate it very much! 

We will continue to update daily as we enjoy sharing what is happening on the trails, weather and nature. 

On a side note, the end of February and early March with low snow and frozen ground it has been favorable for cutting deadfall and windblown trees from storms and wind. Most of the woods we use for the wood fire stoves and campfires at Maplelag but bigger logs that have are not rotten we use for shelving, tables and other projects!

Signs of spring along the singletrack, April 17th, 2024.
Twin Lakes crossing early evening April 17th, 2024.
Appreciating the calm morning on Little Sugarbush, April 15th, 2024.
Stacked rocks along Roy’s Run ski trail and North Loup Gnar singletrack! April 14th, 2024.
East side of Little Sugarbush lake, April 11th, 2024.
Sukkerbusk ski trail, April 11th, 2024.
Ski trail segment of bike course, April 11th, 2024.

Mountain Bike Trail Report

Bike trails are open for riding. Tacky/damp surface conditions. Welcome rain on Tuesday was absorbed nicely and the track is rolling good for early season.

Early season conditions. Expect some soft spots but rideable. The complimentary signage is not out yet but reference our map, Trailforks or Strava to help with navigating. This week we will beging putting more signs out. Once it dries out a bit more, we will begin tuning the trails blowing leaves and clearing sticks etc. but overall the riding has been good for early season. Great seeing folks out this past weekend! 

Parking across from Brant cabin. The Brant cabin is also available for a changing area and bathrooms.

Click here to join the Maplelag Mountain Bike Club

Twin Lakes singletrack at dusk, April 17th, 2024.
Signs of spring along the singletrack, April 17th, 2024.
Twin Lakes crossing early evening April 17th, 2024.
Berm action on the singletrack, April 16th, 2024.
Slow tech trail “North Loup Gnar”, April 16th, 2024.
Start of the mountain bike course on “Feeling Lucky” loop, Sunday afternoon April 14th, 2024. Great having all the riders out this weekend! 
Twin Lakes lakeside singletrack, April 12th, 2024.
Ski trail segment on bike trail, April 11th, 2024.
Singletrack riding, April 11th, 2024.
Rock garden on singletrack, April 11th, 2024.
Singletrack riding, April 11th, 2024.

Click here to join the Maplelag Mountain Bike Club

Trail Report

Rain moving in on Tuesday with a few light sprinkles lingering Wednesday morning. Total rainfall at .35″ the past 24 hours. Slowly more signs of spring after warm and sunny weather over the weekend.A few wildflowers popping up with the warm days Saturday and Sunday and other wild plants. Ice went off Little Sugarbush lake Saturday April 6th. True to form, the loons returned the same day and combined with other waterfowl the lake is busy with activity and one of the more special times of the year on the lake. 

Mountain bike trails now open. (click here for updates)

We are now able to be on the trails clearing deadfall and have begun working on the mountain bike trails before we transition to heavier ski trail work and tree planting. We will have a big season of tree planting this year! Summer ski trail work will include fixing rutted areas, working on drainage and removing rocks and filling in low spots. 

We logged a final ski on April 1st (no fooling!) after a fun Easter week and weekend of skiing on a late season snow storm before warm temps deteriorated the snow.

Although this year was one of the lowest snow years to date on record, it was an opportunity to learn more about grooming, preparing the trails for winter and being prepared for future low snow years. For as long as we have been grooming, every year is different and what makes it interesting and enjoyable! 

Thank you to everyone that has visited us this past year from the overnight guests to the day users. We appreciate it very much! 

We will continue to update daily as we enjoy sharing what is happening on the trails, weather and nature. 

On a side note, the end of February and early March with low snow and frozen ground it has been favorable for cutting deadfall and windblown trees from storms and wind. Most of the woods we use for the wood fire stoves and campfires at Maplelag but bigger logs that have are not rotten we use for shelving, tables and other projects!

Appreciating the calm morning on Little Sugarbush, April 15th, 2024.
Stacked rocks along Roy’s Run ski trail and North Loup Gnar singletrack! April 14th, 2024.
East side of Little Sugarbush lake, April 11th, 2024.
Sukkerbusk ski trail, April 11th, 2024.
Ski trail segment of bike course, April 11th, 2024.

Mountain Bike Trail Report

Bike trails are open for riding. Rain that fell over MN Tuesday mostly missed us. Damp conditions but rideable. Should only improve as it dries out. Early season conditions. Expect some soft spots but rideable. The complimentary signage is not out yet but reference our map, Trailforks or Strava to help with navigating. This week we will beging putting more signs out. Once it dries out a bit more, we will begin tuning the trails blowing leaves and clearing sticks etc. but overall the riding has been good for early season. Great seeing folks out this past weekend! 

Parking across from Brant cabin. The Brant cabin is also available for a changing area and bathrooms.

Click here to join the Maplelag Mountain Bike Club

Berm action on the singletrack, April 16th, 2024.
Slow tech trail “North Loup Gnar”, April 16th, 2024.
Start of the mountain bike course on “Feeling Lucky” loop, Sunday afternoon April 14th, 2024. Great having all the riders out this weekend! 
Twin Lakes lakeside singletrack, April 12th, 2024.
Ski trail segment on bike trail, April 11th, 2024.
Singletrack riding, April 11th, 2024.
Rock garden on singletrack, April 11th, 2024.
Singletrack riding, April 11th, 2024.

Click here to join the Maplelag Mountain Bike Club