Cross Country Ski Trail Grooming at Castle in the Clouds Conservation Area

Ski grooming is provided free of charge courtesy of the Lakes Region Conservation Trust. The grooming is done by a dedicated team of volunteers as conditions allow. Updates will be posted on this page and on LRCT’s Facebook page throughout the 2020 ski season.

Donations to support the grooming and overall maintenance of trails at the Castle in the Clouds Conservation Area are greatly appreciated!

 

What to Expect:

  • Trails will be groomed by volunteers periodically and as conditions allow. Please keep in mind our trails are not professionally groomed and can be a little rugged.
  • All of our trails (whether groomed or not) are open to cross-country skiing. We are grooming select trails to provide free easy access for all levels of skiers.
  • Updates will be posted to the Lakes Region Conservation Trust’s website and Facebook page.
  • Grooming may occur at any time, please be aware and step to the side to let the groomer pass.
  • The trails are not individually rated with a level of difficulty, but are generally easy to moderate.
  • Due to the width and general condition of the trails the optimal skis to use are classic skis (opposed to skate skis).
  • What does a “snowmobile packed” trail mean? This means we have driven the snowmobile on the trail to pack down the snow on the trail, but have not dragged the groomer behind the snowmobile which would make the typical “corduroy.”

Castle in the Clouds Conservation Area hiking trail maps are available at LRCT’s online store here!

Groomed Ski Trail Etiquette

Be nice to the trails! It’s hard work for LRCT staff & volunteers to maintain them.

 


March 10, 2020 Update:

Looks like spring is early this year so we are finished grooming for the season! Thank you to our dedicated volunteers for all of your help this year!


February 21, 2020 Update:

Chilly temperatures on Friday made for firm, hard-packed snow (but not icy!) The Upper and Lower Field Loops were machine-packed, and the Settlement Trail via Mt. Roberts Trail and Oak Ridge Trail via Pond Trail were groomed with tracks set.

February 19, 2020 Update:

About 6″ of nice, fluffy snow fell during the recent storm this week.  The Settlement Trail, Oak Ridge Trail via Pond Trail, Lower and Upper Field Loop, and the Field Connector were machine-packed and there is ample walking area on the sides. Falling temperatures tonight will provide good opportunities to groom and set tracks tomorrow.

February 14, 2020 Update:

Several inches of snow during the past week made for soft trails and easy grooming at the Castle in the Clouds Conservation Area today, and cold temperatures tonight should preserve the good trail conditions. The trails should hold up nicely through the weekend. We hope to see you out enjoying the snow and sunshine!

January 28, 2020 Update:

Dwindling snow cover means that we need to wait for new snow before we continue grooming for cross country skiing.

January 22, 2020 Update:

Our groomers freshened up some of the trails today! The Settlement Trail and both of the Field Loops were groomed and tracks set, and the Field Connector was machine packed. We plan to groom again after the next snow predicted for the weekend.

January 19, 2020 Update:

Saturday’s storm brought six inches of new snow to the Castle in the Clouds.

The Settlement Trail, two fields and the Field Connector were groomed up. Double classic tracks were set on the Settlement Trail and Field Connector. The Oak Ridge Trail via Pond Trail to the viewpoint was packed with the snowmobile (keep an eye out for rocks still!).

 

January 17, 2020 Update:

After the new snow, LRCT’s volunteers took to the Castle in the Clouds to begin our cross country skiing grooming for this year!

They packed with the snowmobile: the Settlement Trail (half-way– watch out for an open stream!), around loops in each of the fields, and on the trail that connects the fields (groomer’s choice). More snow is still needed and skiers should use caution because there are exposed rocks.

Keeping our fingers crossed for another good storm to improve coverage and expand our grooming efforts!