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: Final report
Date: 03/29/17
Time: 12:21PM

Good Afternoon Trail Badgers,

I think we can safely say that the vasa ski season has come to a close. The weather was challenging for skiers and groomers alike this winter. I hope that you had as much fun as we, the groomers, did.

Grooming started on December 9th and ended on March 5th. We completed 55 grooms totaling 1485 miles and 918 man hours. The machines burned through 304 gallons of gasoline and 185 gallons of diesel. And although we experienced small equipment break downs no major issues occurred.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Jim Dombrowski, Roger Raehl, Steve Westphal, Gary Keleita, Casey Conn who put up with very early, cold, dark mornings as well as being very patient with me as lead groomer. I would also like to welcome Mark Spence who joined the grooming team at the end of this season.

And finally, I thank TART and all of you, the trail badgers, for continuing to support a truly awesome trail system. Hope to see you out on the trail as we all transition to warm weather activities. 😀

Peace,
Glen

Report: Vasa Update
Date: 3/06/17
Time: 3:45 PM

I have just returned home from a hike thru the snow shoe trail at the Vasa trailhead to check various points on the ski trail. As you all know it’s really warm and it’s having an adverse effect on the ski trail. The trailhead to the bridge is not skiable and there will be little left elsewhere by the time things freeze up again. Although there are cold temps in the mid to late week forecast with out new snow we can not groom.

On the bright side, the snow shoe trail was beautiful. Not much snow and a little mud, but it goes along the creek and is loaded with cedar trees. You may even see a fish or two in the creek. Deer are also abundant so keep your eye peeled.

Report: Vasa #55
Date: 3/04/17
Time: 6:43 PM

I will be renovating the skate lane on all loops early tomorrow morning (Sunday). The classic tracks are in great shape and should remain good until warm temps and rain move into the area Sunday night into Monday. The temps are forecasted to remain below freezing until 10:00 am tomorrow so it should be another great day to be out on the trail. Enjoy!

Report: Vasa #54
Date: 3/04/17
Time: 7:00 AM
I just heard from Steve who is out renovating the skate lane and he reports 5 degrees with no new snow since yesterday. Currently he has completed the 5K, 10K, and is at the 7K post heading clockwise on the 25K. There are ruts at the Holiday Hills crossing which he repaired as best he could so use caution (22.3K sign).

Yesterday was a stellar ski day. Today should be even better with sunny skies and temps warming to the high 20’s and low 30’s by afternoon. Looks like rain starting Monday so get out and enjoy winter on the Vasa while you can.

Report: Leelanau Trail 
Date: 03/3/17
Time: 2:00 PM

Yesterday Michael Burns rolled the Leelanau Trail from Birch Point Rd. to the Cherry Bend trailhead. He used the skirt to lay down a smooth skate surface. This morning I rolled the LT from Birch Point Rd. to 4th St. in Suttons Bay. I also used the skirt to smooth the surface. After I post this report I am heading out to groom down to the Cherry Bend trailhead again. The trail is in decent shape, but the snow is thin in most places. There are only a few icy or bare spots. Pole plants will contact hard surfaces underneath in most places. We still need to retrieve our Ginzu groomer that was loaned to the VASA Trail for the race. With the conditions we have right now I feel the Ginzu would not be of much use as we need more snow to be able to use the teeth to renovate the trail. I will leave classic tracks established by the skiers where I am able to do so.

PS To who ever cleared the downed tree north of Revold Rd, thank you. I was expecting to have to do some saw work and was pleasantly to find it had been done for me!

Report: Vasa #53
Date: 03/3/17
Time: 6:58 AM

I just heard from Jim, who is out grooming this morning, he reports 18 degrees and 1 to 3″ of new snow since yesterday’s groom. He is renovating the skate lane as well as setting new classic tracks. He has completed the 5K, 10K and is currently at the 7K post headed clockwise on the 25K.

TART and the groomers would like to wish 4 Jr. skiers from northern lower Michigan good luck as they head off to the Junior Nationals in Lake Placid, NY on March 4-11. They are Mary Lyon – TC West, Jacob Dean – TC West, Isaac Coulter – TC Central, and Reid Goble – Petoskey. These young skiers are the future of nordic skiing.

Report: Vasa Update
Date: 3/02/17
Time: 12:05 PM

Things went well this morning. Steve and I were able to do a slow roll of the entire system which packed the new 5″-8″ of snow down onto the existing 1-2″ icy base. Snow depth on the trail is still thin in some areas, however most of the trail is well covered and should offer good skate skiing today. Tomorrow we should be able to set classic tracks. We wanted to set tracks today but there just was not enough firmly packed snow to cut them in on the shallow base, so I decided it best to wait a day.

Report: Vasa #52
Date: 3/02/17
Time: 3:45 AM

Steve and I are headed out to roll and pack the trail this morning. There is 5-7″ of new snow which will going along way to get us all back out skiing. I will sent out an update later today.
TART and the groomers would like to wish 4 Jr. skiers from northern lower Michigan good luck as they head off to the Junior Nationals in Lake Placid, NY on March 4-11. They are Mary Lyon – TC West, Jacob Dean – TC West, Isaac Coulter – TC Central, and Reid Goble – Petoskey. These young skiers are the future of nordic skiing.

Report: Holiday Hills Update
Date: 2/28/17
Time: Noon

It has been brought to my attention that not everyone knows where the Holiday Hills crossing is on the trail. It lies between the 22K and 23K posts in the valley of a short steep hill. Trucks crossing the trail at this spot cause deep ruts that become dangerous to skiers.I would recommend studying a map to identify exactly where it is located.With the weather being a bit fickle and increased traffic on the road crossing I would suggest extreme caution.

Report: Vasa Update
Date: 2/28/17
Time: 7:45 AM

With rain and warm temps today we will not be grooming the trail. Cold temps are forecast to return late this evening and into tomorrow morning along with 3″-5″ of new snow. Given that forecast the trail will remain wet Wednesday so we will most likely wait until late Wednesday or early Thursday to groom.

Your patience is appreciated as we navigate this ever changing weather pattern. We will do our best to create a skiable trail as quickly as mother nature and machinery allows.

Report: Vasa #51
Date: 2/27/17
Time: 8:10 AM

I have finished renovating the skate lane on all loops leaving the tracks that were set yesterday. There are deep ruts at the Holiday Hills crossing so use caution when skiing that area. I was able to smooth out most of the lumpy spots left from the last groom so skating should be improved today. Classic tracks are holding up well, although there are places where dirt is coming through the base. The 3K will also be groomed this morning. Enjoy!

Report: Vasa #50
Date: 2/26/17
Time: 7:26 AM

Casey and I groomed the trail last night and early this morning. We renovated the skate lane and set new classic tracks. There were deep ruts at the Holiday Hills crossing which we repaired twice. Be very cautious, my guess is that those deep ruts will be there again today given the 4-wheel drive truck activity we encountered last night. Other than that I think you will find the trail in very good skiable condition. Enjoy!

Report: Vasa Update
Date: 2/25/17
Time: 3:05 PM

I have received reports of damage to the Vasa trail at the Holiday Hills crossing. Tonight during our groom we will attempt to repair the area.  Also, if you ski today keep in mind that the trail surface may give you a false impression of what lies below. Blowing and drifting snow may cover holes and ruts in the trail. Please use caution.

Report: Vasa Update
Date: 2/25/17
Time: 6:55 AM

We will be grooming the trail today, however it will not be until late afternoon and evening. Today’s forecast is for 1-2″ of snow and winds blowing 15-25 from the north with temps in the low 20’s. So late today we will mix the new snow with what fell yesterday.

Report: Vasa Update
Date: 2/24/17
Time: 4:25 PM

Okay, so I was a little too excited this morning. Steve did roll the 5K, 10K and parts of the 25K. However,  it was very wet so we are waiting until the temps drop below freezing before attempting another roll / groom. I will keep you posted.

If you do head out to ski keep in mind that we rolled with the corduroy flap up so the pattern will be much larger then usual.

Report: Vasa #49
Date: 2/24/17
Time: 7:00 AM

Surprise, Surprise, winter is back. We received about 4″ of fresh snow this morning so we will be out rolling it down on to what ever is left of the base. This process will start later morning and continue into the afternoon. I will put out an update to let you know what the trail conditions are like when we get done rolling.

Report: Vasa Update
Date: 2/22/17
Time: 7:00 AM

I am caught between enjoying the recent sun and warmth to wanting winter to return with all of its cold frosty glory. I will be out skiing and hiking (off trail) along parts of the VASA today inspecting the base to get an idea of what might be left by the time temps drop on Friday. There is snow in the weekend forecast so with a little luck we will be grooming soon.

Report: Vasa #48
Date: 2/20/17
Time: 6:45 AM

Steve is out scratching up the skate lane on all loops this morning. The 5K and 10K have been completed and he is currently at the 7K on the 25K headed clockwise. The road crossings are in rough shape so use extra caution.

Report: Vasa Update
Date: 2/19/17
Time: 7:30 AM

Wow! What an awesome day yesterday was for our skiing community. The High School Races went off without a hitch and were great fun for participants and spectators alike. It was 55° with light winds and the sun, oh the sun!! Thank you to everyone who made the event such a success.

Today we have decided not to attempt a groom of the VASA trail. As you know there are some areas that are icy and our equipment does not move well on ice. So we will try a groom tomorrow morning.

Don’t be fooled by the brown in town the trail is skiable. The trail head is looking pretty rough but the further out you go the better it gets. Try the 5K first and go from there:)

Report: Vasa #47
Date: 2/1817
Time: 3:50 AM

Gary and I will attempt to scratch up the skate lane this morning on all loops. I have been out since 1:30 am grooming the Jr. Coarse and going up some of the hills with the machinery is challenging due to a very hard pack and icy surface. So when we get out on the Vasa it may be very slow going. I would suggest earlier skiing then later skiing as the trail will soften throughout the day. The forecasted warms temps will impede our grooming process this week. We do what we can when we can.

Report: Vasa #46
Date: 2/1717
Time: 4:30 AM

Steve and I were out earlier this morning and groomed the entire trail. We renovated the skate lane and set new classic tracks.

The High School Championships are being held tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday at the trail head. They will be racing on portions of the VASA trail near the trail head out to the 2K hill and circling back on a short cut to the 5K where they will continue clockwise to the finish behind the warming hut. If you would like to spectate please join us at the stadium behind the warming hut where the starts and finishes will be. Its a lot of fun. Bring a cow bell:)

Report: Vasa #45 Update
Date: 2/16/17
Time: 6:30 AM

I just heard from Steve and Casey they are having to pack the new snow over the existing tracks because there is more snow then expected. Although they attempted to set new tracks the old tracks are just too hard to break up. So classic skiing will be very challenging today. We will set new tracks during tomorrows groom.

The High School Championships are being held tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday at the trail head. They will be racing on portions of the VASA trail near the trail head out to the 2K hill and circling back on a short cut to the 5K where they will continue clockwise to the finish behind the warming hut. If you would like to spectate please join us at the stadium behind the warming hut where the starts and finishes will be. Its a lot of fun. Bring a cow bell:)

Report: Vasa #45
Date: 2/16/17
Time: 6:22 AM

Steve and Casey are out grooming this morning. They report 24°, light winds and 2″ of very light fluffy new snow which they are working into the trail. The existing tracks will remain today while this new snow settles. We will attempt setting new tracks on our next groom.

The High School Championships are being held tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday at the trail head. They will be racing on portions of the VASA trail near the trail head out to the 2K hill and circling back on a short cut to the 5K where they will continue clockwise to the finish behind the warming hut. If you would like to spectate please join us at the stadium behind the warming hut where the starts and finishes will be. Its a lot of fun. Bring a cow bell:)

Report: Vasa #44
Date: 2/15/17
Time: 3:30 AM

It is 28°, winds are NW at 20-30 mph with just a dusting of new snow blowing across the trail. I will renovate the skate lane this morning starting with the 5K counter clockwise, 10K clockwise and 25K counter clockwise and finishing up on the 3K. Winds have been high all night so I anticipate debris on the trail which may take time to remove. Because of this I may be out on the trail after 9:00. As soon as conditions (new snow) allow new tracks will be set.

Report: Vasa #43
Date: 2/13/17
Time: 7:05 AM

It’s 21 degrees and Roger is out grooming this morning. A little new snow fell yesterday which will be mixed into the tired surface of the trail. He is grooming in our normal direction (5K,10K, 25K,3K). I will be out on portions of the 5k today working on the Jr. Coarse in preparation of the High School races this Friday and Saturday. If you ski please use caution and watch for equipment on the trail.

Report: Vasa #42
Date: 2/12/17
Time: 4:35 AM

The VASA trail is being groomed for today’s Classic Race. A double set of tracks is being set down the middle of all loops. After the race VASA volunteers will be out on the trail removing all race signage so we will want until Monday to re-groom the trail to normal conditions.

Report: Vasa Update
Date: 2/10/17
Time: 6:44 AM

In preparation for the VASA race we will not be grooming this morning. The final race groom will start sometime early this evening and continue through the night and finishing up Saturday morning. During Sunday’s race groom we will be setting a double set of tracks on the whole system so we ask skaters to please wait until after the races on Sunday to ski. Also, the VASA volunteers will be out Sunday removing signage so we are waiting until Monday morning to re-groom the trail to normal conditions.

Report: Vasa #41
Date: 2/09/17
Time: 3:18 AM

It is 16°, light winds and there is a dusting of new snow here at the trail head. Jim and I will groom the entire system this morning. We will move counter clockwise on all loops starting with the 5K, 10K and 25K. New classic tracks will also be set this morning. We may be out past 9:00 am so please use caution and keep an eye out for equipment on the trail.

Report: Vasa #40
Date: 2/08/17
Time: 5:45 AM

Steve and Gary are out grooming the skate lane this morning. They report 22° , no new snow and very hard snow pack on the trail surface which they are attempting to breakup and lay down corduroy. The tracks remain in very good condition.

Report: Vasa Update
Date: 2/07/17
Time: 7:14 AM

We are going to let skiers pack the trail today as it settles and firms up in the forecasted above freezing temps. We will be out grooming again Wednesday morning.

If you would like to get involved and volunteer there are two events coming up that need your help. Both are a lot of fun for volunteers who work together to make the events a success.

The North American VASA Race Feb. 11-12 held at Timber Ridge. This event has a long tradition in nordic skiing and offers something for everyone. If you are interested in volunteering please contact Kristin Rylands, kristinrylands@gmail.com(231) 620-7100

The Nordic Skiing High School State Championships will be held Feb. 17-18 at the VASA trailhead off Bunker Hill Rd. It is a wonderful event held on a specially groomed coarse and the VASA 5K. If you are interested in volunteering please contact Laurie Coulter, mamabirdlaurie23@gmail.com231-632-2097.

Report: Vasa #39
Date: 2/06/17
Time: 7:14 AM

Steve is out renovating the skate lane on all loops this morning. He reports 22°, no new snow and light winds. The 5K, 10K have been completed and he is currently near Jack Pine going counter clockwise. Holiday hills had 4-wheel damage which Steve was able to repair. The VASA race volunteers will be out today between the 5K and Timber Ridge putting up race signage. Also, Jim and I will be out doing some pre-race grooming today on different parts of the trail. Please use caution and keep an eye out for equipment.

Report: Vasa #38
Date: 2/05/17
Time: 3:10 AM

There is 1-2″ of new snow here at the trailhead. 27 ° and calm winds. Today, in preparation of the VASA race next weekend, grooming will start on the 5K and continue counter clockwise on the 25K and then moving through the 10K. Fresh tracks will be set on the right side.

What a treat yesterday was. The open house was a lot of fun.  Many of you stopped to say hi and talk about your time on the trail.  Today should prove to be another beautiful day.  Hope you can get out and enjoy it.

Report: Leelanau Trail 
Date: 2/04/17
Time: 6:30 AM

Last night I groomed the southern Leelanau Trail from Birch Point Rd to the lower Cherry Bend parking lot. I was able to groom a good skate lane and set classic good tracks on the east side of the trail. The coverage is good, but pole plants will frequently contact the pavement or ice below.

Report: Vasa #37
Date: 2/04/17
Time: 4:15 AM

It is 18° here at the trailhead. Winds are calm with a slight dusting of new snow. Gary and I will renovate the skate lane today and leave the tracks which are in very good condition. We will move in our normal pattern (5K,10K,25K,3K) and should be off the trail by 8:30.

Report: Vasa #36
Date: 2/03/17
Time: 6:30 AM

It is a chilly 14° with just a dusting of new snow here at the trailhead. Steve and Casey are out renovating the skate lane. They will be leaving the existing classic tracks. The VASA race organization will be on the trail today putting up signs in preparation for this year’s VASA race on February 11th and 12th. Please use caution.

TART is holding their 2nd Open House this Saturday from 10:00 to 1:00 at the trail head.  Stop by say hi and enjoy a groomer cookie with a hot beverage.

Report: Leelanau Trail 
Date: 2/02/17
Time: 5:30 PM

This afternoon I groomed the Leelanau Trail from Birch Point Road to Suttons Bay. I set classic tracks and the skate lane. The trail is in good shape, but the snow is still thin. Pole plants will contact the pavement below. There are some spots with grass in the classic tracks. The area north and south of Shady Lane (often a problem spot) has a few bare spots and a number of icy spots. There is also significant damage from snowmobiles…some is obviously intentional. There are other areas south of the Bingham Bridge that also have a lot of snowmobile damage. I am planning a groom of the southern trail tomorrow so the whole trail will have a recent groom for the weekend.

Report: Vasa #35
Date: 2/02/17
Time: 6:45 AM

Steve and Gary are renovating the skate lane on all loops this morning. They report 14 to 20° with no new snow since yesterday. Steve says the classic tracks are holding up very well. Looks like a great week of winter trail goodness. Enjoy:)

As trail groomers we get asked many questions about what we do. We are deeply committed and like sharing what we know and listening to trail fans. So if you have a question or are curious about the equipment stop by when you see us at the barn and we would be happy to show you around and answer questions.

TART is holding their 2nd Open House this Saturday from 10:00 to 1:00 at the trail head. Stop by say hi and enjoy a groomer cookie with a hot beverage.

Report: Leelanau Trail 
Date: 2/02/17
Time: 11:20 AM

This morning Bill Heitman was able to groom the Leelanau Trail from Cherry Bend to Birch Point Rd. He was able to set new classic tracks and renovate the skate lane and reports very good coverage of the trail. Tomorrow he plans to groom from Birch Point up to Sutton’s Bay. Skiing conditions should be excellent through the weekend.

Report: Vasa #34
Date: 2/01/17
Time: 3:38 AM

It is 30° with 2″ of new snow here at the trailhead. I will groom the whole system this morning starting with the 5K, 10K, 25K, 3K. The skate lane will be renovated and fresh tracks will be set.

TART is holding their 2nd Open House this Saturday from 10:00 to 1:00 at the trailhead. Stop by say hi and enjoy a groomer cookie with a hot beverage.

Report: Leelanau Trail 
Date: 1/31/17
Time: 11:20 AM

Yesterday I set out to groom the northern Leelanau Trail from Birch Point to Suttons Bay. We have a great new (to us…a 2008 Skidoo Scandic 4-stroke) snowmobile that TART has purchased for us and a new roller with a compactor that leaves a skating surface. We have worked hard on getting the new sled modified for use with the equipment we have, but I did experience overheating during the groom, so this issue will have to be addressed before we can use all equipment to maximum effect.

In the mean time, the whole trail has full coverage thanks to the 8-10″ of snow we received! I will roll the southern part of the Leelanau Trail today and we will continue to groom in whatever way we can with the issues we are having. I expect that will include at least a roller groom and if possible compaction to create a skate lane. If classic skiers establish tracks we will try to leave those in place until we get the Ginzu out and are able to set tracks. Thanks for you patience as we work through this!

Report: Vasa #33
Date: 1/31/17
Time: 7:00 AM

Jim is out renovating the skate lane on all loops this morning. He has completed the 5K and 10K and is currently at the wall heading counter clockwise on the 25K. He will not be grooming the 3K because of the lack of snow in many places. Just a dusting of new snow last night with temps around 21° this morning at the trailhead.

TART is hosting their 2nd Open House this Saturday from 10:00 to 1:00 at the trailhead. Stop by say hi and enjoy a groomer cookie with a hot beverage.

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

Things are going a little bit slower than normal due to the snow accumulation on the trail. All trails have been rolled and packed, as of now the 5K and 10K have been groomed and new classic tracks have been set. Currently we are grooming the 25K loop and setting tracks in the clockwise direction so it will be another couple of hours before we are finished. Parts of the trail that were groomed first have already accumulated about 2″ of new snow since we started so expect to ski through a little powder, but other than that the trail looks great..

Report: Vasa #32
Date: 1/30/17
Time: 4:00 AM 

It is 19° with calm winds and there is about 3-4″of fresh snow here at the trailhead. Jim and I will groom the entire system this morning moving through in our normal pattern (5K, 10K, 25K, 3K). By the way it is beautiful out here. It’s looking a lot like winter again.  🙂

Report: Vasa #31
Date: 1/29/17
Time: 4:30 AM

It is 24°, winds are light and about 1/2″ to 1″ of new snow has fallen here at the trail head since
yesterday. Jim and I will renovate the skate lane and leave the existing tracks. We will follow our normal pattern (5K, 10K, 25K, 3K).

Report: Vasa #30
Date: 1/28/17
Time: 3:45 AM

It is 29°, winds are light and no new snow has fallen since yesterday. Jim and I will renovate the skate lanes on all loops this morning starting with the 5K then 10K and finishing up on the 25K and 3K. We will leave the existing tracks. Although we try to be off the trail no later than 9:00 am there are days when the groom takes longer than anticipated. Yesterday was one of those days. Steve and I encountered much debris on the trail and 4 wheel damage at holiday hills which required additional time. It is great to be back on the trail. Hope you’re enjoying it.

Report: Vasa Update
Date: 1/27/17
Time: 7:45AM

Glen and Steve report about 2-3 inches of new snow has fallen over most of the Vasa Pathway. The temperatures have been falling while they have been grooming and they say the trail is grooming up very nicely. The skate lane looks good and they are able to set classic tracks. They have finished grooming the 5 and 10K loops and are currently grooming the 25K loop counterclockwise from near Lands End Rd.

Report: Vasa #29
Date: 1/27/17
Time: 4:00 AM 

It is 32°, winds are light from the NW and about  1″ of new snow remains after yesterdays warmth. Steve and I will attempt to scratch the surface this morning. Until we receive more snow we will not be able to set track.

Report: Vasa Update
Date: 1/26/17
Time: 6:05 AM

Nice to see a little fresh snow on the ground this morning with cold temps on the way for late tonight and into Friday. We will wait until those temps drop to below freezing before attempting a groom. The base has held up very well considering this long January thaw. So put some fresh wax on those skis and hopefully we will be back to enjoying the trail by the weekend.

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°, 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° 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° here at the trailhead. 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!