Minnesota Nordic Ski Opener

Saturday, December 11, 2021

9 AM–4 PM

Elm Creek Park Reserve
12400 James Deane Parkway
Maple Grove, MN 55369

Embrace winter by celebrating cross-country skiing at the Minnesota Nordic Ski Opener! Skiers of all abilities and ages are invited to kick off winter with free skiing, free ski rental equipment and free mini lessons. Participate in the Ski Tour with routes for the whole family, and check out the Nordic Market with representatives from 50 Nordic ski suppliers, resorts, retails and clubs. 

This is a FREE event. The first 1,500 visitors to the Nordic Ski Market receive a free buff!

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

Activities

All activities are held outside, both on and off the snow, so dress for the weather!

  • Free Nordic skiing on Elm Creek Park Reserve’s manufactured snow loop
  • Free Nordic ski rentals, including sit-skis for adapted skiers
  • Free Nordic ski mini-lessons (drop in all day)
  • Participate in Skaði’s Chase — 8k or 4K
  • Visit the Nordic Ski Market 
  • Sign up for 2021-22 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 Elm Creek's 2.5K of manufactured snow. If you need skis, stop by the rental areas to take advantage of free rentals!

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.

Skaði’s Chase – 8 AM

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 4K distances.

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. All racers will receive a Minnesota Nordic Ski Opener buff and entry into the Skaði’s Chase prize drawing.

4K Race – 8:45 AM

The 4K race starts at 8:45 AM with four classes: boys and girls high school (ages 16–18) and boys and girls middle school (ages 12–15). All racers will receive a Minnesota Nordic Ski Opener buff and entry into the Skaði’s Chase prize drawing. 

Registration and Fees

Skaði’s Chase registration is opening soon!

8K Race

Save by registering online by Dec. 8. Race-day registration is also available beginning at 7 AM. 

  • $25 pre-registration (online registration closes at 11:59 PM on December 8)
  • $35 race-day registration

4K Race

Save by registering online by December 8. Race-day registration is also available beginning at 7 AM. 

  • $15 pre-registration (online registration closes at 11:59 PM on December 8)
  • $25 race-day registration

Awards – 9:30 AM

The prestigious MN Nordic Ski Opener Loon Award will be presented to the top finisher in each category – men’s and women’s 8K, boys and girls high school, and boy and girls middle school. Random door prize drawings for both races will be also be awarded. 

Race Results

2019 race results

Nordic Ski Market – 9 AM–3 PM

Enjoy Minnesota’s largest Nordic ski expo! Outfit yourself for the season, sign up for races, find out about Minnesota resorts and clubs, learn about ski waxing, and sign up for door-prize drawings held at 11:30 AM, 12:30 PM, 1:30 PM and 2:30 PM. The first 1,500 visitors to the Nordic Ski Market receive a free buff!

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

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