Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore ski trails are located just west of Grand Marais on county road H-58. The road is plowed to the trailhead and parking area across from the Sable Lake Ranger Station. Trails wind through a beautiful landscape made of a variety of habitats and topography. Beech, maple, hemlock and other conifers and old field plant communities grow on the sandy uplands and rugged hills of old glacier features. The trail receives about 200" of snow a winter.
Each trail offers a variety of loop lengths for a leisurely day ski or a quick workout at the end of the day. All lakeshore trails are designed for diagonal stride only - skating is not permitted. Trails are marked with blue diamonds and a map at each intersection. The trails are groomed regularly - watch for grooming equipment. Whether you are a novice or an accomplished skier, we hope you find the trails are challenging and fun.
Trails C and D cross a county road used by snowmobiles, listen for approaching snowmobiles before crossing. Ski trail conditions may vary. Heavy weekend use and alternating daytime thawing and nighttime freezing may turn snow packed slopes into fast, icy runs. Severe storms are common in the area and rise quickly. Wind may obliterate the trail at times. Darkness comes early in the winter so allow yourself plenty of time to return to your car before dark. Travel with a companion and let someone know where you are going. Wear adequate clothing in layers. Take food and water if you plan to be out for the day. Match your skill level to the trails you ski. Pets, winter camping, snowshoeing, walking and skating are not permitted on lakeshore trails.
Skiing in the School Forest is a challenging and scenic outing. The trails take you along the banks of the Sucker River and through some of the oldest pine trees around. There are four well-marked loops, each with its own scenic appeal. Parking is available along the road.
The trails are groomed but not excessively used. These trails are very different from Pictured Rocks in scenery, length and skill level. Most of the terrain is fairly level and is good skiing for beginners. One can spend a lot of time so make sure you take along water and munchies.
School Forest is also a perfect place to snowshoe. The woods are generally clear of underbrush and the snow is deep. Make your own path along the river and enjoy the winter beauty of the north woods.