Cross-country Ski Trails Open At Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

More than 22 miles of cross-country ski trails are ready for the public at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. NPS photo.

While some areas of the country are struggling with scant snowfall, enough has fallen at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan to open more than 22 miles of classic cross-country ski trails to the public.

Chris Case, the lakeshore's chief of facility management, says enough snow has fallen on the trails in Munising and Grand Marais for crews to groom them for skiing. "It has been a long time coming this year, but we finally have enough snow to establish a decent base and maintain formal grooming operations," he says.

The Munising Ski Trails include 11.7 miles of trails. The Grand Marais Trails include 10.4 miles of trails. Both areas offer a variety of terrain for beginners as well as more experienced skiers.

"The park trails offer a wonderful opportunity for uncrowded classic skiing in the beautiful north woods. Many of the trails within the Munising system offer spectacular views of Lake Superior, which is quite unique," the chief says.

"We have been working hard to make some improvements in trail layout, grooming operations and trail marking," said Trail Crew Leader Ted Shepard. "We replaced a number of narrow bridges with wider ones, purchased some new grooming equipment, and are working to make sure all the trails are well marked."

"I really appreciate all the hard work my staff does to repair, pack and groom these trails," Mr. Case added. "This is a wonderful experience we provide for the visiting public as well as local folks, and we appreciate the donations people have made to support the system."

The park ski trails are free, but a donation of $3 per day is encouraged. Donations can be made at the ski trailheads, located just off H-58 by the NPS Maintenance Area, off City Limits Road in Munising, and across from the Grand Sable Visitor Center in Grand Marais.