Winter Trails Day 2023

Get Outdoors and Learn to Cross Country Ski 

***UPDATE*** Event has been cancelled due to unsuitable trail conditions

Gladstone, MI (February 1, 2023) -Please join the Hiawatha National Forest and participating partners for a fun, family-friendly day of winter trail activities at National Winter Trails Day event at the Rapid River National Cross Country Ski Trail. Everyone is welcome to attend this free opportunity to enjoy the snow and winter weather. Join us on Saturday, February 18, 2023, from 11:00 am until 3:00 p.m. to learn how to cross-country ski and snowshoe, gain additional skills, or connect with friends on the trail.

“Winter Trails Day is an annual opportunity to collaborate with our local partners and to bring together the community on our beautiful National Forest ski trails which are just out our back door,” said District Ranger Charlie Marsh.

Thanks to a partnership between the Hiawatha National Forest and Delta County Nonmotorized Trails (DCNT), the trails will be groomed and ready for fun winter activities. Youth cross-country skis will be available free of charge for the public to use during the event thanks DCNT and adult skis are available for rent at Brampton Bike & Ski. Snowshoes will be available for free use thanks to Clear Lake Education Area. Sit skis will be available on-site through Equipment Loans of the Keweenaw (ELK), for individuals with disabilities and anyone else interested in giving it a try. There will be complimentary food and beverages to warm you up, and there will also be a roaring bonfire to make s’mores. Nick Moreno’s Outdoor Education Services will have a discovery table of animal furs and tracks to teach you about local wildlife. He will help you learn to identify animal tracks in the snow. Rumor has it that there may even be an appearance of Smokey Bear!

Volunteers will be available to assist participants with proper fitting gear and to teach the fundamentals of both skiing and snowshoeing.  You can also bring your own equipment if you have it and get some pointers from experienced skiers or use the opportunity to learn more about stride techniques.

To ensure that adequate equipment and instructors are on hand, we ask that you pre-register for the event by calling Brampton Bike and Ski, starting Monday, February 13, thru Friday, February 17, from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. at 906-428-2135.   

National Winter Trails Day is great fun for any age. Past events have drawn over one-hundred people and those numbers are expected to increase this year due to the growing interest in outdoor recreation.

Not only are skiing and snowshoeing great ways to just get outdoors, but they also support fitness. Cross-country skiing burns more calories per hour than any other sport, and offers a low-risk, low-impact form of exercise. It also uses natural movements, resulting in a very short learning curve. The same holds true for snowshoeing. Snowshoeing burns 45% more calories than walking or running at the same speed.

The Rapid River National Cross Country Ski Trail is located 6 miles north of Rapid River on US Highway 41 and includes five classic loops ranging from 1 to 10 miles in length, two skating loops, and a mile of snowshoe trail. The trail system is groomed and maintained by Delta County Nonmotorized Trail (DCNT) volunteers. They post grooming reports on the Rapid River Ski Trail Facebook page to keep you informed of trail conditions. So find them on Facebook to see how you can help. 

For more information about this year’s National Winter Trails Day event visit the Hiawatha National Forest website at or contact Brampton Bike and Ski at 906-428-2135 to register. See you on the trail.