Cross-country Skiing

Winter in Minnesota brings scenic, snowy landscapes and crisp, fresh air. It’s the perfect backdrop for cross-country skiing. This recreational activity is a peaceful way to explore the parks in winter while getting a great, low-impact workout. Three Rivers features 70 miles of groomed cross-country ski trails at various locations throughout the Twin Cities metro area, and certain parks offer rental equipment. Trails are available for skiers of all skill levels.

Programs and Events

Cross-country skiing program and event registration opens in November. 

Trail Conditions

Trail conditions can change with the weather and some trails may close occasionally. Before you head out, check the trail conditions

Miles of trails

Baker – 9.1
Carver – 11.3
Cleary – 6 (2.8 lighted)
Crow-Hassan – 2.6
Eagle Lake – 3.6
Elm Creek – 11.4 (3.4 lighted, 1.8 snowmaking)
French – 5.2 (2.9 lighted)
Glen Lake Golf and Practice Center – 1.5
Hyland – 9.5 (5.3 lighted, 3.3 snowmaking)
Lake Rebecca - 15.6
Murphy-Hanrehan – 9


A cross-country ski pass is required for skiers age 12 and older. Minnesota Ski Passes are not required in Three Rivers Parks.

Two-tier Ski Pass Program

All Parks Pass

Required at Elm Creek and Hyland where snowmaking capability offers a reliable season of ski-able snow. Valid at all Three Rivers parks offering cross-country skiing.

Natural Snow Parks Pass

Valid at all Three Rivers parks offering cross-country skiing except Elm Creek and Hyland. Learn more.

Daily Passes

  • Elm Creek & Hyland: $9*; Natural Snow Parks: $6*
  • Daily passes may be purchased online or at trailhead pay boxes and at Three Rivers visitor centers and ski chalets.
  • A one-time credit of a daily ski pass can be applied to the cost of a season ski pass when purchased in person at staffed park facilities or by mail at Three Rivers Park District, 3000 Xenium Ln N, Plymouth, MN 55441.

Annual Passes

  • Purchase online, by calling 763.559.6700, or at Park District facilities such as visitor and nature centers, ski chalets, and the Administrative Office.
  • If you purchase your pass online or over the phone, you will receive a confirmation receipt via email which will serve as your seven-day temporary pass. You can expect to receive your recreation pass card in the mail in about one week.
  • If you already have a recreation pass card, any newly purchased annual pass will be immediately added to your card.
  • There is no limit to the number of additional annual passes that can be purchased in a household.
  • Annual passes may be purchased as gifts.

Pass exchanges and upgrades can be handled in person at the parks or at the Administrative Center.

Replacement Passes

Recreation pass cards can be replaced if lost or damaged for a $5* fee. Call 763.559.6700 to request a replacement card.

*Sales tax not included.

Two women smiling and holding cross-country ski poles.

Ski Rentals

Ski rentals are available at several parks. View regular rental rates

Join us after 6 PM any day of the week and receive a discount on your rentals at certain parks! Bring a friend to Cleary, Elm Creek, French or Hyland and take advantage of 50 percent off cross-country ski rental sets.

Ski Lessons

four men with ski poles smiling at cameraPublic Lessons

Three Rivers offers cross-country ski lessons for adults and children, including adapted sit-ski lessons. Lessons will help you glide into action on the trails this winter. Lesson registration is now open. Sign up today!

Private Lessons

Looking for more personalized instruction or a fun group activity? Arrange a private or group lesson at your skill level at a Three Rivers park. Choose between classic or skate techniques. Discounted rates are available for groups and packages of four lessons. Lessons are typically 1.5 hours, but 1-hour lessons are available. Call 763.694.7718 or send us an email


$65/one-on-one private lesson
$80/group of two
$90/group of three
Group rate: $6.50/person, $100 minimum (one instructor per 10 people)

Ski clubs are a great way to meet others with a passion for cross-country skiing. Registration opens in November.

Three Rivers works to ensure the accessibility of our parks and trails for all people. Cross-country sit-skis are available for use at several locations.

Get great benefits, including a free season pass, competitive wages, a fast-paced environment, flexible hours and more. Check out all employment opportunities and apply today!

Other things to do



Children waiting at the top of the tubing hill

If you like sledding, you’ll love snow tubing at the Winter Recreation Area at Elm Creek. Ride a moving sidewalk up a hill 10 stories high and then soar back down on a specially designed inner tube. Once you get to the bottom, do it all over again. 

Skijoring and Dog Sledding

Skijoring & Dog Sledding

Women on skis with dog pulling

If you have a dog with some pent-up winter energy, bring it to Three Rivers Parks for fun exercise where we have designated trails for skijoring and dog sledding.

Downhill Ski Area

Downhill and Telemark Skiing

Skier mule kicking in the air

Hyland Hills Ski Area and the Winter Recreation Area at Elm Creek offer downhill ski areas for all skill levels, from training hills to Olympic-level training jumps. The downhill ski areas feature snowmaking and well-groomed hills for unbeatable winter fun.



Girl running on snowshoes

Three Rivers offers trails of varying difficulty for snowshoers of all skill levels. It’s a great way for the entire family to take in the scenes of a Minnesota winter.



Wooded hiking trail

One of the best ways to explore year-round is to head out for a hike on the extensive trail system in Three Rivers. Trails wind through the woodland, grassland and wetland habitats of many species of wildlife. You’ll be amazed at what you might see along the way.

Bike Trail


Biker on bridge along Dakota Rail Regional Trail

Biking in Three Rivers is a great way to get the whole family outside. Whether you’re the casual rider or a cyclist in training, you’ll appreciate more than 100 miles of paved off-roadway bike/hike trails that wind through woodlands and grasslands and rim the shorelines of lakes and ponds at our parks.