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Wirth Winter Recreation Area
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Cross-Country Skiing
Home  < Activities & Programs  < Outdoor Winter Recreation  

Cross-Country Skiing

Jan 30-Feb 1 City of Lakes Loppet Ski Festival

See road closure and shuttle information below.

Road Closures
Theodore Wirth Parkway will be closed:
Friday from 6-10 pm
Saturday from 7 am-4 pm
Sunday from 7 am-4 pm due

Shuttle Locations
Mortenson Construction on Hwy 55 and Wirth Parkway
Optum Health Center on Douglas Road and Golden Valley Road

Buy your season pass online or in person at the Wirth Chalet:

Mondays 10 am-6 pm
Tuesdays 10 am-6 pm
Fridays 10 am-6 pm
Saturdays 10 am-6 pm

Upcoming High School Ski Races

MPLS Conference Schedule

Where to Cross-Country Ski

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With 20 miles of groomed cross-country ski trails, the Minneapolis Park System has a trail for skiers of all ages and abilities. Buy a cross-country ski pass.

The Wirth Winter Recreation Area offers 15 miles (25 km) of trails that are groomed daily for both classical style and skate skiing, depending on conditions.

The difficulty of trails range from beginner to advanced. Trails vary from open sections along the Theodore Wirth Par 3 Golf Course with spectacular views of Downtown Minneapolis, to wooded trails overlooking scenic Twin Lake.

The cross-country ski trails connect to 5 additional miles of groomed Chain of Lakes trails, allowing you to ski from Golden Valley to Uptown! Explore the groomed trails at Columbia, Gross and Hiawatha Golf Clubs, and around Brownie and Cedar Lakes, and Lake of the Isles.

When there is adequate snow coverage on ski trails throughout Wirth Park, skiers with their own equipment are encouraged to park at Wirth Lake (3200 Glenwood Ave. N), where access is available to the trail system throughout Wirth Park. Wirth Lake serves as a parking option in addition to the parking lots located adjacent to the Wirth Chalet and Par 3 building, which may reach capacity with use by skiers and other winter park users.

Trail Maps & Descriptions | Trail Conditions | Building Hours | Rentals

Cross-Country Ski Trail Pass

Required on all Minneapolis ski trails for individuals ages 13 and older
A Cross-Country Ski Pass is your ticket to enjoying all of the groomed ski trails throughout the City of Minneapolis. Pay for your daily or season pass online and pick up in person at the Wirth Chalet, Wirth Par 3 Clubhouse, or the Columbia Clubhouse.

Season Pass: $50 + tax
Additional Season Pass: $25 + tax
Day Pass: $8 + tax

Buy a Ski Pass Online** or call 612-230-6528 for more information.
** Upon paying for a ski pass online, please present your receipt at the Wirth Chalet or Wirth Par 3 Clubhouse to acquire the pass.

Cross-Country Ski Lessons (Classic and Skate)

Saturdays and Sundays for Ages 14+

We offer cross-country ski lessons through the Loppet Foundation at Wirth Winter Recreation Area, and Hiawatha and Columbia golf courses.

Registration: Sign up for lessons directly through the Loppet Founcation.
Equipment: Bring your own, or rent at Wirth Par 3 Clubhouse, Hiawatha or Columbia clubhouses (classic rental only) for an additional fee before your lesson. You must supply your own equipment for skate classes.
Trail Pass: Day pass included in lesson ($8 value). Or buy a season passĀ ($50) at the Par 3 Building or Main Chalet.

Email Greg at or call 763-228-2899 for more information.

Arrive 30 minutes early if renting gear, and 15 minutes early if purchasing a season trail pass.

Cross-Country Ski Equipment Rental

Don't have your own gear? We offer ski, boot and pole rental for children and adults in the Wirth Par 3 Clubhouse. A deposit of a driver's license or $5 per person or group is required.

Package (skis, poles, & boots): $11 + tax
Skis: $5.50 + tax
Poles: $2.25 + tax
Boots: $4.25 + tax

School's Out Camps for Kids

We have a day of fun planned for kids ages 7 and older at the Wirth Winter Recreation Area! Camps include beginner cross-country ski lessons, beginner Learn-to-Ride snowboard instruction, snow tubing, rental equipment, plus lunch and warm refreshments in the Wirth Chalet.

2015 Dates: January 19, February 16

Registration: Register Online for School's Out Camp

Cancellation: 24 hours' notice is required for School's Out Camp cancellations. Call the Wirth Chalet at 612-230-6528.


Head out for some exercise with your four-legged friend this winter! Skijoring a growing winter sport in which a dog assists a cross-country skier. The skier and the dog each wear a harness, and are connected by a length of rope. Skijoring is available in the Front-9 and in the J.D. Rivers/Wirth Lake areas. For safety reasons, skijoring is not allowed on the remainder of the Wirth Winter Recreation Area trails.

Cross-Country Ski Trails

North Wirth Trails

Minneapolis Cross-Country Ski TrailsThe Competition Trails
6 km intermediate/advanced and 2.5 km advanced
Just outside of Wirth Chalet, the Competition Trails include the Hap Trail (3.5 km lighted with snowmaking capabilities), the Judy Loop, a 2.5 kilometer advanced loop, and the Back-40/Twin Lakes Loop – 2.5 kilometers of intermediate skiing. Trails vary from open golf course sections and meadows to wooded trails overlooking scenic Twin Lake and Bassett Creek, with views of the downtown skyline.

Parking: Wirth Chalet Parking Lot or Par 3 Parking Lot

The Skyline Trail
3 km gently rolling easy terrain
Across the street from the main Chalet, the Skyline Trail offers a spectacular view of downtown Minneapolis and connects to the South Wirth Trails via an easy path - Bottineau Way - that takes skiers underneath Highway 55.

Parking: Wirth Chalet Parking Lot or Par 3 Parking Lot

South Wirth Trails

J.D. Rivers/Wirth Lake Trails
4 km beginner to intermediate
The J.D. Rivers section is mostly open with the “Jar Hill” section on the west side of Wirth Lake providing a wooded section around a picturesque meadow.

Parking: Wirth Beach Parking Lot

Eloise Butler/Erickson Trails
4 km intermediate to advanced loop
This is a unique wooded area that takes skiers around the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and through the Bryn Mawr and Anwatin School grounds. The trail is bounded by Interstate 394 to the south, Glenwood Ave. to the north, Wirth Parkway to the west, and the Bryn Mawr Neighborhood to the east.

Parking: Wirth Beach Parking Lot

Quaking Bog/Norm Oakvik Trails
1.5 km intermediate loop and 2.5 km advanced loop
Enjoy two distinct loops: a 1.5 kilometer intermediate trail to the north and an advanced trail to the south. Wooded and remote-feeling, the Norm Oakvik Trails are reminiscent of skiing in northern Minnesota with stands of pine along the way. These trails lead directly to the Chain of Lakes trails via a unique connection across Interstate 394, and through the Brownie Tunnel.

Parking: Wirth Beach Parking Lot
Ski 0.5 kilometers through the Erickson/Eloise Butler trails to the Wirth Parkway road crossing, or ski up from the Chain of Lakes trail.

Chain of Lakes Trails
The Chain of Lakes Trails include Cedar Lake Park (3 kilometers), Cedar Lake and West Cedar Lake (3 kilometers), the Kenilwirth Channel (2 kilometers), Lake of the Isles (3.5 kilometers) and Lake Calhoun (5 kilometers). Generally very flat, the Chain of Lakes Trails are great for beginners or anyone wanting a leisurely ski through some of Minneapolis' most beautiful areas. Access the trail from anywhere around the lakes. Ski all the way to the Theodore Wirth Chalet in North Minneapolis with only two road crossings.

Parking and Passes for the Cross-Country Ski Trail System:Wirth Winter Recreation Area Parking

Wirth Chalet Parking Lot
Wirth Parkway and Plymouth Ave. between Highway 55 and Duluth St./Golden Valley Road
Trail passes are available in the Wirth Chalet

Wirth Par 3 Parking Lot
Just south/west of the Wirth Chalet
Trail passes and rentals are available in the Wirth Chalet and the Wirth Par 3 building.

Wirth Beach Parking Lot
Glenwood Ave. between Wirth Parkway and Xerxes
There are no indoor facilities or ski passes available at this location.

Volunteer Ski Ambassadors

Our Ski Ambassadors check ski passes and patrol the cross-country ski trails throughout the Minneapolis parks.

Ambassadors are needed at Wirth, Hiawatha, Gross and Columbia parks.

Email us for Ski Ambassador Information

Take a Video Tour of Wirth Winter Recreation Area


Winter Recreation Email Updates

To sign up for email updates related to Winter Recreation, enter your email address below.



Cross-Country Skiers Enjoy Winter on the Minneapolis Trails

"One of the highlights of the coming winter will be introducing my husband and 3- and 5-year-old boys to the joys of cross-country skiing. They've never done it and I want them to love it as much as I do. We're in striking distance of Wirth and can't WAIT to get out on those trails!" - R.R.

"I consider Wirth one of best . . . I love how close to the city it is, yet it still has the feel of the quiet Northwoods. Bring on the powder!" - A.P.

"I love skiing at Wirth because it's the hilliest and most varied terrain you can find within a half-hour drive from my house. With the short, fast climbs, it reminds me a bit of skiing World Cup race courses in Europe." - P.E.

"My favorite Wirth memories include skiing in circles around my dad with my brother when we were in high school, to skiing the Loppet with my kids and watching them race there while they were in high school. I also enjoy running into friends almost every time I ski there." - C.S.

Share your cross-country experiences in the Minneapolis parks on the Wirth Winter Facebook page.


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Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board
2117 West River Road, Minneapolis, MN 55411
612-230-6400 (Mon-Fri 8:00-4:30) | Contact Us

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