Minnesota Nordic Ski Opener


The Minnesota Nordic Ski Opener is a celebration of Nordic skiing where skiers of all ages and abilities come together. This year, the resurgence of COVID-19 has brought significant health and safety concerns. The purpose of the Nordic Opener is to strengthen the Nordic ski community and bring people together.

Under the guidance of Governor Walz’s latest executive order and the guidelines for outdoor recreation, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the Minnesota Nordic Ski Opener on December 5, 2020, including the Skaði's Chase race. Fees will automatically be refunded to those who are registered, and you will receive an email confirmation of this refund in the next 15 business days. Please contact us at reservationhelp@threeriversparks.org or 763.559.6700 with any questions.

It is more important than ever to be active and get outdoors for both mental and physical health. Nordic skiing is one of the best ways to do this in the winter. We encourage you to go out in the parks to recreate. Check ski trail conditions to find open trails this season. 

An instructor teaches a small group of people how to cross-country ski.


All activities are held outside, so dress for the weather!

  • Ski on Hyland Lake Park Reserve’s manufactured snow loop.
  • Rent skis for free, including sit-skis for adapted skiers.
  • Take a lesson to learn how to ski. LESSONS ARE FULL
  • Participate in Skaði’s Chase in person or virtually.
  • Visit the Nordic Ski Market.
  • Sign up for 2020-21 ski lessons and ski passes.

Ski Tour – All Day

a dad helping his daughter ski.

Join Minnesota’s first official ski of the year! Time yourself or take a leisurely ski on Hyland Lake Park Reserve's manufactured snow loop. If you need skis, reserve a pair online for free! Come at a specific time or ski all day.

10 AM Group Ski for Adapted Skiers

At 10 AM, join us for a leisurely group ski for adapted skiers led by a Three Rivers staff member. Adapted skiers are welcome all day; sit-skis will be available. Participants needing assistance with transfers will need a household member to assist.

Nordic Ski Market – 9 AM–3 PM

A man waxes a cross-country ski outdoors at a winter ski expo.

Enjoy Minnesota’s largest Nordic ski expo! Outfit yourself for the season, sign up for races, find out about Minnesota resorts and clubs, and learn about ski waxing. Door prize drawings will be held at 11:30 AM, 12:30 PM, 1:30 PM and 2:30 PM. Can't make it to the Nordic Ski Market? Connect with our partners online below. 

Nordic Ski Market attendance will be monitored with a designated entrance and exit to allow for social distancing. Masks are required while in the market.

Skaði’s Chase – Canceled

A woman competes in a cross-country ski race. Other racers can be seen in the distance behind her.

About the Race

Welcome winter with Skaði (Skaw-Dee), Norse goddess of skiers, in Skaði’s Chase Nordic ski race. Choose from 8K or 2K distances. Can't make it to the event? Race virtually instead!

8K Race – 8 AM

The 8K race starts at 8 AM with four classes: Adult men's and women's (18+) and high school boys and girls (ages 12-18). The first 150 racers to register will receive a commemorative cloth bib. Class winners will earn the coveted Skaði’s Chase carved loon trophy. All racers will receive a Minnesota Nordic Ski Opener buff and entry into the Skaði’s Chase prize drawing.

2K Race – 8:45 AM

If you have ever wondered about ski racing, this is your opportunity to try out a timed race in a low-pressure environment! Racers receive a Minnesota Nordic Ski Opener buff, entry into the Skaði’s Chase prize drawing, a race time, and a Tyvek Skaði’s Chase bib. 

Virtual Race

From Dec. 1-5, ski a distance of your choice on your local trail system. When you're done, snap a photo of yourself wearing your Minnesota Nordic Ski Opener buff with the park sign in the background and share it on social media using the hashtag #nordicopener. Virtual racers will receive a Minnesota Nordic Ski Opener buff.

Registration and Fees

Skaði’s Chase registration is now open.

Virtual Race: $10

2K Race: $5

8K Race: Save by registering online by Dec. 1. Race-day registration is also available beginning at 6:30 AM. 

  • $25 pre-registration ($15 for high school racers)
  • $35 day-of registration ($25 for high school racers)

Awards – 9:30 AM

Awards will be given to the top three of each class of the 8K race. Random door prize drawings for both races will also be awarded at this time. 

Race Results

2020 race results

See the 2019 race results.

Become a Partner

The goal of the Minnesota Nordic Ski Opener is to bring together the entire Minnesota Nordic ski community to celebrate Nordic skiing in Minnesota. If you are interested in being a Minnesota Nordic Ski Opener partner, please email us at SponsorshipOpportunities@threeriversparks.org.


Volunteer as a greeter, help out in the rental building, be a "ski buddy" and help people as they try skiing for the first time, or help out with something else. To learn more or sign up, call 763.559.6706 or email us