Ski Resorts and Trails Prep for Winter Recreation
All this snow is likely to make for some good skiing conditions. Many downhill runs are opening for business, while cross country skiers may have to wait longer for groomed trails.
Rib Mountain’s Granite Peak is set to open this weekend, while Ski Brule near Iron River, Michigan has already opened a few of its runs.
But Operations Manager Jessica Polich says more snow falling from the sky doesn’t actually make trails open any faster. Ski Brule just needs cold temperatures to run its snow making machines 24/7.
“In fact we opened on a hundred percent manmade snow. And then Mother Nature was kind enough to sprinkle us with some snow over the weekend. And if you take the manmade snow and combine it with the natural snow, the conditions are even better.”
Meanwhile most cross country trails aren’t groomed until after the gun-deer season. Minocqua Winter Park will open about 10 kilometers of its trails for this weekend only, but Director Tim Collins says the full opening is still set for December 1st.
“So we do have enough snow to do a little bit of skiing in the coming days, but due to some land use agreements and the ground not being fully frozen, we’re not going to be able to open up all our trails.”
Melissa Baker, who supervises recreational trails on the Northern Highland American Legion state forest, says the early snow will make for better conditions later on.
“We do get on there with the snowmobile and we compact the snow. And that hardens the base of the snow and lets it freeze harder. And then when fresh snow falls on there it takes a really nice track.”
That means conditions as soon as grooming starts in early December…could be ideal.
There are a few other cross country trails reported to be open, including the Three Eagle Trail between Three Lakes and Eagle River, and ABR Trails in Ironwood, Michigan.