Virtual Lotvola Cup 2021

Nice job to everyone who completed the Virtual Lotvola Cup this ski season. A wide range of conditions made for memorable skiing. Below are the participants from Strava recording and submitted times/completions. Anyone that is missed, please let us know so we can update the page and photo! We plan to do the virtual option again next season along with a mass timed event. A date will be posted in the fall.

The Lotvola Cup was one of the oldest cross country ski races in Minnesota, starting in 1977, and had grown to be popular among not only local skiers but enthusiasts from around the country.

Start of Lotvola Cup on Little Sugarbush lake in front of the original main lodge, 1980.

We have established a new course for classic only technique. We are not able to host a mass start race but will have the virtual race now open through the remainder of the 2020-2021 ski season. A 14km course has been set using Strava to track skiers. If you are not on Strava, we suggest loading the app. If not using Strava, you may submit your time and we will add all the skiers on a final spreadsheet. In keeping with the spirit of the original Lotvola Cup, the idea is not to be the fastest skier but “simply” complete the challenge. Partnering with ski shops, we will provide random awards to skiers upon completion of the Cup.

There is no entry fee to participate but a season or day pass is required to ski the trails.

Start of the 2021 Lotvola Cup challenge. Sukkerbusk ski trail, just across the parking lot near the legendary orange tractor!

The course starts on Sukkerbusk ski trail at the “orange tractor”. Continue on Sukkerbusk until Twin Lakes trail. Left on Twin Lakes. Upon completion of Twin Lakes, continue back up to Sukkerbusk. Take a left on Sukkerbusk to North Loup. Left on access to North Loup. Upon completion of North Loup, take left on Sukkerbusk and finish out Sukkerbusk back to the start area. Continue on through and finish out on Sap Run trail to the right. The finish is back at the flag pole.

Most intersections take left except near the end of Sukkerbusk stay right to finish out the course on Sap Run trail. Most intersections will be marked with the original signs like above that read “Maplelag Ski Tur”.

The original Lotvola Cup course was 12 kilometers. The 2021 version will be around 14km, classic only technique.

The 12 KM classic technique only race was named in honor of Elias Lotvola. A Finnish pioneer in the local Sugarbush township who was famous for his skiing abilities as well making classic wooden skis in the Finnish tradition by hand.   Even is his 80’s Elias would ski thru the “bush” and woods checking his trapline of over 30 miles in length. His skis and poles were on display in the lodge, but sadly they were lost in the fire of December 1999.  However, many examples of similar wooden skis made by Elias Lotvola, are on display in the lodge.

Newspaper article by local paper Detroit Lakes Newspapers of first Lotvola Cup in 1977.

The race honors the tradition of Nordic skiing in Minnesota and up to the most recent race, had a wood ski division. Past Lotvola Cup participants included not only recreational skiers but Olympic athletes including biathlete Wynn Roberts of Battle Lake area who competed in the Vancover Winter Olympics in 2010. 

Old school and new school, US Olympian Wynn Robert competing in the Lotvola Cup 2009 with wood skis.

Maplelag has always promoted a healthy and environmental friendly use of the land with a minimal footprint to conserve and promote our wonderful natural resources.

Snowy start to Lotvola Cup 2010.

Newspaper article from early Lotvola Cup.

Archived results and photos on