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!

Weekly Grooming Plan - Week of 2/7/2021

SundayNo grooming planned.
MondayNo grooming planned.
Tuesday2000 start time: Groom White Bear, and Lighted Loops.
Wednesday2000 start time: Groom Sunny/Cliff Side.
Thursday2000 start time: Groom Black Loops


Friday2000 start time: Groom White Bear or Lighted Loops.
SaturdayNo grooming planned
Sunday2000 start time: Groom Lighted Loops.

Birch Hill Trail Updates

Word from the Groomers

Friday night we groomed and set tracks on White Cub, White Bear, and Moilanen Meadows. Word from the Groomers reports on Birch Hill Recreation Area, which is groomed by the NSCF (with help from your donations). To see the Weekly Grooming Plan and a detailed list of...

read more

Word from the Groomers

Bill set new tracks on Chinook, Blackhawk and Sonot Connector this afternoon,  the plan for this evening starting around 7pm is groom Sunnyside, Cliff and the Black Loops starting at  8pm.  Please don't follow the groomers it takes about 4 hours for the trails to set...

read more

Birch Hill Trail Conditions

NameDate Last GroomedConditionSkillDistance
Lighted Loops
Warm-Up03/02/2021
Groomed and trackedEasy1.5 km
Relay Start03/02/2021Groomed and trackedEasy750 meters
Tower Loop03/02/2021Groomed and trackedDifficult2.3 km
Old Tower02/28/2021Packed onlyEasy250 meters
Roller Coaster03/02/2021Groomed and trackedMore Difficult900 meters
White Bear Access

03/02/2021Groomed and trackedDifficult900 meters
South Tower03/02/2021Groomed and trackedDifficult400 meters
Tower Direct03/02/2021Groomed and trackedDifficult150 meters
Medivac03/02/2021Groomed and trackedMost Difficult400 meters
Green Dot03/02/2021Groomed and trackedEasy300 meters
Blue Loops
Blue Loop03/02/2021Groomed and trackedDifficult1.2 km
Outhouse Loop03/02/2021Groomed and trackedDifficult2.5 km
Sunnyside & Cliffside03/03/2021Groomed and tracked Very Difficult3.6 km
Black Loops
Competition Loop03/03/2021Groomed and trackedMost Difficult1.1 km
North Forty (N40)03/03/2021Groomed and trackedMost Difficult2.5 km
Black Hole03/03/2021Groomed and trackedMost Difficult2.5 km
Tommy Knocker03/03/2021Groomed and trackedDifficult0.2 km
Tommy Knocker Extension03/03/2021Groomed and trackedDifficult100 m
Black Funk/Black Baron03/03/2021Groomed and trackedDifficult0.25 km
White Bear Loops
White Bear03/05/2021Groomed and Tracked
Difficult9.9 km
Moilanen Meadows03/05/2021Groomed and trackedDifficult1.5 km
North  Side  Classical03/02/2021Packed and TrackedDifficult6 km
White Cub03/05/2021Groomed and TrackedEasy1 km
South Side Classics
Blackhawk & Chinook03/03/2021 TrackedDifficult5.6 km
Sonot Connector03/03/2021Groomed and Tracked
Difficult2 km

The NSCF Trails are sponsored by…

Subway logo