SKI AREA PROFILE: Frederic Village / Coon Lake Trails

While Frederic, WI may not be commonly thought of as a Cross Country Ski (or cycling/running for that matter) destination, you likely would be surprised at what you'll find in the area.

Having grown up in Frederic, I know a few of the gems of this land, which are largely under appreciated by XC skiers. The "Coon Lake Ski Trail", maintained by the Viking Ski Club is definitely one of those gems (also of note is the Trade River Trail in Frederic)!

The Coon Lake Ski Trail is right on the edge of the town of Frederic, on the east side of Coon Lake. To access the trail parking lot, simply go east on Ash Street (from Hwy 35) past the lake. Once approaching the end of the lake, you'll see the parking lot on your left.

The Trailhead/Parking lot at the Coon Lake Trail in Frederic

The terrain is ideal for XC skiing with beautiful flats along the lake shore and ridges rising nearly 100 feet from the lake shore. You start out by going up the aptly named "Cardiac Climb" which is about 600 meters long goes straight up this 100 foot grade. Once done with the Cardiac Climb loop, you can attack the short but challenging "Steep Loops" which will challenge your climbing skills along with your descending and cornering skills. This brings you to the main loop, which will traverse some nice terrain and bring you along to the north side of the lake. Coming back in from this north loop is a beautiful ski along the lake shore and then into the finish.

About to go down the second brief but challenging "Steep Loop"


The beautiful ski back in from the north loop, along scenic Coon Lake.

Once back to the finishing straight, I'm always struck by how this would make an ideal race start/finishing area. It is also an ideal place to do some technique drills. The trail here is wide, lighted (for this 200 meter section), and always in great shape. This finishing straight always seems to hold the snow well and I've gone out for skis where I'm simply gone back and forth on this one section - the things a desperate XC Skier does when there isn't good snow...

One of my favorite spots at Coon Lake, the starting/finishing straight

Anyway, check out the Coon Lake Trail next time you're in Frederic, you won't regret it. Don't forget to drop some cash in the donation box for our good friends that make skiing in Frederic a reality!

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