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Cross Country Skiing

Cross-country skiing (or XC skiing) is a form of ski touring in which participants use skis to travel over snow-covered terrain using skis and poles.Cross-country skiing is part of the Nordic skiing sport family, which includes ski jumping, Nordic combined (cross-country skiing and ski jumping), Biathlon (skiing and rifle marksmanship) and ski-orienteering (which includes map navigation along snow trails and tracks). Cross-country skiing is the modern style of skiing that most resembles prehistoric skiing, particularly when done in the backcountry. It is also related to Telemark skiing.

Trails may be groomed for 'classic' skiing with parallel tracks, or for 'skate' style. Skijoring is a related sport where a skier is pulled, usually by a dog, but also sometimes a horse or motor vehicle.

Recreational cross-country skiing is most frequently known as touring. Some skiers stay out for extended periods using tents and equipment similar to bushwalkers/hikers, while others take relatively short trips from ski resorts such as Cascade Lodge, on maintained trails. In some countries, organizations maintain a network of trails for use by cross-country skiers in wintertime. The trails around Cascade Lodge are maintained by the Norpine Trail Association.

Enjoy over 58 km of machine groomed ski trails directly from your lodging choice. 28km is Pisten Bully groomed by Cascade Lodge -- the only resort on the North Shore with a Pisten Bully groomer! Our 28km connects into both Cascade River State Park's trails as well as the 30km skating/classic trails to the east of the Lodge including the Hall and Massie loops in Lutsen. A newly developed skating lane which runs from Cascade Lodge to the Lutsen Ski Hill road and back is available for this style skiing.
Find out what sort of effort it takes to keep the ski trails open and groomed. Listen to Cascade Lodge owner, and Norpine Trail Association Administrator Michael O'Phalen talk about it on WTIP Community Radio: Michael O'Phelan interview on WTIP.

An interesting note on Cascade Lodge ski trails is that from the high point at the Deer Yard fire tower at 1881 feet above sea level to the low point at Lake Superior at 600 feet, we feature over 1280 vertical feet to traverse over a wide variety of difficulty levels from easy to most difficult.

Download a map of the Norpine Trail Association ski trails near Cascade Lodge.

Download a map of the Norpine Trail Association Hall and Massie loop ski trails.

Download a map of the North Shore Trail System ski trails.

View the latest Norpine Trail Association grooming report.

All cross-country skiers on ski trails in State Parks or Forests, or on State or Grant-in-Aid Trails, who are aged 16 and above must have a Minnesota Ski Pass. You must sign your ski pass and carry it with you when skiing. Your ski pass fee helps support Minnesota's cross-country ski trail system. For information about obtaining a Minnesota Ski Pass, go to Minnesota Ski Pass. Passes will be available at the Cascade Lodge Front Desk.

In addition to ski passes, we have Cross-country ski equipment available for rental. Ski packages include skis, boots, and poles.

  Full Day Half Day Two Days
Adult Full Package - Skis, Boots, and Poles $20.00 $15.00 $30.00
Children's (12 and under) Full Package - Skis, Boots, and Poles $12.00 $6.00 $16.00
Skis only $10.00 (n/a) (n/a)
Boots only $7.00 (n/a) (n/a)
Poles only $5.00 (n/a) (n/a)
Back- or Fanny-Pack $2.00 (n/a) (n/a)

Shuttles are available to drop parties of skiers off at nearby trailheads and ski back to Cascade Lodge. Shuttles to Caribou Lake, Bally Creek, or Pike Lake Road trailheads are $29.00. Shuttles to other destinations, for drop-off and/or pick-up can be arranged - call for details. Please allow at least 24 hours' notice for shuttles.

We also have a Cross-Country Ski Package available that includes a 5% discount on your lodging, Breakfast in our Restaurant each morning, a trail lunch for you to take with you, and a shuttle to one of the nearby trailheads. Click the link for full details of the Cross-Country Ski Package.