The 107 kilometer Birkie Trail system attracts skiers, runners, bikers, trekkers, and hikers, from casual day-trippers to elite superstars.  The Birkie trail was built for all silent sports enthusiasts to enjoy. The non-profit 501(c)(3) American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation maintains 100% of the trail system.  Donations to help cover the annual maintenance costs are welcome. You can help with a personal donation which may be tax deductible (consult your tax professional) and by joining the Foundation.

Ski Trail Passes

Birkie Trail ski passes are required December – March to ski on any part of the 107 km American Birkebeiner Trail System.  100% of funds collected go toward our growing costs to maintain the trail.

Trail passes or parking passes for Birkie Trail use are not required April – November, however if you are using the CAMBA mountain bike trails, please consider dropping a donation into the yellow tubes!

Birkie Ski Trail Pass Information

By order of the Sawyer County Board of Directors, no person may use that portion of the American Birkebeiner Trail System in Sawyer County between December 1st and March 31st unless they have purchased a Trail Pass.  Sawyer County grants to the named holder of a Trail Pass a revocable temporary license to access the Trail System.  Funds collected by sellers of Trail Passes are remitted to the County, which provides funds to the ABSF to maintain the Trail System.  Sellers of Trail Passes act only as the agent of the County in collecting Trail Pass fees.

Grooming Procedures/FAQ's

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Check out the Birkie Trail grooming procedures and FAQ’s: HERE

Latest Trail Report

12.1.2015 (1:00pm): The Birkie Trail received 3″-4″ of wet snow north of “OO” trail head, 2″-3″ south of “OO”.  No grooming until the temps drop and the snow dries out a bit.  Check back often for updates.  Getting closer to winter!

– Chris and the trail staff

11.23.2015 (8:00am): A small skiff of snow has arrived in Birkie-land and the ground is starting to freeze hard!  Please remember deer hunting season is in full swing – so if you enter the woods be sure to wear blaze orange.  A good option is to use the Birkie trail at “OO” trail head under the lights (no hunting at night).

-Chris and the trail staff

09.4.2015 (3:00pm):  Trails are in good condition and mowed throughout….will be very nice for the Birkie Trial run coming 9/26.  A other few Notes:  9/12-13 there is a high school MTB race at Fish Hatchery trail head.  The Fat Tire 40 is 9/19 – the course is already marked.  The Korte trail from Timeber Trail Rd to KM 11 is closed for a county logging project.   Get out and enjoy, there will be snowflakes in the air before you know it!

– Chris and the trail staff

8.26.15 (11:00am):  The latest news from the trail!  The crew has recently mowed from OO to Boedecker skate and classic trails. Also mowed, Mosquito Brook to Hatchery Birkie skate trail. The Birkie Trail is now open between the gravel pit and Mosquito Brook.  As always, please be alert and watch for maintenance crews on the trail.  Have a great weekend!

– Chris and the trail staff

6.20.2015 (11:00am):   Recently mowed- OO loops and then south to Gravel Pit trail head.  There is still lots of clean up logging happening at Hatchery and between Gravel Pit – Mosquito Brook.  We advise avoiding these areas. We will update here was soon as they are done.

– Chris and the trail staff



Real-Time Grooming Report

Find out what’s been groomed and when in real-time.

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Real-Time Grooming Reports by

Get the Birkie Trails App

Birkie Trails is the official app for the American Birkebeiner Ski Trail between Cable and Hayward, Wisconsin.

Included are a map (which will show your current location, and where you’ve skied), grooming report and tracking feature, showing time, distance and elevation gain.

Optionally, by using this app you can contribute to trail usage data, helping the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation manage and prioritize trail maintenance activities (grooming, trailwork, signage, etc).  Available for both iPhone and Android.

Get it on Google Play

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Trail Reports compiled by

Nov 13 - Birkie Trail (Hayward, WI)

Conditions: Two inches of wet sloppy snow. A tree across the trail just south of the 27 KM maker but otherwise it looks like the trail is in good shape for the coming season.
I ran South from OO while Bunkie did the Ski & Tea workout. Not skiable but it made me feel good to see it covered in snow. One hardy soul tried to classic ski a few hundred meters and there were a couple of fat bikers out. But otherwise it was just me and the newly fallen snow.
Photos: Photoset available.
(Andy Schwartz)

Mar 14 - Birkie Trail (Hayward, WI)

Conditions: Not good with a lot of bare spots.
I skied from Bodecker south to the rock and back. South on the skate trail and north on the classic. Some parts were O.K. with full coverage, but other parts had a lot of bare spots. The hill on the classic trail by the rock was completely bare. Most of the snow was corn snow, but there were a number of icy patches. This was a huge difference from a couple of days ago when the skiing was still quite good.
(David Belling)

Mar 11 - Birkie Trail (Hayward, WI)

Conditions: Still full coverage. Icy in the morning. Soft in the afternoon.
Fortunately no one is skiing in the warmest part of the day (60F Tuesday) so the trail is still in great shape. Warmth settles and smooths the surface out; base is frozen so it sets up overnight. There is an hour or two of perfect edging in the morning if you can time it - a little different every day! Tracks are shallow and refrozen - probably klister early or waxless later in the day. Very fun "spring" skiing -- and biking in the afternoon!
(Carolyn Senty)

Mar 8 - Birkie Trail (Hayward, WI)

Conditions: Fish Hatchery to OO was very good.
Slow with the sunny temps and warm weather, but there is still plenty of snow. Sad to see fat bike tracks out on much of the trail south of OO where they weren't supposed to be riding. Also pick up your gu's and gels folks (skiers included)! Picked up over 30 wrappers the last couple of days skiing on the trail and I'm sure there many that I missed.
(Elias Anoszko)

Birkie Trailheads

  • Powerline – 4.5K
  • North End Cabin – Randysek Rd, two miles south from Cable
  • Timber Trail – 9K
  • Birkie Ridge – Highway 63 two miles north from Seeley
  • Boedecker – 18.5K
  • OO – 22.8K
  • Mosquito Brook – 38.1K
  • Hatchery – 44.3K

Trail Profile

The total climb on the Birkie Skate Course from the start line at Telemark to the finish line in Hayward (north to south) is 1,398 meters. The Birkie Classic Course’s total climb from the start line to the finish line is 21 meters less or 1,379 meters.

The Birkie Classic Trail which ends at OO has a total climb of 727 meters compared to the Birkie Trail’s total climb of 729 meters to that point. See chart to right for elevation break down.

Support the Trail


The Birkie Classic Trail – Building a Trail

In order to provide a better race experience for all skiers, the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation developed the Birkie Classic Trail. Construction for the new trail began in late 2006 and was completed in three stages by the Fall of 2008. The 27K Birkie Classic Trail was used in its entirety for the 2009 event with Classic Skiers enjoying their own trail from just past the Race Start to County Hwy. OO.

Construction cost for the 27K trail totaled $104,000, which was raised with the help of many generous donations from skiers, businesses, organizations and friends of the American Birkebeiner.

The trail was designed and laid out by ABSF Board member Dave Nelson of Hayward and Rhinelander. Jack Moin, Cable, who also is Trail Chief at Telemark was Trail Construction Chief for the entire project. The project was successful due to the efforts of these two men who donated many hours of their time. The trail was built with the help and hard work of many volunteers who came out to numerous work nights and days over the three years.

25KFix1_mediumThe 27K Classic Trail is 20’ in width, and results in the Birkie Classic Race being 4K longer than the existing Birkie Trail used for the Skate course. Elevations of both trails is very similar with the major difference being that the Classic Trail climbs and descents are more gradual, but longer, facilitating the Classic technique. The two courses come together at each of the food/aid stations and close enough to be visible at several points.

The Birkie Classic Trail is groomed for both classic and skate skiing through the winter, but will be groomed for classic skiing only on race day. The trail is available for hiking, trail running and mountain biking the remainder of the year. There are no plans at present to further extend the Birkie Classic Trail.

The Birkie Classic Trail was built to provide the following benefits:

  • The Classic Trail will be used by classic skiers on race day, with skate skiers following the existing Birkie Trail. This separation will provide better course conditions for all skiers on race day. Classic skiers will have the best tracks we can provide, and skate skiers will have more room since the Birkie Trail will not be tracked, except on downhills, through these sections.
  • The new trail has elevated the stature of the Birkie Classic Race which we believe will draw additional participants, including top classic skiers, resulting in the Classic Birkie joining the Birkie in being recognized not only as the premier cross-country ski race in North America, but among the best in the world.
  • The “loops” created by linking the Birkie and Classic Trails at each food station and at several other points provide more options for other events and general recreation for all silent sport users, including hikers, runners and mountain bikers year around.
  • The new trail now provides another alternative for the Birkie in poor snow years. The new trail can serve as a return route to Telemark allowing a full marathon event to take place on the northern portion of the course when we can’t get to the much preferred finish in Hayward.

Major Donors

Contributing $1000 or more to the construction and maintenance of the Birkie Classic Trail:

  • John and Leslie Taylor
  • Johnson Family Foundation
  • Joseph and Cheryl Hoida Family
  • Judy and Gordon Faulkner
  • Becker Law Offices, Madison, WI
  • Phil and Ann Zink
  • Lori Steinbach
  • Bill and Nancy Bauer
  • Alvin and David Nelson
  • Lance Scott
  • Daniel R. Huber Family
  • Gail and Willi VanHaren
  • John Stien
  • The Hayward Lions Club
  • Jane Bidwell
  • Barbara Klippel
  • Seeley Ski Club
  • John Schneider
  • Steven Eyer
  • Kassbohrer All Terrain Vehicles
  • Michael Devanie