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PRECIP:
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Event

The Year That Was (2022-2023):

At our annual fundraising banquet (November 4, 2023) our 'State of the Trails' summary was a year to review our recovery from a devastating December 2022 ice storm:

Ice storm, record snowfall, and equipment issues – what an incredible challenge!

  • November 2022 we graveled the first 200 feet inside the gate at the warming house. This did away with an area that had been perpetually muddy and limited access to our equipment in all but very dry conditions. November snowfall = 12".
  • December 2022 early snowfalls were encouraging. We were able to groom & ski the new trail on the West Side once before the mid-December ice storm (ice + 16" of heavy tree crushing snow) devastated the trails. It took about a week to open the access road to the trailhead. Then we rented heavy equipment and operated it for 3 days at a cost of about $7000. This opened up a shortened version of the East Side Core Loop and our groomers created good skiing. When almost done with the rental equipment, the cab of the backhoe was slammed by a tree with damage that totaled out the backhoe – fortunately we had purchased short term insurance that covered the damage. December snowfall = 28".
  • In early January a group of our volunteers worked in deep snow to clear another important section of the East Side trail. The snow kept coming, temps were mild, we kept grooming and enjoyed good skiing on the limited number of open trails. In mid January, the forestry department hired heavy equipment to open Excelsior Road on the West Side, then we groomed it and enjoyed it. The rest of the West Side had too much ice storm damage to open more trails. In late January, our Honda UTV acted up by mysteriously shattering its fan blade – a quick trip to the shop in Rice Lake fixed that problem. January snowfall = 16".
  • February skiing conditions remained very good with mild temps and timely snowfalls. In mid-February, a team of our volunteers worked in deep snow to remove ice storm damage from the East Side ‘Washout Trail’. This created a connection with Rut Road that included more of the Core Loop. Meanwhile, John Kann worked overtime to add two new snowshoe loops that were well tromped. Hats off to John Kann! Our 2017 Arctic Cat Bearcat Groomers’ Special snowmobile is a big workhorse, powerful and maneuverable. It nicely complements the Honda Pioneer. Unfortunately, the Bearcat overheated on multiple occasions the past two winters, presenting a diagnostic challenge that we finally solved in February. A $4 fuse (a circuit breaker fuse) was the culprit! February snowfall = 13".
  • March remained snowy, and we kept on grooming. In early March, the rear tracks on the Honda showed signs of failing rubber – perhaps due to the incredibly hard work required to groom the chunky condensed snow after the heavy equipment operated in December. We ordered replacement rubber tracks, and the day after the new tracks arrived the left rear track ‘failed’ and we replaced the rubber track in the parking lot. Truly a wrestling match replacing that track! Even though we still had a deep base, because the forecast showed warmup & rain, we decided to move grooming equipment to storage after the final grooming on March 20th. In late March, good crust skiing was available throughout! March snowfall = 20".
  • April 1st delivered 12" of dense snow in the form of a blizzard! Then a week later, good crust skiing was available again. The next surprise? Ttemps soared into the 80s for 5 days, followed by 3" of heavy snow, followed by 1.5" of rain that melted most of the remaining snow. In late April we assembled a work crew to remove the mess of damaged trees around the warming house. April snowfall = 15".
  • Total snowfall for the winter set a record for the 25 years we’ve kept records: 104 inches! The previous record was 89 inches during the winter of 2013-14.
  • During the first half of May, on four occasions we assembled work crews and cleared more of the ice damaged trees. At that point, thick clouds of mosquitoes and gnats chased us out of the woods. In late May we were also able to install large vents in the storage container where our snowmobile sleeps – hopefully this will reduce the potential of condensation & moisture damage to its electronics (recall the corroded circuit breaker fuse?)
  • In late June, we began our summer trail mowing. However, during hot weather, the Honda UTV developed several problems that were likely related to a faulty speed sensor. During the month that it took for the repair, trail work was on hold. 
  • In July and August, we hired a crew from the Flambeau Correctional Center to help clear ice storm damaged trees. They did a fantastic job clearing many of the West Side trails, and several East Side trails. Money ($2000) well spent! Another oddity this summer was the heavy growth of burdock – thick forests of burdock 6 feet tall.
  • As the bugs became tolerable in late July, our own volunteers again worked to remove damaged trees on several more occasions. By September 1st, the entire trail system was (mostly) clear of the ice damage. All told, probably more than 3500 damaged trees – about 100 trees per kilometer – were removed from our 35 km of trails.
  • Our annual fall workday on October 1st was lightly attended on a day with temps in the upper 80s. Despite the heat, a lot of important trail work was accomplished that day.
  • Despite a dry, hot summer, the fall colors were very good and hung on longer than usual.
  • What A Year!!! Many thanks to all our volunteers & donors – the trails are now in great shape for winter.

Here are some specific thank yous…

  • Thanks to everyone attending our fundraising banquet, and to everyone that helped with trail work this past year. Your support in the form of donated time and money makes it all possible.
  • Thanks to our volunteers for removing downed trees & their 45+ hours of mowing this past summer. An incredible team effort!
  • Thanks to John Waldron & Geary Searfoss for serving as officers. They bring boundless energy and wonderfully creative ideas. World’s best volunteers!
  • Thanks to last year’s grooming team for creating great skiing conditions despite the incredible challenges resulting from the ice storm.
  • Thanks to Jan Paulsen for photos from the banquet, and for decorating the banquet site. Leaves, acorns etc from a recent hike on the ski trails.
  • Thanks to Kirk Paulsen for donating his engineering skills in designing the new trail maps several years ago, and for updating them as the trails evolve. His maps are highly accurate & informative. NOTE: thanks to Kirk’s engineering tech skills, you can visit our website & easily place our maps on your phone for use with the App called Avenza Maps. You’ll be able to take advantage of satellites to follow your location in real time. Very useful.
  • Thanks to Kristine Paulsen for her ongoing involvement with our website – what a great portal she has provided us!!
  • Thanks to John Kann & Dan Bjugstad who continue maintaining our network of dedicated snowshoe trails – after the December 2022 ice storm, John almost single handedly opened two new loops through the downed trees.
  • Thanks to the Rusk County Forestry department for mowing most of the West Side, and parts of the East Side. With them, we have a great partnership maintaining the Blue Hills Trail.
  • The distant loop on the West Side (C-D-F-G-H-I) remains beaver territory. For now, we think we can coexist and avoid removing the beavers. In fact, their two active dams undoubtedly help control runoff during heavy rain events – thus minimizing erosion of the ski trail. Because that loop is so difficult to groom – and because we now have more & better trails on the West Side – that loop will receive minimal grooming and be considered a wilderness loop. We’ll groom it if/when conditions permit.
  • The big timber sale that was cut last fall on the Far East Trails still has lots of wood (400 cords of wood = 40 truckloads) that needs hauling. Markets for hardwood pulp logs have been poor this year – the loggers will try more hauling in November 2023 if they can find a market. The loggers realize we plan on grooming in early-mid December and should be done using Rut Road (part of our East Side Core Loop) by that time.
  • One West Side timber sale was cut during June, a clear cut where the new trail (between intersections Y to Z)  joins Excelsior Road. It’s already growing back quickly, don’t let its appearance shock you.
  • The trail system has two timber sales that have been bid out and await logging – one on the East, one on the West.
  • Remember, the entire trail system is non-motorized. If you find motorized vehicles on the trails, educate their operators to the contrary. And consider reporting this to the Rusk County Sheriff’s department.

Equipment and Monies:

Thanks for your financial support. Despite the unanticipated large amount of money spent this past year on clearing ice storm debris (approaching $10,000), we're in good shape financially, and the equipment is running well. If you'd like to send a donation our way, follow this link.

Whenever you can, please thank the many businesses and individuals that support the Blue Hills Trail Association Inc.

Near disaster at the warming house following the December 2022 ice storm
Our amazing volunteers: in the process of clearing storm damaged trees in early January 2023. Tough work!
We have dedicated snowshoe trails, but also allow snowshoeing on the ski trail if you stay to the side.
A unique view of Excelsior Road (entrance to the West Side Trails)
Wonderful skiing on the East Side Ridgeline in mid February 2023
These visitors from central Washington State enjoyed our trails when the Birkie Trail was closed
Record snowfall challenged the individuals that maintain our snowshoe trails
The East Side Core Loop measures 11 km, and has kilometer markers every 1K
Mid March on the Roundabout Trail in the record setting winter of 2022-23
Volunteers to the rescue: early May 2023 and a good time to remove more of the damage from the 2022 December ice storm
Early July 2023: an example of December 2022 ice storm damage in need of removal
Bob W carefully assessed this mess of a downed tree top before sawing it in late July 2023
Early September 2023: all the trails are cleared of ice storm damage (AMAZING!!!) and the trails are in great shape
Banquet Fundraiser 2023: making up for lost time
You should see the other guy
Analyzing their bidding options
Fun folks from Rusk County
Good opportunity to renew acquaintances
A well deserved opportunity to relax
Youthful silent sports enthusiasts
New members enjoying their first Blue Hills Trail banquet
Engineering an evening of fun
Mother daughter smiles
Plotting to win some silent auction items
Good friends sharing memories
Looking forward to the winter ski season
Howard enjoys the storytelling
Plenty of laughs at the banquet
Did you see the great buffet that's coming our way?
Blue Hills Trail Assn vice president (Geary Searfoss) gladly relayed the message that the "trails are in great shape!"
Visiting from Portland (Oregon), our talented mapmaker enjoyed the guest speaker
Guest speaker Dan Woll shared his passion of time spent in the outdoors, and the importance of trails in nourishing our inner spirit
Dan Woll climbing 'El Cap' in the 1970s
Read more >

News Flash!

The infamous Blue Hills Bill shut off his alarm and casually stretched. This year, it wouldn't take him long to dig out his front door.

Snowfall this winter hasn't been great, luckily just enough to keep him cozy during January's cold. After munching a quick breakfast, Bill started digging. Just in the nick of time, he crawled out of his burrow at 7:27 this morning and delivered his annual prognostication to downtown Bruce, WI. Unlike last year's sparsely attended event, there was a big crowd of boosters awaiting his presence.

Read on…

    Big snows on Bill's burrow,
     His sleep was so thorough;
      Then a night to remember,
       Tornadoes! December!

    Bill hunkered down deep,
     And focused on sleep;
      Cold winds came his way,
       And skiers did play.

    Alas winter's so short,
     Not nuff time to cavort;
      No shadow this morning,
       Snowmen take warning.

Comments from the crowd

  • 2/2: I've heard the Blue Hills ski trails are in great shape. Gotta go check out Excelsior Road again! -Eau Claire, WI
  • 2/2: Pull the kids out of school, let's head to the Hills. –Madison, WI
  • 2/2: Bill says winter’s gonna disappear early. We'd better get our kicks while we can –Rice Lake, WI
  • 2/2: Thanks for the advice, Bill. Just enough snow, so little time, never enough winter… –Winter, WI

Famous groundhog Blue Hills Bill emerges from his burrow
Read more >

The annual fall banquet for the Blue Hills Trail Association, Inc. (BHTA) was held Saturday, November 7th at Lehman's Supper Club in Rice Lake. While bidding on the numerous silent auction items, this group of silent sports enthusiasts enjoyed camaraderie, libations, great food, and Dr. Bob Inman's dynamic slide show presentation ("Wolverine Biology and Conservation") describing ground-breaking work applying GPS tracking in the study of wolverines. The GPS technology that Dr. Inman and his wife applied for the first time to wolverines revealed the amazing capacity of the species to move through rugged terrain and the vast multi-state scale over which conservation of wolverines must occur. After a delicious buffet meal, master of ceremonies (Patty McGown) turned the floor over to BHTA vice president Ron Jasperson who summarized the many significant events impacting the Blue Hills Trail this past year, including: the huge number of volunteers helping throughout the year; the tremendous all-season usefulness of the 2014 John Deere Gator with Camoplast tracks purchased spring of 2014; and a very good ski season during the winter of 2014-15 that attracted more 'out-of-the-area' skiers than ever. Ron reported the trails are in good shape as we head toward winter, and noted that fundraising this fall has been very successful. He was pleased to note that the Blue Hills Trail Association, Inc. remains financially solid. To honor a few of our many volunteers, two special awards were presented: Patty McGown and Nels Curnow accepted the "2 Busy 2 Pee" traveling trophy (a porcelain urinal) honoring their numerous contributions of time and energy. Then Dave Olsen was honored for his many years maintaining the pit toilets - he received the golden clothespin award. Following Dr. Inman's presentation, prizes valued at more than $5000 were distributed to the attendees -- including Mark Bittner winning the raffle for the Spring Street Sports $250 gift card, and Erik Ostenso winning the raffle for the New Moon $250 gift card. Our many donors graciously give back to their communities -- when the opportunity arises, be sure to offer them a sincere thank you. Colder weather's overdue, get your skis ready!

Golden Chlothespin award
Dave Olsen displaying his 'Golden Clothespin' award
Patty McGown eagerly accepts the '2Busy2Pee' award
Read more >

It's cold outside, there's lots of snow on the ground, now's a good time to get psyched for skiing. Check out the following slide show video showing ten years of fun on the Blue Hills Trail. Get your skis waxed, come ski the Hills!

Grab a cup of coffee or hot chocolate, adjust your volume control, then sit back and follow the fun. See anyone you know?

Read more >

The annual fall banquet for the Blue Hills Trail Association, Inc. (BHTA) was held Saturday, November 2nd at Lehman's Supper Club in Rice Lake. While bidding on the numerous silent auction items, the enthusiastic attendees enjoyed libations, great food, camaraderie, and a captivating wildlife presentation by DNR Naturalist - Chris Cold.

After a delicious buffet meal, master of ceremonies (Jerry Wilkes) turned the floor over to outgoing BHTA president Dick Pebler who summarized the many significant events impacting the Blue Hills Trail this past year, reporting the trails are in great shape as we head toward winter; and noting that fundraising this fall has been very successful. He was pleased to note that the Blue Hills Trail Association, Inc. remains financially solid. To honor just a few of our many volunteers, a special award was presented: Dick Pebler humbly passed along the "2 Busy 2 Pee" traveling trophy (a porcelain urinal) to Dave Olsen - honoring Dave's busy lifestyle. At that point, prizes valued at close to $7000 were distributed to the attendees -- including Dick Pebler winning the raffle for the Spring Street Sports $250 gift card, and Jeff Sirek winning the raffle for the New Moon $250 gift card. Our many donors graciously give back to their communities -- when the opportunity presents, be sure to offer them a sincere thank you. Pretty soon now, it'll be time to wax our skis!

Read more >

The infamous Blue Hills Bill crawled out of his burrow this morning and delivered his annual prognostication to the awaiting crowd in downtown Bruce, Wisconsin.  Read on...

Suffering delusions,

from weather confusion,

To his doctor did go

Blue Hills Bill;


‍For temperature tricks,

Doc offered a fix,

"You must swallow

this nasty big pill."


‍Shadow not missing,

Bill was heard hissing,

"Climate change means

it's time to adapt;‍


With snow in the Hills,

delay not your thrills,

Ski like crazy

'til you are tapped!"

Comments from the crowd

  • 2/2: I'm not wasting any time, heading to the Blue Hills right away! --Bruce, WI
  • 2/2: Ski now or forever hold your skis. --Rice Lake, WI
  • 2/2: Thanks for the advice, Bill.  Carpe diem! --Ladysmith, WI


Read more >

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Blue Hills Trail

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@bluehillstrailwisconsin
Another rare taste of winter. Bare ground is covered by a 4.5” dry snowfall that was groomed February 15. Skied (toured) the Core Loop on waxless classic skis February 16. Mostly enjoyable skiing despite the thin base and soft conditions. EXTRA CAUTION needed on the steeper downhills with bare spots. Find more info by visiting website (link in bio ⬆️) and looking at Trail Conditions. #lostwinter #xcskiing #ruskcountywi #birkiefever
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After an incredibly warm, dry start to the winter, we finally have just enough snow for some grooming and skiing. For more information, visit the website and look at ‘Trail Conditions’ top center of each page. #ruskcountywi
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Congrats to Birkie participants - skiers, family members & friends, and volunteers. You did it! The first photo shows young Logan (Wenatchee, WA) enjoying the Blue Hills Trail — after racing in the Barnebirkie 2 days earlier. Before you know it, Logan will be going the distance. #barnebirkie #ruskcountywi #winterinwisconsin
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Welcome to our new snowshoe trail! The past couple weeks, our ‘snowshoe trail Superman’ (John Kann from Rice Lake, WI) has added a fantastic loop to our ‘Ridges Snowshoe Trail’. It’s challenging, but meant for anyone out to explore our trails. Follow the yellow signs and yellow tree blazes. The first photo shows a couple from Milwaukee that had the opportunity to christen the ‘Highland Loop’ of the Ridges Trail today. With cold weather arriving tonight, now’s a good time to stomp these trails. #bluehillstrailwisconsin #snowshoewisconsin #ruskcountywi
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All our visitors enjoyed this weekend’s great conditions following the mid-December destructive ice storm. Lots of happy faces yesterday. #bluehillstrailwisconsin #wisconsinwinter
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Beautiful day to ‘Ski the Hills’. Excelsior Road was cleared of ice storm debris two days ago, then groomed REPEATEDLY to get it in shape. #bluehillstrailwisconsin #ruskcountywi #wisconsinwinter
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Saturday evening's grooming set up beautifully, conditions Sunday (January 8) were fantastic! A week ago, dealing with the extensive damage from the mid December ice storm, I never would have dreamed we'd enjoy near perfect skiing at this point in time. Hats off to our groomers! #wisconsinwinter #ruskcountywi #xcountryskiing #bluehillstrailwisconsin
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After the December 15th destructive ice storm shut down our trails, we hired heavy equipment to remove extensive tree damage from our ski trails December 26-28. That allowed us to start grooming about 45% of the East Side trails. Now we’re gradually opening more trails using hand labor. During the 3-day New Years holiday, eleven individuals teamed up on a trail measuring 300 meters in length, and removed dozens & dozens of small saplings, then about 8 sizable trees. Many thanks to ALL the volunteers this past week that have helped clear tree damage. #ruskcountywi #crosscountryskiing
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Rain/ice/heavy snow December 14/15 — shocking amount of tree damage in the surrounding area, with power outages lasting several days. These photos show the impassable road (Fire Lane Road) that provides access to the trailhead of the Blue Hills Trail. Once equipment repairs are successful, the township may be able to start opening this road in several days. #icestorm #ruskcountywi
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Nice, crisp fall day. Good day to finish this year’s trail mowing. Thank you Bob W for sharing your chainsaw know how! #skitrailwork #gettingreadyforwinter #xcskiing #ruskcountywi
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Thanks to everybody that helped during our annual Work Day yesterday. We totaled about 50 human-hours of labor. The light (somewhat unexpected) rain showers kept us cool as we picked rocks, threw branches, removed logs – getting the trails ready for our favorite time of year – winter x-country skiing! #ruskcountywi #crosscountryskiing
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Summer mowing operations have begun at the Blue Hills Trail. We mow with our Honda Pioneer (with Mattracks) pulling our AcrEase trail mower cutting a 57” swath. Visit our website (link above in bio ⬆️) where you’ll find a link to ‘Trail Conditions’ at the top of the page. #skitrailwork #crosscountryskiing
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Moving forward with development of a new trail on the West Side of the Blue Hills Trail. The new route was blazed during logging this past winter. On May 16th we installed a new gate that will greatly discourage illicit motorized traffic. Later this summer, we plan bulldozing and grass seeding. Should be ready for skiing this coming winter! #ruskcountywi #skitrailwork #crosscountryskiingwisconsin #xcskiing
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Thank You to a Great Group of Volunteers that helped move our grooming equipment into storage today. And guess what? It’s only 269 days until winter! #skitrailgrooming #wisconsinwinter #ruskcountywi #snowisgreat
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Mild temps, sunshine, & lots of skiers from distant locales. Great way to celebrate the tail end of winter. We enjoyed sharing our trails with so many Birkie participants. #ruskcountywi #wisconsinwinter #birkiefever
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Lots of smiling faces yesterday. Here are just a few. #funonskis #ruskcountywi
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Feb. 6 seemed like Lady’s Day at the Blue Hills Trail. Lots of gals flying around the trails. #womenskiers #ruskcountywi
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Happy Groundhog Day from the Blue Hills Trail! Grab winter while you can. #kidsonskis #ruskcountywi #xcountryski
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1.5" fluffy powder snowfall overnight Friday. Saturday this fluffy powder made for pleasurable skating to start the day, and nicely covered the oak leaves in the classic track. On the skate deck of the heavier trafficked trails, the early bird caught the worm - later in the day, the traffic on the skate deck in the powder snow created a slower snow structure that meant more work for skaters - very interesting phenomenon. Side trails with less traffic kept that wonderful sensation of floating on feathers. As the new snow in the classic track was skied in, it was faster than the skate deck and provided good kick. #skateskiing #powdersnow
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It’s been pretty dusty here the past week. Several light snowfalls (dustings) have left a dreamy creamy coating on the ski trails. On top of the firm underlying base and classic track, this has made for wonderful x-country skiing. #ruskcountywi #wisconsinwinter #dustingofsnow
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Yesterday: bluebird sky, shadows, and smiles! Kudos to our groomers. #ruskcountywi
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Really nice skate skiing yesterday. Look at these guys flying around the Core Loop on the East Side trails. #skateskiing #wisconsinwinter #ruskcountywi
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Saturday's one day moderation of frigid temps brought out loads of smiles at Wisconsin's Blue Hills Trail yesterday. A huge thank you to our groomers for braving nasty wind chills to turn Wednesday's snowfall into such nice skiing for the weekend. #crosscountryskiingwisconsin #ruskcountywi #wisconsinwinter
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After a roller coaster weather ride in December, it looks like winter has arrived at Wisconsin’s Blue Hills Trail. Happy New Year! #ruskcountywi #bluehillstrailwisconsin
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Washed out culvert presented a big challenge when discovered in late September - located on the trail that connects our East Side trails with our West Side trails. Repair work was completed mid October. Photos show before & after. #bluehillstrailwisconsin #ruskcountywi
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We just completed some bulldozing that will really make our skiers happy this winter. Visit our blog for more photos, video, and the full story: link above in bio⬆️ #bluehillstrailwisconsin #ruskcountywi #skitrailwork
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Taming the tall grasses on the Blue Hills Trail. Hiking & biking conditions are good. Visit our website to see where we’ve been mowing (look at ‘Trail Conditions’ top center of the page). #ruskcountywi #bluehillstrailwisconsin #skitrailwork
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Nice day for a walk in the woods. Pause to appreciate the hidden gems. #bluehillstrailwisconsin #naturegems #springawakening #ruskcountywi
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Crazy is as Crazy does. Had to cross multiple stretches of bare ground to find skiable snow on the East Side Ridgeline yesterday. A laughing fun adventure - shared with the snow fleas. #bluehillstrailwisconsin #snowfleas #snowinthewoods #skiingondirtisbetterthannoskiing #skiingondirt
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Sap’s running. So are my skis. #bluehillstrailwisconsin #springskiing
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What a fantastic week of skiing it was! Celebrate our week long ‘Virtual Birkie Races’ by visiting our blog. Link in bio ⬆️ #bluehillstrailwisconsin #birkiefever #winterwisconsin #wisconsinwinter
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Fresh snow Wednesday morning, fresh grooming Wednesday evening, then Thursday sunshine and temps in the mid thirties. A perfect Bluebird day in the Blue Hills - another memorable day for Virtual Birkie skiers. Congrats to all! #bluehillstrailwisconsin #bluebirdday
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2” fresh snow Sunday evening, then groomed about 3/4 of the trail system Sunday night. Found untouched fresh corduroy this morning. #bluehillstrailwisconsin #freshcorduroy #skitrails #skitrailgrooming #winterwisconsin
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Mighty fine skiing today. Look at all these smiley faces! #bluehillstrailwisconsin #nordicskiing #kidsonskis #winterfun #ruskcountywi #birkiefever2021 #birkiefever
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Classic classic track. Shady Way trail on the East Side. #bluehillstrailwisconsin #birkebeiner #waxmyskis #snowisfun
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Monday sunrise -25 F was coldest day of this otherwise mild winter. Reached zero by mid afternoon when classic skiing was a kick! #bluehillstrailwisconsin #bluehillstrail #colderthanapolarbearstoenails #winterfun #belowzero
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Cold, sunny days. A good time to explore our snowshoe trails. Human rope tows are a FUNctional assist on the steeper hills. Swipe to see a video example. #bluehillstrailwisconsin #wisconsinsnowshoeing #northwoodswisconsin #ruskcounty #subzerofun
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Come ski the Hills! Virtually! The Blue Hills Trail is excited to be a BIRKIE VIRTUAL VENUE PARTNER. We've outlined three separate race routes for our trail system. A snapshot of one of those routes is shown with this post. VISIT OUR BLOG to see the rest of the routes and get the details. Link in Bio ⬆️ #bluehillstrailwisconsin #birkiefever #americanbirkebeiner
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Single digits Fahrenheit. Toko mint grip wax. A classic day on Excelsior Road. #bluehillstrailwisconsin #skiclassic #tokowax #kickwax #wisconsinwinter
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This is the steep straight down/up portion of our trail that connects our East and West Side trails (located between J and K on the West Side). Swipe to see what’s hiding under the snow. Last fall Scott Gudis Sand & Gravel (Bruce, WI) did a great job of replacing a damaged culvert. Thanks to Scott, we can safely ski this hill. #bluehillstrailwisconsin #culvertreplacement #heavyequipmentoperators #brucewisconsin #skiingisfun
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Excelsior Road and West Side trails: THE place to ski yesterday. Fantastic conditions! #bluehillstrailwisconsin #groundhogsday #classicskiing #skateski
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Another day full of smiles at the Blue Hills Trail. Ain’t winter great! #bluehillstrailwisconsin #aintwintergrand #wisconsinwinter #xcskiinglife
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The equipment that grooms our ski trails takes a beating. We recently were again amazed by the capabilities of a nearby machine shop that fabricated a special washer for improving the durability of our Camoplast tracks. Visit our latest blog post to be amazed: link in bio⬆️ #bluehillstrailwisconsin #cphenterprises #waterjetcutting #ruskcountywi
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Gator rescue! Our John Deere Gator suddenly stalled out on a steep hillside a couple days ago. Yesterday we got it running, and were able to move it back to our trailhead before it quit again. Swipe to see the 5 videos showing the rescue. Now it’s time for Dr. Gator. #bluehillstrailwisconsin #gatorrescue #winterchallenges #skitrailgrooming
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Dynamite grooming. Dynamite skiing. Come Ski the Hills! #bluehillstrailwisconsin #bluehillstrail #covidescape #skiforfun #ruskcountywi
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Video shows our groomer looking ahead while setting classic track behind. Swipe for photo of finished results on ‘Excelsior Road’ trail. Nice to see the sun again. #bluehillstrailwisconsin #skitrailgrooming #powdersnow❄️ #foresttherapy #freshcorduroy #fluffypowder
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Rollercoaster Trail at Blue Hills Trail. Built a dozen years ago, anyone can ski it in the uphill direction. Downhill, it’s a bit of a thrill. #bluehillstrailwisconsin #rollercoasters #rollercoasterride #skicrosscountry #funonsnow
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At the Blue Hills Trail, “what goes down, must come up”. Plenty of hills to satisfy your training needs. #bluehillstrailwisconsin #getoutside #cardioworkout #crosscountryskiing #skateskiing
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January 20, 2021. A very good day. #bluehillstrailwisconsin #bluehillstrail #otterslide #fastskis #skinnyskis #ruskcountywi
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Busy Sunday in the Blue Hills. Skate skiing on the ‘Gravel Road’. Classic skiing on the East Side Ridgeline. #bluehillstrailwisconsin #snowislife #skiforfun #wisconsinlife
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Photo shows our trails midday today. Surprisingly firm and skiable despite warm temps and some rain. We’re gonna try grooming this evening. Please be patient, it might take a few days to get yesterday’s new snow up to snuff. #bluehillstrailwisconsin #bluehillstrail #skitrailgrooming #aintwintergrand #heavywetsnow #wegotsnow #winterwisconsin
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A quick lesson in ski trail grooming: With snow headed our way, this was a good day to use our trail compactor to level the high spots and washboard on a few select trails. Should result in a smoother skate deck. #bluehillstrailwisconsin #skitrailgrooming #snowgrooming #skateskiing #skateski #ruskcountywi #bluehillstrail
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Hoar frost / Rime frost topping on the trails today January 12th. Wonderful skiing - do yourself a favor and SKI THE HILLS January 13th - you’ll be happy you did. #bluehillstrailwisconsin #bluehillstrail #foresttherapy #ruskcountywi #getyourvitamind #iloveskiing #escapetothehills #winterinwisconsin
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As Good As It Gets! Two January 10 videos show great skiing on Excelsior Road - Blue Hills Trail in northwest Wisconsin. #bluehillstrailwisconsin #xcclassicski #skiclassic #skateski #asgoodasitgets #januaryinwisconsin #wisconsinwinter
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Another fun day getting my kicks in the Hills. #bluehillstrailwisconsin #xcclassic #xcskier #chasingyourdream
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Not much snow, but our groomers have made the most of it. Two videos showing good skiing on the East Side trails - January 6, 2021. #bluehillstrailwisconsin #januaryinwisconsin #wisconsinlife #wisconsinoutdoors #wisconsinwinter #skateski #ruskcounty
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A ‘Rime Frost’ blue skies sunny day - fun day for skiing the Blue Hills Trail. Pictures are from the West Side of the trail system. Swipe for video taken on the ‘Lollipop’. Trail conditions updated daily at website, link in Bio ⬆️ #bluehillstrailwisconsin #fundayonskis #wisconsinwinter #sunnyski #mansbestfriend🐶 #justenoughsnowforme #justenoughsnowtoski
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Sun burnt off the fog, visitors enjoyed a hoarfrost snowfall on the trails. Great place to socially distance with family & friends! #bluehillstrailwisconsin #sociallydistanceoutdoors #hoarfrost #wevegotsnow #fasterskier #skiwithfriends
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Packed powder skiing on New Year’s Day. Loads of visitors welcomed 2021! Video shows the East/West crossover trail. #bluehillstrailwisconsin #packedpowder #skateski #classicski #welcome2021
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Good skiing through the hoarfrost on New Years Eve day. Get the daily scoop by visiting ‘Trail Conditions’ on our website - link in bio⬆️. Wishing you a happy healthy 2021! #bluehillstrailwisconsin #skinnyski #skinnyskis #crosscountryskiwithkids #xcski
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Excelsior Road (West Side) and The Gravel Road (East Side) were groomed last evening. Skiing this afternoon I was treated to 1” of feathers on top of the fresh grooming! Gonna groom these same trail segments again this evening. #bluehillstrailwisconsin #silentsports #silenceofnature🌳⛅️🗻 #skiingonfeathers #beautyofwinter
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Many of our 20+ miles of ski trails have received initial grooming in the past several days. The best skiing is shown as green highlights on the attached maps. And did you know our West Side trails are dog friendly? Be sure to visit our website where you’ll find ‘TRAIL CONDITIONS’ updated daily: link in Bio ⬆️ #bluehillstrailwisconsin #skijoring #foresttherapy #classicskiing #dogsonsnow
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Christmas in the Blue Hills. Very good skating on Excelsior Road this afternoon; pretty good striding as well. Groomers will be out working again tomorrow. #bluehillstrailwisconsin #christmasski #ruskcounty #skateskiing #skiwithdogs
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After yesterday’s rain, Santa brought snow - enough to start grooming the ski trails! This afternoon we rolled the ‘Gravel Road’ on the East Side trails, and ‘Excelsior Road’ on the West Side. Thanks Santa. #bluehillstrailwisconsin #earlywinterskiing #xcs #xcskiing #skinnyski
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A little more snow and we may be able to do some grooming. Today we moved our workhorse snowmobile to its winter home. #bluehillstrailwisconsin #wisconsinoutdoors #ruskcountywi #weneedsnow #crosscountryskiing
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Lunch time. Even busy beavers need a break now & then. #bluehillstrailwisconsin #busybeaver #busyasabeaver #timber
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Not enough snow to ski the trails. BUT very good skiing on Audie Lake - 2.5 miles northwest of the warming house. Audie is always an enjoyable getaway. #bluehillstrailwisconsin #wisconsinwinter #xcskiingonlakes #xcski #frozenlakes #silenceofnature
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Pictures from our ‘Rabbit Trail’ where bunnies made a fresh appearance on the Blue Hills Trail today. It felt like October today - 48 degrees F - way too warm for December! It’s time to cool down, then Santa needs to bring us some snow. #bluehillstrailwisconsin #whereiswinter #xcskiingwithoutsnow
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Every other year our volunteers replace all the intersection maps. That’s 60 maps, but who’s counting? Combined with excellent signage, it makes it easy to get your bearings on the Blue Hills Trail. #bluehillstrailwisconsin #trailvolunteers #xcskitrails #foresttherapy #findyourselfoutside
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Good hiking in early December. Frost is entering the ground, the ski trails are ready for snow. Photos show the biggest oak tree in the County Forest; hiking on the ‘Far East’ trail; and our Gator doing some trail work on the West Side trails. #bluehillstrailwisconsin #trailwork #hikingwisconsin #weneedsnow
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Big News! Wisconsin's Blue Hills Trail has revised its website, its maps, its blog - and added an Instagram account. Spread the word. VISIT THE BLOG for details – link in bio ⬆️ #bluehillstrailwisconsin #crosscountryskiing #skinnyski #ruskcountywi #ricelakewi #travelwisconsin #tomterrifik
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1.5” big fluffy parachute snowflakes today. Might actually be able to ski on some of our trails — even though the underlying ground isn’t yet frozen. #bluehillstrailwisconsin #winterinwisconsin #crosscountryskiing #xcskiing
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Tight corner. Placed orange driveway markers at the edge. Gotta keep our groomers on track. #bluehillstrailwisconsin
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After unseasonably warm weather in the first week of November, more wintry weather will start to freeze the trails. Hopefully x-country skiing is just around the corner. This photo was taken on the East Side trails - it shows one of our most important bridges. #bluehillstrailwisconsin
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Bridge building in October successfully spanned a small creek that was always a challenge to summertime mowing & wintertime grooming of our ski trails. #bluehillstrailwisconsin
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