June 21, 2016 – With the Midwest embracing healthy outdoor lifestyles, five founding clubs are announcing the introduction of a new program focused on bringing outdoor adventures to youth year-round.

The Loppet Foundation (Minneapolis, MN), the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation (Hayward, WI), Endurance United (St. Paul, MN), Out There (Rice Lake), and MadNorSki (Madison, WI), have united to promote the broader mission of fostering outdoor lifestyles by offering year-round activities for youth ages 8-13 within all of their programming under the TRAIL KIDS name. Loppet Foundation Executive Director, John Munger announced, “We are partnering to create a brand that is bigger than any of us. TRAIL KIDS is about endurance based year-round outdoor activities that kids can do for a lifetime.”

Each TRAIL KIDS chapter will operate from within the umbrella of the club but will share common traits, from the foundational commitment to run activities year round for kids to meeting certain quality standards of programming. TRAIL KIDS clubs are different than many programs for older kids and teens in that they are about learning to enjoy endurance-based outdoor sports by infusing excitement into the adventures. However, programs also spend time building base skills in each of the various activities.

Not only will each chapter run programs in their communities, but they will host local events, and come together for regional events throughout the year embracing the adventure of the outdoors together and building a community network supporting lifetime sports.

“The American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation is committed to supporting healthy, active lifestyles for all ages and abilities,” said Ben Popp, ABSF Executive Director. “The TRAIL KIDS collaboration allows us to bring an entire region together to ensure the next generation is introduced to the silent sport lifestyle. It doesn’t get any better than that!”

The ABSF recently introduced Birkie Trail Kids, a summer program designed to get kids out on the trail running, biking, orienteering, canoeing, and more. The program is designed to expose kids to different outdoor activities, to increase their general physical development, and teach them the love of outdoor sport- all while having fun! The 10-week Birkie Trail Kids program launched earlier this summer and was received with incredible enthusiasm from local participants, filling to capacity in record time. Like the other partner organizations, the ABSF plans to add additional Birkie Trail Kids programming to their roster in the future.

The Loppet Foundation and the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation (ABSF) will collaborate on hosting an inaugural regional event in Hayward, WI on July 29th-31st where TRAIL KIDS families will come together for a Mountain Bike Family Weekend. Endurance United will be introducing a new regional event with an orienteering adventure in the fall.

Loppet TRAIL KIDS began this spring with a mountain biking session, and Rice Lake is underway with mountain biking, trail running, orienteering, and paddling for kids in their community. All five clubs will have programs this summer. For more information about joining an existing club or starting a new TRAIL KIDS chapter, check out our website or contact us at

Contact Information:

TRAIL KIDS – Bert Jackson · 715-492-0979

Birkie – Nancy Knutson · 715-634-5025

Posted June 30, 2016 at 3:40 pm