Cross Country Skiing at Irvine Park, Chippewa Falls

The cross-country skiers you know are still in that "junkie" phase where we're desperately sniffing around everywhere for snow.  This is solid "rock ski" season, which means your workouts aren't really going to "feel" like skiing...more like teetering around on a couple patches of white stuff while avoiding all the rocks and twigs that are sticking up like land mines.  

If you've been doing your homework, this is actually kind of a forced recovery time of year (which is probably good for you) as you wait the necessary week or two for the trails to really get up and running.  However if, like me, you're BEHIND in your training, this is the time of year when you remember...OH RIGHT...THE BIRKIE IS COMING UP!...and you're scrambling to get your hours in.

I spent most of last week in the gym, but today I thought I'd take advantage of the nice dusting we'd received here in Chippewa Falls the other day and see what kind of shape the Irvine Park trails were in.  Again, you don't want to be grabbing your race skis right now.  I dug out my awesome back country skis and headed on over.

The trails were actually surprisingly good.  There were a couple rocks here and there, but you could definitely ski around.  I was surprised to see that they'd packed it down with some kind of groomer.  It's WAY to early to dream of setting tracks yet, but those back country skis are like bulldozers...you can go ANYWHERE with them.   In the end, I was pretty pleased to get an hour in shuffling around and back to my house in time to watch football.

The best thing about these trails are they're only a mile from my house!  Although that means your car hasn't had enough time to warm up by the time you get out there (there's always something to complain about).  In case you were wondering where these trails are, here's a map.  You have to go past all the "official" Irvine Park entrances and turn onto Rudolph street in order to find the ski trail parking lot (I put a big red dot where the trail head is).  Enjoy!  

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