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Cross Country Skiing

Looking forward to solitude, the gliding motion of your skis, or rays of reverant sunshine streaming thru the forest? Whether you preference is towards classic, skate or race-styles of skiing, the Silver Bay Area has dozens of exceptional cross-country ski trails. All you have to do is pick your adventure!

The City of Silver Bay offers pristine cross-country ski conditions on their Northwoods Trails. Starting on the East Branch of the Beaver River, the Northwoods Trail system is located 3 miles northwest of Hwy 61 and Silver Bay on Forest Hwy 11. Ample parking is available directly off the highway and is regularly plowed for accessibility. There are over 28 kilometers of lovingly groomed single track and diagonal trails. These trails offer groomed loop trails taking you past open wetland areas, traversing scenic hills and topping scenic overlooks while winding deep into thick dark north land forests. Enjoy the experience of skiing along and above the gurgling and snow capped rocks of the East Branch Beaver River. Map of the trails (PDF)

Tettegouche State Park ski trails offer an additional 25K single track, with a skating lane on 7.5K of trail. This trail system includes the 7.5K Lower Loop, which slowly climbs up from the lake to a great picnic spot at Nipisquit Lake and a downhill return and the Lakes & Hills Trail which skirts Papasay Ridge past Nipisquit and Mic Mac Lakes to the 6K Northwoods Trail connector. It also includes a 2.6K expert run to Mount Baldy.

Another scenic favorite are the trails at Split Rock Lighthouse State Park. Trails found here have skill levels classified as intermediate and difficult. Start your day on 4K of intermediate trails which run from the lighthouse, along the Lake Superior shoreline and around Day Hill. From the Day Hill trail, enjoy the wooded 3.4K Merrill Logging Loop on the north side of the highway or 5.1K Corundum Mine Loop on the lakeside of the road. Of these trails, 13K are double tracked.

Our local environmental learning center, located on scenic Hwy 6 in Finland, Minn., also has several excellent groomed trails. Stop in at the Administration Office and inquire with staff regarding conditions and maps. These trails are great for novice skiers as they consist of loop trails that are relatively level. The ELC trails wind thru stands of pine and birch to create a pleasant skiing experience for the whole family…including your little beginner.

If the thrill seeker in you finds yourself traveling inland for bigger adventure and deeper forests, then the Flathorn-Gegoka trails in the Isabella area are a “must-do” destination. Approximately 25 miles from Lake Superior on scenic Hwy 1, you will experience raw north woods beauty deep in the Saw Tooth Mountains. In fact, there are dozens of inland lakes and national forest winter campsites available to enjoy. If you are looking for a special lodging experience that combines exceptional cross-country skiing, beautiful winter trails, frozen lake views along with seclusion and serenity in the Isabella area, check out a local ski lodge favorite. Secluded. Quiet. Natural….the way it was a hundred years ago.

If you find yourself invigorated, yet satisfyingly tired at the end of a great day on sparkling trails, finish off with a hot drink or hearty meal at one of the many restaurants and cafes in the Beaver Bay, Finland, and Silver Bay Area. Rustic ambience and north woods charm abounds in our perfect north woods setting.

At the end of a perfect day on the trails, sink deep into comfortable lodging accommodations for a restful nights sleep. With dozens of cozy cabins, bed-and-breakfasts, hotels, motels, and resorts…all you need to do is decide: lakeside or mountain-view?

Heart of the North Shore