News & Stories

December Construction Update: The Trailhead is Looking Like an Actual Building!

The Trailhead is a joint project between the Loppet Foundation and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) to expand and improve recreation in Theodore Wirth Park.

The Trailhead will be Theodore Wirth Park’s gateway to year-round outdoor recreation and adventure, and will be a jumping off point for skiers, trail runners, golfers, mountain bikers, snowshoers, hikers, and snowboarders alike. It will provide infrastructure to diversify the park’s user base and increase youth outreach. It will support expanded and strengthened Loppet youth and family programming. It will be a place for community to gather…

And, it will be your new favorite place to get a cup of coffee, grab a beer, or eat a meal in the park!

Trailhead building in the snow (as of November 6, 2017)

Staircase outside of The Trailhead
Staircase outside of The Trailhead
While this unseasonably warm weather has been a collective bummer for the cross-country ski community, it has allowed us to make some important progress on construction. The Trailhead’s roof went up in late October, and construction crews started to work on the remaining walls. Going past you can peek in through the fence and really begin to envision the fitness classes, casual dining, and community gathering that will soon be happening right in Wirth Park. Speaking of which — a stop sign has been added on Theodore Wirth Parkway outside of the building, so be sure to pump the breaks when you’re driving by! (For safety reasons, and to get a better look at The Trailhead’s progression, check out our construction album on Facebook.)

On the back end, the openings for the large windows that will look out onto the trails have just been installed. Behind the building, you can see a new staircase that was recently completed, and which will allow an easier user experience when the tubing hill reopens next winter. Families coming by Wirth for snow tubing will have the option of taking the stairs, or the tow rope, up to the top of the hill. The stairs also allow access to a smaller, kiddie hill off to the side so little ones can join in the fun.

There were also additional beams added to the south side of the building, which will frame The Trailhead’s outdoor concessions area. Once that space is open, it will create an inviting atmosphere where folks can grab a bite, meet for a beer, or just hang out and take in the park’s beauty.

Trailhead construction status as of November 17, 2017.

Behind the scenes, there are also a number of improvements being made to Wirth’s trail system surrounding the construction site. Once the new facility debuts, it will be accompanied by new and improved mountain biking trails to enable group classes and private lessons to go straight from the bike shop and onto the trail! We’re very excited for the opportunity to create this seamless experience so more people in our community can have adventure as a part of their everyday lives. (Please note that due to ongoing construction, the new trails are not yet open for public use outside of special events.)

Work on the building will continue through the rest of the year, with completion now estimated for spring 2018.

We’re definitely disappointed that we won’t be able to open The Trailhead doors in time for the Master’s World Cup as planned, due in large part to construction delays caused by the unusually wet summer. But we understand that great things take time, and know that The Trailhead will be well worth the wait!

Sunset at The Trailhead – Photo taken November 28, 2017

We wouldn’t be where we are today without the Loppet community. Our spectacular volunteers have helped us out every step along the way, and more than 2,000 members of our community have donated more than $4.8 million to support the project.

More about The Trailhead

Learn more about The Trailhead on our website!

We still need your help!

To finish the capital campaign for The Trailhead, we need to raise an additional $137,000 by the end of the year. You can donate online or download and return a donation form by mail. You can reach Development Director, Marin Byrne, at with any questions.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for regular updates on the Trailhead.