Where have you gone cross-country skiing?
Baker Park Reserve (2 people or 40%)
Wirth Park (1 person or 20%)
Elm Creek Park Reserve (1 person or 20%)
Wood Lake Nature Center (1 person or 20%)
This is how everybody answered:
Drew Frenz uses Elm Creek Park Reserve
The place to go when there's no snow! Home to the best snowmaking setup in the Twin Cities (does Troll Hollow count?) dedicated to Cross Country skiing, Elm Creek is always the FIRST to have trails open. Unfortunately, this also means that they are always packed. If going before the other parks are open, be out before 2:00 or be prepared to be crushed under the load of hundreds of high school racers that come to practice at the only mid-November snow in town. Unfortunately, they are also one of the last places to get natural snow, so you're better off looking at Wirth or Baker if you're going out midseason. Ski rentals are available in the Chalet.
Drew Frenz uses Baker Park Reserve
Home to dozens of miles of well-groomed trails and rarely crowded, Baker is a great place to ski. Though quite a drive for me, I practice here on occasion with my team. If you have a Three Rivers ski pass, you get in to Baker as well as Elm Creek. A nice loop to do (the standard 5k HS race course) is: Fairway Trail out from the clubhouse to the intersection with Hill Loop. Right on Hill Loop. Keep right at the bypass. Take the turn onto Timber Trail. Merge back onto Hill Loop after Timber. Merge back onto Fairway after Hill Loop. Finish at the clubhouse. Another nice loop is the Island Trail. Praire trail can be pretty cool (but be prepared for huge drifts!). Rentals are available at the clubhouse.
Drew Frenz uses Wirth Park
Minneapolis' largest park, on the border between Minneapolis and Golden Valley, features over 30km of groomed ski trials, of which, about 15km accommodate both freestyle and classic. Approximately 3k of the trail system (including one of the toughest hills) is fitted with snow machine hookups, giving the park the ability to have a full skate hardpack with tracks long before anywhere else can even begin to start packing. My ski team practices here daily and so I have had a season pass for the last 5 years. The daily fee is somewhere around $6 if I remember, but my $25 season pass with my discount gets used probably around 35 times a season, so it's a good value. The trails make up several different sections, two of which are classic-only and three of which accommodate both styles. Two of the skate-capable zones also function as race courses for high school events and are occasionally double-tracked in addition to the skate track. Keep an eye on the race schedule, as the trails will be closed, plus they're pretty beat up the next day. I recommend the 6k Par 3 side. Although it is by far the most challenging trail, it also provides the most interesting and varied terrain as well as the best views. You can take it at a leisurely pace, but be aware of practicing racers that will be passing occasionally. The "Flats" side is a much shorter loop, about 3k, and contains only rolling hills, but offers very, very limited scenery and terrain. Skis can be rented at the clubhouse.
Rachel Frenz uses Baker Park Reserve
Baker Park is a golf course, but in the winter it is used as a cross country ski place. You can rent skis there, or bring your own. A day pass is about $4. I go here a lot during the winter with my cross-country ski team. The trails are great and we have many races here.
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