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Madison Nordic Ski Club

Trail Conditions


Near Madison

BlackHawk Ski Area (Back to Top)

Date Condition Style By
January 13 2017 Excellent Skate Jim H.
  Great ski conditions. There is a thick base that has been spread to provide a loop along the creek and back along the Siberian highway with this on each side to bracket things in. As Harry noted, it is fast transformed snow but not icy. Tracks set on much of the loop. Thanks to all who helped to make this possible.
January 12 2017 Excellent Skate Harry Read
  Thanks to the groomers for setting up the second trail along the base of the hills. Conditions now are very fast, not too icy.
January 11 2017 Excellent Skate Chris Eggert
  Dan and crew have done a great job. Worth the $125 for membership to be able to ski hills and the flats in a winter with unreliable snow and too much rain. If you ski hill 2 and part of 6 it's around 1.5km loop of excellent snow.
January 7 2017 Good Skate and Classic P Remington
  Thanks to Dan Osborne and the snowmaking crew at Blackhawk, the skiing at Blackhawk is great. The 1k loop on man-made show is groomed for skating and class and is in excellent condition. The 5k loop out the Erdman Trail to Pleasant View and back has been groomed for skating and is in good shape, with a few bare and icy spots. And the hills on the west and east sides are groomed and in excellent condition.

Blue Mound SP (Back to Top)

Date Condition Style By
January 16 2017 No Go Classic Mike
  Completely iced over as of early this morning. Fast for sure, but little control or kick. Lots of debris.
January 14 2017 Fair Classic Daryl
  Another dusting & The Mound lives on! Pretty much the same condition report as the 12th. Should be OK tomorrow until shortly before kickoff!
January 13 2017 Poor Skate Pat C
  Campground loops, but hey, beats driving north. Ice pack covered by just enough fluff. Rock skis. One big balance drill. Remember, every time you pick up a stick off the trail, an angel gets its wings. 🙂 Will try Tyrol tomorrow.
January 12 2017 Fair Classic Daryl
  About a third of an inch of powder over hard/icy track. Ridgeview-Hickory Hollow mostly fair control on uphills & generally fair or slightly better on downs. No regrets on "B" skis, but could really use some snow!
January 12 2017 Good Skate and Classic ole
  Staff elected not to groom and that looks like a very good decision. The skating in the campground is, dare I say, excellent. Firm flat base with enough snow on top to quiet things down. The loop has one nice climb and a very manageable downhill. I didn't stride, but snow lays in the tracks and my guess is that, except for some downhills, the striding could be pretty good. Happy trails.
January 11 2017 No Go Classic Matt
  I just submitted a letter to regarding the proposed snowmobile trail at Blue Mound, and encourage others to do the same. See the blog section of the Madnorski website for more details on the proposal and instructions on how to submit a comment on agenda item 9. Let's keep this great XC ski refuge in its natural state rather than as a mixed use area for snowmobiling. Deadline for comments is Jan. 13th at 11 a.m.
January 8 2017 Fair Skate and Classic Caleb
  Icy. Did classic on all loops except Pleasant Valley and the one that goes by the Military Ridge Trail with the plunge. Used toko yellow because of the ice. Very abrasive. Skating in campground loop was OK, but the deck is very hard and fast, difficult to get a good grip trying to turn. The Mound lives!
January 7 2017 Good Classic Tony H.
  Concur 100% w/ previous poster. Best game in town, or for an hour around, at least. Best classic skis = no wax, as the wax-able boards I was using found the usual debris. BTW, hardwax binder or blue klister are your only options to hold wax. Very abrasive. Hats off to the trail groomers. Once again BM is the best at holding snow/grooming under marginal weather conditions.
January 7 2017 Good Classic Bill Stenson
  I did the blue loop - the longest, outermost loop - as well as Pleasure Valley. I experienced consistently good conditions. The conditions aren't excellent because of the iciness. I found myself having to come out of the tracks on uphills more than usual because I wasn't able to grip the way I would usually expect. When going downhill, you've got to be on your game to get an edge, slow yourself down, and not get out of control, but it's do-able. I walked the steepest section of the blue loop - what I'm assuming another has referred to as The Plunge. Other than that I felt comfortable on the downhills. There is also some debris, but I would call it minor. All in all, I had a fantastic two loops and am very pleased and impressed with the grooming. I will also mention that I briefly went skating, but it was too fast and stiff for my liking. But it's very do-able - maybe give it a Fair/Good rating? If you need to get in some laps, you need to go to BMSP.
January 6 2017 Excellent Skate and Classic Karl Heil
  If you have not already done so, please invest 15 minutes of your time this weekend to help protect BMSP. Please send your written comments to the WI Natural Resources Board expressing your opposition to the construction of a snowmobile trail through BMSP. Click on the Madnorski Blog tab for NRB contact links and additional information. The deadline to submit written comments is 11:00 a.m., THIS upcoming Friday, January 13th. Also please consider registering to testify at the NRB meeting to make an even greater impact!!! Thank you to all those who have already submitted their comments and/or registered to testify. Please join us! Sincerely, Karl Heil
January 6 2017 Good Classic Blue Mound SP Staff
  Trails were ground, groomed and tracked on 1-6-17. They are in good condition with several icy spots. With the cold temps, you can expect fast conditions. Please use caution on down hills as several are icy, recommend walking skis down the "Plunge" on Ridgeview Trail. Pleasure Valley left track in good condition. ~Enjoy!
January 4 2017 Good Classic Blue Mound SP Staff
  Trails were groomed and tracked on 1-4-17. They are in good to fair condition with several icy spots. Use caution on down hills as several are icy, should walk skis down the "Plunge" on Ridgeview Trail. Pleasure Valley left track in good condition. Staff will be back out on 1-6-17.

Elver Park (Back to Top)

Date Condition Style By
January 14 2017 Fair Skate and Classic Craig
  A bit of powder over a very hard and icy base - very painful if you fall at high speed (don't ask me how I know that). The loop isn't well defined and I wouldn't recommend skating it in the middle of a weekend day - the sledders rocketing down the big hill and across the ski track were downright hazardous. The small children using the new man-made snow mound near the skating area as a sliding hill (right across the ski trail naturally) added another obstacle course to be navigated. Probably only a matter of time before a sledder/skier collision occurs - better trail marking, maybe with orange cones, might help. The tracks looked to be icy but with just enough powder to provide some kick - classic skiers with fishscales and good technique seemed to be doing fine.
January 13 2017 Fair Skate B Parks
  Given the conditions of late and the need to make snow, the crew at Elver have done an excellent job of keeping the loop skiable. Many thanks to you folks! The hill was closed today because they are still making snow for the sledding hill and the hill of the ski loop. So, there is only a 0.7km loop of the flat. Skating was quite nice on this small loop. Good solid deck that is nicely groomed. I am only rating this fair because the loop was not complete due to partial closure. The snow quality is actually very good. Classic conditions are another story. There are sections where the tracks are in place. But the entire small loop is not adequately tracked at this point. Perhaps by tomorrow, things will be better. Other than Blackhawk, this is the only show in town right now. Get out there while you can as it looks like we are in for a considerable warm-up next week. Sigh.
January 11 2017 Fair Skate Yuriy
  The largest section of damaged snowmaking loop by rain yesterday was repaired last night and about 700 meters on the flat is groomed for skating only. More grooming and repairing will be done later today as temperature warms up and softens up snow. Snowmaking will resume tonight till Saturday morning to extend snowmaking loop and freshen up damaged by rain areas. Please cooperate with volunteer groomers and snow makers to avoid sections of the trail with grooming and snowmaking operations.
January 10 2017 Good Skate and Classic Yuriy
  Groomed early this morning with PistenBully before it started to rain. Broke-up icy surface and set new classic tracks.
January 9 2017 Good Skate B Parks
  Since the last report on the man-made 1k loop was mine below, I will just update here. Nothing has changed much. The snow is a bit dirtier now (especially at the sledder's crosswalk) and the deck is a bit icier. But overall, there is still adequate crust over the majority to offer acceptable edging. The classic tracks are still well set. Talked to a couple of classic skiers who said that double-poling was the primary way to go. This would indicate that the only grip to be found might be with klister. Of course, these conditions could change fast depending on whether and how much snow we get later today and this evening. And that would also change again if we get r*#n (the devil who can not be named!) tomorrow.
January 8 2017 Fair Skate and Classic Douglas
  Things are pretty much the same as earlier in the week, but the classic tracks are starting to get pretty dirty by the ice rink (grass poking through). You can get some decent traction in the tracks, but it's faster to double pole when they're this hard. The skate deck is firmer and has less bite than previous days - you can get an edge, but it's harder to and the off-camber sections are noticeable when they wouldn't be if there were a thicker deck. An inch of snow Monday would do wonders. Also, I highly recommend not crashing coming off the downhill because the bumpy ice to the right of the track is... hard.
January 5 2017 Good Skate B Parks
  Well...this report's rating is juxtaposed to the "No Go" one directly below, so decide for yourself after reading both. This present one reports on the man-made 1km loop only since the other trails are not usable and/or closed. The skate deck is hard as a rock. But skier use and excellent attendance by the groomers have kept it flat and non-rutted with a thin layer of loose gravely snow on top to allow edging. No bare spots and the spot where the sledders have to cross to gain access to the hill is in good shape because the deck is so hard. The classic tracks look to be in good shape for the great majority of the loop.'s a boring loop. But I will take boring skiing over no skiing any day. And given that this is probably the only place in Madison available for skiing right now other than Blackhawk (can't comment there - not a member), I am all in for this loop at this time. Since there is a good chance that the weather and hill will be suitable for sledding this weekend, approach this loop with that in mind if you choose to go then. I was the only one on the loop today (Thursday) at mid-day. Very nice! Windy and exposed. With the cold weather here for a bit, you'd better bundle up. YOW fer now!
January 5 2017 No Go Skate Dan Dudley
  skate skied the east side a few days ago and was decent. No grooming since. Now its just solid ice/boiler plate.

McCarthy Park (Back to Top)

Date Condition Style By
January 7 2017 Poor Skate Chris
  There is about 3K of trail in fair condition for skating. See the previous post for locations. There is a good map on the McCarthy park Facebook page of what is skiable.
January 4 2017 Fair Skate Paul R
  Groomed 3 skiable areas at McCarthy,(#1) from the front parking lot the 1K loop to the West is groomed. (#2) Front parking lot East trail head out to the .8K sledding hill loop with hill with climb is groomed, good place for interval work. There is one bad spot you will have to step around (#3) If gate is closed for the rear lot, ski to the sledding hill loop, from there walk or ski North to the Horse camp parking lot. On the East side of the lot a trail is groomed North along the river all the way back to the North side of the woods. There are areas of very good snow to areas that are just passable. I will post a map on the McCarthy Park Facebook site Thursday that will shows the groomed trails. If you don't want to take your skis off many times I would suggest you use your "rock" skis. No Classic tracks.

University Ridge Golf Course (Back to Top)

Date Condition Style By
January 11 2017 No Go Skate and Classic University Ridge Staff
  We are sorry but all trails at University Ridge are closed until we get more snow.
January 7 2017 Poor Skate and Classic Douglas
  The U. Ridge staff have tried their best, but we're about at the end of anything being skiable until we get another two inches of snow. The classic tracks are mostly ice now and have frequent places where grass is showing through. You can get an edge on about half of the skate deck but the thin, hard layer of snow on top of the ice is wearing really thin. You can ski, but it's going to be a loooooot of double pole action and it's easy to lose your footing on a spot that looks like snow but is mostly ice.
January 5 2017 Fair Classic Trailbreaker
  Skied a number of laps on the Zimmer outer loop on waxless classic skis. Only had to get out of the tracks on the steepest uphill, for only a few yards. Only leaf/litter problems are on the uphill before the service buildings. Just a couple of bare patches where you can skip out into the skating lane. Its very hard crust/ice, but skiable, and right in our back yards. Other than manmade, it and the Mound are probably the best skiing south of Nine Mile.
January 5 2017 Fair Skate Dan Dudley
  did 3 laps of Zimmer-very thin ice base with just enough crust to get an edge about half the time- the rest is a good workout on double polling. Inner loop was a tad better than the outer loop. Still beats the alternative and thanks to the groomer to make it still possible to ski around here.
January 4 2017 Poor Skate and Classic wvh
  The UW team is giving it a go, but tracks are just ice. Fast for sure. Skate lane is pretty limited, with significant stretches between the sections you can skate. You can get all the way around, full coverage just expect to be making the best of it.
January 4 2017 Fair Skate and Classic University Ridge Staff
  We were able to get out this morning and "groom" the Zimmer loops. The deck is firm but we were able to cut it up a bit. More ice has formed in spots but most of the trail is ok. Classic tracks are very similar to how they were last week. Icy but still intact on 95% of the trail. We still have no access from the shop so skiers will have to park in the lower lot. Night skiing is still closed. Hours of operation will be 9-5pm until we get more snow.

East of Madison

Greenbush Ski Trails (Back to Top)

Date Condition Style By
January 16 2017 Good Skate Dan Dudley
  good to excellent compared to around here. Arrived at 7am before the freezing rain moved in. Being my first time here, the 1.5 hr drive was well worth it. Skated 3 purple loops and one red(about 24k)-solid base with about an inch of snow on top-enough for good control. Very few icy spots and some debris here and there.

Just North of Madison

9-Mile - Wausau (Back to Top)

Date Condition Style By
January 15 2017 Good Skate and Classic Darren Blankenship
  Looked like the UP in Wausau with their abundance of snow. Excellent for classic and OK for skating. Tracks were fun, fast and in very good shape. Some skate lanes good, some heavily used and needed grooming. Surprised and disappointed all skate lanes were not regroomed after heavy use on Saturday. Joanie and I strided the 20K loop plus a bit more. Skated several short loops to round out our visit. (Darren Blankenship

Iola Winter Sports Park (Back to Top)

Date Condition Style By
January 14 2017 Excellent Skate Mike J
  Excellent snow and well groomed. Great skating and classic track. First time we've skied this spot and what a great venue and a happy atmosphere here. Hope they survive the upcoming warm up.
January 8 2017 Excellent Skate Marc Young
  Fantastic skiing this past Sunday at Iola-can use race skis. New trail on the east side is great with 3 extra climbs and nice downhills. This makes the outer loop just over 10K. Well worth the 2:15 drive. With the 10 inches of snow they got instead of rain yesterday, it should be excellent again this weekend.
January 6 2017 Excellent Skate Dave Minden
  Though -5 made it tough, the snow made it easy. Fantastic deep snow, well groomed. Phil has created new black trails that are as close to Birkie hills as anything south of Hayward. Give yourself at least 1/2 hour if you venture onto them, no way out til you get about to 19.

Standing Rocks (Back to Top)

Date Condition Style By
January 15 2017 Excellent Skate Andrea Roenning
  The skate deck is very fast at Standing Rock. Some loose powder helps with control on the hills. I skated the blue and red loops on Saturday and returned for another blue loop on Sunday for another great ski. There are some small sticks on the trail but they were easily avoidable.

Other Locations

Other (Back to Top)

Date Condition Style By
January 14 2017 Excellent Skate Dan Dudley
  Made a trip to Winter Park-1st time this year-was well worth it! A Winter Wonderland with mountains of fresh snow. Was greeted with fresh untouched corduroy on most of the trials . Was a tad slow being a bit cool at 8F. Did the River Run for the first time-board in lodge posting said a religious experience- not sure the reference was to the great views and scenic varied trails OR some of the hills you had to ascend-not bad but some a bit long. All in all was awesome!
January 14 2017 Excellent Skate Pat C
  Tyrol. Great snow. 2-hr ski, lots of hill work - duh. Go all the way up to avoid the crowd and ski a 1.2K "loop" (back & forth on top), Getting down is a little challenging. Can ski a "smile" pattern below. Nordic pass gives you full access. $18. Lots of obstacles but close to home.
January 14 2017 Excellent Classic Darren B
  Excellent conditions and outstanding grooming at Underdown Rec Area northeast of Merrill. Joanie and I skied the 18K blue and 5K green loops. One of our favorite places to classic ski in the state.
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