The American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation has purchased the former Telemark Lodge and Resort property. The purchase closing took place in early February, and the Lodge has been razed.
“We owe a lot to glaciers! The magnificent terrain they left behind has given us trails to play on, and they attract visitors to our thriving community. The new opportunities for skiing, hiking, running, mountain biking, and enjoying nature will take advantage of the rolling hills on the beautiful, historic Telemark property.” Krista Christenson, Birkie Skier, Owner, Velō Café, and Maureen Palmer, Birkie Volunteer, Owner, Redbery Books, Cable.
What’s up with “sustainability?” Sustainability means the ability to be maintained. We’ll operate within our means without compromising future generations. Sustainability also refers to energy systems and building processes. For example, we’re planning to install a solar field that will power all energy consumption on the property, including snowmaking.
A goal of the ABSF is to have a trail system that is accessible to everyone – from absolute beginners looking for a trail on which to learn how to kick and glide and skate, to elite athletes seeking challenging trails on which to train.
If you cross country skied at Telemark in the old days, you’re familiar with trails like the World Cup, the John Bower Trail and the Martha Rockwell Trail. Our goal is to restore, rehabilitate and, in some cases, extend these trails.
Trails will be open to hiking and trail running, too. Snowmaking on the trails near the Birkie start area will be expanded to ten kilometers. If you recall the old log cabin, just a couple kilometers west of the new Birkie start area, it will be refurbished as a rustic warming cabin, complete with some sturdy wooden chairs salvaged from the old Telemark Lodge.
Plans include a paved fitness trail looping around the Telemark property – available for roller skiing, running – even pushing a baby stroller. New and rehabilitated mountain biking trails will join the singletrack of the fantastic Chequamegon Area Mountain Bike Association (CAMBA) system.
The future of Telemark comes back to the land. The land provides the terrain, and it supports the forest that makes being outdoors in any season such a pleasure. The Mt. Telemark Conservancy comprises 286 acres of northern forest, with a smattering of wetlands and a few small ponds.
In partnership with Landmark Conservancy our goal is to establish a conservation easement on the acreage, protecting and preserving it in its natural state. The forest will be sustainably managed to achieve a diverse, older-aged forest, with control for oak wilt and regular monitoring for invasive species. Whether skiing, hiking, mountain biking, or bird watching, it is a pleasure indeed to know this property will be here now and for future generations.