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Spirit Mountain Nordic Center

Located at 8551 Grand Avenue in Duluth, Minnesota, Spirit Mountain Nordic Center (formerly Grand Avenue Nordic Center) brings world-class Nordic skiing to our community. Parking is available at the large lot at the Grand Avenue Chalet at Spirit Mountain.
Spirit Mtn Noridc Drone Photo.jpg
The very first snow is made at Spirit Mountain Noridc Center.JPG

About the Project

Spirit Mountain Nordic Center (formerly Grand Avenue Nordic Center) is a joint effort between the Duluth XC Ski Club, Spirit Mountain, and the City of Duluth to bring a world-class Nordic ski venue into our community with consistent snowmaking and grooming to be enjoyed by residents and visitors alike, and to be a reliable event host in our region. We’re excited to announce that the project is back on track with some new funds raised, grant dollars in hand, and an energized ski community ready to make it happen.

The Nordic center is entering its final phases of development, but it’s been years in the making. There was talk of seeking snowmaking for nordic trails in Duluth for decades, but the idea for the ski trails at the bottom of Spirit Mountain first came about in 2014, when then Mayor Don Ness unveiled plans to revitalize and invest outdoor recreation opportunities in the St. Louis River Corridor.
Future Plans

Once fully complete, the Spirit Mountain Nordic Center will include:

  • New 5 km cross-country ski trail developed by one of the country’s best Nordic trail designers, including 3.3 km of trail with snowmaking

  • Connector trail linking the new trail to the 22 km of existing trail at the top of Spirit Mountain, which then also connects to the Magney Snively trail system

  • ‘Dark sky’ LED trail lighting for early morning and evening skiing

  • Full-service chalet (Grand Avenue Chalet, pictured above) at the trailhead, and venue for hosting events & races

  • Expert grooming for high-quality ski conditions every day

History + Timeline

After years of advocacy, the pieces started to fall into place:

  • 2015: Nationally prominent Nordic Trail Deisgner John Morton visits Duluth and teams up with our very own Gary Larson to identify an approximate route for a new trail system, approximately 5k in length.

  • 2016: The Spirit Mountain Nordic Center project secures $1 million in ‘half-and-half tourism tax’ dollars from the City of Duluth.   Later that year, all environmental assessments are completed and the project has a green light!

  • 2016: Morton and Larson complete final design, with considerations for exact placement of corners, lights, and snowmaking infrastructure.

  • 2017: DXC completes an initial commitment of raising $500,000 toward the project, and construction of Phase 1 of the Nordic Center begins.

  • 2018: US Olympic Gold Medalist Jessie Diggins visits the Spirit Mountain Nordic Center for a 1-day celebration and fundraiser. An additional $150,000 is raised towards the project in a single day!

  • 2018: Spirit Mountain Nordic Center opens for skiing! 2.5 km of trails are opened, with 1.5 km having snowmaking.

  • 2019: Spirit Mountain Nordic Center hosts its first ever high school race with over 400 skiers taking to the trails.

  • 2019: DXC hosts another US Olympic Gold Medalist as Kikkan Randall visits Spirit Mountain to help raise $160,000 in one day.

  • 2022: City of Duluth is awarded a Legacy Grant from the State of Minnesota with adequate funding to complete the development of the remaining 1.5 km loop at the lower trails, as well as the connector to the upper Spirit Mountain trails.

  • 2023: DXC completes additional fundraising of $114,000 to match the legacy grant, fully funding the trail development

You can support these efforts by donating today. 
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