Cross Country Ski Trails
in Minnesota

Cross Country Skiing Basics -
Get Out on Minnesota's Ski Trails

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Cross country ski trails

Groomed cross country ski trails abound in Minnesota.

Cross country skiing is a rewarding sport and a great way to get outdoors in our beautiful Minnesota winters.

Learn some cross country skiing basics, buy some cross country equiment and enjoy a wonderful Minnesota winter activity.

Minnesota is one of the primary cross-country skiing areas in the U.S. We have more than 100 ski areas.

Two of the largest groomed trail networks, or trail systems, in North America are the Gunflint Trail and the North Shore Trail. If the idea of wilderness skiing appeals to you, the Gunflint area will delight your sense of adventure. The North Shore in winter offers a stunning landscape with glimpses of Lake Superior ice.

You will also find groomed cross-country ski trails in most of our Minnesota State Parks.

Some of the top state parks for cross-country skiing are:

  • Afton State Park - This is a favorite Twin Cities area skiing destination near the St. Croix river. You will find miles of forested trails.
  • Fort Snelling State Park - Another Twin Cities area state park. Enjoy the twelve miles of cross-country trails.
  • William O'Brien State Park - Along the St. Croix river and just and hour from the Twin Cities, this park offers ten miles of groomed trails.
  • Gooseberry Falls State Park - About twelve miles of cross-country skiing offers stunning views of the frozen falls and other park attractions. 
  • Tettegouche State Park - Cross-country skiing in this state park affords amazing views of the High Falls in winter garb.
  • Itasca State Park - A winter visit to Minnesota's oldest state park will give you the opportunity to ski the many miles of trail within this vast park.

"Skinny skiing" trails can be found in all parts of Minnesota including the Twin Cities area. Some of the best metro cross country ski trails are in Murphey Hanrehan park in Savage, Battle Creek park in St. Paul and Lebanon Hills in Eagan.

The Three Rivers Park District has more lighted ski trails than any other location in the U.S.

Skiing the North Shore: A Guide to Cross Country Trails in Minnesota's Spectacular Lake Superior Region

Cross Country Ski All Across the State

The best cross country ski areas in Minnesota include Maplelag Resort near Detroit Lakes and The Lodge at Giants Ridge about an hour north of Duluth. Gunflint Lodge, on the Gunflint Trail out of Grand Marais is in another Minnesota cross-country skiing paradise. As well, candlelight ski nights events are held in many Minnesota state parks and on other popular ski trails.  

If you have never tried cross-country skiing, you can easily learn some cross country skiing basics and cross country skiing tips. 

Purchase a Ski Pass for
Cross Country Ski Trails in Minnesota

A Minnesota Ski Pass is required when skiing in many areas, including Minnesota state parks and in areas that charge a trail fee. Your ski pass fee helps support Minnesota's cross-country ski trail system. You can purchase a Minnnesota cross-country Ski Pass online or at the Minnesota DNR headquarters.

Great Cross-Country Ski Trails: Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan and Ontario

Need Cross-Country Skis?



Cross country trails Minnesota

Minnesota Cross Country Ski Trails

More Cross Country Ski Information

Check Cross Country Trail Snow Conditions

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