Southern Minnesota Ski Trails
Southern Minnesota has a wide variety of state parks, forests and recreational trails that offer fine cross country skiing. Many rivers provide high vistas and abundant wildlife to view. The southern half of Minnesota offers rolling bluff country in the east and wide-open prairies in the west with regions of old-growth forest in between.
Key WH = Warming House P = Parking B = Bathroom
Albert Lea Myre-Big Island State Park
8km 507-379-3403 (WH,P, B) Beginner to intermediate trails along Albert Lea Lake and on Big Island. Not groomed.
Austin Jay C. Hormel Nature Center
15km 507-437-7519 (WH, P, B) Beginner to intermediate, classic and skate trails through woods and prairie. Interpretive building with displays.
Currie Fort Ridgely State Park
8km 507-426-7840 (WH, P, B) Visitors are free to ski anywhere in the park except on snowmobile trails. No groomed trails. Sledding hill.
Faribault River Bend Nature Center
8km 507-332-7151 (WH, P, B) Beginner to advanced, groomed classic through flat prairie and woods with some challenging hills. MN ski pass required.
Frontenac Frontenac State Park
9km 651-345-3401 (WH, P, B) All levels, groomed classic with overlooks of Lake Pepin.
MN ski pass required.
Granite Falls Upper Sioux Agency State Park
3.2km 320-564-4777 (WH, P, B) Beginner to intermediate, groomed classic. Area has sledding hill and historic Upper Sioux Agency site.
MN ski pass required.
17km 507-724-2107 (P) Intermediate trail over hilltop fields and scenic overlooks with shelters along trail. MN ski pass required.
8km 507-206-2847 (P) Intermediate to advanced remote trails through beautiful forest and over creeks. MN ski pass required.
8km 507-467-2437 (P, B) All levels, with trails through woods along the Root River with some open spaces near Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center. MN ski pass required.
5km 507-285-7176 (P, B) Groomed classic only. MN ski pass required.
Lanesboro Root River State Trail
67km 507-467-2696 (P, B) Beginner to intermediate trail offering views of tall bluffs and abundant wildlife. 40km track set between Fountain and Preston, the rest is groomed flat. MN ski pass required.
Le Roy Lake Louise State Park
4.8km 507-352-5111 (P, B) Beginner to intermediate, sporadically groomed by local ski club. Scenic views of Lake Louise and various streams.
Lynd Camden State Park
10.2km 507-865-4530 (WH, P, B) Beginner to advanced, 2.2km skate only, through maple and basswood forest. MN ski pass required.
Mankato Minneopa State Park
6.4km 507-389-5464 (P, B) Beginner trail through oak savanna, past the Twin Waterfalls and Seppmann Windmill with overlooks of Minnesota River. Not groomed.
62.4km 507-362-4438 (P, B) Beginner trail through a rolling wooded ravine to prairie. Trailhead at Lime Valley Road near Mankato. Not groomed.
Nerstrand Nerstrand-Big Woods State Park
9.6km 507-333-4840 (WH,P, B) Beginner to advanced, groomed classic trails. Ski deep into the woods to find Hidden Falls. Not groomed.
New London Sibley State Park
13km 320-354-2055 (WH, P, B) Intermediate to advanced with hills and curves. Ski to the top of Mt. Tom for the best view of the countryside. 4km skate ski trails only. MN ski pass required.
New Ulm Flandrau State Park
9.7km 507-233-9800 (WH, P, B) Beginner to intermediate, groomed classic, flat trails on the bottom of the valley with more challenging routes on the oak shaded bluffs with several overlooks of Cottonwood River. Ski and snowshoe rentals available. MN ski pass required.
Owatonna Kaplan's Woods
13km 507-444-4321 (P, B) Intermediate, ravine terrain provides challenging hills through hardwood forest near a lake and river. Wide trails suitable for skate ski and tracked for classic when snow is sufficient with 3km lit trail. MN ski pass required.
Owatonna Rice Lake State Park
4km 507-455-5871 (WH,P, B) Beginner, groomed classic with several loops through woods and along a lake. Not groomed.
16km 507-352-5111 (WH,P, B) Beginner to intermediate, groomed classic, with rolling terrain, a protected valley, an overlook near the Root River Valley. Not groomed
29km 507-886-2200 (P, B) Beginner to intermediate, groomed, with some challenging hills through a wooded area and farmland. Connects communities of Harmony and Preston. Not groomed.
Red Wing Cannon Valley Trail
32km 651-385-5934 (P, B) Mostly intermediate, groomed classic and skate. Trail offers views of overhanging cliffs and stunning scenery. Connects communities of Cannon Falls, Welch and Red Wing. MN ski pass required.
Red Wing Mississippi National Ski Trails
15km 651-385-5934 (P, B) Beginner to advanced, groomed for classic and skate. 8km classic loop through wooded terrain offers extensive views of Mississippi River, considered one of the most spectacular in the state. MN ski pass required.
9.6km 507-206-2847 (P, B) Mostly intermediate, groomed classic only. MN ski pass required.
Rochester Chester Woods Park
5km 507-288-4331 (P, B) All levels, groomed trails through a wooded and hilly county park with views of Chester Lake. Trails are well marked with maps at most intersections.
Rochester Douglas State Trail
20.8km 507-288-4331 (P, B) Groomed trails through forest, rolling fields and pastures.
MN ski pass required.
Rochester Eastwood Golf Course
8km 507-288-4331 (P, B) All levels, groomed classic and skate ski with 1km lighted trail. Main training course in Rochester.
Rochester Essex Park
8km 507-288-4331 (P) Classic and skate skiing through wooded, rolling hills and restored prairie.
Rochester Soldier's Field Golf Course
5 km 507-288-4331 (P, B) Intermediate, groomed classic and skate ski.
Quiet city trails with lights offer good night skiing.
Rochester Quarry Hill
10km 507-328-3950 (WH,P, B) Relatively flat, groomed trails through rolling hills around an old quarry. Quarry Hill Nature Center is open all year and has equipment rentals. A trail fee applies.
10km 320-354-5894 (WH, P, B) Beginner to advanced, groomed classic and skate. Trails within 500 acre environmental learning center campus with woodland and prairie scenery and abundant wildlife. Wide trails suitable for skate ski, tracked for classic when snow is sufficient. Rentals available. MN ski pass required.
Starbuck Glacial Lakes State Park
9.6km 320-239-2860 (P, B) Ungroomed trail.
4km 507-345-3401(P, B) Mostly intermediate, groomed classic, trail runs along a creek.
MN ski pass required.
Waterville Sakatah Lake State Park
8km 507-362-4438 (P, B) Intermediate to advanced.
Ski the challenging hills near Upper Sakatah Lake. Not groomed
Watson Lac qui Parle State Park
8km 320-734-4450 (WH, P, B) Beginner, groomed and flat with stunning views of Lac qui Parle Lake. 1 mile of skate ski trail available. Not groomed.
Willmar Swan Lake Ski Trails
5km 320-235-1166 (WH, P, B) Groomed, classic and skate for all levels on Eagle Creek Golf Course. MN ski pass required.
16.3km 507-643-6849 (P, B) Beginner to intermediate, groomed classic with overlooks of the Mississippi River Valley. 1.6km skate ski trail. Area has sledding hill. MN ski pass required.
Winona Holzinger Lodge
6.75km 507-452-9999 (WH, P, B) Beginner to advanced trails on former logging trails along a bluff overlooking Lake Winona. Rustic cabin with fireplace available to rent.
Winona Saint Mary's University
14.5km 507-452-0735 (WH, P, B) Mostly intermediate to advanced with some flat terrain for beginners. Groomed classic and skate ski, through hardwood forest, an old apple orchard, and near Gilmore Creek. Some lit sections.
Winona Prairie Island
2.4km 507-457-8258 (P) Beginner trail through stands of pine offers a near-wilderness experience close to town.
Winona Westfield Golf Club
1.6km 507-452-8700 (WH, P, B) Beginner trail on gently rolling golf course terrain. Close to lodging, shopping and restaurants.
Sources: Minnesota DNR, Minnesota Nordic Ski Association, Skinnyski & individual trail organizations.