There are a number of really excellent cross country trails in St. Cloud and surrounding areas. In fact, Minnesota and Wisconsin are loaded with really good places to enjoy cross country skiing. Not only that, but there is a web site dedicated to cross country called Skinny Ski. The site is filled with news, race results and other interesting items. There is also a listing of trails and trail reports which can be found at: Skinny Ski
Here's some really good news - there will be a snow making operation in Riverside Park this winter. The Nordic Ski Club of Central Minnesota has labored diligently to get approval for this project. The St. Cloud Parks and Recreation Council has approved the project and the ski club has raised the requisite amount of cash. We therefore, look forward having a place for all of the local high school and college racers as well as we citizens, to have a place to practice regardless of snow conditions. Very good news indeed!
The following trails will be groomed for both skate and classic skiing this winter:
Graystone: 17km 320-252-1177 Easy to intermediate, near the St. Cloud penitentiary, a mile from the Mississippi. A Minnesota Ski Pass - available on line, or at any state or county sponsored facility that sells fishing licenses - is required.
Riverside Park: 15km 320-255-7216 Flat to rolling hills right in downtown St. Cloud, just above the Mississippi River, 1 to 1.5K of man-made snow trail
Quarry Park: 6.2km 320-255-6172 Easy to intermediate with a skating loop and classic loops, ski past granite quarries & rock piles. A parking permit, available at the park, is required.
The Sartell Golf Course has just added a groomed loop. Pinecone Road across from the Little Dukes and next to Mulligans. Details to follow
Mississippi River County Park (Sartell): 2K A short run that meanders along the Mississippi - just off the River Road North
St. John's University Arboretum: Not really public, but the University does tolerate well behaved skiers. Many kilometers of groomed trails, advanced intermediate to expert. Also, don't forget Lake Sag which is skiable when the snow melts everyplace else.
Wildwood: St. Joseph/Collegeville off of County Road 51, classic skiing only, in the woods, intermediate to expert trails. Stearns County has taken over the management and grooming of the Wildwood Trails. It's a bit shorter, but grooming will be prompt. You will also need a Ski Pass (see above) which is available from any state or county facility, like Quarry Park.
Milaca: 10km 320-983-3141 The city of Milaca trails are groomed single tracked.
Warner Lake: 6km 320-255-6172 Easy to intermediate, some real challenges