Skiing at Saint John's
Skiing at Saint John's: What you should know.
Final Ski Update - Monday, March 17, 2014
We have developed a brief survey to try to capture your skiing experiences this winter at Saint John's. We have an administrative meeting scheduled for this Friday, March 21 to debrief the season and start making plans for next year, so any responses received by the end of the day Thursday would be extremely helpful for that meeting (although later responses are still helpful).
Feel free to forward the link to anybody you know who skied at Saint John's this winter.
Thanks in advance for helping us improve your skiing experience here at Saint John's.
Ski Trails Officially Closed - Saturday, March 15, 2014
Saint John's ski season is officially ended. Last night, Randy tried to get the trails into shape but in many places the groomer just sank in the soft snow and made ruts. That leaves our trails in a very uneven condition that makes it very difficult, and potentially dangerous, to ski. Additionally, many of the low spots are already ponds of water, slush, or ice.
We gave it our best to extend the season a bit for you, but spring is here. Again, the ski trails are no longer groomed or recommended for skiing.
Thanks again for the cooperative effort of these organizations for the Nordic ski trails in the Abbey Arboretum:
- Saint John's Abbey
- Athletics Departments of Saint John's University & the College of Saint Benedict
- CSB/SJU Nordic Ski Team
- Saint John's Prep School
- Saint John's Outdoor University and our donor members
You may not be able to ski, but you can still spend time out on the trails with us this spring!
Trail Conditions - Friday, March 14, 2014
While we are probably all looking for some bare ground and a few blades of green grass, we might as well enjoy another below freezing weekend the best we we know how. SKIING!
Randy will groom the trails tonight as the temperature drops below freezing. Please do not ski on the trails Friday evening so they can set up nicely! Enjoy the trails Saturday and Sunday as the weather is supposed to stay below freezing so the trails should be in good shape all weekend. You are welcome to continue to ski as long as the snow hangs on, although this is probably the last time the trails will be groomed this year.
NOTE 1: The Stonegate trail is closed for the year. Some sections of the trail have been driven on with the tractor in preparation for maple syrup season. The Old Entrance Road has also been cleared to allow for more vehicle and school bus traffic out to the sugar shack. These trails will no longer be groomed this season.
NOTE 2: Speaking of maple syrup...You're all invited to our Maple Syrup Festivals on March 29 and April 5!
NOTE 3: Sometime next week you will receive an invitation to complete a short survey on the ski trails at Saint John's. I hope you will take 5 minutes to give us your thoughts so we can provide the best service for you as a skier at Saint John's.
We hope you've enjoyed a great ski season! ~Tom
Trail Conditions - Friday, March 7, 2014
EXTREME ICE - SKIING NOT RECOMMENDED BEFORE NOON SATURDAY!
If any of you have tried to drive or walk anywhere today, you know that ground conditions are very slippery after last night's coating of freezing rain. The ski trails are all very iced up and extremely dangerous. Randy will groom all trails beginning early Saturday morning and plans to be finished by noon with both skating and classic trails.
As we get toward the end of the skiing season, please be aware of snow conditions as we'll begin to see both slush and ice more often. We'll do our best to keep you informed and invite you to help us keep track of the conditions - send us a note anytime you want to tell us about your experiences on our ski trails.
Be safe and enjoy!
Updated Ski Map & Trail Names
We have a newly updated ski trail map. Note that trails have been assigned a directional designation and most are now one-way to help make skiing safer for all. Other new things on the map:
- A new trail called Langlauf, meaning classic cross-country in German. It has a nice downhill for classic skiers.
- Renaming several trails - to get rid of boring names (i.e. Freeway extension is now Zicke-Zack), and to be less confusing when a ski trail uses more than one of our summer trails. Hence, the trail starting at the stone gate is now the Stone Gate Loop.
We are able to groom more trails this year since our logging operation will be working in a different part of the woods.
Stonegate Loop, Old Entrance Road: closed due to the beginning of maple syrup season
Walkers on the ski trails...
While it is wonderful that people are out exercising in the woods of Saint John's we try to avoid having much foot traffic on the ski trail system.
- If you must walk on the groomed ski trails, please walk on the edge of the ski trail opposite the classical track.
- The Boardwalk Loop, Logging Loop, the Chapel Trail, and the SE side of the Old Entrance Road are not groomed for skiing and are perfect for walking. View a Trail Map.
- The woods and trails are plentiful for sharing. Thanks for your help keeping the ski trails great for skiing!
Support the ski trails...
The ski trails are part of Saint John's Abbey Arboretum. The land is owned by the monks of Saint John's Abbey and is generously made open for public use.
- The ski trails are groomed for the benefit of the ski team, faculty, staff, students, members of the CSB and SJU communities, and Outdoor University members. All of the grooming is performed by volunteer efforts of a few individuals plus the help of a student employee.
- We collect no trail fees, yet if you are not part of CSB/SJU/OSB I ask that you join the Saint John's Outdoor University at the $40 Family yearly membership level.
- By joining the Outdoor University you will receive all the information and benefits of every member (including a free introductory cross country ski lesson!) and can freely use the trails. You will also be supporting the ski trails and the grooming we do. On the application please indicate that you are a skier.