Grooming Reports

Grooming reports for the Vasa Pathway, Leelanau Trail and Winter Single Track are emailed to badge holders. They are also made available within 24 hours on this page. Get your Grooming Badge to have reports emailed directly to you. Grooming updates for the new Winter Sport Single Track can be found on the Northern Michigan Mountain Biking Association website.

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2016-2017 Grooming Reports

Report: Vasa Update
Date: 1/23/17
Time: 5:45 AM

We will not be grooming this morning.  Temperatures are just too warm. Some skiers have asked why we are protecting the base.  The base is very important to a good ski surface. Since we are in January and expect more snow before the end of the winter maintaining even a little base will go a long way in being able to have good ski conditions quicker when the cold and snow returns. If this was in late March nearing the end of ski season we would most likely be out scratching the surface whenever the temperatures drop below freezing.

Report: Vasa Update
Date: 1/22/17
Time: 8:39 AM

It is 37 degrees, calm with a little fog/mist in the air here at the trail head.  The trail is a white crystalline snow on the surface.  We will not be grooming today.  Forecasted cooling temps starting around Wednesday and a chance of snow will hopefully be the end of this January thaw.

We will continue to keep you updated through our “grooming reports”.  I would encourage skiers to put a “ski report” out on Nordic Skier as to the actual ski conditions you encounter on the VASA trail.


Report: Vasa Update
Date: 1/21/17
Time: 8:30 AM

It is another warm, rainy winter day, 34 degrees with light winds.  As you know the signs are up at the trail head which suggest staying off the trail during this warm spell.  However, if temps during the night drop to freezing or below using the trail in the morning would probably be fine.  Use your own good judgement and caution.  I have decided not to groom today which breaks up the surface and introduces air, expediting the melting process.  Thank you for your patience and understanding.


Report: Vasa Update
Date: 1/20/17
Time: 9:30 AM

It is 32 degrees here at the trail head.  Once again I would recommend staying off the trail to help preserve the base.  The forecast is for continued warm temps until Thursday the 26th.  As usual I will monitor the trail conditions and keep you posted.

Report: Vasa Update
Date: 1/19/17
Time: 7:30AM

Once again temperatures remained above freezing overnight and are predicted to rise into the 40’s during the day today. We will not be grooming today in an effort to protect the base we currently have.If you do use the trail please be aware of any damage you are leaving in the base. Once the base refreezes these marks are difficult and sometimes impossible to remove.

Report: Vasa Update
Date: 1/18/17
Time: 7:30 AM

Temperatures remained above freezing overnight and are predicted to rise into the 40’s during the day today. We will not be grooming today in an effort to protect the base we currently have. Hopefully we can ride out this warming trend. If you do use the trail please be aware of any damage you are leaving in the base. Once the base refreezes these marks are difficult and sometimes impossible to remove.  

Report: Vasa Update
Date: 01/17/17
Time: 10:39 AM

Hope you got out the last few days to enjoy excellent trail conditions and bright sunny skies. Today is a different story. Temps are already approaching 40 and with the rain we received our beloved trail will be wet and soft. It is because of this that I suggest avoiding the trail today. Forecasted weather for the next 7 days suggests temps in the mid 30’s to almost 50 with a mix of sun and cloud and no new snow. As always the groomers and I will keep close tabs on trail conditions and groom when allowable.

Report: Vasa #27
Date: 01/16/17
Time: 4:45 AM

Its 19°, calm and clear here at the trailhead. Steve and I will renovate the skate lane this morning and leave the existing tracks. We will follow the normal grooming pattern (5K, 10K, 25K, 3K). The weather forecast has some warm temps and rain in it so we will monitor the trail closely and groom according.

Report: Vasa #26
Date: 01/15/17
Time: 3:45 AM

It is 10°, winds are calm and no new snow has fallen here at the trail head. The moon is high and spectacular. I will renovate the skate lane and leave the existing tracks. I will follow the normal pattern starting with the 5K, 10K, then continuing on the 25K counter clockwise and finishing up on the 3K. The open house at the trailhead yesterday was a great success. Many of you stopped by and chatted with us. It was wonderful to see so many people out enjoying the snow and sun. It was, to me, one of the best days on the trail this season. Hope you felt the same.

Report: Vasa #25
Date: 01/14/17
Time: 5:10 AM

Steve is out grooming this morning. He is renovating the skate lane and leaving the tracks that were set yesterday. The normal pattern is being followed (5K,10K,25,3K). Steve reports 14°, calm winds, no new snow and a beautiful just past full moon.
The TART Open House is today from 10:00 to 1:00. Stop by and say hi. Oh, and did I mention we will have cookies and hot drinks.

Report: #24
Date: 01/13/17
Time: 5:55 AM

Jim and Roger are out grooming the trail this morning and report 11° and a trace of new snow. They are following our normal pattern (5K,10K,25K,3K).

TART trailhead open house this Saturday from 10:00 to 1:00. Stop by for some ski chat and a cocoa.

Report: Vasa #23
Date: 01/12/17
Time: 6:45 AM

I just heard from Steve and Gary who are out grooming. They started at 4:00 am and report 25°, 6 inches of new snow and calm winds. The 5K and 10K have been groomed and they are heading out to do the 25K counter clockwise. Skate lane is being packing and new tracks are being set. The trail will be soft this morning. For the next few days temps are forecast to be in the teens to twenties which will help us firm up the trail.

Just a reminder that TART and the groomers are having an Open House at the trailhead from 10:00 to 1:00 this Saturday. Please stop and say hi and have a hot refreshment.

Report: Vasa #22
Date: 01/11/17
Time: 5:45 AM

It is 22° and SW winds are blowing at about 15 mph and the near full moon is setting. Bill and I will start grooming late this morning (6:30 am). We will follow our normal pattern (5K,10K,25K,3K) and renovate the skate lane and attempt to set new classic tracks. Yesterdays rain and warm temps took a little base away then early this morning cold temps and a slight dusting of snow left the trail hard and crusty. Hopefully we will be able to work it enough to provide some good skiing today. Also, due to the high winds last night we anticipate debris and possibly branches and trees down so this may require more time.

Report: Vasa Update
Date: 01/10/17
Time: Noon

Steve and Casey groomed the entire system this morning and re-set classic tracks. Temps here at the trail are around 32° and rising with 3 to 4 inches of new snow since this mornings groom. Tonight is forecast to be in the mid 20’s with SW winds at 40 to 60 mph. I will send out a report in the morning, but because of the high winds it will most likely be a late morning groom. Thank you for your support and understanding.

Report: Vasa #21
Date: 01/10/17
Time: 5:30 AM

Steve and Casey are out grooming this morning. It is 26° with 1 inch of new snow here at the barn. Temps are forecast in the high 30’s and maybe even reach 40° by later this afternoon. I would suggest you ski early in the day if you can.

TART is hosting an Open House at the trailhead this Saturday, January 14th from 10:00 -1:00. Please stop and say “hi”. There will be cookies, hot drinks and a fire to warm you before or after your ski.

Report: Vasa #20
Date: 01/09/17
Time: 3:45 AM

It is 17° with no new snow here at the trail head. Winds are SW @ 15 mph. Gary and I will renovate the skate lane on all loops and leave the tracks set yesterday by Jim and Steve. We will follow our normal grooming pattern.

Report:  Vasa #19
Date: 01/08/17
Time: 5:15 AM

Jim and Steve are out grooming this morning following the normal pattern (5K, 10K, 25K, 3K). They report 2 inches of fresh snow and 13°. Winds are NW @ 15-20 mph. The new snow is allowing for nice deep classic tracks to be set and they are renovating the skate lane. Temps forecast to be warmer then yesterday with highs around 18°.

Report: Vasa #18
Date: 01/07/17
Time: 4:00 AM

Well it’s another beautiful bone chilling morning with 8° and calm winds here at the trailhead. No new snow since yesterday. I will renovate the skate lane leaving the existing classic tracks. I will follow the normal grooming pattern. Should be a great day of skiing so come on out and join in on the fun.

Report: Leelanau #2
Date: 1/06/17
Time: 1:30 PM of Course!

I wanted to give you all an update for the Leelanau Trail grooming situation. We are currently getting our snowmobiles back in operation. Our old yellow Skidoo is having an engine rebuild. We have had recurring issues with the oil injection line and are trying to ensure that, after the rebuild, we will not have any more issues with that. We also have a new (to us) 2008 four stroke Skidoo that will be a great grooming sled. We are currently working on the modifications that will make it usable by both the Leelanau Trail crew and, when needed, the VASA trail. My best guess is that we can have the 2008 sled ready to go by middle of next week. We are excited to get going on the Leelanau Trail and I will inform you when we can start grooming. Thanks for your patience and be well!

Report: Vasa #17
Date: 01/06/17
Time: 5:45 AM

Steve is out renovating the skate lane on all loops this morning. He reports no new snow and 7° at the trailhead. He is following our normal grooming pattern (5,10,25,3). With temps in the single digits and teens please use extra caution while out on the trail.

Report: Vasa #16
Date: 01/05/17
Time: 4:30 AM

It is a bone chilling 11° with 1″ of new snow here at the trailhead. Casey and I will renovate the skate lane and attempt to set classic tracks. We will follow our normal grooming pattern starting with the 5K, 10K and finishing up counter clockwise on the 25K and 3K. If you happen to encounter a groomer on the trail please stop and wait until the groomer indicates how you should proceed. The machines are loud and our visibility is limited at times.

Report: Vasa #15
Date: 01/03/17
Time: 8:50 PM

Steve and Gary will start grooming the trail tomorrow morning at 7 AM. Snow is forecast to fall most of the day tomorrow with temperatures dropping to the low 20’s and high teens. This is why we have decided to do a later start time. The normal grooming pattern will be followed starting with the 5K, 10K then finishing on the 25K and 3K.

Report: Vasa Update
Date: 01/03/17
Time: 8:30 AM

Temps here at the trailhead are 34° and winds are calm. Due to warm temps today and the possibility of rain the “Please do not use the trail” sign will go up at the trail head by 11:00 am today. This is to help mitigate possible damage to the base. Weather will change dramatically by early tomorrow morning. Temps forecasted in the teens and blowing snow for Wednesday.  4″ to 8 ” of new snow through Thursday is forecasted. We will get back out and groom as soon as we can.

Report: Vasa #14
Date: 01/02/17
Time: 5:00 AM

It is 29 degrees and calm here at the trail head.  Steve is out grooming the skate lane.  He will follow our normal pattern starting with the 5K , 10K and finishing up on the 25K and 3K. Forecasted warm temps and the possibility of rain with keep us off the trail until Wednesday morning. I will be monitoring the weather and trail conditions and grooming accordingly.

Report: Vasa #13
Date: 01/01/17
Time: 3:50 AM

Happy New Year!!

It is 26° and clear skies here at the trail head. No new snow since yesterday so I am going to groom the skate lane and leave the tracks that I set yesterday. I will start with the 5K, 10K and then finish up on the 25K. Today should made for some fun skiing so get out here. What a great way to start the 2017.

Report: Vasa #12
Date: 12/31/2016
Time: 3:45 AM
It is 26° and the wind is blowing from the south at 8 mph. 1-2 inches of fresh snow has fallen. Gary and I will groom in our normal direction starting with the 5K , 10K and finishing up on the 25K and 3K. We will mix the new snow with the top layer of base and attempt to set tracks. The forecast is for some freezing rain today and temps warming during the day time through this weekend into next week. Forecasted cold nights should allow for good skiing in the morning hours. If temps rise above freezing with rain trail use should be avoided.

Report: Vasa #11
Date: 12/30/2016
Time: 4:30 AM

It is 28° here at the trail head with gusty NW winds. A dusting of new snow fell this morning. Steve and Casey will groom the skate lane and attempt to set classic tracks following the normal pattern starting with the 5K then 10K and finishing up with the 25K and 3K. With no measurable new snow setting new tracks may prove impossible.

Report: Vasa Update
Date: 12/28/2016
Time: 4:00 PM

Steve and I completed a double pass in the skate lane on the 5K, 10K and 25K loops. There is much debris on the trail. We picked up as much as we could along the way. Please use caution at all road and snowmobile crossings for there are significant deep tire ruts. As soon as we get more snow we will be back out laying corduroy and setting classic tracks.

Report: Vasa #10
Date: 12/28/2016
Time: 6:45 AM

It is 23° here at the trailhead with about 1/2 inch of new snow and calm winds. Steve and I will attempt to rough up the surface of the hard pack. We will be out most of the day as this will be slow work and we anticipate debris on the trail. We will start on the 5K and move on to 10K then finishing up on the 25K and 3K.

Report: Vasa Update
Date: 12/27/2016
Time: 7:30 AM

It is 26° here at the trail head. As you know we had very high winds yesterday into last night. Because of this I decided to wait until today to evaluate the trail conditions and create a grooming plan. The 50° temps yesterday softened the trail and now it is hard as rock. We will have to wait for temps to rise and soften the trail in order to repair and groom for skiing. This will be done as soon as possible. If you decide to ski use extreme caution. Conditions are hard and icy. Thank you for your patience.

Report: Vasa Update
Date: 12/24/2016
Time: 2:30 PM

After spending 2 hours filling in the 4 wheel truck damage near the Holiday Hills crossing I decided to roll the entire system. This made all the difference to skaters. The classic tracks have held up well and have been skied in. It was nice to see so many of you out enjoying the trail today. Cold temps in the forecast tonight which will help protect the base during the warm up Christmas Day and Monday.

Report: Vasa Update
Date: 12/24/2016
Time: 6:30 AM

It is 34° at the trailhead with about 1 inch of wet new snow. There is significant 4 wheel drive damage at Holiday Hills. If you ski today use extreme caution in that area. I will head out at first light to access and try to repair. Due to warm temps and a thin base I will not be grooming the trail today. However, with the 1 inch of snow over the hard pack skiing may be pretty fun and controllable.

Report: Vasa Update
Date: 12/22/2016
Time: 7:00 AM

Casey and I groomed and set new classic tracks yesterday morning. Because of the high winds we found debris all over the trail. We picked up as much as we could but many leaves and pine needles remain. I will continue to monitor the trail conditions and groom accordingly. The forecast is calling for above freezing temps and very little snow fall. There will be no grooming today. I will send out a report just before the next groom.

Report: Vasa #9
Date: 12/21/2016
Time: 4:30 AM

Its 27° and calm here at the trailhead. Casey and I will be grooming the trail and if conditions allow re-setting classic tracks. There is a bit of a warm up in the forecast with very little new snow. I will be assessing the trail daily and grooming when weather allows, all the while trying to protect the base.

Report: Leelanau Trail #1
Date: 12/19/2016
Time: 1:00 PM

Thanks to the big snowfall on Friday and Saturday, the Leelanau Trail has enough snow to begin packing in with rollers. Groomer Michael Burns rolled the entire trail from Cherry Bend to Sutton’s Bay on Sunday and again this morning. According to early reports the trail is setting up nicely and skiers are out enjoying the trail.

Report: Vasa #8
Date: 12/19/2016
Time: 4:10 AM

Its another cold (10°) morning here at the trail head. No new snow fell over night. Casey and I plan to groom the entire system this morning.  We will lay fresh corduroy and set new tracks starting with the 5K then the 10K and finishing up counter clockwise on the 25K and 3K. This has been a wonderful start to the winter season. We groomers are very excited. Hope you are too. See you on the trail.

Report: Vasa Update
Date: 12/18/2016
Time: 10:33 AM

Glen and Steve are currently rolling the 25K in the counter-clockwise direction. They have rolled and groomed the skate lane and reset classic tracks on the 5K however due to the heavy snowfall that portion of the trail will probably need to be re-groomed later today. Their plan is to finish rolling the 25K loop and then return to the trailhead to swap out equipment and groom and set classic tracks on all loops if time and weather conditions permit.

They report that between 6-12 inches of new snow has fallen since yesterdays groom. If you plan on skiing today expect fresh snow and soft trail conditions.

Report: Vasa #7
Date: 12/18/2016
Time: 8:00 AM

Steve and I started rolling this morning at 5:00 am.  There was 3-5 fresh inches of snow and it was still coming down at 2 inches per hour.  So we will continue rolling today.  It will be slow going.   After we roll we plan on going back out to lay corduroy and set tracks.

Report: Vasa Update
Date: 12/17/16
Time: 7:00 PM

Jim and Roger rolled and groomed the entire system earlier today.  New corduroy and tracks were set.  They reported about 8 inches of fresh snow. Tonight’s forecast is calling for 4-8 inches of snow.  Steve and I will groom early tomorrow morning.  We too will follow our normal grooming pattern starting with the 5K then the 10K and finishing counter clockwise on the 25K.

Report: Vasa #6
Date: 12/17/2016
Time: 4:33 AM

Roger and I will start grooming this morning at 5:30 following the normal grooming pattern which is the 5K loop followed by the 11K and 25K and finishing on the 3K Meadows loop. We will groom the skate lane and reset classic tracks on all loops.

Report: Vasa Update
Date: 12/16/2016
Time: 12:00 PM

During yesterdays groom Jim and I were able to set classic tracks. There was 2-4 inches of fresh snow that was whipped up by fierce NW winds.  With little additional snow last night I decided not to groom this morning.  The forecast is calling for substantial snow fall later today through Sunday.  We will groom again early Saturday morning.  Snow base throughout the VASA trail is between 1″ and  2″ , however, there are some very thin spots so use caution. Check out the new wall bypass trail.  It has been groomed and signage will be installed next week.

Report: Vasa #5
Date: 12/15/2016
Time: 9:05 AM

Glen and Jim headed out early this morning to groom the entire trail reporting between 1-3 inches of new snow. They have started with the 5K and 10K loops and will then head out to groom the 25K. Once they are back to the barn they will follow up with an updated report.

Report: Vasa #4
Date: 12/12/16
Time: 5:00 am

Casey and I will be rolling the trail system this morning.  2″ of new snow has fallen since yesterdays roll so we are getting close to having enough base to groom  and set tracks. It is 26° and the winds are calm.  There are many thin places on the trail so ski with a little caution.

Report: Vasa #3
Date: 12/11/2016
Time: 10:33 AM

Jim and Gary were out early this morning and have completed rolling the whole system. There was a little new snow overnight, but some areas are still very thin so skiers should use caution.

Report: Vasa #2
Date: 12/10/2016
Time: 8:45 AM

Apologies for a delayed report this morning. Glen and Steve were at the barn at 3:30 AM this morning and the internet was down, so they weren’t able to send anything out.

The good news is that they are out rolling the entire trail and all of this new snow is starting to shape up nicely. Enjoy!

Report: Vasa #1
Date: 12/9/2016
Time: 8:45 AM

We are rolling! Head Groomer, Glen Rauth, reports from the trail that he and Casey are out rolling the 4″-5″ inches of base that has accumulated so far on the Vasa Pathway.  As of 8:45 AM they had completed the 5K Headwaters loop as well as the 10K and are now working on finishing up the 25K and Jack Pine Valley.

Trail conditions will be variable until more snow covers the base that is currently setting.  If you do go out skiing expect some rocks, twigs, roots, and branches to be visible.  Rock skis are recommended at this time. We are hoping for another few inches of snow which will allow us to bring our the Ginzu and set classic tracks.

Thanks for your support and enjoy this winter weather!

Report: Vasa Grooming Update as the snow falls
Date: 12/8/2016
Time: 10:24 AM

Are you as excited about this weather forecast as we are?! If the forecast is correct we could see as much as 10″-16″ of snow by the weekend.  Groomers and TART Trails’ staff are paying very close attention to the trail conditions and will keep you updated on any plans to get out and groom as soon as it’s clear just how much snow we’re gonna get.

Because the past few weeks have been so warm we’ll likely need to allow the snow to build up and give time for the ground to freeze before running a snow machine over the trail.  That call will be made by the Vasa groomers and you will be updated as soon as the decision is made. Hopefully soon!

We have been working on a new trail feature for this winter. Head Groomer, Glen Rauth (left), and TART Trails’ Ambassador and co-recipient of this year’s Jim Mudgett Trail Pioneer Award, Jim Heffner (right), have been working hard on a by-pass around The Wall on the 25K loop.  The by-pass will provide a way for skiers to circumnavigate The Wall on much gentler terrain through a beautiful section of hardwood forest. Here they are setting a signpost for this new trail section that was authorized by the DNR as a way to enhance the trail for all users year round.


For the hearty folks who look forward to the challenge of climbing The Wall, don’t fret. It will still be groomed for the season, and in fact the 1K by-pass will provide an opportunity to do multiple laps so you can practice your climbing intervals on The Wall to your heart’s content.

Grooming on the Leelanau Trail from Cherry Bend to Sutton’s Bay will be underway once there is enough of a base to groom.  A solid crew of volunteers are prepped and ready to groom this increasingly popular trail for cross country skiing.  This year, a new snowmobile and a second roller have been added to the fleet of grooming equipment, which should make for more consistent grooming and better overall trail conditions.  Because the Leelanau Trail is paved and runs through some open fields, it often requires a bit more snow than the Vasa before we can head out with the snowmobiles and drags.  Stay tuned for updates!

Thank you for supporting winter trail grooming and keep doing your snow dance.  It’s working!