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

Groomer's Report

Latest Birkie Trail Conditions and Grooming Updates

Each Trail Section starts and ends at a trailhead. Trail Sections are listed in order from north to south on the Birkie Trail. If you are unfamiliar with the Birkie Trail and its trailheads, check out a Trail Map.

Both the Birkie Skate and Birkie Classic sections of the Birkie Trail may or may not have a classic track set. The Classic sections will usually have more classic tracks than the Skate sections.

Trail SectionTrail TypeStatusDistancePacked Snow BaseSkate Deck GroomedClassic Track SetCondition
American Birkebeiner to Timber TrailBirkie SkateOPEN7K3"-6"2/8/182/4/18Firm
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American Birkebeiner to Timber TrailBirkie ClassicOPEN8.5K3"-6"2/9/182/4/18Firm
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Timber Trail to Fire TowerBirkie SkateOPEN5K3"-6"2/13/182/13/18Firm
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Timber Trail to Fire TowerBirkie ClassicOPEN6.5K3"-6"2/9/182/4/18Firm
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Birkie Ridge to Birkie TrailTH ConnectorOPEN3K3"-6"2/13/182/13/18Firm
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Fire Tower to BoedeckerBirkie SkateOPEN4.5K3"-6"2/13/182/13/18Firm
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Fire Tower to BoedeckerBirkie ClassicOPEN5.5K3"-6"2/9/182/9/18Firm
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Boedecker to OOBirkie SkateOPEN4.5K3"-6"2/13/182/13/18Firm
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Boedecker to OOBirkie ClassicOPEN5.5K3"-6"2/9182/9/18Firm
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Easy Strider LoopClassic OnlyOPEN2K3"-5"N/A2/4/18Firm
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OO LoopsLighted LoopsOPEN4K3"-5"2/18/182/18/18Firm
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OO TH to Gravel Pit THBirkie Skate/ClassicOPEN9K3"-4"2/16/182/16/18Firm
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Gravel Pit to Mosquito BrookBirkie Skate/ClassicOPEN6K3"-4"2/16/182/16/18Firm
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Mosquito Brook to Hatchery CreekBirkie Skate/ClassicOPEN6K3"-4"2/16/182/16/18Firm
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Hatchery Creek LoopsLighted LoopsOPEN3K3"-4"2/16/182/16/18Firm
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Hatchery Creek to Lake HaywardBirkie Skate/ClassicOPEN4K3"-4"2/8/182/8/18Firm
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Lake HaywardBirkie Skate/ClassicOPEN3K1"2/8/182/8/18Firm
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Grooming Notes

Additional Notes and Updates from the Birkie Trail Crew

M, 2.19.18 – (9:00 AM) The BIRKIE TRAIL WILL CLOSE AT 11:59 pm TODAY.  Snow has started falling and we will start working on the trail early Tuesday to get the new snow to firm up in time for the events.  THERE WILL STILL BE LOCATIONS WHERE YOU CAN SKI this week.  Here is where you CAN ski by day this week:

Tuesday:  OO loops, Birkie Ridge, competition loops at the Birkie start area, Hatchery Creek loops

Wednesday: OO loops, Birkie Ridge, competition loops at the Birkie start area, Hatchery Creek loops

Thursday: Birkie Ridge, Hatchery Creek loops

Friday: Birkie Ridge

Saturday: Birkie Ridge

Sunday: Entire Birkie Trail will be OPEN

-Birkie Trail Crew Trail Reports Trail Reports

Trail Reports compiled by

Feb 19 - Birkie Trail (Hayward, WI)

Very good for skating, Meh for classic. I skate skied south from OO around noon today. The OO loops were being actively PB groomed while I was out so conditions on the lighted loops were good even though it was snowing while I was there. Classic tracks were filling up with snow but were recently set and being skied in so still decent on those sections. South of the lighted loops the skate deck is soft with new snow but still fine skiing. The classic tracks however were just a rumor as it looks like there was a single pass with a Pisten Bully sometime after yesterday afternoon and before the snow got heavy today. This effectively wiped out the tracks in places while the snow filled in the rest. So if you're looking for a classic ski, stick to the lighted loops around OO. While on the OO loops I exchanged pleasantries with John Fitz in one of the Piston Bullys and he confirmed grooming plans for the week. OO loops, Birkie Ridge and the loops around the Start Area will be groomed for regular skiing after the main trail gets closed tonight.
(Andy Schwartz)

Feb 18 - Birkie Trail (Hayward, WI)

Skied OO to high point on classic and back on skate, and a bit south of OO. Hard, icy base made for fast skiing, though difficult to catch an edge at times. Solid, fast track. Some leaf/needle litter on the trail due to windy conditions. A couple inches of snow could make conditions near-perfect!
(Mitchell Campbell)

Feb 18 - Birkie Trail (Hayward, WI)

Skied from double O to Mosquito Brook today. Terrible conditions. Classic tracks are filled with debris. Not too bad near OO but the trail got worse as I headed south. Waxable classic skis were a poor choice. Took 4 hard falls. Trails did not get any of the forecast snow as of 5pm.
(Dick Roeber)

Feb 17 - Birkie Trail (Hayward, WI)

Fantastic skating. Classic tracks are showing plenty of wear but still good skiing. I kept to the section of the trail I knew to be groomed and was not disappointed. Fresh grooming since yesterday from OO south combined with a firm flat base and temps in the 20s made for a great day on snow.
(Andy Schwartz)

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

Wall1In 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 2017-2018 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 Friday before the weekend of your shift and dropped back off Monday the weekend after your shift.