Minnesota Nordic Ski Opener

Saturday, December 5, 2020, 9:00 AM–4:00 PM

Hyland Lake Park Reserve
10145 Bush Lake Road
Bloomington, MN 55438

Embrace winter by kicking off the cross-country ski season at the Minnesota Nordic Ski Opener! Skiers of all abilities and ages are invited to kick off winter with free skiing, free rental equipment and free ski lessons. 


This is a FREE event. Nordic Ski Market visitors will receive a free buff while supplies last!

New This Year

In addition to moving to Hyland Lake Park Reserve for a new, socially distanced format, we've made a few other changes to the Nordic Ski Opener:

  • Online sign-up for ski lessons on Saturday and Sunday – LESSONS ARE FULL
  • Online equipment rentals (2-hour time slots) – Registration information coming soon.
  • Monitored attendance at the Nordic Ski Market to allow for social distancing.
  • All festivities will be outdoors. Dress for the weather and prepare to change boots and store belongings in your car.
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 – 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 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