by ADAM GRUENEWALD
With another successful candlelit ski and walk event in the rearview mirror from last Saturday, Baylor Park staff look forward to continuing to prepare the trails for skiers. The 3.5-miles of trails at Baylor Park remain groomed and skis remain ready for rentals as winter weather continues. The trails remain open for both styles of cross country skiing, skate and classic, according to Carver County Parks and Trails Supervisor Sam Pertz, who noted that preparation for skiers is an all-year process.
“There is a fair amount of preparation for our ski trails all through the year,” Pertz said. “Trail systems are maintained so they are flat and not bumpy because it affects what you can do in the winter.”
In the wintertime, walkers are permitted walk on the groomed part, although it is not preferred. Snowshoers are permitted as well, along with skijourers.
“Nice wide trails make a difference,” Pertz said. “We try to maintain wide trails so if you have a tradition skier and a skate-skier they can both co-exist.”
The whole trail system is typically groomed Mondays and Fridays, along with other days as needed. The process involves multiple passes, one of which creates the combed blanket and another creates the grooved track.
“What grooming is typically doing is it’s compressing the snow and getting the air out of it and getting to a base and a skiable state,” said Pertz, who added that the consistent snowfall has helped keep the trails busy this year.
“We’ve been pretty fortunate this winter from that initial snowstorm early in the year,” he said. “They hit them and got a base going and we’ve been pretty consistent with keeping a good base.”
Rental hours for the park’s classic books and waxless skis are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays. Ski rentals will also be available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Presidents Day, Monday, Feb. 17.
Pertz said he is looking at getting new equipment for next year, which could include some skate skis, in addition to the classic skis currently offered.
“We just upgraded our equipment here a few years back,” said Pertz, adding most rental-users are brand new skiers. “So our equipment is quite modern.”
The Presidents Day holiday was the planned date for the first winter day camp for kids, done in conjunction with Central Community Education, but that event may be cancelled.
“We had great registration with 30 kids,” said Pertz. “With everybody rescheduling winter make-up days, most schools are hitting that as one they will take away.”
For more information, visit www.co.carver.mn.us/departments/PW/parks/index.asp or contact (952) 361-1500.
Contact Adam Gruenewald at [email protected]