Blue Hills Trail CONDITIONS
Tuesday - morning update
Click here for helpful maps that show our open trails.
Spring is here, there's lots of snow remaining.
Yesterday morning (Monday), the classic track was fairly well defined, with a mild-moderate amount of litter deposited by brisk winds over the weekend. Good classic skiing if you can tolerate the trail litter. As a spur-of-the-moment decision, the skate lane on the modified East Side Core Loop was touched up early Monday morning and provided good skate skiing. The side trails on the East Side (and Excelsior Road on the West Side) also had good skate skiing Monday. Beautiful first day of Spring with temps reaching the upper 30s.
A very destructive mid December ice storm (visit our blog for photos etc) shut down our trails for a short time. Fortunately we've been able to open 60% of our East Side trails, and Excelsior Road is open on the West Side.
Snowshoers: the Ridges Snowshoe Trail is cleared of tree damage, we prefer you use that as your first option. If snowshoeing on the groomed ski trail, please snowshoe well to the side. Click here for a blog post regarding the new 'Highland Loop'.
Autumn 2022, loggers cut a large timber sale on the East Side in the vicinity of the Otter Slide and Far East trails (those trails are the furthest 'east' trails). This winter loggers are hauling those logs to market using a route to the east and mostly separate from the ski trails. Click here for a map showing the involved trails.
March 17: 1" from blustery snow showers in the evening
March 16: 1/4" rain, then 1" windblown snow
grooming & MOWING
Grooming Report / Plans: Click here to see maps of the open trails
March 20 (Monday morning): touched up the skate lane on the modified East Side Core Loop.
March 17 (Friday evening): groomed the skate deck on all the open trails, and set classic track on the frequently traveled trails.
Rusk County Trail Association
August 4, 1998 8:00 PM
Meeting called to order
by Dave Johnson, president
Officers: Craig Henson, Dave Johnson, Jan Paulsen.
Members: Tom Baker, Dave Borman, Carolyn Chatterton, Howard Chatterton, Doug DeLong, Jim Kurz, Lynn Marsh, Annie Olson, Pete Olson, Tom Paulsen, Doug Spielman, Deb Wall, Holly Wiesman, John Ziemer.
Non-members: Dave Lee (Flambeau Mining Company), Jana Murphy (Flambeau Mining Company).
- Discussion of Sisters Farm Trails logging
- Review status of committee projects
- Discuss possibility of Banquet for this year
- Elect new President due to Dave’s upcoming move to Milwaukee
Sisters Farm Trails
- The wind storm in May '98 produced extensive damage that was partially corrected by logging downed trees in time for the Log Jam Race. Dave Lee and Jana Murphy from the Flambeau Mining Company (FMC) were present to discuss additional logging of the Sisters Farm Trails (SFT). Mr. Lee was hired by the FMC to oversee the logging of this site, currently owned by FMC. Ms. Murphy is overseeing the final stages of the mine reclamation project. They offered information about the FMC’s plans to log downed and leaning trees on the SFT land parcel. This could greatly affect the aesthetics of the trail system from a recreational standpoint. Mr. Lee reassured us that only damaged trees and clumps of soft maples would be removed. Dave Johnson suggested the possibility of FMC granting us the money acquired from the lumber. Ms. Murphy stated she would inquire about that and get back to us.
- Holly Wiesman reported that the City of Ladysmith intends to purchase trailhead signs and map boxes for the SFT.
- Prior to the storm at the end of May, John Ziemer and Dave Borman had made markings for intended expansion of the trails. John reports that these most likely need to be reevaluated. There was some discussion in the group about possible extension of the SFT along the river to the industrial park. No specific plans were initiated.
- Jim Kurz and Carolyn Chatterton have both initiated research of groomers. Although they both offered much information about types and cost, more information is needed. They will continue to explore our options. The point was raised that this equipment would officially be owned by the City of Ladysmith, and therefore they would partake in maintenance.
- Regarding the dispersal of the grant money, it was reported that Al Christianson is awaiting specific information about our intended purchases. Another stipulation of the grant is that the SFT be completely marked or flagged.
Blue Hills Warming House Committee
Carolyn Chatterton reported that everything is underway. The WCC is supposed to begin cutting trees and peeling logs on the 6th of August. The plans for the building are a 16’ x 24’ log construction with a cement floor. For heat the club plans to have a wall-mounted, gas furnace. It should be built and completed for use this ski season!
Blue Hills Trail Committee
There is a need for some new bridges, according to Carolyn Chatterton and Jan Paulsen. Jump River Electric has donated several stringers towards this project. The Rusk County Forestry department has donated 20 hours of dozing, mowed the trails, and cleared the trails. Completing these bridges before snow season should not be a problem.
High School Trails Committee
- There was discussion of the lighting project initiated by Jim Kurz and Pete Olson. Jim brought in an example of a lighting fixture designed by Earl Soviak using condensed fluorescent light bulbs. There was some concern raised over the cost of these units and whether these bulbs would illuminate in very cold temperatures. Jim would look into this. The estimated costs for this project are: $6300.00 for 90 lamp units, $7000.00 for cable and $270.00 for lumber. Most likely, not all lights would be up for this winter.
- There was some wind damage to the HS Trails, but most of it was fixed at a 7-12 work day. The trails have been smoothed, cleared and widened in places.
Snowshoe Race Committee
This will be the first year the RCTA will hold a snowshoe race. Last year the race was held by Rusk County; primarily organized by Holly Wiesman. The tentative date will be Saturday, January 30th. Holly Wiesman reported that it would be part of the Midwest Snowshoe Series consisting of 10 races. There was some discussion about the venue for the race this year. Many members would like to have the race at the Blue Hills Trail, especially considering the presence of a new warming house. Also, it would give the BHT exposure.
Log Jam Race Committee
Dave Dave Borman said that there were over 700 riders this year. Overall, the race was a great success without any major problems. Many said they heard good remarks from riders about the race organization and course. Area businesses were also very receptive to the event.
Blue Hills Ascent Committee
John Ziemer says he sent in the info to the USSA for registration. The race is planned to be held the first Sunday of January, which would be the 3rd. There are no plans to coordinate this race with the Cumberland race as has been done in the past. The Cumberland race will most like be on a different weekend.
Dave Johnson began the discussion with, "Do we want to have a banquet?" In the end, most seemed to agree that the banquet is a good idea. However, no one was willing to serve as committee chairperson. Instead, a date was set for a committee meeting and those interested would show up. The committee was to meet 8/20/98 to begin planning. There was some discussion about toning down the banquet into a smaller event. This would possibly include fewer instant winner prizes, etc. The committee is to make these decisions.
Election of of New President & Vice President
Due to Dave Johnson's upcoming move to Milwaukee, a new president was elected. Dave spoke about his enthusiasm for the club, and what a great experience it has been for him. During his term much has been accomplished: PowerBar D.I.R.T. grant, Sisters Farm Trails Grant, start of warming house project at the Blue Hills Trail, and funding and initiation of High School Trails lighting project. Jan Paulsen was unanimously elected to the presidential position, opening up her previous VP position. Carolyn Chatterton was then unanimously elected vice president.
A Reminder of Committee Members...
- High School Trail Committee: Pete Olson
- Blue Hills Trail Committee: Howard & Carolyn Chatterton, Jan Paulsen, Craig Henson
- Sisters Farm Trails Committee: Jim Kurz, Dave Borman*, Doug Spielman, John Ziemer
- Blue Hills Ascent Committee: John Ziemer, Pete Olson, Kevin & Lynn Westlund*, Craig Henson, Doug DeLong*
- Equipment Committee: Pete Olson, Doug Spielman, Jim Kurz, Carolyn Chatterton
- Banquet Committee: Aileen Tauchen*, Lynn Marsh*
- Snowshoe Committee: Holly Weisman*, Jim Kurz, Craig Henson
- Log Jam Committee: Dave Borman, Pete Olson, John Ziemer, Jim Kurz
- Blue Hills Warming House Committee: Doug Spielman, Howard Chatterton, Carolyn Chatterton, Jan Paulsen