First trail opens as St. Paul-Ramsey County launch cross-country ski pass to support snow-making, expanded offerings

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			First trail opens as St. Paul-Ramsey County launch cross-country ski pass to support snow-making, expanded offerings
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The city of St. Paul and Ramsey County have joined forces this season to offer expanded cross-country ski offerings — and to require a new mutual city/county ski pass.

The mutual ski pass provides access to more than 60 kilometers of groomed cross-country ski trails across nine St. Paul and Ramsey County locations, according to a city announcement.

Ramsey County will no longer be accepting the Great Minnesota pass, and this will be the first time the city of St. Paul has required a ski pass for its cross-country trails.

Ski pass revenue will help cover the costs of trail improvements and an expanded ski rental program, St. Paul public service manager Clare Cloyd said in an email.

Among the improved offerings is a new premier skiing facility at Battle Creek Regional Park West, with machine-made snow, lighting, chalet and rentals available at Battle Creek Recreation Center. It’s the first time Ramsey County has used snow machines to support cross-country trails.

One trail with machine-made snow already is open for Thanksgiving weekend at Battle Creek West: a 0.8 kilometer loop around a pond that will be lighted from sunset until 10 p.m.

New rental equipment also has been purchased for the site and renovations have been made to Battle Creek Recreation Center to accommodate the new program, Cloyd said.

Along with improvements at Battle Creek, a new ski location has been added this year at the Highland National Golf Course on 1403 Montreal Ave. The site has 5K classic and skate ski trails, a chalet facility and rentals available in the clubhouse.

Other locations in the system include Como Park Ski Center, Highland 9 Golf Course and Phalen Golf Course in St. Paul, along with Battle Creek Regional Park East, Rice Creek Regional Trail, Tamarack Nature Center and Vadnais-Snail Lakes Regional Park in Ramsey County.

St. Paul-Ramsey County ski passes

A natural-snow pass includes all St. Paul and Ramsey County natural-snow ski trails for $35 per year or $6 per day.

An all-access pass, which includes the natural-snow trails plus the lighted and machine-made snow trails at Battle Creek Regional Park West, is available for $80 per year or $15 per day with the option of $40 per year for each additional household member.

Ski rentals are available for $12 a day at Como Park Ski Center, Battle Creek Recreation Center, Highland National Golf Course and Tamarack Nature Center. Cross-country ski, downhill ski and snowboard lessons are offered at Como Park Ski Center.

Ski passes are available to purchase online through Ramsey County or in person at Como Park Ski Center, Battle Creek Recreation Center, Highland National Golf Course and Tamarack Nature Center. A pass is not required for children 12 and under.

Info and passes: www.ramseycounty.us/parks or stpaul.gov/xcountryski.

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