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

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1.18.17 (8:20AM): Last night we groomed the skate lanes from Hatchery to the Birkie trailhead in Cable on the Birkie Skate trail.  The skiing is just great this AM – enjoy!  Reminder – the weather is looking a bit grim later this week – stay tuned for the latest trail conditions and possible closures.

 Chris & the Birkie Trail Staff

1.17.17 (6:05AM): Last night we groomed the skate lane from OO trailhead south to Hatchery trailhead.  It looks like this week we have some warm temps coming – please stay tuned to possible trail closures and changes.  However…right now, get out and enjoy!!!

– Chris & the Birkie Trail Staff

1.14.17 (6:00AM): Last night we prepared the race course for the Seeley Hills Classic.  The race uses the Birkie trail from Gravel Pit trailhead north to Fire Tower (in this area, 3 classic tracks are set best-line down the middle of the trail).  To avoid the event, we suggest skiing from Fish Hatchery trailhead in the south, or the new Birkie trailhead up north in Cable. Enjoy the glorious conditions!

 Chris & the Birkie Trail Staff

1.12.17 (6:00AM): Had two of the PB’s out last night along with a few snowmobiles – focusing on the Birkie Skate Trail and the start areas.  Birkie Skate is groomed from Hatchery Creek trailhead to the Birkie trailhead in Cable, including the loops at OO and Hatchery, and the Easy Strider at OO.  Enjoy the skiing!

 Chris & the Birkie Trail 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

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Trail Reports compiled by

Jan 16 - Birkie Trail (Hayward, WI)

We skied south from OO to the Gravel pit. The trail was not re-groomed from the Seeley classic. It was slick until you skied past Pic-nic table hill. The skate lane in between the tracks was sort of narrow so it made for exciting passing when there was oncoming skiers. BUT, Every hill was a game of "Let's make a deal" You had four lanes to choose from and those tracks were like clipping into a railroad track: let it all go and just bust it down the grade. Really fun skiing.
(Dan Murphy)

Jan 15 - Birkie Trail (Hayward, WI)

I skied the Birkie Tour today. Besides slow glide that got better as it warmed up, the trails were essentially in perfect condition. Great job groomers!
(Louis Muench, CASTA)

Jan 14 - Birkie Trail (Hayward, WI)

Looked great. Skied somewhat less so. Good classic track everywhere we skied. Skate deck firmness varied tremendously depending upon what part of the trail you were. We skied north on the skate trail from the North End trail head. Skate deck was very soft until you got to Timber Trail. More firm from there to the Fire Tower water stop. Tried to ski back on the Classic trail which was crazy soft. Soft enough that we took the first opportunity to cross back over to the skate trail rather than try and slog further North on the classic trail. There's plenty of snow now so this isn't anything that couldn't be fixed with more grooming.
(Andy Schwartz)

Jan 12 - Birkie Trail (Hayward, WI)

Skate deck groomed with Pisten Bully on OO loops, but just skiied in tracks from yesterday remain. Looked like there might be tracks set south beyond "picnic table hill". North of OO we skied a ways on the Birkie trail which has fresh PB corduroy and fresh firm tracks set. Also skied the Easy Strider loops with fresh tracks! Lots of beautiful new snow! Thank you groomers! Photos from north side of OO.
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.