Freeze/thaw cycles will create a hard frozen trail to start the day. Time your skiing to take advantage of rising temps, solar radiation, and a softening trail surface.
It was 37 degrees F at noon Thursday, there had been a hard overnight freeze, and the skate lane didn't start to soften until 10-10:30. The glaze in the classic track became more skier friendly very late in the morning. So far the ski trails are withstanding this early March warmup.
Bring your good skis, the base is adequate.
IMPORTANT: Click here to view East Side trail precautions.
Our snowshoe trails are an option for hikers - PLEASE DON'T WALK/HIKE ON THE SKI TRAILS!
February 28, 2021: 6+ inches heavy sticky snow
We most likely will groom the skate lane some time Friday night, hoping to set the stage for good skiing on Saturday. Check back.
March 2, Tuesday evening: touched up the skate lane on Excelsior Road (West Side), and the most heavily traveled loop on the East Side.
March 1, Monday evening: groomed and set track on the West Side trails, plus the most important East Side trails.
March 1, Monday morning: packed (rolled) the West Side trails, plus a large portion of the East Side trails.
The Blue Hills Trail Association Inc pursued an aggressive agenda for trail work this summer. Now in mid August, we feel we've reached most of our goals. Many thanks to the Rusk County Forestry Department, the Wisconsin DNR, and the Rusk County Wildlife Restoration Association (WRA) for their help.
When enjoying these trails while hiking/hunting/skiing this fall and winter, take a moment to consider the work that goes into taming mother nature. The past couple days I gained a new appreciation of the difficult task of mowing our trail system. Club member Steve Porn operated the skidsteer-mower donated by the WRA, and I cleared debris ahead of him while scouting for hidden rocks. A few hours after starting the mowing, Steve's skidsteer slipped off a steep embankment and was stuck in a perilous spot. After Steve cautiously exited the machine, we phoned for help and were rescued by one of our highly skilled local DNR dozer operators. Three hours after the skidsteer left the trail, we were back in action.
Mowing continued into the next day. Thanks to the drying conditions this summer, we felt fortunate to reach our goal of negotiating and mowing about ten typically soft muddy wet sections on the most distant trails of the Eastside. As we were completing the final hour of mowing operations, we found one of the many hidden rocks the Blue Hills has to offer. The head of the bolt securing the mower blade was sheared off, the blade went flying like a piece of shrapnel -- and fortunately humans and equipment survived without significant injury. Hard work, but enjoyable time in the Hills.
As stated earlier, I have a much greater appreciation for those that have mowed these trails the past 30 years. And I'm excited about the other trail work that was accomplished this summer. A lot of dozing of eroded areas was performed in July, then seeded within the past couple weeks. Grass has sprouted, those newly greened trail sections look inviting, and should provide good bird hunting habitat in addition to improvements that will enhance our winter cross country skiing.Thanks to the following for help with summer trail maintenance/improvement:
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