Cross-Country Skiing in Minnesota

By Explore Minnesota

Cross country skiing in Grand Rapids

Minnesota's cross-country ski trails offer more miles of skiing than a trek from St. Paul to Los Angeles. It all adds up to an unbeatable variety of cross-country skiing experiences. Whether you’re a pro or just getting started, Minnesota has a breathtakingly beautiful trail with you in mind.

The state is blessed with a variety of scenery and a wide selection of getaways for skiers, from a classic north woods lodge to a cozy bed-and-breakfast to a rustic backwoods yurt for adventure lovers. A getaway can focus exclusively on cross-country skiing, or can be combined with downhill skiing, dogsledding, exploring antique shops and galleries, and even taking in big-city attractions.

Take note: If you are 16 or older, you must have a Great Minnesota Ski Pass to ski on groomed trails in Minnesota state parks or state forests, or on state or grant-in-aid trails. Sign your ski pass and be sure to carry it with you every time you go skiing. Passes are $6 per day or $20 for an annual pass. Your ski pass fee helps support Minnesota's cross-country ski trail system.

For a free introduction to the sport, check out the Nordic Ski Opener at Elm Creek Park Reserve in Maple Grove on Dec. 9, or attend a Winter Trails Day event on Jan. 20 (various locations statewide). Experienced skiers and beginners alike can also participate in candlelight and naturalist-guided ski events at several Minnesota State Parks throughout the winter.

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