IRON MOUNTAIN - The cross country ski trail in Iron Mountain's City Park, which has seen several improvements in the last year, is now open for public use.
"We groomed on Saturday, Dec. 23 and the trail was under heavy use almost immediately," said trail representative John Nienstaedt. "We need more snow to get the trail in top condition, but it is nice for families to be able to get out when the kids are home on vacation."
Nienstaedt said that the biggest changes to the trail this year are the new trailhead location and the city-plowed parking area.
The new trailhead is located near the tennis court parking lot, which can be reached by entering the park and taking the first left turn and following right turn.
"Our chief groomer, Rex Dean, suggested the new trailhead location," Nienstaedt explained. "It provides two main benefits: it is at a more secluded location and it is on the easiest trail loop."
He added that the new trailhead is on the lighted loop, allowing easy access to nighttime skiing.
Other changes include some trail adjustments by the sledding hill and tennis courts.
"The new football and soccer field layout had no significant impacts to the trail system, but due to the field
changes, we saw this summer as a good opportunity to do a little bit of needed trail relocation work," said Nienstaedt.
In addition, Nienstaedt cited "excellent assistance" from Iron Mountain City Manager Jordan Stanchina, Department of Public Works Director Don Dinnocenzo, and city crews.
The Menominee Range Nordic Ski Club, a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation, has operated the City Park cross country ski trail system since 1990. Grooming provides for both traditional stride skiing and skate skiing. All grooming efforts are entirely funded by skier donations.
Club members ask that the public refrain from walking on the trails during the short cross country ski season, which usually lasts from December to March.
For current trail/grooming conditions, see the Menominee Range Nordic Ski Club's Facebook page.
City Park is located at the end of West A Street in Iron Mountain. Besides cross country skiing, the park offers a sledding hill and a skating rink.