Walkers, runners, and mountain bikers have seen a big change at the Winthrop Street portion of Battle Creek Trail System in St. Paul recently. Bulldozers have flattened and widened the cross country ski trails to a uniform width of 14 feet. All of the work is being done with donated funds.
Part of the improvements to the trail includes a new start and finish area for ski races. Ahvo Taipale of Finn Sisu Ski Shop in St. Paul states, “In addition to improving the trail for races, we will be able to groom this area for ski lessons. Multiple tracks and lanes will be available for ski instruction to beginners, youth, and adults.”
The Winthrop Street site has 7.5 km of classic and skate ski trails, ranging from a 1 km easy loop to a difficult 5.5K loop. Access is from the parking lot off Winthrop Street, just south of Upper Afton Road. This site also includes 4 km of lighted trails. Local organizations and individuals have donated their time and funds to improve the park, starting with the trail lighting project in 1999.
Donations for the recent work to the trails come from a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources grant, individuals, and organizations. Taipale continues, “There are a few more improvements that we need to do before the ski season and these require additional fundraising.” One such improvement is the installation of an additional light pole to illuminate the start and ski instruction area.
Tax deductible donations for additional improvements to Battle Creek’s Winthrop St. trails can be sent to: Ramsey County Winthrop St., c/o Finn Sisu, 1841 University Ave W, St Paul, MN 55104-3401. Checks payable to Ramsey County Winthrop St
Related content: http://www.crosscountryskier.com