News & Stories

Exciting Changes Coming this Winter to Theodore Wirth Park
October 31, 2016

The leaves are changing colors, the temperatures are starting to drop, and outdoor recreation enthusiasts are looking forward to winter and to the exciting changes coming to Theodore Wirth Park.

This winter, through a partnership with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB), the Loppet Foundation is beginning work on The Trailhead project so that we can bring world-class outdoor recreation and programming to Theodore Wirth Park.

The first step in the process has the parties working together this winter, with the Loppet Foundation becoming the primary vehicle for the delivery of winter recreation services in Minneapolis. Specifically, the Loppet will run the snowmaking, ski trail maintenance, ski pass sales, and the operation of the tubing hill and snowboarding lessons at Wirth Park. The Foundation will also maintain cross-country ski trails at Columbia, Hiawatha, and The Chain of Lakes.

Park users will enjoy the following enhancements through Loppet’s partnership with Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board:

  • Cross Country Skiing: New this year is the addition of a cooling tower, which will allow for early season snowmaking. Work has also begun to realign the Hap Lutter Snowmaking Loop at Wirth in order to ensure that winter recreation is disentangled with the golf course in the summer time. The new trail layout will also accommodate the future Trailhead building. If all goes as planned, the construction will be completed before ski season begins and we will have a great season of cross country skiing at Wirth.
  • Mountain and Fat Tire Biking: We’ve begun work on the new addition of mountain bike event trails, which we hope to have open this fall. If the weather cooperates, the event trails will be constructed near the beginning of December. With enough freezing temperature days and snow, the trails will be available for grooming and biking this winter.
  • Tubing and Snowboarding: The tubing hill will be new and improved at it’s new location on the snowboarding hill, near where The Trailhead will be. Snowboarding will be offered to those signed up for lessons. The partners are also working to ensure that unlike in years past, the towrope will be up and running.
  • Free Sledding: Bring your own sled, snow tube or toboggan and go sledding for free at the former tubing hill site, near the Chalet.
  • New Central Site for Rentals, Passes and Information: The Par 3 Golf Course building (at 1339 Theodore Wirth Pkwy) will become the new temporary headquarters for winter activities until The Trailhead is open next year. The Winter Recreation Headquarters will house rentals and ski passes. It will be open 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. seven days a week.

Find out more about the project and stay up-to-date on the latest news. It’s going to be a great winter in Minneapolis!