Rapid River, MI 49878
Trail Length: 28 km
Groomed Classic? Yes
Groomed Skating? Yes
Trail fee? No
Ski rentals? No
Trail Map: Yes
Trail Conditions: Yes
Getting there: From the intersection of US-2 and US 41 in Rapid River drive 6 miles north on US 41 to the trailhead which will be on the left (west) side of the highway.
Directions to get there: Yes
The Rapid River National Cross Country Ski Trail offers skiers five loops of Nordic ski trail opportunities as well as two skating loops. The trail is widely recognized as one of the most beautiful in the Upper Peninsula as it winds through pine covered dune ridges and drops into lowland swamps. The topography offer beginner through expert skiers a wide range of challenges, from gentle, flat terrain to long, steep hills.
A bulletin board, rest benches and toilet can be found at the trailhead. All loops are groomed, but trail conditions will vary based on weather and time of the week. The trail is well marked and location maps are posted at the trail intersections.
Located 6 miles north of Rapid River on US 41, this 28 kilometer (17.36 mile) long trail system offers five classic ski loops, and two skating loops with challenges to match every ability level. A one mile long snowshoe trail complements the trail facilities. Trail Loops:
Tot Loop (1.2 miles) - The Tot Loop bisects Loop A, offering skiers the shortest and easiest segment of the trail system.
Loop A (2.7 miles) - This segment covers relatively flat terrain for the beginner, or may serve as a warm-up for the advanced skier planning to travel on to the more difficult loops.
Loop B (6.8 miles) - Designed for intermediate skiers, this distance includes both Loops A and B. By taking the "shortcut trail" from the parking lot, skiers can reduce the loop distance to 5.7 miles.
Loop C (6.4 miles) - Loop C is actually a shortcut across Loop B. Although shorter than Loop B, it is designed for more advanced skiers. By taking the short cut trail from the parking lot, skiers can reduce this loop distance to 5.3 miles.
Loop D (10.0 miles) - Recommended for only the most advanced skiers, this loop should be approached with caution. Its distance, coupled with its steep slopes makes this loop a real challenge to even the most experienced skiers. On the home stretch skiers have the option of taking either the intermediate Loop B or the more difficult Loop C by taking the shortcut trail from the parking lot, skiers can reduce this loop distance to 8.9 miles.
S1 Skating Loop (4.7 miles) - Built in 1992 in cooperation with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, this loop is designed for the intermediate skier who prefers the skating style of skiing over the traditional Nordic style. Skiers should take the short-cut trail from the parking lot to S1. This skating trail intersects Loop B in two places so skiers can switch from one trail to another to practice both techniques.
S2 Skating Loop (7.4 miles) - Built in 1993, this loop is designed for the more advanced skater. This distance includes both S1 and S2. There are numerous intersections with Loop D which will enable skiers to practice both techniques.