Friday, December 30, 2016

Prairie Springs XC Ski Trails - Cresco - 12/30/16

Groomed last night.  Skiing today was very good and most trails are in very good conditions, especially considering the Christmas weekend rains, warm temps and winds. Some trails like Campground, Meadow, Minears would rate as excellent, Some like the Bike Trail, Hill Trail, River Trail have very good sections and sections with small twigs and leaves. Anything big has been removed and what's on some trails in a few spots shouldn't damage ski bases. In my opinion, I think anyone coming here to ski this weekend will be pleasantly surprised. The Gulley and one other cut off haven't been groomed because of poor conditions. Here's a few pics.

Friday, December 23, 2016

The Best'

Cresco is and remains THE BEST! Thanks Mark! If I can ever be of any help with anything, let me know

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Pilot Knob road, Forest City

The road through Pilot Knob has been groomed for both skating and classic skiing.  We had about 11" of snow from the last couple of weeks.  The classic tracks get a little shallow in a few spots.  The skate deck looks good.  Looks like we might get some more snow Friday and it should be good for skiing until the Christmas day rain!

Pilot Knob State Park road

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Thanks, Mark and Cresco Crew!

Hey friends, Mike and I want to give a big huge shout out to the Cresco crew and Mark for his awesome grooming skills. We also want to say we yelled after the 2 snowmobilers who totally tore up the beautiful outer trails around 10 a.m. this morning. We had already had a nice 40 minutes out, but they really did a number, especially on some curves. Grr! I don't know if they couldn't hear me shouting "stay off the ski trails!" or if they chose not to hear. In any case, thank you for awesome grooming every year!! It'll be all melted I bet by tomorrow anyway!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Irv Warren Golf Course / South Hills Golf Course - Waterloo

Irv Warren was groomed for skating yesterday.   The skating was excellent this morning.

Waterloo Leisure Services web pages states that South Hills Golf Course was groomed as well.   I would expect the same conditions there.

Wickiup Hill - Cedar Rapids

Wickiup Hill trails have been groomed for skate skiing. Conditions not suitable for traditional.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Prairie Springs XC Ski Trails Cresco

Just finished grooming. We have about 12" of snow.  Packed and combed for skating and set a classical track. Ski trails look very good! Everything has now been groomed, some trails for the first time so they might be a bit soft. Will ski tomorrow to give you a first hand report. Looks like a fairly mild week this week so hope to see you on the trails!

Ski Trails at Wickiup and Morgan Creek Park

There has been a trail broken at Wickiup. It has drifted in a little in the open spaces on the prairie.
At Morgan Creek Park the Skate Lane Trails have been groomed and they are in fair condition. They are not grooming the Classic Trail because that is not in good condition.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Irv Warren Golf Course - Waterloo

A 2.4 km loop was groomed on Irv Warren Golf Course this morning.   Too thin to set a classical track but the skating lane is excellent.   There are thin spots in places.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Pretty Darn Good

If you are lucky enough to be in a part of the state where we got sufficient coverage there is some pretty darn good skiing to be had. The snow has crusted and seems to work equally well for skating or classic. Hope it is a sign of things to come!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Prairie Springs XC Ski Trails - Cresco

We groomed last night.  All trails combed and tracked.  Conditions are very good right now with 2-3" of new snow.  This will be short lived according to the forecast.  Thursday through Sunday temps are predicted to be in the upper 30s to as high as 50 F on Saturday.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Irv Warren Golf Course - Waterloo

The skating lane was regroomed this morning at Irv Warren.   Conditions are a bit slow this afternoon with temperatures hovering around freezing.  Should be great skiing later today and tomorrow morning.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Prairie Springs XC Ski Trails - Cresco

Most trails have been groomed. Did not do River Trail as I thought it was in good shape when I skied today. Posted a few pics. Weather the next three days could be a challenge - low temps next two days and winds tomorrow; a couple of inches of snow for Sunday. If you ski the wooded trails, wind won't be a big problem. See you brave souls on the trails!

Iowa Games

We just haven['t had a good year for snow here in Dubuque.  Unfortunately, there isn't enough snow at Mines of Spain to hold the event tomorrow, which was the rescheduled race date from the original race date of January 30th.  Save your pure fluro powder for next weekend.  We won't be needing any race wax in Dubuque this weekend.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Pilot Knob Ski Race

We ended up with super weather and trails full of snow for our race this weekend.  We had 16 skiers ski through the park starting with a lap on the lake, going up the sledding hill to do four laps on the road, then coming down the sledding hill to finish with another lap on the lake. Total race distance was 27 km.  This was a freestyle race where most used the skate style of skiing but I believe we had four using the classic style.

Thanks to North Iowa Nordic( for donating buffs to the racers.  Thanks to all of the people (local skiers and racers) who brought food to share.  And thanks to all of the racers for giving this race a shot!

For more pictures see our facebook page under "pilot knob ski race".


Saturday, February 6, 2016

I know that I have extolled the virtues of the ski trails in Cresco many times on this blog but it needs to be said again. Regardless of what you are looking for in a ski experience Prairie Springs has it all. Hills, meadows, rivers and woods, it is all there. So many times these trails have been groomed to perfection with very little to work with. At the present time conditions are perfect and every inch is pristine. It was encouraging today to see many cars in the parking lot. If one of them wasn’t yours, you are missing out. I’m going back again tomorrow!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Prairie Springs XC Ski Trails - Cresco

Skiing was excellent today.  Thought I'd post of couple of pics.  First two are from the Bike Trail (the backbone trail for the system) and the bottom one if from the Campground Trail.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Prairie Springs XC Ski Trails - Cresco

Groomed trails for both classical and skate skiing tonight.  All trails in excellent condition with 8+ inches of new snow.

George Wyth State Park, Waterloo

George Wyth State Park was groomed for skating yesterday.  The surface is relatively firm and fast today.  No classical tracks were set but a number of skiers have started to create a shallow classical track.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Pilot Knob State Park

The road through Pilot Knob State Park has been groomed for both classic and skate style skiing.  The lake within the park has been groomed for just skating.  Both look to be in great condition!  It should make for some great skiing this morning before it gets too soft this afternoon.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Wickiup Hill Update

A skier came in today and advised that in the woods is pretty good, but the prairie areas are soggy. If you want to go tomorrow, morning would be a good time to go out.


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Prairie Springs XC Ski Trails - Cresco

3" of fresh snow, conditions are very good!  All trails were groomed tonight for both skating and classical.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Waterloo Golf Course Skate Skiing

Mother Nature provided some of the best skate skiing possible, i.e. no grooming necessary.   Skied for 3 ½ hours on Gate Golf Course this afternoon and it was excellent skiing.  Should be good skiing all week, just catch temperatures in the 26F to 32F range to get edging but before the snow gets too soft.

Try to stay off the putting greens as ski tracks can be hard on the special grass in those spots on the golf course.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Prairie Springs Ski Trails

Ski trails groomed today. We rejuvenated the skating lanes and combed. They appear to be in good shape. Classic track is not as good. We are just tearing up base, so we can't go down too far into it. Some of the classic track was left alone where I thought it looked okay as is.

Great Conditions and all Trails Groomed at Webster City

About an inch of new snow, and not having lost our base during the brief thaw has led to the best skiing conditions in a long time. We added a skate lane to the 5K race course on the Briggs Woods golf course and regroomed all the trails. Try the new 1/2 mile up and back trail on the levy at the north end of the lake. I hope you like to share the trails with deer because they are everywhere!

Remember, ski rental for the family is available if you call Hamilton County Conservation before the weekend at 515-832-9570.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Pilot Knob Ski Race

Feb. 6, 2016, challenge yourself to ski the hills in beautiful Pilot Knob State Park on February 6th.  This is a freestyle race distance of 27 km or 9 km starting at 8:30 am and is a great way to prepare for the Birkie.  Lunch will be provided following the race in the warming shed.  Awards to the top three overall men and women in both distances.

For more information see,
or on facebook type in "Pilot Knob Ski Race".

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Prairie Springs XC Ski Trails

All trails groomed for skating and classical last night.  Snow cover is good to very good and trail conditions as of this morning are the same.  Extreme cold expected for the weekend.

Monday, January 11, 2016

All Trails Groomed and Tracked in Webster City.

We lost very little snow depth with last week's thaw, and with the refreeze and another 1/2 inch of snow, the trails and 5k course groomed nicely. Note the new up and back trail on the north levy of Briggs woods lake.

Later in the week we hope to add a skate lane to the 5k, but for now it is just classic tracked.

For beginners we have tracked several loops in the field by the red barn at Briggs woods.
Everyone is welcome to attend our ski and snowshoe clinic Saturday the 16th from 2-4:30 at the conservation headquarters at Briggs Woods. Please call for reservations by Friday afternoon. 515-832-9570. Skis and snowshoes are available for free for the clinic.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Pilot Knob State Park

We were very fortunate this week that we did not receive any rain but rather gained a few more inches of snow!  The road through Pilot Knob state park was groomed last night and retouched this morning.  The skating deck is in excellent shape while the tracks are in good shape with some areas that are drifted in.

Pilot Knob state park

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Wickiup Hill - Toddville

Just had several skiers come in and say that the trail conditions are excellent.

Monday, January 4, 2016

South Hills Golf Course - Waterloo

South Hills Golf Course was groomed this afternoon for both skating and classical.   The track and skate lane are quite soft as this is the first time this track has been groomed.  By morning it should be in good shape.

Webster City Trails and 5k Groomed and Tracked Today

In addition to grooming the Woodland Loop, Waterfall Loop and golf course 5k, we added a new trail we're calling the Wetland Trail. From the North end of Briggs Woods Lake, cross the bridge over the waterfall stream and turn right. The Wetland trail is a half mile up and back along the top of the levy along the lake water source bay. Go up to the railroad track boundary and then back. It is a pretty place and it is flat all the way.

The Ten Hills 5k is groomed and tracked, but no skating lane yet.

 From the lake parking lot, if the dam top is bare, we have groomed behind the dam too.

Snow conditions are terrific, and remember ski rental packages for all ages are available at the Briggs Woods Conservation office.

Freshly groomed at Irv Warren, Monday

Irv Warren groomed this morning. Skate skiing was great! I love the sign too. :) Enjoy!

Friday, January 1, 2016

Prairie Springs XC Ski Trails Cresco

Repacked and combed skating lanes tonight.  Left classic tracks alone.  Opened one new trail.  Classic tracks are good in many areas.  Bad spots can be bypassed by using skating lane.  About 8K of trails groomed.

Irv Warren Golf Course

Skied Irv Warren Golf Course yesterday (Thursday).   A 2.5 mile loop has been groomed for both skating and classical.  Both tracks are excellent.   The skating lane had been soft but by yesterday afternoon it was setting up nicely.   With 10" of snow the coverage is very good with only a few places showing a little grass in the bottom of the classical track.

Mines of Spain

The trail is rolled and pretty good for skating.  There isn't enough depth for setting a track.

The free moisture on the ground ran across the trail at two or three areas and made some ground visible for 6" widths as the water ran from left to right on the trail.