Monday, March 7, 2022

Irv Warren Golf Course - Waterloo

 Repost from Waterloo Leisure Services web page;

Cross Country Ski Update:

Ski Skating trail was compacted and groomed 3/7/22.  Sticky snow made for difficult grooming conditions.  Snow depths were too thin to install classical track.

Wanatee Park

Skied at Wanatee Park this morning.  The snow was VERY sticky.  Had to wind our way around the blown open spots.  Broke through to the grass even in some of the deepest spots.  Maybe with the thaw and freeze conditions will be better tomorrow?  That is wishful thinking...  but maybe the potential 1-3 inches on Thursday will give us something to ski on?  

Sunday, February 13, 2022

Pilot Knob State Park

It was a tough week of warm weather, but we seemed to have survived at Pilot Knob.  It was groomed both Saturday morning and Sunday morning after a fresh dusting of new snow.  The one mile long trail around the perimeter of the lake is good for skating and classic striding. The two mile road is good for skating, but the classic tracks are only fair.  My son and I had a very fun skate ski today!

Lake trail

Lake trail

Road trail

Road trail

Monday, February 7, 2022

Irv Warren Golf Course - Waterloo

 Waterloo Leisure Services regroomed both the classical track and skating lane this morning.    Reports are that both are in good condition.   Get out and enjoy before the coming melt down.

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Morgan Creek

Skied Morgan Creek this evening.  Conditions essentially still as good as previously reported.  

Saturday, January 29, 2022

Morgan Creek-Cedar Rapids

 Conditions were pretty good today as they groomed yesterday.  30 degree weather brought out a lot of walkers and their dogs, so they did their normal damage that they do, but still pretty good conditions despite the minimal amount of snow to work with.  Pictures are representative of ~90% of the trails.  There are some icy spots and bare spots that are for the most part avoidable.

Irv Warren Golf Course - Waterloo

 Skied yesterday on Irv Warren.   Both the skate lane and classical track had been regroomed on Thursday (1/27/2022).   The skating was excellent.    Classical tracks were also very good except in places where snow had blown in.

Monday, January 24, 2022

Brynes Park/Irv Warren Golf Course

 I went out over the lunch hour today and the new trail had been groomed. Skating was pretty good, as the winds came up and began drifting the trail quite a bit. Classic track was set and looked good, however it did suffer the drifting a little worse. The main loop, once you get away from the parking lot is roughly a 2 mile ski.

Thanks to the Leisure Services of Waterloo for being so committed and dedicated to providing an excellent trail to ski!

Morgan Creek - Cedar Rapids

Went for a ski over my lunch hour today.  Trails have not been groomed for a while but are still skiable.  Classic track in better shape than the skate deck.  A couple of bare spots but decent coverage for the most part. Dawn loop and Arbo loop in better shape for skating than the other two loops that have been damaged by foot traffic and drifting.  Linn county does a good job of updating the following website to show when they last groomed.  The site also has maps of the trails.

Irv Warren Golf Course - Waterloo


Irv Warren was regroomed this morning for both skate and classical.  

NOTE, that there has been a change in the trail at Irv Warren. A sanitary sewer pipeline running through the golf course is to be repaired. That work has cut off a portion of the trail system including the loop at the trail head. The larger loop is now being accessed off to the west right from the trail head, sort of like it was in the past.

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Irv Warren Golf Course - Waterloo

 Skate skied at Irv Warren this afternoon, and the skating was very good.   The trail was regroomed yesterday (Friday) for both skating and classical.   The skate lane is a bit hard / a bit icy but the regrooming added enough texture for good control.

In places the classical track is very good and in others not quite so good.   Overall Waterloo Leisure Services did a good job of working up the hard crust from the melt down earlier in the week.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Seminole Park and Ellis Golf Course - Cedar Rapids

Went looking for groomed track in Cedar Rapids right before sundown today.  The CR Parks and Rec Department is reporting grooming at many parks as I posted previously but they haven't updated their notice since Jan. 4.  I checked Seminole Park and could see a rolled lane for what I assume is fat bikes?  Some ski tracks but nothing groomed that I could see from the road.  

Over at Ellis park I found groomed tracks that started behind the maintenance buildings but I doubt they expect one to park there to ski.  The essentially 1.5 mile loop seems to have a beginning at what I assume is the golf club house parking lot.  This is some of the most difficult skiing I have done in awhile.  There has been relatively little foot or snowshoe traffic on the groomed tracks.  There are various grass spots but they are relatively easily avoided.  I was skiing mostly on ice this evening.  And there are a few hills with sharp turns that when you are skiing in rough, ice tracks are very difficult to navigate.  I would not recommend beginners try to ski these tracks at this point.  That doesn't mean that a beginner wouldn't have space to ski off track.  I also expect my skis got a little wear from just scraping against the icy, torn up tracks in various places, FYI.  If you are a talented skater you may be able to get something done out there at midday even though there isn't any corduroy for you?  

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Jacob Krumm Nature Preserve - Jasper County

I skied the entirety of the 5.2 miles of trails here this afternoon.  While it is covered with snow grass is starting to show through where tracks have been skied and the sun reaches it.  The tracks I laid will likely freeze up tonight and be decent for anyone tomorrow.  With the cold coming maybe they will last for awhile before hikers and snowshoes trash them.  I spoke with a worker there who said they still own their groomer and snowmobile.  They stopped grooming years ago because people expressed preference for no grooming.  If you want groomed trail in the Jasper and Poweshiek counties area I encourage you to reach out to them.  They actually discussed starting again this morning.  There are two or three other parks they were considering grooming as well! 

Irv Warren Golf Course - Waterloo

 The skate lane at Irv Warren Golf Course was regroomed this morning.   Conditions were still soft today, although that should change with the coming cold temperatures.

January 18 - Morgan Creek

Monday, January 17, 2022

Herbert Hoover National Historic Site

Skied a loop around the historic site and the prairie.  Reconstruction is being done on 80 acres nearest the interstate and thus some of the trails indicate closure.  Quite a few drifts in the prairie trails with a little grass sticking through.  But plenty skiable.  There were tracks (not groomed) that had blown in.  About 2 miles as an outer loop.  You may find you need to take your skis off to cross sidewalks or roads to get those miles in.  

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Ames - East River Valley Park/Carr Woods

 Was groomed January 15.  We skied it around noon on the 16th.  Was pretty soft and thus fairly torn up by skies, hikers, and snowshoes.  A little grass showing in small spots of the tracks.  Skate deck is very soft.  Some tiny sticks on the groomed area but nothing to be worried about.  Lots out skiing.  Fun to see that in Iowa!  

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Irv Warren Golf Course - Waterloo

 Irv Warren was groomed this morning for both classical and skating.    The classical tracks are excellent.   The skating lane is a little soft but should be in good shape tomorrow.   Special thanks to Waterloo Leisure Services for grooming on a Saturday.

Friday, January 7, 2022

Cedar Rapids grooming

Cedar Rapids has groomed at Ellis and Twin Pines Golf Courses, Jones and Seminole Valley Parks, and the Sac and Fox Trail on January 3rd. I skied the 4 mile perimeter of Jones yesterday, January 6th. They had laid a parallel set of tracks and also "rolled" a separate single track that at times crossed over or under the parallel tracks. By yesterday the tracks were generally blown in but otherwise it has plenty of hills to make the ski interesting.

Monday, January 3, 2022

Brynes Park/Irv Warren

 Thanks Waterloo Leisure Services for the rolling of the trail today. With such a small amount of snow the trail was in very good condition for skating. Some, but very little grass was visible. It skied very quickly today, some soft spots, but very few. Hopefully we can make it for a week or so on this snow. Thanks again and great job Waterloo Leisure Services!

Sunday, December 12, 2021

New Ski Season


Hi Skiers


Ah a taste of snow, just enough in most places for us eternal optimists to be anxious for more.   It looks like most of Iowa missed the last storm although northwest Iowa and especially close to the Minnesota border got a bunch.   Here in the Cedar Falls/Waterloo area it was just a few inches but it was enough to skate ski on grassy areas.   Not great skiing but it was skiing.


As we head into the new ski season just a note to encourage skiers to again post conditions here on the Iowa Ski Blog if you know of a place that has been groomed and the skiing is good.   Thanks to all of the folks that have posted in the past – please continue to do so.


For those skiers that would like to post on this blog but don’t have access please send me an email at and I will add you to the list.    Posting on the Iowa Ski Blog is a great way to let a broader audience know that you have skiing in your area.   Getting more skiers to your favorite ski trail is a great way to let your parks people and/or local groomer know that their efforts are worthwhile.


We would love to have postings from western Iowa and the Des Moines area, actually any place in Iowa.  It’s always nice to know of where the skiing is good even though it might be a longer drive than I intended.   But you never know…