After a nice snowy December, the Duluth city ski trail groomer is broken. It's nice to know that there are other places to ski. One of the least known ski trails in Duluth is the 2.5 kilometer loop at Bagley Nature Area, right on the UMD campus.
There are actualy two loops, "East" and "West". The two loops come together in a big dumbbell. East Loop is flatter and a bit easier. West Loop climbs up around Rock Hill, an old downhill ski area, so it's one long climb followed by one long downhill run. Yesterday, with freezing drizzle, the downhill was downright scary. Both loops are rated Intermediate, but West Loop is overall more difficult than East.
Tim Bates of the UMD outdoor program runs the groomer, and he's been great about getting out there in the last week or so and packing the trail.
The Bagley trail is right next to the student apartments and has many houses bordering it. So the foot traffic can damage the trails fairly soon after a snowfall. That's despite signs like this:
But at least for now, people are staying out of the track. Note how the snowshoers very carefully have stayed outside the groomed ski track:
I love a groomed trail. Thank you so much Tim, UMD, and the campus neighbors!