Trails and Grooming
The main mission of our Trails Program is to provide great trail grooming during the ski season at Birch Hill Recreation Area. This includes connected trails, such as the White Bear, that are on Fort Wainwright land. But great grooming takes more than just grooming. Here are some other things our groomers do (often with the help of volunteers):
- Keep the trails relatively smooth during summer. The smoother the trails in summer, the less snow we need to start skiing in winter.
- Keep the trails cleared of fallen trees.
- With the borough, maintain the trail lighting system.
- With the help of volunteers, put up and take down race course marking materials.
We can accomplish this only with your support, so please consider making a trail donation!
Largely because of our vibrant Nordic skiing community, Fairbanks is blessed with abundant trails for all skiing techniques, with trails for novice, intermediate, expert, and elite skiers. Here are links to maps for trail systems you can explore:
- Birch Hill Recreation Area – Site of most of NSCF’s activities, with trails for every ability and technique. Groomed by NSCF. Read more about the Birch Hill Facilities and the Jim Whisenhant Trail System.
- UAF West Ridge/Skarland Ski Trails – Part of the historic Skarland ski trail system, trails for every ability and technique. Groomed by UAF.
- Goldstream Sports Ski Trails – One of many local businesses that support Nordic skiing, the company grooms a set of three classic skiing loops on the west end of Goldstream Valley north of Fairbanks.
The annual cost of our trails program to the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks is over $100,000 including the costs of labor, fuel, equipment maintenance and depreciation, equipment rental, etc. That money is NOT government money, but is money raised by the NSCF from its membership and from corporate sponsors and donors. The Nordic Ski Club has approximately 300 memberships annually, accounting for a total somewhere around 800 members (there are normally multiple members in a single family membership). If you do the math, you can see that it is important that our club members make meaningful donations to cover these costs.
Skiers in the lower 48 pay substantial fees for day passes and season passes. You can ski at Birch Hill without having to purchase a day pass or a season pass, or wear a ticket on your clothing. However, if the high-quality trail system is to continue to exist, and if the superb grooming we have all come to expect is to go on into the future, those things have to get paid for.
Below are the donation amounts suggested by the NSCF Board of Directors. These donations are based on the actual costs of operating our trails program. A survey of what people pay at commercial and club trail operations in the Lower 48 and Canada where fees are charged confirms that these amounts are typical, or even on the low end, for a ski center the size and quality of Birch Hill. Keep in mind that for most operations outside of Alaska, the ski season is 1/2 to 2/3 the length of a typical Fairbanks ski season. The cost of our grooming operations is a direct function of the length of our season:
- Individual Season Pass / Youth (younger than high school) – $90
- Individual Season Pass / Junior-Student (high school or college student – $150
- Individual Season Pass / Adult – $200
- Couples Season Pass / Adult – $300
- Family Season Pass (includes children through high school) – $400
Sustaining donor levels:
- Tracksetter – $500
- Trailblazer – $1000
As you are making your donation decision, please keep these numbers in mind . . . so that we can keep enjoying the great trails and grooming for which Birch Hill is justifiably renowned.
Please donate today!
Trails and Grooming Updates
We groomed the Blue and Outhouse this morning, and White Cub, M.M's and White Bear this afternoon.read more
1100 and it is +25. Did a quick trip around part of the trail system, the trails are firm but no worst then they are after two weeks of -30, lots of debris in the tracks I did not find any ice on the trails I went on, that does not mean that there is not ice out...read more
The grooming crew would all love to be grooming right now, but we feel that spending our limited resources and temperatures not going below freezing the wind filling the tracks with debris, we thing it is better to hold off. Thanks for your understanding.read more
The NSCF Trails are sponsored by…
Birch Hill Trail Conditions
|Name||Skill||Distance||Date Last Groomed||Condition|
|Warm-Up||Easy||1.5 km||12/10/2017||Groomed and Tracked|
|Relay Start||Easy||750 meters||12/10/2017||Groomed and Tracked|
|Tower Loop||Difficult||2.3 km||12/10/2017||Groomed and Tracked|
|Old Tower||Easy||250 meters||11/27/2017||Set Track|
|Roller Coaster||More Difficult||900 meters||12/10/2017||Groomed and Tracked|
|Difficult||900 meters||12/09/2017||Groomed and tracked|
|South Tower||Difficult||400 meters||11/23/2017||Packed|
|Tower Direct||Difficult||150 meters||11/18/2017||Groomed|
|Medivac||Most Difficult||400 meters||12/10/2017||Groomed and Tracks|
|Green Dot||Easy||300 meters||12/04/2017||Groomed and Tracked|
|Blue Loop||Difficult||1.2 km||12/15/2017||Groomed and tracked|
|Outhouse Loop||Difficult||2.5 km||12/15/2017||Groomed and tracked
|Sunnyside & Cliffside||Very Difficult||3.6 km||12/07/2017||Groomed and Tracked|
|Competition Loop||Most Difficult||1.1 km||12/14/2017||Groomed and tracked|
|North Forty (N40)||Most Difficult||2.5 km||12/14/2017||Groomed and tracked|
|Black Hole||Most Difficult||2.5 km||12/14/2017||Groomed and tracked|
|Tommy Knocker||Difficult||0.2 km||12/05/2017||Groomed and tracked|
|Tommy Knocker Extension||Difficult||100 m||12/05/2017||Groomed and tracked|
|Black Funk/Black Baron||Difficult||0.25 km||12/14/2017||Groomed and tracked|
|White Bear Loops|
|White Bear||Difficult||9.9 km||12/15/2017||Groomed and tracked|
|Moilanen Meadows||Difficult||1.5 km||12/15/2017||Groomed and tracked|
|North Side Classical||Difficult||6 km||11/27/2017||Pack and tracks|
|White Cub||Easy||1 km||12/15/2017||Groomed and tracked|
|South Side Classics|
|Blackhawk & Chinook||Difficult||2.6 km||11/29/2017||First Tracks!|
|Sonot Connector||Difficult||2 km||12/15/2017||Groomed and tracked|