Trails and Grooming
- 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. New for 2017: Check out the Birch Hill Sunnyside Trail Map for the new trail that takes off from the Outhouse Loop Trail in the southwest part of Birch Hill and goes to the base of the Sonot Connector in the Ft. Wainwright ski area.
- 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.
Birch Hill Trails Map App
Get the Trailforks app in your favorite app store (there is a free version). Once installed, search for “Birch Hill Recreation Area” or navigate using the map. Select “Nordic Ski” under activity type dropdown menu. Or use the QR code here to go to the Birch Hill page on trailforks.com.
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!
Weekly Grooming Plan - Week of 03/27/22
|Tuesday||Maybe do the White Bear in the morning.|
|Friday||Groom White Bear Complex
Birch Hill Trail Updates
Take care on the Birch Hill Rec Area trails! There are downed power lines and trees on power lines due to the windstorm. The NSCF Trail Crew knows about it, and the borough is working on getting those issues resolved. Also, please keep an eye out of trail for brushing...
Trails are ready for summer use. Bicycles please avoid damaging wet sections. White Cub is closed for at least two weeks because of a sink hole. See a full trail report (which includes other areas) here.
Birch Hill trails are 99% snow free. Sections that are well shaded or poorly drained are still somewhat soft; the wettest of these sections still can be damaged by bicycle traffic. During the summer please avoid the sections of the White Bear below the Biathlon Range ...
Birch Hill Trail Conditions
|Name||Date Last Groomed||Condition||Skill||Distance|
|Relay Start||Easy||750 meters|
|Tower Loop||Difficult||2.3 km|
|Old Tower||Easy||250 meters|
|Roller Coaster||More Difficult||900 meters|
|White Bear Access||Difficult||900 meters|
|South Tower||Difficult||400 meters|
|Tower Direct||Difficult||150 meters|
|Medivac||Most Difficult||400 meters|
|Green Dot||Easy||300 meters|
|Blue Loop||Difficult||1.2 km|
|Outhouse Loop||Difficult||2.5 km|
|Sunnyside & Cliffside||Very Difficult||3.6 km|
|Competition Loop||Most Difficult||1.1 km|
|North Forty (N40)||Most Difficult||2.5 km|
|Black Hole||Most Difficult||2.5 km|
|Tommy Knocker||Difficult||0.2 km|
|Tommy Knocker Extension||Difficult||100 m|
|Black Funk/Black Baron||Difficult||0.25 km|
|White Bear Loops|
|White Bear||Difficult||9.9 km|
|Moilanen Meadows||Difficult||1.5 km|
|North Side Classical||Difficult||6 km|
|White Cub||Easy||1 km|
|South Side Classics|
|Blackhawk & Chinook||Difficult||5.6 km|
|Sonot Connector||Difficult||2 km|