The Otter Tail Nordic Ski Association (OTNSA) is hosting a candlelight ski event in Fergus Falls at Kirkbride Park on Saturday, Feb. 15 from 6pm to 8:30pm.

Recently a new cross-country ski trail appeared in Fergus Falls at Kirkbride Park, the same area where the Summerfest celebration is held. The trail is just over 1 mile long and is groomed for both skate and classic skiing. Parking and trail access is on the north side of the park closest to the Kirkbride building by the old band stand.

OTNSA has worked with the city of Fergus Falls on this endeavor. Volunteers planned, received permission, and maintain this trail. Thank you to Wynn and Paul Roberts who have donated their time and use of a truck/trailer, snowmobile, and groomer. They have been grooming the trail a couple times a week to keep it in good condition. The DNR has coordinated grooming a trail on Lake Alice with the city in recent years. Wynn groomed a short trail on Lake Alice for the Noon Kiwanis Winter Karnival this year. It is hoped that in the future the city can secure grooming equipment and perhaps groom more than just the Kirkbride location.

The Kirkbride Park trail has seen quite a bit of use since its inception. The Fergus Falls Nordic Ski Team has held practice there a few times and a number of others have skied the loop. While this trail was intended for cross-country skiers, the city and OTNSA welcomes other uses. The trail could be used for snowshoe or fat bike use with no negative impact when used carefully. Please stay off the classic track and to the side of the trail, or off it altogether, if an activity is disturbing the trail.

There are several other cross-country ski trails in the area. Trails can be found at both Maplewood and Glendalough state parks. Spidahl Ski Gaard, near Heilberger Lake north of Fergus Falls, and Kensington Rune Stone Park near Alexandria have ski trails as well. Spidahl Ski Gaard and Glendalough State Park have rental equipment.

If you’d like more information about the trail or are interested in volunteering please contact ottertailnordic@gmail.com or the Fergus Falls Parks, Recreation, and Forestry at 218-332-5806.

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