Adventure Report: Milaca Trails

Jan 29, 2021Adventure Report

Visit our trail-friendly sponsor!
Cannon Falls is a great destination for biking, hiking, skiing, and paddling.

We’re looking at another winter with record temperatures above normal and skiing has been marginal at best this year in central Minnesota. I was beginning to think the skis would be gathering another season’s worth of dust in the basement when I saw a Facebook post by the Milaca Trails Initiative and, by golly, their volunteers had scraped up enough snow over the last few days to have decent trail conditions.
We didn’t want to get skunked in the ski department this year, so Jen and I hopped in the car and drove to Milaca.

The 200-acre Milaca trail system is in the northwest corner of town, just across the Rum River from aptly named Recreation Park. It has 12 miles of mountain bike trails from beginner to (insane) expert, five miles (8km) of which turn into easy ski and fatbike trails in the winter. More about Milaca Trails

We parked near the parks office at Recreation Park, where the ski trails start and strapped on the skis. Across the pedestrian bridge, we hung a right on the Rum River Run, followed the river for a while and worked our way up through “The Meadow” and “The Pines” to the “Northwoods” section of the system after crossing a small stream on a bridge. It felt good to be out on skis once again on this cold, but sunny day and we slowly made our way back through “The Prairie” and the “Aspen Maze” around what’s called the Big Green Lagoon. Yes, it’s what you think it is, but don’t let that make you think any less of this awesome system of recreational trails. It’s just an artificial lake with a fence around it and if you spend any amount of time in town, you likely contributed to it. We schussed down D Hill (d only one here) and finished strong by taking the old railroad bridge right next to the pedestrian bridge back to the car. (By the way, there is one tee of the disc golf course on that bridge and to make it into the basket you have to throw from the bridge across the river.) It was a great ski trip and we thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. We didn’t get skunked, not by the lagoon or by another less than stellar winter.

Click on gallery below

Visit these trail-friendly sponsors:

Visit our trail-friendly sponsor!
Cannon Falls is a great destination for biking, hiking, skiing, and paddling.
A trip on the 55-mile Central Lakes Trail is the perfect summer family outing by bike or on foot
Minnesota's Paul Bunyan Trail is one of the state's best bike rides
Hutchinson MN: Home of the Luce Line State Trail
Brainerd is in the heart of Minnesota's Lake Country

Keep up with the latest MN Trails news and events in our newsletter

About me

I’m Jan, the publisher of Minnesota Trails Magazine. I’m looking for that one trail, the next ride, a new discovery and other reasons never to sit still in Minnesota.

Save

More stories:

Your Corona Story

It’s been another week of cancelled plans and life upside down.

Bluenose Gopher 50 Gravel Race

We talked to the organizers if the inaugural Bluenose Gopher 50 Gravel Race to hear how it went.

Ride the Range: A Minnesota Mountain Biking Collaboration

In a region known for the veins of iron ore that run through the land, a new trail has been blazed from the Cuyuna Range to the Laurentian Divide of Biwabik.

12 Minnesota State Parks for Snowshoeing This Winter

Strap on a pair of snowshoes and blaze your own trail in a Minnesota State Park.

Trail Pairings: Stillwater

The iconic 1931 Stillwater Lift Bridge has been reimagined as a bike and pedestrian crossing. Imagine pairing a ride on the new loop trail with a visit to two Stillwater breweries.

Iconic Winter Festival Celebrates Milestone

The City of Lakes Loppet Winter Festival brings thousands to Minneapolis’ Theodore Wirth Park. 2022 marks its 20-year anniversary.

Made in Minnesota: Black Ship Cycles

Black Ship Cycles, a one person shop, makes custom cycles in Minneapolis, MN.

Trail Pairings: Cannon Valley Trail

Another double-header takes us to the scenic Cannon Valley Trail, where the reward is more than just the scenery.

New Program Replaces Minneapolis Bike Tour

The one-day tour will make way to a series of smaller events during the summer.

Trail Pairings: A Visit to Lakeville

Miles and miles of trails in Lakeville pair well with pints at two local breweries.

Visit our trail-friendly sponsor!
Visit Little Falls, Minnesota, a true Mississippi River Town

Please join our newsletter mailing list!

It’s your source for sneak previews of the next print issue, new trails to explore, upcoming events and the latest blog posts. We promise to keep it brief, entertaining and relevant and you can unsubscribe anytime. We will not share your info with anyone.

* indicates required