Sunday, March 6, 2011

Skiing University of Minnesota Golf Course Trail

Before the season is over I have to write to promote one of the Twin Cities Metro newest cross country skiing venues, the University of Minnesota's Nordic Ski Center, just north of the UMN St. Paul campus, on the university's golf course. I did not use it more than twice because it does not fall under the Great Minnesota Ski Pass, just like Minneapolis Park and Rec Trails, Three Rivers Parks, Dakota County Parks and others. I purchased the Department of Natural Resources Great Minnesota Ski Pass (GMSP) because City of St. Paul and Ramsey County trails are covered and because I like to ski in some of the state parks near and far from the Metro. Because St. Paul area trails are quite good Como and Battle Creek are great and Highland 9-Hole allows dogs for skijoring), I don't mind restricting myself to these as a matter of convenience.

As a matter of convenience, I would be very happy if the above mentioned park systems would join the GMSP system, and I would even be happy to pay more. 

That being said, some of the park systems that require their own ski passes seem to be a little quicker on the upkeep. Not sure if this has anything to do with the fees charged or the dilution of the take within the GMSP system. The UMN Nordic Ski Center has one of the best-maintained trails around, it can compete with the privately owned Green Acres, which is another gem when all the other seem to be marginal. In addition, like Como Park, it is only a couple of miles away from my home. Sorry, Green Acres, if you were 2 and not 16 miles, I'd be skiing there more frequently, I hate to drive far and I avoid it where I can.

It's after heavy snow, at the end of the season or during that January thaw when the extra grooming stretches the times a trail can be skied. So I decided to pay my dues and ski at UMN today. The challenging workout on its three short but varied finger loops was well worth the $3 I left in the pay box!

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