I have a new favorite ski trail. Call me old-fashioned, but that trail happens to be the "Classic Trail" at the Afterhours trail system in Brule, Wisconsin.
It's been such a crappy snow year in Duluth and the North Shore, so I've been delighted to take a 45-minute drive through Superior and east along US Highway 2. In fact, I went twice this weekend. Not only do they have ample snow there, but they have this great 3.2 kilometer trail.
Unlike the rest of the trail system at Afterhours, the Classic Trail is just for us old-fashioned classic skiers...no skating allowed. So we don't get buzzed by those lycra-clad, stopwatch-punching racers training for their next Birkebeiner Loppet Korte-Marathon.
The Classic Trail is mostly level, with few real climbs, but it still turns and curves majestically through a variety of forest habitats. It's lovely.
The only problem is, the Classic Trail ends smack-dab in the middle of the regular system and you have to work your way back to the trailhead on those same wide skating trails you were able to avoid so nicely before.
At the end of your ski, head for the cozy chalet. You can warm up, chat with your fellow skiers, then head out on the Classic Trail again.
Ski it for yourself
The Afterhours Trail is about 25 miles east of Superior, Wisconsi on US Highway 2. Watch for a sign reading "After Hours Trail 1 mile" on the right, and then the turn onto the Afterhours Road. Parking is right above the highway. Day passes are $4.00 per person, age 16 and under free.