Grand Marais and the Lake Superior North Shore offer hundreds of miles of cross-country skiing trails. In fact, Cook County, Minnesota has the largest network of cross-country trails in North America. You can stay close to Grand Marais (see trail info below), or head up from the lake shore area to the other cross country skiing trails. A Minnesota Ski Pass is required on all trails unless otherwise noted.
Grand Marais Area Cross Country Ski Trails
Grand Marais Ski Trails at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
These ski trails are located about 1.7 miles west of the Superior Inn Grand Marais on county road H-58, across from the Sable Lake Ranger Station. The trail receives about 140″ of snow annually. Each trail offers a variety of loop lengths for a leisurely day ski or quick workout at the end of the day. All Lakeshore trails are designed for diagonal stride only – skating is not permitted. Trail junctions are marked with green posts and maps are available at most intersections. Trails are groomed regularly – watch and listen for grooming equipment when you ski. Grand Marais Ski Trails Map
Pincushion Mountain Cross Country Ski Trails
From Hwy 61 in Grand Marais, drive north on Gunflint Trail (County Road 12) about 2 miles, then turn right / east on County Road 53 less than one minute to scenic overlook. Includes 25K single tracked with skating lane with 7K expert trails including loops from 1K to 4.1K; the entire Pincushion Mountain Cross Country Ski Trail system is in a birch forest featuring Devil Track River valley and hilly terrain. Level of Difficulty – easy, more difficult & most difficult.
George Washington Pines Winter Recreation Trail
The George Washington Pines Winter Recreation Trail is a relatively short 3.3 km trail located just seven miles up the Gunflint Trail from the Superior Inn in Grand Marais. The trail system passes through a beautiful grove of pines, the George Washington Memorial Pine Plantation. The multi-use trail is shared by cross country skiers, snowshoers, and people using dogs for skijoring. People also might be simply hiking or walking their dog on the trail. This is an easy trail, suitable for beginning skiers or for people looking for an easy access quick ski close to town. George Washington Pines Ski Trails Map
Cross Country Skiing Safety Concerns
“Stuff happens” regardless of the season. In this case you can be in remote areas where you could injure yourself, where temperatures over extended time could be life threatening. Following the general rules and regulations of marked trails and state parks by staying on track will assure that you stay away from hidden dangers. Dangers may include hidden water sources or hot springs, drop-offs and cliffs. Skiing with a friend or group is recommended to create a buddy system in the event there is an accident or emergency. Check the weather ahead of time, right up to departure, both for road travel issues, and expected conditions during your skiing. Be ready to postpone your trip if necessary!
Dogs, Bikes, Snowshoes & Boots are all allowed on trails marked ‘okay’ for their use. Otherwise, choose a non-cross-country ski trail. Check trail maps for details.
Tags: North Shore Cross Country Skiing, Grand Marais Shore Cross Country Skiing, Cook County Shore Cross Country Skiing, North Shore Shore Cross Country Ski Trails, Grand Marais Cross Country Ski Trails, Cook County Cross Country Cross Country Ski Trails, North Shore Winter Activities, Grand Marais Winter Activities
Grand Marais & North Shore Winter Activities
With an average of 120 inches of snow per year, you would 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.
“Lutsen Mountains” is the largest ski area in the Midwest. It features four interconnected mountains of the Sawtooth Mountain range with 95 runs that spread across 1000 acres overlooking Lake Superior. These four peaks include Moose Mountain, Eagle Mountain, Ullr Mountain and Mystery Mountain.
The Sawtooth Mountains are located amongst the rugged terrain found along the North Shore of Lake Superior. Rising over 1000 feet from the shores of Lake Superior at angles that vary from 8 to 20 degrees, they drop off steeply on their northern slopes. They were named “sawtooth” due to their relatively uniform size, angles, and regularity of spacing as viewed from Lake Superior to the east, from which their crest line creates a profile that resembles the teeth of an enormous saw.
From the west, rising from the Temperance River, major peaks of the mountain range include Eagle Mountain at Lutsen (tallest), Carlton Peak above Temperance River State Park, Leveaux Mountain and a knob immediately across the Onion River, Moose Mountain, peaks along a ridge above Cascade River State Park, Murphy Mountain, and Sawtooth Bluff above Grand Marais.
View Grand Marais & North Shore Winter Activities Guide.