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2023 Pincushion Winter Festival Ski Race & Tour

2023 Pincushion Winter Festival Ski Race & Tour

Winter fun awaits you at the annual Pincushion Winter Festival Ski Races on February 18, 2023 at Pincushion Mountain Trails, about 2 miles up the Gunflint Trail overlooking Grand Marais. Registration is now open at pincushiontrails.org. Online registration is preferred making it easier for the race volunteers, but Pincushion Winter Festival Ski Races participants can register on the morning of the races between 8:00 and 9:00. The 10km classic, 10km freestyle, and 25km classic races and 10km tour begin at 10:00. There is also a woodie-ski division included. Free hats are available to the first 70 participants registered for the 10km and 25km races/tour.

They’ve been maintained as ski, running, and bike trails for about 30 years by a volunteer organization called the North Superior Ski and Run Club (NSSR).

Following the Pincushion Winter Festival Ski Races we’ll have bonfires, prizes and refreshments. Starting on 1:30 pm there are kid races (1/2km, 1.5km and 3km). The fun continues with 3km and 7km Skijoring races at 2:30. Spectators are welcome and participation is encouraged.


Pincushion Chalet
1 Pincushion Drive
Grand Marais, MN 55604

Pincushion Winter Festival Ski Races Events:

  • 25 km classic on more challenging terrain starting at 10:00AM Central Time
  • 10 km classic tour/race on easier terrain starting at 10:00AM Central Time
  • 10 km freestyle race on easier terrain starting at 10:10 Central Time
  • Kids races (1/2km, 1.5km, or 3km) starting at 1:30PM Central Time
  • Skijoring races starting at 2:30 Central Time

Event Fees

  • Free ski hats to first 70 registrations on the 10km classic/freestyle and 25km classic races
  • 25km classic – $50 until Feb. 17, $55 on race day
  • 10km classic/freestyle – $30 until Feb. 17, $35 on race day
  • Kids Races (free to Cook County Y-Ski members!) – $10 to all others
  • Skijoring races (3km & 7km) – $30

About North Superior Ski and Running Club

The North Superior Ski and Running Club, Inc., (NSSRC) is a Minnesota member based non-profit corporation whose mission is to promote outdoor, silent sports for the lifetime enjoyment of all, especially young people. NSSRC has created and maintained the Pincushion Mountain Trail System in conjunction with the US Forest Service and Cook County. All work completed on this fine trail system was either volunteer or paid for from club proceeds. To this day, club members continue to volunteer their time and money to maintain and improve this tremendous trail facility.

NSSRC owns and maintains a Pisten Bully trail groomer, snowmobile ski trail grooming equipment, maintenance garage and warming chalet, as well as a waxing building at the Pincushion Trailhead. The 25 kilometers of trails include 2km of lighted trails and scenic overlooks of Lake Superior. In addition to grooming the trails for winter ski use, the club mows and maintains the trails for summer use. They also support Junior Ski Racing, a Youth Ski League for ages 13 and under, Cook County High Nordic Skiing, Cross Country Running, and Track teams, as well as numerous events at Pincushion.

NSSRC is the host of the Sawtooth International Ski Races and the Fisherman’s Picnic Trail Run/Walk held annually on the Pincushion Trail System. North Superior Ski and Running Club was recognized by the US Forest Service when they were named Outstanding Volunteer Organization of 1999.

Best Winter North Shore Hotels in Grand Marais, Minnesota

Winter at Best Western Plus Superior Inn & Suites

The only way to improve on all the North Shore winter activities and attractions, is to stay at TripAdvisor’s top Grand Marais hotel! With an average of 120 inches of snow per year, you can be sure there is a lot of winter this far north in Minnesota. You would also expect Grand Marais & North Shore Winter Activities to include just about everything you could want to do on this slippery white stuff! You’d be right, and you can enjoy it on the 400 km of groomed cross-country ski trails (the biggest such network in North America), 450 miles of snowmobile trails, and 1,000 acres of downhill skiing and snowboarding. Be sure to check out Superior Inn’s extensive North Shore Winter Activities Guide and Grand Marais Area Event Calendar for lots of information on what to do while you’re here.

Best Western Plus Superior Inn Winter Gallery

Whether you’re here for an event like the Pincushion Winter Festival, holiday visit, business, or a North Shore getaway, you will find our lakefront hotel is the perfect setting to relax and recover from all the day’s activities. What better way to unwind after a busy winter Minnesota day than in Superior Inn’s beautiful Fireside Lobby and Cove Bar & Bistro.

With our modern amenities and thoughtful design, we stand out among other Grand Marais lodging choices. For couples or family getaways, we offer a variety of rooms and suites with king, queen or two queen beds. Our free hot breakfast, free local calls, giant indoor hot tub and fitness center make the hotel a great place to stretch your travel budget. View hotel detail.

All rooms feature lakefront views, ergonomic desk and chairs, magnifying ligated make-up mirrors, double-headed shower heads and Bee Kind® bath amenities, we strive to provide a Superior Experience. And, as always, you will receive the superior customer service that you expect from any Best Western Hotel. View accommodation detail.

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