The Best Skate Skiing in the Twin Cities

cross country skate skiers

The Twin Cities has some beautifully-groomed cross country ski trails in many of its parks.

Not all of them groom for skate skiing though. Here’s a list for you skate skiers who want to find great skiing in the Twin Cities:

(NOTE: Anoka County, Washington County and Carver County have reciprocity with their annual park passes. Buy yours in one of those counties and it’s good in all three.)

Skate Ski in Anoka County

Anoka Nature Preserve in Anoka grooms a 3-mile multi-use trail suitable for skate skiing (no classic tracks). You may be sharing the trail with hikers and snowshoers, so be aware.

Bunker Hills Regional Park in Coon Rapids/Andover has the biggest network of cross country ski trails in Anoka County—20 km. There are trails groomed for both classic and skate within the park and also on Bunker Hills Golf Course. The Minnesota Ski Pass is needed plus a park pass unless you park at the Golf Course.

Chamonix Golf Course in Lino Lakes offers 10 km of groomed ski trails for both classic and skate. Part of the trail system is multi-use. The Minnesota Ski Pass is needed.

Green Haven Golf Course in Anoka grooms both classic and skate trails over 3.2 miles when conditions are right. Please stay on the trails and mind your manners here so they continue to do so! Check their website for trail conditions.

Rum River Central Regional Park in Ramsey grooms 8 km of ski trails for both classic and skate. You’ll need a Minnesota Ski Pass plus a park pass to use the trails.

Ski trail conditions: Anoka County Parks

Skate Ski in Carver County

Baylor Regional Park in Norwood Young America hosts 4.5 km of groomed ski trails for both classic and skate. You’ll need a park pass and assume a Minnesota Ski Pass, although the website isn’t clear on that.

Carver Park Reserve in Victoria has a the largest network in the county, over 11 miles of ski trails for both classic and skate skiers. You’ll need a ski pass from Three River Parks.

Lake Minnewashta Regional Park in Chanhassen grooms 6 miles of cross country ski trails for both classic and skate. A county park pass is needed, and possibly the Minnesota Ski Pass.

Ski trail conditions: Three Rivers ParksCarver County Parks

Skate Ski in Dakota County

Lebanon Hills Regional Park in Eagan offers 2-1/2 miles of skate skiing at the West Trailhead, which is the mountain bike park. That means lots of hills if you like a challenge! You don’t need a park pass in Dakota County, but you’ll need their ski pass.

Lone Rock Trail in Rosemount is part of the U of M. 18 km of cross country ski trails are groomed for both classic and skate. Their page says no fees.

Ritter Farm Park in Lakeville has 10 km of groomed trails for both classic and skate skiing. You’ll need the Minnesota Ski pass.

Spring Lake Park Reserve grooms about 1-1/2 miles of skate ski trails in the Schaar’s Bluff section. As for Lebanon Hills, a Dakota County ski pass is needed.

Ski trail conditions: Dakota County Parks

Skate Ski in Hennepin County

Baker Park Reserve in Maple Plane grooms 9 miles of trails for both classic and skate. Skate skis are available for rental here, too (many rental places in the parks only offer classic skis). A Three Rivers ski pass is needed.

Eagle Lake Regional Park in Plymouth grooms 3.6 miles of multi-use trails, which includes cross country skiing, presumably including skate. You’ll be sharing the trails with skijorers and fat bikes.

Elm Creek Park Reserve in Maple Grove is well-known around the Cities its almost-12 miles of great skiing, both classic and skate. They make snow there, too, and have some lighted trails. A longer ski season and a longer ski day! A Three Rivers ski pass is needed and rentals are available.

French Regional Park in Plymouth groom 6 miles of ski trails, including skate. Rentals are available and you’ll need the Three Rivers ski pass. Some of the trails are lighted.

Hiawatha Golf Course in Minneapolis grooms 4 km of classic and skate ski trails that take you over the gentle hills there. Easy terrain, so great for beginners. You’ll need the ski pass from The Loppet Foundation.

Hyland Lake Park Reserve in Bloomington grooms 9.5 miles of classic and skate ski trails, 5 of which are lighted. They also make some snow, giving you a longer season on 3 miles of the trails. You’ll need the Three Rivers ski pass.

Minneapolis Chain of Lakes Regional Park grooms about 15 km of ski trails altogether, all very flat. Skate ski isn’t mentioned specifically, so not sure on this one.

Theodore Wirth Regional Park in Minneapolis will be more your speed. 23 km of trails between the North and South sections, for more classic and skate. That’s a lot of ski potential in the heart of the city. You’ll need The Loppet Foundation ski pass.

Ski trail conditions: The Loppet FoundationThree Rivers Parks

Skate Ski in Ramsey County

Battle Creek Regional Park West in Maplewood grooms 13 km of classic and skate trails, 4 km of which are lighted. The Minnesota Ski Pass is needed. There are regular ski events here, just fyi.

Como Golf Course in Saint Paul grooms 5 km of both classic and skate trails, 1.7 km is lighted for night skiing. No ski pass is needed.

Highland 9 Gold Course in Saint Paul grooms 3.5 km of trails for both classic and skate skiing. No ski pass is needed.

Phalen Golf Course in Saint Paul grooms 7 km of cross country trails as well, for both classic and skate. No ski pass is needed.

Ski trail conditions: City of Saint Paulsubscribe to ski trail email updates

Skate Ski in Scott County

Cleary Lake Regional Park in Prior Lake offer 6 miles of groomed cross country trails for both classic and skate. The Three Rivers Ski Pass is needed.

Murphy-Hanrehan Park Reserve grooms 9 miles of trails for both classic and skate. These hilly, challenging trails are best for advanced skiers. The Three Rivers Ski Pass is needed.

Ski trail conditions: Three Rivers Parks

Skate Ski in Washington County

Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park in Cottage Grove has one 4.5 km loop for skate skiing included in its total 8 km trails. Best for intermediate and advanced skiers. County park pass Minnesota Ski Pass needed.

Lake Elmo Park Reserve in Lake Elmo offers 20 km of beautiful trails for beginning and intermediate skiers, both classic and skate. Almost 9 km of these are lighted for night skiing. County park pass and Minnesota Ski Pass needed.

Pine Point Regional Park in Stillwater grooms 4 miles of cross country trails for both classic and skate skiing. A county park pass and Minnesota Ski Pass needed.

Sunfish Lake Park in Lake Elmo maintains 9 miles of ski trails for classic and skate. Nothing indicates a ski pass is needed.

William O’Brien State Park in Marine on St. Croix is the only state park in the metro area that grooms for skate skiing as well as classic. There are 12 miles of trails here. You’ll need a state park pass and the Minnesota Ski Pass.

Ski trail conditions: MN DNRWashington County Parks

Did we miss any local skate skiing destinations? Let us know!

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