Loppet Foundation

Explore Minnesota

Snowmaking at Wirth: An Urban Winter Wonderland

This article was posted on Monday, December 18, 2017

Photo by Bruce Adelsman

If you haven’t heard, we’re making it snow down at Wirth! Thanks to a strengthened relationship with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, we have dramatically increased our ability to create swoon-worthy ski trails right in the heart of Minneapolis. Enhanced snowmaking infrastructure in the form of a new cooling tower, three additional snow-guns, and upgraded equipment means that our trails staff are able to produce about twice as much snow than they were making at this time last year.

The result? Well with the new infrastructure in place and this recent cold snap, Theodore Wirth Park has seemingly been transformed into an urban winter wonderland overnight — much to the delight of the Minneapolis cross-country ski community!

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board was excited to announce the first 0.6 kilometer trail opening in late November, thanks to the hard work and determination of Loppet staff. As the trails and recreation crews have been working day and night to produce snow and groom trails, Wirth Park is now up to nearly 11 kilometers of skiable trails between man-made and natural snow loops.

But there’s still more to come! As we continue to prepare for an influx of cross-country skiers from around the globe, Loppet staff are working towards completing a total of 7.5 kilometers of man-made trails for the Masters World Cup. Once finished, Theodore Wirth Park will have one of the largest man-made trail systems in the country!

Keep an eye on the trail reports page and skinnyski.com to find the latest updates on ski trails at Wirth Park. And be sure to start planning ahead for your races in the Masters World Cup — registration closes on January 8, 2018!