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 throughout the 2023 ski season.
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 in LRCT’s online store.
Groomed Ski Trail Etiquette
Be nice to the trails! It’s hard work for LRCT staff & volunteers to maintain them.
- Trails are groomed for cross-country skiers.
- Snowshoers, please be respectful of groomed trails and walk along the side.
- Dogs are allowed with their masters on LRCT-owned property provided that the dogs are under leash or verbal control at all times, with certain exceptions.
- Please, no walking in bare boots or microspikes.
- No fatbiking.
March 1st 2023:
At long last, the region was blanketed with a decent amount of snow! LRCT Staff were able to get out on this beautiful morning to pack and groom our trails with no washouts in sight. All the cross-country trails (aside from the stretch of the Settlement Trail that starts at the loop and ends at the bridge) have been track set, bringing us to around 2 miles of groomed trails.
More snow is on the way, which has our volunteers ready and excited to get out there and groom. Stay tuned for more updates!
January 31st, 2023:
Our trusty volunteers were able to get out yesterday and lay down some corduroy for the first time this winter! However, the distance is relatively short due to a washout on the Settlement Trail that continues to grow and lack of groomable snow.
For now, there is a nice skiable surface from the old horse barn to the split between the Mt Roberts Trail and the Settlement Trail and another ¼ mile down the Settlement Trail. The groomed trails include the top of the lower pasture and circling back to the barn.
Enjoy the trails and remember: think snow!
January 26th: Snow Report #1:
At long last, winter is here! The storm on Monday (1/23) brought a foot of beautiful powder, enough snow to finally get our snowmobile out and to begin packing some trails in preparation for grooming. There was very little snow base prior to this storm, so more snow is still needed before we can groom with the track-set on the Settlement Trail. This is due to a couple of open drainages that cross the trail – one big storm should make these passable with the groomer. We did, however, “machine pack” (track out with the snowmobile) the Settlement Trail, the Mt. Roberts Trail between the Settlement Trail and the Upper/Lower Meadow Connector, the Upper/Lower Meadow Connector, and a path through the Lower Meadow from the Meadow Connector to the Hiker Parking Lot. Also a small loop in the lower field was packed. The machine packed routes are shown on the map below.
Conditions as of Wednesday (1/25) afternoon: The trails listed above, and shown on the map, were machine packed and the conditions were consistent packed powder, with zero ice or bare spots. Excellent conditions overall. The two drainages that cross the Settlement Trail remained open and require stepping over.
Storm on Wednesday night (1/25): The snow conditions have not been assessed since the most recent storm, and no additional grooming has occurred. About three to four inches of soft, wet snow was reported. This, on top of the machine packed routes, should provide for great skiing, even without being groomed.
We will continue to provide updates here as they occur. We will plan on packing and grooming the trails as conditions and schedules provide… stay tuned, and happy skiing!
February 26, 2022:
February 11, 2022:
February 2, 2022:
Exciting news: The Settlement Trail and Upper/Lower Meadow Connector Trails are now groomed and ready to go! Our volunteers were able to groom in perfect conditions yesterday and will continue to groom throughout the week. If all goes according to plan, there will be fresh snow to groom come this weekend. Think snow!