Classic-only groomed trails. Built and maintained by neighborhood volunteers. Charming hand-carved wooden signs. The newest cross country ski trail in the Duluth area is as old-fashioned as it gets.
The Biskey Ponds trail, in Fredenberg Township due north of Duluth, has ten kilometers of classic ski trails, arranged in five loops that spin off one easy, main trail corridor. The trails are very well laid-out, with plenty of hill and thrills but very few spills. I can’t believe I waited so long to check it out, and now I want to go back and see what I missed.
But don’t take my word for it. Check out the great trail reviews from SkinnySki.com.
The trails wind through both old growth pine forests and recent clearcuts. Wolf Run Loop is the main corridor trail. Since it follows an old road bed, it’s fairly level and easy; in fact, there are two side-by-side tracks. “For the local ladies who like to chat,” one volunteer told me. You can bring leashed dogs on this 3.5km trail.
Three loops, ranging from the 1.5 km White Pine Alley to the brand new 3.5 km Eagle Ridge loop, head off west of the Wolf Run, and are rated “intermediate.” Officially you can take these loops either direction, but most folks take them clockwise. Two shorter but more challenging loops curve off to the east. These trails are single-tracked and for classic skiing only. The trails were laid out expertly, with gentle curves and downhills just steep enough to be fun.
The trail system was laid out by local community volunteers, operating as the Fredenberg Flyers Ski Club. It is still an all-volunteer organization. Bring a $5 or $10 bill to drop into the donation box, to help cover the club’s costs. No Minnesota Ski Pass is required.
The hardest part of this trail system is finding it. It’s a winding 30-40 minute drive from Duluth and there is no direct route. The trailhead is just north of Fish Lake. If you use Google Maps, you can look for “5670 Fish Lake Dam Road” and that will get you closest. From Duluth, you’ll head north either on Martin Road or Lavaque Road.
You can read about what another regional blogger has written about the trail system here.
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