Northwestern Minnesota Ski Trails

From the edge of Lake of the Woods to the Headwaters of the Mississippi, northwestern Minnesota offers the widest variety of cross country ski trails in the state.



Buena Vista Ski Area: 25km

Mostly advanced loops through the woods. Family resort since 1949 with downhill skiing, snowboarding, tubing, sleigh rides, replica logging village, large lodge, kitchen and shops. MN Ski Pass required.

C.V. Hobson Forest Trail: 7km

Beginner, groomed for classic. Red and white pine and tamarack bog along Lake Lyra. MN Ski Pass required.

Fern Lake Trail: 7km

Easy to Intermediate , groomed classic and skate ski trail. 

MN Ski Pass required.

High School Trail (Lumberjack Trail): 6.5km

Easy beginner trail, groomed classic and skate. MN Ski Pass required.

Lake Bemidji State Park: 13km

Beginner to advanced, four loops, groomed double classic near Lake Bemidji. Warming shelter is in the lower level of the visitor center.
 MN Ski Pass required.

Lake Bemidji State Park Ski Trails


Montebello Trail: 4km

Gentle beginner course in the city of Bemidji with 2km of lighted trail. Close to hotels and restaurants. MN Ski Pass required.

Montebello Ski Trails


Movil Maze: 14km

Intermediate to advanced, classic and skate. Steep and rolling hills through black spruce bog, red pines and hardwoods. Used by local racers for training.  MN Ski Pass required.

Three Island Lake County Park: 25km

Beginner to intermediate, groomed classic and skate with beautiful views of Three Island Lake and Turtle River. MN Ski Pass required.


Maplelag Resort: 64km

All levels, many well groomed loops through maple forest with rolling hills. Mostly classic trails with some skate ski. Privately owned cross-country ski resort with lessons and rentals, sauna and hot tub. A user fee applies.

Maplelag Ski Trails Maplelag Ski Trails


Detroit Lakes

Detroit Mountain: 7km

Beginner to advanced ski trails ranging from skate and classic to classic only. Trails connect to Mountain View Rec Area. Detroit Mountain’s lodge has bathrooms, changing rooms and a restaurant with a fireplace and offers equipment rentals. Detroit Mountain also offers snowshoe trails and some portions of the ski trails may be groomed for fat bikes when conditions allow. This popular ski destination also offers lift-served downhill runs for skiers and snowboarders as well as snow tubing. In the summer months, the downhill trails accommodate mountain bikes.

Dunton Locks County Park: 6.1km

Beginner with some hills, west of Detroit Lakes, groomed classic all levels.

East Frazee Ski Trails: 17km

Groomed beginner cross-country trails on the Ike Fisher Farm, just southeast of the Frazee golf course. This ski area on private property is open to the public. Two trailheads on County Road 118 provide access from the south near Albertson, Fischer and Murphy Lakes. Another trailhead on County Road 150 is the northern access point.

Mountain View Recreation Area: 4.9km

All levels, both classic and skate skiing on wide, regularly groomed trails through hardwood forest.

Pickerel Hills Ski Trails: 9.1km

Narrow single track trails through hardwood forests. Groomed occasionally.


Rydell National Wildlife Refuge: 2.5km

Relatively flat with rolling hills, groomed for classic skiing. The refuge grooms the Golden Pond trail, but will occasionally groom the Round Lake trail as well. No MN Ski Pass required.


Agassiz Environmental Learning Center: 20km

Groomed ski trails traverse forests, oak savannas, prairies and sand dunes. Classical groomed trails from flat riverside and woodland trails to rolling and steeper slopes in the Fertile Sand Hills. A trail fee for non-Agassiz ELC members applies. MN Ski Pass not required. Ski and snowshoe rentals available when the Nature Center is open.


Deep Portage Ski Trails: 18km

Beginner to advanced classic trails through rolling hills. Located in the Deep Portage Conservation Reserve. Interpretive Center open all week, including weekends.

Hiram Ski Trail: 8km

Beginner to advanced classic trails inside Foot Hills State Forest, just west of Tenmile Lake. Only about 1.5km of this system is rated advanced and can be avoided. If you travel the westernmost loop in a counterclockwise fashion, you can take advantage of a long, swooping downhill after passing the trail shelter. MN Ski Pass required.​


Goose Lake Ski Trail: 15km

Beginner to intermediate classic trails through woods, over gently rolling hills and around wetlands. MN Ski Pass required.


M.B. Johnson Park: 4km

Scenic trails through woods and along the Red River of the North. Ski/snowshoe rentals available weekends December through February.
Other ski trails available at Gooseberry Mound Park and Viking Ship Park, which has some lit trails


Washburn Lake Solitude Area: 22.4km

Beginner to advanced trail in the Land O’Lakes State Forest with a trail shelter.

Park Rapids

Itasca State Park: 20km

Beginner to advanced, groomed with many loops. Ski to the headwaters of the Mississippi River among towering white pines on easy rolling hills. Visitor center with fireplace is open year round. Mississippi Headwaters Hostel is inside the park. MN Ski Pass required.

Itasca State Park Ski Trails Ski right up to the source of the Mississippi River


Soaring Eagle Trails: 10km

Beginner to advanced trails that wind through a varied forest ranging from baby aspen to mature balsam and pine with rolling hills. Skate and classic. Warming house available. MN Ski Pass required.

Soaring Eagle Ski Trails


Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge: 12km

Two loops exist at the refuge, the Tamarack Lake Loop (3km) and the Pine Lake Loop (9km). Ski through a mix of hardwood and coniferous forests as well as wetlands. Groomed occasionally. Visitor Center has regular hours year long.

Thief River Falls

Golf Course Trail: 12km

Beginner to intermediate classic trail. Ski on the frozen Thief River from Red Robe Park to the golf course.

Greenwood Trails: 1.5km

Beginner classic ski trails that wind through a wooded setting along the Red Lake River.



Shingobee Recreation Area: 9km

Beginner to expert trails on the slopes of the Shingobee River Valley. Groomed for classic and skate skiing. A warming chalet is available on weekends.

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

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