Grand Marais, MN- The cross-country skiing season has begun along Minnesota’s famed Gunflint Trail as the snow piles up- over nine new inches of snow fell yesterday. More is expected this week. With yesterday snowfall, area B&B and lodge owners along the Gunflint report eighteen to twenty inches of snow now on the ground.
Beginning in the village of Grand Marais, Minnesota, on Lake Superior’s North Shore, the Gunflint Trail is a paved pathway winding 60 miles through the Superior National Forest to Saganaga Lake on the Canadian border. In winter the lodge owners cooperatively operate the 216-kilometer Gunflint Nordic Ski Trail Network. This trail network consists of three interconnected ski trail areas; the Central and Upper Gunflint Trails connected by the Banadad. Both classic and skate skiing opportunities are offered amidst an unspoiled Northwoods wilderness backdrop.
According Ted Young from Poplar Creek Guesthouse B&B, which operates the Banadad Ski Trail, “we are grooming this end of the Banadad now and we should be completed tracking all our trails by the weekend. With this new snow skiing should be great!” Those responsible for the Central and Upper Gunflint Ski Trails expressed similar optimism.
Nordic Skiing is by definition an eco-friendly sport but the Gunflint area ski trail managers have taken this one step further. Last year, the Banadad Ski Trail became “carbon neutral” with the purchase of carbon credits to offset the emissions of grooming. This year, the Central and Upper Gunflint ski trail systems are adopting carbon neutral strategies. The cost to sequester the carbon released into the atmosphere from the maintenance and grooming for the Gunflint Nordic Ski Trails will be invested in planting of trees along the Gunflint Trail.