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January thaw? More like a January heat wave! The Blue Hills Trail in northern Wisconsin withstood the onslaught.

31 Jan

Beginning January 18, when it should have been the coldest week of the winter, the temperatures remained above freezing for one week. During that week, 0.6″ of rain saturated the ski trails on January 20/21. Skiers kindly stayed off the trails when they were soft, and sub-freezing temperatures returned on the 26th. After receiving several inches of new snow at the end of the month, grooming resumed and cross country skiers again enjoyed excellent conditions on the Blue Hills Trail.

Recent comments from the logbook in the warming house are included in the picture gallery that follows. Find comments from Wisconsin (Bruce, Cameron, Chetek, Cumberland, Ladysmith, Prairie Farm, Rice Lake)…

How to view images: To see larger versions of the thumbnail photos, view each picture individually by clicking on the thumbnail; or you can “show as slideshow” by clicking the link above the images. To move quickly through the slideshow click the photos themselves. For either option, if you want to save the image for yourself, simply right click the full size image to obtain the original; higher quality images are available by contacting our website.  To avoid copyright infringement, reprints must credit the Blue Hills Trail Association, Inc.

The Blue Hills Trail in northern Wisconsin – March through November 2016 – comments from visitors

2 Dec

From March to December, volunteers of the Blue Hills Trail Association keep busy with trail maintenance in preparation for their favorite time of the year: winter! Visitors to this 20-mile system of non-motorized trails enjoyed a rare bug free spring/summer/fall and shared their experiences with comments in our guestbook.

Recent comments from the logbook in the warming house are included in the picture gallery that follows. Find comments from Wisconsin (Augusta, Bruce, Cadott, Chetek, Eau Claire, Hawkins, Ladysmith, Madison, Milwaukee, Phillips, Rice Lake), Minnesota (Minneapolis, St. Louis Park, St. Paul, Zumbrota), Indiana (Indianapolis), Michigan (Traverse City)…

How to view images: To see larger versions of the thumbnail photos, view each picture individually by clicking on the thumbnail; or you can “show as slideshow” by clicking the link above the images. To move quickly through the slideshow click the photos themselves. For either option, if you want to save the image for yourself, simply right click the full size image to obtain the original; higher quality images are available by contacting our website.  To avoid copyright infringement, reprints must credit the Blue Hills Trail Association, Inc.

28th Annual Fundraising Banquet for the Blue Hills Trail located in northwest Wisconsin

8 Nov

The annual fall banquet for the Blue Hills Trail Association, Inc. (BHTA) was held Saturday, November 5th at Lehman’s Supper Club in Rice Lake. While bidding on the numerous silent auction items, this group of silent sports enthusiasts enjoyed camaraderie, libations, great food, and laughter. Storytelling by author/humorist Michael Perry created outlandishly funny images that had us howling.

After a delicious buffet meal, master of ceremonies (Patty McGown) turned the floor over to BHTA president Ron Jasperson who summarized the many significant events impacting the Blue Hills Trail this past year, including: an amazing amount of erosion following a May 31st deluge; the huge number of volunteers helping throughout the year; the tremendous all-season usefulness of the 2014 John Deere Gator with Camoplast tracks purchased spring of 2014; and a good (but short) ski season during the winter of 2015-16 despite a strong El Nino event. Ron reported the trails are in good shape as we head toward winter, and noted that fundraising this fall has been very successful. He was pleased to note that the Blue Hills Trail Association, Inc. remains financially solid. Follow this link to read the full text of this year’s State of the Trails.

To honor a few of our many volunteers, three special awards were presented: Jonathan Stanley accepted the “2 BZ 2 Pee” traveling trophy (a porcelain urinal) honoring his numerous contributions of time and energy to many area organizations, ours included. Then beer connoisseur Ron Jasperson was honored for his many years working on the trails – he received a growler with glasses emblazoned with the logo “Got Trails?” And to recognize his incredible sleuthing skills and ability to explore issues fully, Ron received a special trench coat and cuban cigar and was publicly honored as our own Columbo (he does bear a striking resemblance to Peter Falk).

Following Michael Perry’s presentation, prizes valued at more than $5000 were distributed to the attendees — including Jim Cargill winning the raffle for the Spring Street Sports $250 gift card, and Bob Peterson winning the raffle for the New Moon $250 gift card.  Our many donors graciously give back to their communities — when the opportunity arises, be sure to offer them a sincere thank you. Colder weather’s overdue, get your skis ready!

Bridge and culvert repair on the Blue Hills Trail

2 Oct

The Blue Hills Trail — entirely non-motorized — has more than 20 miles of trails that require year round maintenance. Our most important bridge was heavily damaged in a late May deluge, then dismantled in August while staging the repair. Every picture tells a story: the attached photos first show the damaged bridge; then show the workers on the 14th of September when the bridge was rebuilt (bridge building photos courtesy of Dan Bjugstad); and some modifications from the workday on October 1st. Thanks to these guys for rebuilding the bridge: Dan Bjugstad, Mike Cragg, Ron Jasperson, Frank Lowry, & John Waldron. Thanks to Lamperts of Ladysmith for donating the lumber for the stringers.

This bridge (as well as another bridge and several culverts) received quite a bit of attention during the annual work day on October 1st. The trails are shaping up now as we enjoy fall and look forward to winter skiing.

Many many thanks to our numerous volunteers!

How to view images: To see larger versions of the thumbnail photos, view each picture individually by clicking on the thumbnail; or you can “show as slideshow” by clicking the link above the images. To move quickly through the slideshow click the photos themselves. For either option, if you want to save the image for yourself, simply right click the full size image to obtain the original; higher quality images are available by contacting our website.  To avoid copyright infringement, reprints must credit the Blue Hills Trail Association, Inc.

Summer at the Blue Hills Trail in northern Wisconsin. What have we been up to?

24 Aug

What have we been up to? Read on…

Our volunteers have dodged the rain while mowing and working on erosion control this summer. All the trails have been mowed and are in good shape for hiking. Erosion control has been a huge challenge this year: major culverts were blown out in a deluge on May 31st, and one of our most important bridges was taken out of commission that day.

A lot of erosion has been repaired thanks to assistance from the Rusk County Forestry Department, dozing from the Wisconsin DNR, and handwork from our volunteers. A major revision of the Eastside trail (30-30A) should be a joy to ski.

The series of photos (see below) show the blown out culvert, and the results of the repair including the rock riprap on the culvert and the new growth of seeded grass. Additional photos show some of the dozing at the 30A intersection.

To finish off the summer, we’re now in the process of preparing for a major bridge repair.

Many many thanks to the numerous volunteers that helped with mowing and trail work this summer!

How to view images: To see larger versions of the thumbnail photos, view each picture individually by clicking on the thumbnail; or you can “show as slideshow” by clicking the link above the images. To move quickly through the slideshow click the photos themselves. For either option, if you want to save the image for yourself, simply right click the full size image to obtain the original; higher quality images are available by contacting our website.  To avoid copyright infringement, reprints must credit the Blue Hills Trail Association, Inc.

27th Annual Fundraising Banquet for the Blue Hills Trail located in northwest Wisconsin

9 Nov

The annual fall banquet for the Blue Hills Trail Association, Inc. (BHTA) was held Saturday, November 7th at Lehman’s Supper Club in Rice Lake. While bidding on the numerous silent auction items, this group of silent sports enthusiasts enjoyed camaraderie, libations, great food, and Dr. Bob Inman’s dynamic slide show presentation (“Wolverine Biology and Conservation”) describing ground-breaking work applying GPS tracking in the study of wolverines. The GPS technology that Dr. Inman and his wife applied for the first time to wolverines revealed the amazing capacity of the species to move through rugged terrain and the vast multi-state scale over which conservation of wolverines must occur.

After a delicious buffet meal, master of ceremonies (Patty McGown) turned the floor over to BHTA vice president Ron Jasperson who summarized the many significant events impacting the Blue Hills Trail this past year, including: the huge number of volunteers helping throughout the year; the tremendous all-season usefulness of the 2014 John Deere Gator with Camoplast tracks purchased spring of 2014; and a very good ski season during the winter of 2014-15 that attracted more ‘out-of-the-area’ skiers than ever. Ron reported the trails are in good shape as we head toward winter, and noted that fundraising this fall has been very successful. He was pleased to note that the Blue Hills Trail Association, Inc. remains financially solid.

To honor a few of our many volunteers, two special awards were presented: Patty McGown and Nels Curnow accepted the “2 Busy 2 Pee” traveling trophy (a porcelain urinal) honoring their numerous contributions of time and energy. Then Dave Olsen was honored for his many years maintaining the pit toilets – he received the golden clothespin award.

Following Dr. Inman’s presentation, prizes valued at more than $5000 were distributed to the attendees — including Mark Bittner winning the raffle for the Spring Street Sports $250 gift card, and Erik Ostenso winning the raffle for the New Moon $250 gift card.  Our many donors graciously give back to their communities — when the opportunity arises, be sure to offer them a sincere thank you. Colder weather’s overdue, get your skis ready!

How to view images: To see larger versions of the thumbnail photos, view each picture individually by clicking on the thumbnail; or you can “show as slideshow” by clicking the link above the images. To move quickly through the slideshow click the photos themselves. For either option, if you want to save the image for yourself, simply right click the full size image to obtain the original; higher quality images are available by contacting our website.  To avoid copyright infringement, reprints must credit the Blue Hills Trail Association, Inc.

Illegal truck traffic damages ski trail in Blue Hills of northern Wisconsin

18 Oct

Cross country skiing on a wide, smooth, beautifully groomed ski trail is a pure delight.

Recently (probably the weekend of October 10-11) a truck illegally drove on a significant portion of the core loop of the Blue Hills Trail and created deep ruts on these soft, damp, and muddy sections that are prone to erosion. We’d like your help catching this person. Please read on.

Photos (below) show some of the damage, as well as the route traveled. It’s been an incredibly wet summer here in the Blue Hills. So… imagine driving your truck on really soft ground just after the frost is out, and that’s an example of some of the damage.

To access this non-motorized trail and create this damage required:

  • Driving past an official “No ATV” sign
  • Driving through a route used by an active logging operation
  • Driving around a Rusk County Forestry gate
  • Removing encroaching brush on a rarely traveled logging ‘road’
  • Driving past a non-motorized sign at the boundary of the trail system
  • Driving on a long section of smoothly-mowed, wide trail while creating deep ruts (section 24-3 on map)
  • Passing two more non-motorized signs (at map points 4 & 5)
  • Driving on 100 meters of a very soft section of trail (trail section 5-9), creating very deep ruts, then turning around
  • Then driving 80 meters on a different even softer muddy trail section (trail section 5-6), creating even deeper ruts, and turning around
  • Leaving by the same route used to access the trails

Make no mistake. This damage was not the result of a logger accidentally driving off course; or a County Forester out marking trees. This driver was way out of bounds, and clearly knew the actions were illegal.

Keep your ear to the ground. Perhaps we can catch the responsible party. Any information should be reported to the Rusk County Sheriff’s department: 715-532-2200. Or contact the Blue Hills Trail Association Inc (BHTA) at bluehillstrail@gmail.com

The BHTA is currently working with the Rusk County Forestry department and the Wisconsin DNR to help repair the damage prior to ski season.

How to view images: To see larger versions of the thumbnail photos, view each picture individually by clicking on the thumbnail; or you can “show as slideshow” by clicking the link above the images. To move quickly through the slideshow click the photos themselves. For either option, if you want to save the image for yourself, simply right click the full size image to obtain the original; higher quality images are available by contacting our website.  To avoid copyright infringement, reprints must credit the Blue Hills Trail Association, Inc.

Blue Hills Trail: bridge washout necessitates trail revision

17 Oct

Good news! Northern Wisconsin’s Blue Hills Trail has a new hill.

On September 17th, a heavy downpour triggered flooding that created a washout of one of the bridges on the core loop of the Blue Hills Trail. This bridge is located not far from the trailhead – near #23 on trail section 1-23 (refer to the website Trail Maps link). Due to the nature and location of the washout, bridge repair appeared unmanageable.

After brainstorming to find a fix, and looking at multiple options, a bypass trail (200 meters in length) was discovered through an area previously unexplored. This bypass seemed especially desirable because not only would it avoid a meandering creek and bypass the damaged bridge – it also would bypass a gradually failing culvert, and another bridge susceptible to high water.

Here’s a description of the work accomplished the past two weeks:

  • Flagged the trail revision.
  • Installed silt fence.
  • Dozed the new route.
  • Raked, shoveled, and leveled the rough spots.
  • Removed rocks and tree roots.
  • Spread grass seed (annuals and perennials).

The section of revised trail replaces a straight section of trail and “flows” nicely to avoid the oxbow of the nearby creek. It even adds another small hill to the Blue Hills Trail. Pictures (below) show installation of silt fence prior to dozing; then the newly dozed trail on the day the grass seed was spread.

Many thanks to our silt fence crew: Steve Gest, Pete Grassmann, Kent Meng, Gale Otterholt, Tom Paulsen, Steve Schleppegrell, and Jonathan Stanley. And thanks to the raking and grass spreading crew: Ron Jasperson, Jan Paulsen, and Tom Paulsen.

How to view images: To see larger versions of the thumbnail photos, view each picture individually by clicking on the thumbnail; or you can “show as slideshow” by clicking the link above the images. To move quickly through the slideshow click the photos themselves. For either option, if you want to save the image for yourself, simply right click the full size image to obtain the original; higher quality images are available by contacting our website.  To avoid copyright infringement, reprints must credit the Blue Hills Trail Association, Inc.

Highly successful annual trail work day prepares the Blue Hills Trail for fall and winter.

3 Oct

Each autumn, the Blue Hills Trail Association Inc coordinates a single work day to prepare the Blue Hills Trail for the coming winter cross country ski season – and fall hunting. After working hard to mow and maintain the trails through a very wet summer, this morning the work day crew was greeted by brilliant sunshine and a nice display of fall colors. The trails are well mowed and providing good hiking even though somewhat damp.

On October 1st, two of our volunteer members already spent the day aggressively brushing out the Westside trails – helping set the stage for the official work day. Then this morning, one of our best ever work day turnouts showed seventeen hardy souls ready to go at 9 a.m. After a brief planning session in the warming house, we split up into seven different groups, and each of us spent about three hours on trail work (that’s about 51 hours of total labor if you’re counting).

Today’s accomplishments:

  • Cleared the entire Westside of remaining brush and encroaching limbs; placed all new maps at each of the Westside intersections (highlighting the fact that the Westside is now non-motorized).
  • Cleared the 12km EastSide core loop (and adjacent trails) of rocks, downed limbs and encroaching branches.
  • Removed a big logjam from under one large bridge; reinforced a couple bridges.
  • Trenched an area of standing water to better promote drainage off the trail.
  • Identified some additional downed trees in need of chainsaw work.
  • Cleared 2/3 of the snowshoe trail of encroaching limbs and downed trees; placed brand new easily identifiable signs along the snowshoe trail.
  • Relined the urinal in the men’s pit toilet.
  • Tidied the warming house: washed the warming house windows and skylights; cleaned the tables; cleared pine needles from the roof.
  • Cleaned the cobwebs from the warming house furnace & turned it on for the day; it’s set to go when the winter ski season arrives.

Many thanks to our work day volunteers: Sam Behrends, Dan Bjugstad, Carolyn Chatterton, Roger Gray, John Kann, Jenna Lisowe, Dave Olsen, Jan Paulsen, Tom Paulsen, Steve Porn, Steve Schleppegrell, Jerry Schneider, Jonathan Stanley, Phil Strop, John Waldron, Cathie Woita, Paul Woita, and John Ziemer.

How to view images: To see larger versions of the thumbnail photos, view each picture individually by clicking on the thumbnail; or you can “show as slideshow” by clicking the link above the images. To move quickly through the slideshow click the photos themselves. For either option, if you want to save the image for yourself, simply right click the full size image to obtain the original; higher quality images are available by contacting our website.  To avoid copyright infringement, reprints must credit the Blue Hills Trail Association, Inc.

Blue Hills Trail work day is Saturday morning, October 3rd

30 Sep

A quick reminder…
Our annual trail work day is this Saturday, October 3rd.
Wear blaze orange, arrive at the warming house at 8:30 a.m., and
bring gloves, branch clippers/loppers, spade shovels, chainsaws, and power brush cutters (ATVs may also be helpful).

Please Note:
As we divide up into various crews, one crew will focus on removing accumulated debris from under a couple bridges. That group will need footwear, gloves etc that will allow work in and around water. If interested in joining that work crew, please dress appropriately.

If the morning is quite chilly, we’ll probably have the furnace turned on in the warming house. Fun time in the woods, consider joining us for a few hours.

 

Good skiing on the Blue Hills Trail in mid November – wow!

17 Nov

With a blast of cold air headed our way, we prepared our grooming equipment for an early start to the winter season.  A moisture rich snowfall on November 10/11 was groomed on two loops – one on the Eastside of the trail system, and one on the Westside – and the connecting trail was groomed as well.  With persistent cold temps, this mid November snowfall provided 6.5 km of nicely groomed trails, including 4.8 km of a good classic track.  Skiers have already started feeling their forgotten muscles.

The grooming will be extended to the rest of the trail system after completion of the gun deer hunt in late November.  The early arrival of snow came on top of warm ground; we’re hoping a couple weeks of cold temps will help freeze the many wet areas scattered throughout the Blue Hills Trail.

If you’re ready to snowshoe, the dedicated snowshoe trail is brushed out and stomped down.  It starts next to the warming house – just look for the obvious snowshoe signs and flagging tape.

Recent comments from the logbook in the warming house

  • 11/13: First grooming of the new season, used the Gator for the first time, loved it.  –Ladysmith, WI
  • 11/14: First ski of the year, what fun!  –Ladysmith, WI
  • 11/15: Snowshoed & skied  –Rice Lake, WI
  • 11/15: Skate skiing!  Good job grooming!  Thanks. –Chippewa Falls, WI
  • 11/15: Beautiful day & skiing in November! –Eau Claire, WI
  • 11/16: Worth the drive.  Thank you volunteers. –Marine on St. Croix, MN

How to view images: To see larger versions of the thumbnail photos, view each picture individually by clicking on the thumbnail; or you can “show as slideshow” by clicking the link above the images. To move quickly through the slideshow click the photos themselves. For either option, if you want to save the image for yourself, simply right click the full size image to obtain the original; higher quality images are available by contacting our website.  To avoid copyright infringement, reprints must credit the Blue Hills Trail Association, Inc.

26th Annual Fundraising Banquet for the Blue Hills Trail located in Northwest Wisconsin

1 Nov

The annual fall banquet for the Blue Hills Trail Association, Inc. (BHTA) was held Saturday, November 1st at Lehman’s Supper Club in Rice Lake.  While bidding on the numerous silent auction items, this group of silent sports enthusiasts enjoyed camaraderie, libations, great food, and Bob Unbehaun’s dynamic slide show presentation (“Paddle the Puddle”) describing his 2004 solo kayak trip around Lake Superior.  After a delicious buffet meal, master of ceremonies (Patty McGown) turned the floor over to BHTA president Dave Olsen who summarized the many significant events impacting the Blue Hills Trail this past year, including: the huge number of volunteers helping throughout the year; and the successful Spring fund drive that allowed the purchase of a John Deere Gator with Camoplast tracks (to be used for winter grooming and summer trail maintenance).  Dave reported the trails are in great shape as we head toward winter, and noted that fundraising this fall has been very successful.  He was pleased to note that the Blue Hills Trail Association, Inc. remains financially solid.

To honor one of our many volunteers, a special award was presented: vice president Ron Jasperson accepted the “2 Busy 2 Pee” traveling trophy (a porcelain urinal) honoring Ron’s numerous contributions of time and energy.

At that point, prizes valued at close to $6000 were distributed to the attendees — including Bob Schwartz winning the raffle for the Spring Street Sports $250 gift card, and John Waldron winning the raffle for the New Moon $250 gift card.  Our many donors graciously give back to their communities — when the opportunity arises, be sure to offer them a sincere thank you.  Colder weather’s on the way, get your skis ready!

How to view images: To see larger versions of the thumbnail photos, view each picture individually by clicking on the thumbnail; or you can “show as slideshow” by clicking the link above the images. To move quickly through the slideshow click the photos themselves. For either option, if you want to save the image for yourself, simply right click the full size image to obtain the original; higher quality images are available by contacting our website.  To avoid copyright infringement, reprints must credit the Blue Hills Trail Association, Inc.

Annual trail work day a big success.

4 Oct

Each autumn, the Blue Hills Trail Association Inc coordinates a single work day to prepare the Blue Hills Trail for fall hunting, and especially the coming winter cross country ski season.  After last winter’s heavy snows, the past six months have been unusually wet, and after a couple days of more rain, this morning the work day crew was greeted by 1″ of wet snow on the leaf tops.  Thanks to a dry spell in July and August, the trails are nicely mowed and provide nice hiking even though very wet.

Despite chilly temps near 40 degrees F, one of our best ever work day turnouts showed sixteen hardy souls ready to go at 9 a.m.  After a brief planning session in the heated warming house, we split up into seven different groups and spent ~3 hours on trail work each (that’s about 48 hours of total labor if you’re counting).

Today’s accomplishments:

  • Cleared the entire WestSide of downed trees and encroaching limbs
  • Cleared 90% of the EastSide core loop of downed trees and encroaching limbs
  • Identified some additional downed trees in need of chainsaw work
  • Cleared the snowshoe trail of encroaching limbs, & identified downed trees that need chainsaw work
  • Put a new roof (metal) on the men’s pit toilet
  • Washed the warming house windows
  • Cleaned the cobwebs from the warming house furnace & turned it on for the day; it’s set to go when the winter ski season arrives.

Many thanks to today’s volunteers: Sam Behrends, Mike Cragg, Roger Gray, Lori Gray, Janelle Gruetzmacher, Tyler Gruetzmacher, John Kann, Jenna Lisowe, Frank Lowry, Dave Olsen, Jan Paulsen, Tom Paulsen, Steve Poethke, Steve Porn, Jonathan Stanley, and John Ziemer.

How to view images: To see larger versions of the thumbnail photos, view each picture individually by clicking on the thumbnail; or you can “show as slideshow” by clicking the link above the images. To move quickly through the slideshow click the photos themselves. For either option, if you want to save the image for yourself, simply right click the full size image to obtain the original; higher quality images are available by contacting our website.  To avoid copyright infringement, reprints must credit the Blue Hills Trail Association, Inc.

Important dates: October 4th work day – November 1st Fundraising Banquet

22 Sep

Brisk winds, cooler temps – it’s time to prepare the Blue Hills Trail for winter.
Important upcoming dates include:

Work day on Saturday, October 4th
Meet at the warming house at 8:30 a.m.  Come on out to enjoy a beautiful hike and help maintain clear and smooth passages!  Wear blaze orange, and bring gloves, spade shovels, chainsaws, branch clippers, & ATVs. Our officers will provide guidance.  Giving 2-3 hours of your time really helps, we’re usually done by late morning.
Annual fundraiser banquet Saturday, November 1st – SMOKE FREE
Only $25 per person ($10 for kids 12 & under), the fun starts at 5:30 p.m. at Lehman’s Supper Club in Rice Lake with a chance to bid on the silent auction items.  Dinner is served at 6:30 (a delicious buffet featuring chicken &  hand cut prime rib — pasta primavera for vegetarians).  At 7:30 Bob Unbehaun will share his adventure titled “Paddle the Puddle” – his kayak voyage around Lake Superior.  Prizes will be distributed at 8:30 and include a $250 gift card for use at Spring Street Sports in Chippewa Falls, and a $250 gift card for use at New Moon Ski & Bike in Hayward.  YOU MUST REGISTER & PAY IN ADVANCE!!!  Click here for more information and registration details.

Amazing December 2013 – from Ice Storm to Deep Snows to Deep Freeze

2 Jan

December 2013 delivered lots of wintry weather.  The December 4th ice storm was followed by a month of cold temperatures and abundant snowfall.  As of early January, ice coated trees still show their beauty on the upper ridge-line of the Eastside trails.

And once again, it’s appropriate to thank the volunteers that spent MANY HOURS cutting branches & removing downed trees so our groomers could access the trails.  The ice storm has altered our ability to groom near the trail edges, & many trails are soft at the edges – but the groomers are working on that.  Skiers & snowshoers are enjoying the deep snows despite the New Year arctic vortex.

Take advantage of the January 11th Ski Free Day (including a 3 p.m. potluck), check out the beauty of the Blue Hills.

Recent comments from the logbook in the warming house

  • 11/2: In the area, will try some mtn biking  –Hortonville, WI
  • 11/22: Here expecting another great deer hunt.  This snow will make excellent tracking.  45+ years hunting for me, hoping for anther ten. –Chippewa Falls, WI
  • 11/23: Thanks for the warm cabin.  Needed a place to replace toe warmers – nice!  –author’s location unknown
  • 12/3: Fat bike to Perch Lake, stopped in for a rest.  Very heavy snow & icy.  Good times tho.  thanks. –Bruce, WI
  • 12/7: Best ski of the season! –Ladysmith, WI
  • 12/8: Spectacular day!  Great to have the cabin warmth.  Thank you. –author’s location unknown
  • 12/11: Gorgeous blue skies with loads of sunlight accenting the snow/ice laden forest.  Wow! –Ladysmith, WI
  • 12/14: Fantastic winter wonderland day with snow on trees & 10 degrees F.  2-3 inches fluff  on groomed trails almost ball bearing like. –Rice Lake, WI
  • 12/15: A little chilly today but good skiing none the less! –River Falls, WI
  • 12/17: Thank you!  Thank you!  For all the hard work removing trees, limbs, & grooming the trails.  We appreciate it very much.  Nice warm day. –Apple Valley, MN
  • 12/19: Last day of finals week being spent here.  Skate lanes were great.  I was the first one on some trails, what a beautiful place to be! –River Falls, WI
  • 12/21: Fantastic trail conditions.  thanks for your hard work. –author’s location unknown
  • 12/21: Crowded shelter today!  Lots of folks enjoying the conditions. –Hugo, MN
  • 12/22: Outstanding, will be back. –Shoreview, MN
  • 12/24: Beautiful!  Thanks to all who help preserve & maintain x-country ski trails – nicely groomed, nice warming house! –Lake Mills, Mikana, WI
  • 12/26: Visitors from… –Platteville, WI & Golden Valley, MN
  • 12/27: Visitors from… –Lincoln, NE
  • 12/27: We came, we saw, we conquered NW Wisconsin!  We went skiing & snowshoeing.  Thanks for the great time. –Queensland, Australia
  • 12/27: What a beautiful day in the woods.  Snow covered trees clumps of snow falling with the brush of a breeze.  Thanks. –Portland, OR
  • 12/27: Awesome!  Thank you. –Hudson, WI
  • 12/28: Love the snow!!! –Pulaski, WI
  • 12/28: Beautiful day!  Window snowflakes in the warming house are courtesy of our daughers. –Rice Lake, WI
  • 12/28: Perfect snow today!  I love the trails here… so many happy memories!  It couldn’t be any prettier… thank you for tending this special place! –Monmouth, IL
  • 12/28: Family here for some XCski before the temps change.  Great skiing – weather fantastic. –Hampshire, IL
  • 12/28: Skiing on a beautiful day! –Minneapolis & Plymouth, MN
  • 1/1: Happy New Year!  Took the snowshoes out for the 1st time this year.  Awesome snowshoe trails!  Thank you to the snowflake makers (in the windows).  Just what this little cabin needed! –Ladysmith, WI
  • 1/1: Happy New Year!!!  Cold, but good ski.  Love the tracks, fast hills. –UW River Falls Ski Team
  • 1/2: Beautiful. –Beaver Dam, WI

How to view images: To see larger versions of the thumbnail photos, view each picture individually by clicking on the thumbnail; or you can “show as slideshow” by clicking the link above the images. To move quickly through the slideshow click the photos themselves. For either option, if you want to save the image for yourself, simply right click the full size image to obtain the original; higher quality images are available by contacting our website.  To avoid copyright infringement, reprints must credit the Blue Hills Trail Association, Inc.