Cross-Country Skiing on The Gunflint Trail

As you can see on Rockwood’s webcam today, winter is finally here. It won’t be long, and our massive trail system will be groomed and open for you to explore the unparalleled wilderness while gliding on skinny skis. 

Nordic, or cross-country skiing, is a great activity to share with family and friends. Rockwood’s Cabin 12 is open from January through March this winter and makes a fantastic base cabin for your winter skiing adventure. 

Number 12 is a large chalet cabin for up to six people in the Winter. Its large windows have a fantastic view of Poplar Lake. Cabin 12 is our only cabin open from January through March.  

Jodi Middendorf’s visit to Rockwood

Like all our cabins, number 12 has a full kitchen, bathroom with shower, fresh linens, and towels (paper towels are not provided). Our cabins have high-speed WiFi, and each kitchen has essential cookware/cooking equipment, a refrigerator, stove, microwave, toaster, coffee maker (uses 12 cup paper filters, a few are provided), glasses, mugs, dishes, and silverware so you can just bring food. Or, better, enjoy one of the great restaurants on the Gunflint Trail.

There are three major trail systems with over 400 km of groomed trails in the Gunflint area. 

Skiers 16 years and older that want to use the Banadad and Lace Lake/Tall Pines trails will need The Great Minnesota Ski Pass. A one-day pass costs $10, and the annual pass is $25. Your Ski Pass fees go directly to the grooming and maintenance of ski trails. You may purchase a Pass online or at any retailer that sells other DNR sporting licenses. 

Skiers that want to use the Central and Upper Gunflint Systems will need to contact the resorts that manage them, as they are private and maintained by those resorts. They are not grant and aid systems on the MN Ski pass. The Upper Gunflint trails are managed by Gunflint Lodge, Gunflint Pines Resort, and Heston’s Lodge. The Central Gunflint trails are managed by Golden Eagle Lodge and Bearskin Lodge – all are listed here –

Novice skiers are welcome to experience the beauty and serenity of gliding through the forest. You could encounter exciting wildlife as you move along, from deer and moose to owls and eagles. Make sure you have a camera with you.

Many of our fellow resorts in the Gunflint Trail Association offer a full range of services to cross-country skiers: equipment rentals, suggested trails, ski passes, lessons, guides, and lodging.

The Upper Gunflint trail system comprises over 70 km of mostly double-tracked groomed trails. Trail information you’ll want before venturing out is available at Gunflint Lodge, Gunflint Pines Resort, and Heston’s Lodge

Our neighbors on the Central Gunflint Trail, Golden Eagle Lodge, and Bearskin Lodge claim that the Central Gunflint Ski Trail System is “World-Class cross-country skiing at its best!” 

It is a well-marked network of more than 70 km of trails specifically built for cross-country skiing and is tracked for both traditional and skate skiers alike. There is a wide variety of trails for beginners up to advanced skiers.

A full moon will make a nighttime ski outing an absolute delight near the end of January, February, and March. You may not even need a lighted trail. 

But Golden Eagle Lodge has a 1.5 km trail that begins at the lodge and is lit up seven nights a week. Twinkling electric lights start at sunset.  

What better way to catch the Northern Lights, Aurora Borealis, than doing it on skis?