Nordic Ski Trails in/near Duluth (west to east)
Click here for City of Duluth grooming reports on DXC's trail page.
(Magney, Spirit, Piedmont, Hartley, Chester, Lester).
You can also check for skier reports on local trails at SkinnySki.com.
3 – Spirit Mt. Nordic Center: 20k, Classic & Skate
4 – Magney-Snivley: 14k, Classic & Skate
5 – Superior Municipal Forest: 26k, Skate & Classic, Superior (WI) (715) 395-7299
6 – Keene Creek: Hermantown (south end of Okerstrom Rd.)
7 – Piedmont: 5k Classic only, 1k Skate
8 – Snowflake Nordic Center: 15k, Classic & Skate (218) 726-1550
10 – Bagley Nature Center: 2.7k, Classic only (218) 726-7128
11 – Hartley: 5k, Classic only
12 – Lester-Amity: 15k, Classic & Skate (main trail + skijoring loop at golf course)
14 – Boulder Lake Ski Trails: 22k, Classic & Skate (218) 721-4903
15 – Korkki Nordic: 11k, Classic only (218) 525-7326
16 – Erkki Harju: 10.5k, Classic & Skate – Two Harbors, MN (218) 834-6586 (*home phone of volunteer groomer)
For information about all ski trails in the upper Midwest, visit SkinnySki.com
Trail Maps & Descriptions
Duluth has over 50 kilometers (30 miles) of XC ski trails. Most trails have several loops of varying length and difficulty. Spirit Mt., Piedmont, Hartley, and Snowflake all offer beginner-friendly options. If you’re looking for a long, challenging ski outing, combine Spirit Mt. and Magney-Snively for 25k+. The connecting trail between them is long and steep, with a snowmobile trail crossing at the bottom.
(Click the links to download a printable map for each trail.)
Spirit Mountain: Just across the road from the alpine slopes on Skyline Parkway, Spirit Mountain Nordic Center boasts 20 kilometers of rolling skate/classic groomed trails with loops for all skill levels. There is an exhilarating Connector to the Magney-Snively trail system. The Nordic Center chalet is open weekends 9:00am to 4:30pm and during the holidays.
Magney-Snively: This hilly 13-kilometer trail has a classic track and a skate lane and is best for intermediate and advanced skiers. The trail winds from Snively Park to the city limits and adjoining Magney Park, each of which has a stunning overlook. It’s accessed two miles past Spirit Mountain on Skyline Parkway, just past the dragon’s-tooth stone bridge or from Spirit Mountain XC via the Connector. There are two tricky parts. A snowmobile trail cuts through Ely’s Peak Loop, and the one-way ski trail looks as if it ends there, but it continues across the snowmobile trail and just to the right. And at the end, there’s a steep downhill that ends in the road; beginners should take off their skis and walk.
Piedmont: This 5.5-kilometer trail in the hills near Enger Park, off Hutchinson Road (accessed from U.S. 53/Piedmont Avenue), is mostly double-tracked for classic and includes an overlook of the St. Louis River valley. There is a 1-kilometer easy loop which is groomed for skate and classic. In general the trail is not too hilly and is good for beginners and intermediates though there are also a couple more challenging loops.
Snowflake Nordic Center: High above Duluth, this privately operated ski center has 15 kilometers of trails, groomed often. Classic tracks flank skate lanes, used by the many racers who frequent Snowflake. There’s a convivial chalet with snack counter. A trail pass is $8, but Olympians ski free.
Chester Park: This is a challenging 3-kilometer trail, groomed for skate and classic. It is tucked away near the College of St. Scholastica, off Skyline Parkway in a residential neighborhood. The longtime hub of Duluth’s winter sports, the Bowl includes a lift-served downhill ski hill, a speed skating rink, and Big Chester, a 115-foot wooden ski jump that still has its 1926 steel scaffolding.
Bagley Nature Area: Located on the UMD campus, Bagley has two loops (1.2k & 1.7k) which are groomed for classic skiing (note: the trails are also open for walking & snowshoeing). Both loops have hills, so it’s not a beginner trail.
Hartley Park: These wooded loops, in a residential neighborhood, include 5 kilometers of double-tracked classic trails. There’s a hilly outer loop and a gentler inner loop, good for families and beginners. Hartley Nature Center rents skis and snowshoes. You can snowshoe on the Superior Hiking Trail, which loops through the park. The Nature Center trailhead is north of UMD, off Woodland Avenue – turn left about ¼ mile after Fairmont Street.
Lester-Amity: This 15-kilometer trail (counting the Golf Course loop), groomed for skate and classic, is the most popular trail in town, easily reached from East Superior Street at 61st Avenue. In early morning and evening, 4 kilometers are lighted. The adjoining 4-kilometer loop on the Lester Park Golf Course is good for beginners and skijoring.
(Above trail descriptions courtesy of Midwest Weekends website, with updates by DXC members.)
Guide to beginner-friendly ski trails in/near Duluth (from Northern Wilds magazine)
History of Korkki Nordic (from Northern Wilds magazine)
Skiing the North Shore (includes Duluth)
The Great Minnesota Ski Pass is required for skiers aged 16+ on trails groomed by the City of Duluth (Magney-Snively, Piedmont, Chester, Hartley, Lester). Duluth receives funding from MN Ski Pass revenues. The MN Ski Pass is also valid on all other Grant-in-Aid ski trails and on ski trails in MN State Parks.
Day pass: $10
One-season pass: $25
Three-season pass: $70
or to find local retail locations (wherever DNR licenses are sold).
Note: ski shops do not sell the MN Ski Pass.
Spirit Mountain Nordic Center is operated by DXC under an agreement
with the City of Duluth and Spirit Mountain.
Click here to purchase individual or season passes.
Snowflake Nordic Center is privately operated and has its own pass system:
Day pass: $8
Free skiing for: All Olympians and children under 5
Season memberships: Rates vary; call (218) 726-1550 for more information.
The following local ski trails do not charge a fee for skiing (some accept donations)
Bagley Nature Center (owned & operated by UMD)
Keene Creek (owned & operated by the City of Hermantown)
Boulder Lake Management Area (owned & operated by Minnesota Power)
Pine Valley (operated by the Cloquet Ski Club; donations appreciated)
Korkki Nordic (operated by Korkki Nordic; donations appreciated)
Ski Equipment Rental
Cross-country ski equipment is available to rent at the following locations:
Hartley Nature Center (on-site use only) 218-724-6735
Snowflake Nordic Center (on-site use only) 218-726-1550
UMD Outdoor Program (near Bagley Nature Area ski trail) 218-726-6134
Continental Ski & Bike 218-728-4466
The Ski Hut 724-8525 (East) or 218-624-5889 (West)
Spirit Mt. Ski Shop (in the Skyline Chalet, not the Nordic Center) 218-624-8528