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 1/3/2021

SundayStart @ 2000 - Groom Lighted Loops
TuesdayGroom North and Southside Classic
WednesdayStart @ 2000 Lighted Loops
ThursdayStart @ 2000 BLue, Outhouse, Sunny Side.
FridayStarting @ 1930 - Groom White Bear, White Cub, M.M.'s
SundayStarting @ 2000 - Groom Lighted Loops

Birch Hill Trail Updates

Word from the Groomers

Sunday night we groomed and set tracks on the Lighted Loops except South Tower.  South Tower will be done Tuesday in conjunction with the Blue Loops. Word from the Groomers reports on Birch Hill Recreation Area, which is groomed by the NSCF (with help from your...

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Birch Hill Trail Conditions

NameDate Last GroomedConditionSkillDistance
Lighted Loops
Groomed and trackedEasy1.5 km
Relay Start01/13/2021Groomed and trackedEasy750 meters
Tower Loop01/13/2021Groomed and trackedDifficult2.3 km
Old Tower01/13/2021Groomed and trackedEasy250 meters
Roller Coaster01/13/2021Groomed and trackedMore Difficult900 meters
White Bear Access

01/13/2021Groomed and trackedDifficult900 meters
South Tower01/13/2021Groomed and trackedDifficult400 meters
Tower Direct01/13/2021Groomed and trackedDifficult150 meters
Medivac01/13/2021Groomed and trackedMost Difficult400 meters
Green Dot01/13/2021Groomed and trackedEasy300 meters
Blue Loops
Blue Loop01/14/2020Groomed and trackedDifficult1.2 km
Outhouse Loop01/14/2020Groomed and trackedDifficult2.5 km
Sunnyside & Cliffside01/14/2020Groomed and tracked Very Difficult3.6 km
Black Loops
Competition Loop01/07/2021Groomed and trackedMost Difficult1.1 km
North Forty (N40)12/31/2020Groomed and trackedMost Difficult2.5 km
Black Hole01/07/2021Groomed and trackedMost Difficult2.5 km
Tommy Knocker01/07/2021Groomed and trackedDifficult0.2 km
Tommy Knocker Extension01/07/2021Groomed and trackedDifficult100 m
Black Funk/Black Baron01/07/2021Groomed and trackedDifficult0.25 km
White Bear Loops
White Bear01/08/2021Groomed and tracked
Difficult9.9 km
Moilanen Meadows01/08/2021Groomed and trackedDifficult1.5 km
North  Side  Classical01/12/21 Packed and TrackedDifficult6 km
White Cub01/08/2021Groomed and trackedEasy1 km
South Side Classics
Blackhawk & Chinook01/12/21Groomed and TrackedDifficult5.6 km
Sonot Connector01/08/2021Groomed and trackedDifficult2 km

The NSCF Trails are sponsored by…

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