The over 100 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.

Trail lights are now on for the season! Lights are located at both Highway OO Trailhead near Seeley, WI and Hatchery Creek Trailhead.

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

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

Latest Trail Report

3.25.17 (11:00AM) – The Birkie trail system will officially close at 11:59pm on Sunday, March 26, until further notice.  The trail system will remain closed until all frost leaves the ground and until the trail dries up.  The closure is for all trail users – skiers, hikers, bikers, and other.  The trail closure is by the authority of the Bayfield and Sawyer County Forest Administrators, in collaboration with the Birkie Trail Manager.  Thank you for your cooperation in helping us to preserve and protect the trail during this transitional time.  We will let you know the moment the trail is open for use!  Until then!

 – Chris & the Birkie Tail Staff

3.20.17 (10:00AM) – It’s that spring-like time of year when the trail is in a bit of transition.   With snowy areas, icy patches, exposed earth and the frost leaving the ground, the trail is vulnerable to use in some areas.  No bike riding is allowed on the trail at this time.  Gravel roads are a good option, although conditions vary there as well.  The conditions are somewhat iffy for skiing, depending on area of the trail – north of OO is better than south of OO, where it is unsuitable for skiing.  Please respect the trails and make your usage choices accordingly.  The American Birkebeiner Trailhead area is closed to preserve the space.  The conditions are rapidly changing with frost beginning to come out of the earth.  Watch for updates and trail announcements before you head out on area trails.

 – Chris & the Birkie Tail Staff

3.13.17 (5:00PM) The Birkie Trail north of ‘OO’ is icy and considered unsafe for skiing.  The trail conditions south of the OO Trailhead are inconsistent, primarily grass and ice, and unsuitable for skiing.  The slight dusting of snow overnight did not improve trail conditions.  We will keep you updated as trail conditions change.

 – Chris & the Birkie Tail Staff

3.1.17 (10:00PM) We received approximately 2″ of new snow yesterday.  Tonight we groomed the skate lanes of both the Birkie Classic and Birkie Skate trails from “OO” north to the Fire-tower food station.  It is thin with  a few icy places – but really good coverage.  Check back tomorrow for additional grooming.

 – Chris & the Birkie Tail Staff

2.27.17 (8:30AM) Trail Conditions update – The trail is now open for skiing – but please no walking or fat biking on it (until Fat Bike Birkie weekend), as we are still skiing in areas and are hoping for more snow so we can groom up all the trails for good skiing again!  Currently there is a hard base over 90% of the trail and 10% grass!  We will keep updating here as we attempt to groom more areas.

 – Chris & the Birkie Tail Staff

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

screen322x572 Trail Reports Trail Reports

Trail Reports compiled by

Mar 4 - Birkie Trail (Hayward, WI)

Skied from Bodecker to Timber Trail and back. Classic Trail north was groomed (2-3 days ago) to Randysek, from there north it was a glorious mostly untouched powder over a hard base. Return on Skate trail was darn near freshly groomed, amazing. Many spots were opening up, skis off one time, but tomorrow may be more. Last days? Thanks ABSF crew!
Photos: Photoset available.
(Jeff Tumbleson)

Mar 3 - Birkie Trail (Hayward, WI)

Skied today from near OO to Fire Tower aid station and back (both trails) and was surprised how good it was. The base is thin so no classic tracks, and there are occasional bare spots, but most of the trail is good to very good. There appears to be a single pass down to Birkie Ridge and up toward the high point as well. Ski while you still can! Great work by the trail crew (all year) to keep us skiing after the big warm up. Thanks!
Photos: Photoset available.
(Tom Detzner)

Mar 2 - Birkie Trail (Hayward, WI)

I've been skiing from Bodecker to the High Point the last 3 days (on both skate and classic trails). It's been pretty awesome! 2 out 3 of those days it's been freshly groomed with equipment getting moved from the start line back to OO. There are few thin spots and some of those have opened up more today. I still expect the skiing to very good through Saturday late morning. Get it while you can! And thanks ABSF crew for a fantastic few days of skiing this week!
Photos: Photoset available.
(Jeff Tumbleson)

Mar 2 - Birkie Trail (Hayward, WI)

Skied a few kilometers north and south of Boedecker on soft fresh corduroy. 99% covered, no ice, 1% thin in sunny spots or south hills that lost the base. Both Birkie and Classic trails were groomed for skating from OO to Fire Tower. 2-3 inches of fresh snow has recovered the trail. Good skiing still to be had out there!
Photos: Photoset available.
(Carolyn Senty)

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

Trail Ambassadors

benTrail Ambassadors are working as an extension of the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation, interacting and educating fellow skiers about the Birkie Trail Pass system. Skiing out and back from various trailheads along the Birkie Trail. All Birkie Trail Ambassadors must be 18 years of age, or older.

Volunteer 4-15 hours as a Trail Ambassador and receive a free Birkie Water Bottle. Volunteer 16+ hours as a Trail Ambassador and also receive a free Individual Annual Birkie Trail Pass for the 2016-2017 season. Volunteers will be provided with a Birkie Ambassador bib to wear and informational notecards to hand out while skiing during their shift. Bibs and cards can be picked up the Fri-Sun the weekend of your shift and dropped back off Sat-Tues the weekend of your shift.