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:

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

Word from the Groomers

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.

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Word from the Groomers

Your donation to the Trail Fund is important, last season the club spent over $12,000 dollars  to maintain our fleet of grooming equipment. Takes a lot of oil, filters, grease and spare parts, to keep our fleet well maintained.   We groomed the most of the Lighted...

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Word from the Groomers

Our donation to the trail fund is important.  We groomed the Blue, Outhouse and the Sunny Side trails this morning.  Plan for Friday is to groom for the for the Distance Race on Saturday....

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The NSCF Trails are sponsored by…

Birch Hill Trail Conditions

NameSkillDistanceDate Last GroomedCondition
Lighted Loops
Warm-UpEasy1.5 km12/10/2017Groomed and Tracked
Relay StartEasy750 meters12/10/2017Groomed and Tracked
Tower LoopDifficult2.3 km12/10/2017Groomed and Tracked
Old TowerEasy250 meters11/27/2017Set Track
Roller CoasterMore Difficult900 meters12/10/2017 Groomed and Tracked
White Bear
(to Meridian)
Difficult900 meters12/09/2017Groomed and tracked
South TowerDifficult400 meters11/23/2017Packed
Tower DirectDifficult150 meters11/18/2017Groomed
MedivacMost Difficult400 meters12/10/2017Groomed and Tracks
Green DotEasy300 meters  12/04/2017Groomed and Tracked
Blue Loops
Blue LoopDifficult1.2 km12/07/2017Groomed and tracked
Outhouse LoopDifficult2.5 km12/07/2017Groomed and tracked
Sunnyside & CliffsideVery Difficult3.6 km12/07/2017Groomed and Tracked
Black Loops
Competition LoopMost Difficult1.1 km12/05/2017Groomed and tracked
North Forty (N40)Most Difficult2.5 km12/05/2017Groomed and tracked
Black HoleMost Difficult2.5 km12/05/2017Groomed and tracked
Tommy KnockerDifficult0.2 km12/05/2017Groomed and tracked
Tommy Knocker ExtensionDifficult100 m12/05/2017Groomed and tracked
Black Funk/Black BaronDifficult0.25 km12/05/2017Groomed and tracked
White Bear Loops
White BearDifficult9.9 km12/09/2017Groomed and tracked
Moilanen MeadowsDifficult1.5 km12/09/2017Groomed and tracked
North  Side  ClassicalDifficult6 km11/27/2017 Pack and tracks
White CubEasy1 km12/01/2017Groomed and tracked
South Side Classics
Blackhawk & ChinookDifficult2.6 km11/29/2017First Tracks!
Sonot ConnectorDifficult2 km12/03/2017Groomed