The cross country ski season is underway for the season, with one of the earlier starts we have had in many years. It has always been my thought, if you can ski by Thanksgiving you will have a great snow year. However it has been a long time in which there has been skiable snow by then, like we have had this year.
Grooming efforts are just getting underway in the Northland, and the places with the earliest groomed conditions have attracted the skiers. I spent this past Saturday up at Giants Ridge, which had over 40 kilometers groomed and ready to go. While some of the trails were still in early season condition, with some brush and weeds poking through, a lot of the trail system was in mid-winter shape. With some of the best groomed trails around this early, they drew skiers from all over the Northland and the Twin Cities. While the cross country trails were maybe a bit busier than normal, I still went many kilometers without ever seeing anyone, which for many of is one of the big draws of the sport.
If you have been waiting for a chance to get out and try cross country skiing, make this the year. Conditions are improving daily, and it is an activity that you can do at your own pace. We are fortunate to live in an area that has many quality trails to choose from, and most all trail systems have a loop or two suitable for beginners. Many places also rent equipment, including Hibbing Parks and Recreation.