We don’t know about you, but we hoomans over here at Sidewalk Dog are feeling pretty festive these days. So much so, we might just break into song: “Dashing through the snow, with a one-pup open sleigh…”
Ok, I guess that doesn’t quite describe skijoring, but it’s pretty close! Now that temps are dropping and flurries are starting to fly, it’s time to lace up the cross-country ski boots, throw a fuzzy sweater on your floofer, and hit the trails. Read on for some Twin Cities skijoring spots where you and doggo can safely get out some of your winter wiggles.
The Loppet Foundation’s map of skijoring trails will take you on a tour of gorgeous Theodore Wirth Park, and even provide a view of downtown Minneapolis while you’re frolicking with furbabe. A trail pass is required on all groomed trails, and a premium ski pass is required for the Hap, Judy, and/or Twin Lake Trails. Find more info here.
The Three Rivers Park District oversees 27,000+ acres of Minnesota’s parks and trails, which means it has ski trails both short and long for you and pupper to explore together. And even better, they might be closer than you think! Here’s the quick sniff:
- Cleary Lake Regional Park
- Prior Lake, 1.5 miles of trails, daily or annual ski pass required
- Baker Park Reserve
- Maple Plain, 5.2 miles of trails, no ski pass required
- Crow-Hassan Park Reserve
- Rogers, 2.6 miles of trails, no ski pass required
- Eagle Lake Regional Park
- Plymouth, 1.6 miles of trails, daily or annual ski pass required
- Elm Creek Park Reserve
- Maple Grove, 4.3 miles of trails, no ski pass required
- Murphy-Hanrehan Park Reserve
- Savage, 5.7 miles of trails, no ski pass required
If you’re pup for some up-north adventures this winter, a membership at the Snowflake Nordic Ski Center in Duluth gets well-behaved mutts and their humans access to 8+ miles of expertly groomed trails on the beautiful North Shore of Lake Superior. Woofhoo, what fun!
Coon Rapids’ Bunker Hills Regional Park is home to several miles of trails that wind through oaks, pines, and prairie, and are sure to be a lovely sight with a fresh dusting of snow. Rental equipment is available, doggos must be licensed, and skiers must have a Minnesota ski pass to enjoy the views and the exercise. Get more info here.
Good pups and their hoomans have access to 4+ miles of well-groomed trails at Hiawatha Golf Course. As you cruise the rolling hills don’t furget to look up and admire the fantastic view of the Minneapolis skyline! Rental equipment is available, and skiers must have a Minnesota ski pass to frolic freely. Get more info here.
Highland Park Golf Course offers 3.5 miles of groomed trails for both beginner and intermediate skijorers. Trails are free of charge but full of furbulous St. Paul views. Now whose tail is wagging?
Woodland Trails has a variety of terrain—pawfect for a fun-filled morning of skijoring with Fido! This free favorite is also maintained by a local ski club so you know it’s groomed with extra TLC.
In the Cannon River Valley of southeastern Minnesota, you’ll find roughly 3 miles of ski trails perfect for a playful prance through the powder with pup (say that three times fast!). Lake Byllesby Regional Park offers plenty of open space for both beginner and experienced skijorers. A daily or seasonal cross-country ski pass is required. More info here.
So how about it—are you ready to hit the trails with your terrier? Know of any other Twin Cities spots that allow skijoring? Bark at us in the comments below or in our Dog-Friendly Twin Cities Facebook Group. If you’re more of a hiker, check out our favorite dog-friendly hikes.
Featured photo: PhotoBobil/Flickr