Gunflint Grooming

Proper grooming for Gunflint Trail living involves… just kidding, this is actually about ski trail grooming, not personal grooming.  I know it isn’t April Fool’s Day,  but I just thought we could start out with a little humor today.  Grooming of the cross-country ski trails on the upper Gunflint Trail ski system is a full time job.  I never realized how many hours of work went into the trails both during the summer and during the ski season.  In the summer the trails must be kept clear of fallen trees and the grass and brush must be mowed to ease with the winter grooming process.  Then once the snow flies the trails have to be packed, tracked, sometimes re-cultivated, and then tracked again every snowfall or after a few days.  The trails get used not only by skiers up here, but also by deer, wolves, moose and other small animals, so before long they need to be groomed again.  The grooming itself takes about 3-4 hours each "loop" of which there are two.   The loops consist of many different trails and lots of kilometers of wilderness skiing.  I have invited myself along for a Piston Bully grooming ride on numerous occasions just to see how it is done first hand, I’m still waiting for my opportunity.  The Piston Bully itself is an amazing machine that requires hours upon hours of maintenance to keep it running properly.  I always appreciated a freshly groomed trail and hopefully the next time you see one you will appreciate it as well.  I am very grateful to the businesses who take care of the ski trails up here so I have a wonderful place to cross-country ski.