Grooming Reports

Grooming reports for the Vasa Pathway and Leelanau Trail 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.

Also check out this Facebook page that is all about Vasa Conditions with posts from real-time users.  Feel free to follow, share and encourage others!

Grooming reports are made possible by Short’s Brewing Company.


2019-2020 Grooming Reports

Vasa Grooming Report:  #13
Date:  01/18/20
Time: 2:25 am
Right now it is 22 degrees with about 1″ of fresh snow.  John and I will head out on the trail this morning to renovate the skate lane and set new classic tracks.  More snow is on the way ( so they say ) so we are holding off as long as possible but still have the the groom finished by 9:00 am. Come on out and join this wonderful ski community for a snowy day on the Vasa.  And don’t forget TART’s open house at the trail head today.  Save some room for a snack. -Glen

Vasa Grooming Report:  #12
Date:  01/17/20
Time:  6:24 am
Dave and James groomed the whole Vasa system last night.  They compacted the 2-3 ” of fresh snow and mixed it with the existing base.  A new set of classic tracks were also cut in to the fresh surface.  Skiing today for both classic and skate should be very good.  Forecasters have increased the possible snow totals for Saturday morning and afternoon to 9″.  Only time will tell if that really happens. I hope so 🙂 A reminder that TART is hosting it’s first open house of the season tomorrow from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm at the trail head.  There will be hot cocoa and cookies baked by TART volunteers and a heaping helping of corduroy.  Hope to see you there. – Glen

Leelanau Grooming Report:  #8
Date: 1/16/2020
Time:  5:00 pm
North Section: Bill H. groomed the whole trail after most of the snow had fallen.
Parallel Trail: Chad groomed the parallel Fat Bike trail from Suttons Bay (4th Street) to Fort today as well.
South Section: Groomed as above.
So should we nice skiing and biking tomorrow.

Vasa Grooming Report
Date:  01/16/20
Time:  4:57 am
Well, its 30 degrees here at the trail head with a dusting of new snow.  The classic tracks have held up well since yesterday’s set and the skate lane, although very firm, has enough texture to allow the ski to get an edge. Forecasting suggests up to 2 inches of snow throughout the day and the chance for 6 inches on Saturday.  We are going to hold off grooming again until late tonight or tomorrow morning depending on snow fall.

This Saturday the 18th from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm TART will hold their first open house of the season here at the trail head.  There will be hot cocoa and cookies served up by TART staff and volunteers.  Groomers will be on hand supplying the open house corduroy and answering questions.  So please stop by on your way on or off the trail and say hi! – Glen

Leelanau Grooming Report:  #7
Date: 1/15/2020
Time:  10:30 am
North Section: Bill D. rolled the trail yesterday morning, but then the rain.  So waiting for more snow to roll again, hopefully tomorrow morning.  Bill H. has the south sled ready to go and he will groom the whole trail tomorrow.
Parallel Trail: Chad groomed the parallel Fat Bike trail from Suttons Bay (4th Street) to Fort today and says the Parallel Trail is riding near perfect conditions!
South Section: To be groomed with the next snow.

Vasa Grooming Report:  #11 update
Date:  01/15/20
Time:  11:45 am
John and I just returned to the barn after a long full groom.  We were able to set new classic tracks and renovate the skate lane.  Conditions this morning were wet with temps cooling from 35 degree at our start down to 28 degrees and now back to 34 degrees at the barn. Classic tracks are not perfect but very skiable.  The skate lane is also not perfect corduroy but again should offer fun skiing.  So please come on out and mark your mark in the snow. Looks like a little snow in the forecast for tomorrow.  If it really happens we will be out again in the morning. – Glen

Vasa Grooming Report:  #11
Date:  01/15/20
Time:  3:56am
Here at the trail head it is 33 degrees with calm wind.  The trail surface is wet hard pack snow.  We are headed out to renovate the skate lane and attempt to set classic tracks.  Because temps did not go below freezing last night we may have trouble with wet sticky snow clogging the equipment.  If this happens the grooming plan will change.  I will send out an update late this morning. – Glen

Vasa Grooming Report:  #10
Date:  01/14/20
Time:  10:15 am
Our compaction groom of the 3k, 5k, 10, and 25k went well last night.  We were able to level the trail a bit more with the 3″ of fresh snow that fell yesterday morning.  As I mentioned in the previous post this process wiped out the classic tracks.  We are seeking to build uniform snow density across the whole width.  This will help us create a better ski experience for both disciplines once we set classic tracks and renovate the skate lane.  If conditions allow we will re-set the trail tomorrow morning.  Thank you for your patience.  Hope you are enjoying the trail.
The numbers:  Did you know that the Vasa Trail has approximately 1,774,080 square feet of surface area. That’s 40.7 acres.  Wow! – Glen

Vasa Grooming Report:  #9 Update
Date:  01/13/20
Time:  12:56 pm
That ” Old Man Winter ” he’s a sneaky little bugger :).  He gave us 2 – 3″ of lake effect this morning.  I was thinking maybe 1″ overnight.  But hey, its all snow and we will take it happily.  We will be headed out tonight to compact and level the trail.  This will help to push snow around the surface filling in the low areas and knocking down the high areas.  The classic tracks will be wiped out during this process and will be reset on our next groom.  Weather is forecast to be drizzly tomorrow with temps rising close to 40 degrees.  So it looks like the next groom may be Wednesday morning.  Stay tuned. – Glen

Vasa Grooming Report: #9
Date:  01/12/20
Time:  10:55 pm
Wow! What a fun day of skiing. Many of you came out and enjoyed the sun and beautiful winter conditions.  So many of you in fact that the trail needed a little touch up.    So I re-groomed the skate lane tonight and left the classic tracks that James and John set this morning.  With temps around 18 degrees tonight the trail should firm up nicely for tomorrow.

Leelanau Grooming Report: #6
Date: 1/12/2020
Time:  2:30 pm
North Section: Michael groomed the whole trail Saturday with roller and skirt from Suttons Bay to DeYoung.  Pete just finished the whole trail again today with roller & skirt.  So nice wide corduroy for skate or classic.  Lots of folks out enjoying the sun!
Parallel Trail: Chad groomed the parallel Fat Bike trail from Suttons Bay (4th Street) to Fort today as well.
South Section: Groomed with north section, see above.  Snowmobile to be back in action Monday, so should see more grooming with more snow.

Vasa Grooming Report:  #8 update
Date:  01/12/20
Time:  12:20 pm
Snow Report: 
James and John completed their full groom of the Vasa including classic tracks. They report a consistent 3″ of fresh snow throughout and good snow coverage.  Hopefully this is enough to help knock you off that proverbial ski fence and come on out and join in on some trail fun.

Vasa Grooming Report:  #8
Time:  5:10 am
Snow Report: 
We received about 3 inches of snow this morning and it is a chili 16 degrees here at the trail head.  The wind has calmed down.   James, John and I will be headed out to groom. We will be setting classic tracks as well as compacting the skate lane.  I will put out an update when we are finished.

Vasa Report:  #7 update
Time:  11:39 am
Snow Report: 
Now this is more like it :).  The trail is covered with new compacted snow. Skate  skiing this morning was very nice. Like skiing on a cushion of air over the soft snow.  So it’s time to get out and enjoy winter on the Vasa.
No classic tracks were set today because we are starting over with building up the base.  Hopefully we get enough snow tomorrow to allow us to set tracks after we compact the fresh powder.  The weather guru’s are forecasting about 7 inches overnight.  Keep your snow fingers crossed.

Vasa Report:  #7
Time:  5:41 am
Snow Report: 
It is 28 degrees here at the trail head.  The wind is howling out of the North and we have 2 inches of fresh snow.  Dave and Don will be headed out shortly to compact the entire Vasa.  This may be slow going because of the potential of downed branches and trees.
The 5k and 10k will be completed first with an early pass by Timber Ridge for those of you who start your ski there.  Then the 25k will be compacted.  A trail condition update will be sent out later today.
We are anticipating more snow tonight into tomorrow morning so we will be out again Sunday morning.  Stay tuned.  I will keep you posted.

Vasa Update
Time:  3:38 pm
Snow Report: 
Skiing today would be no fun. The trail is dirty, bumpy and just plan ugly.  Pooy !!  Fortunately snow is on the way.  Forecasters are calling for 1-3 inches tonight with falling temps and even more on Saturday night into Sunday.  The groomers are raring to go.  Stay tuned as ” Old Man Winter ” comes back to play :).

Vasa Update
Date: 01/08/20
Time: 7:47 am
Snow Report:
Jim D. and John S. just reported from the trail that they are now out grooming the 1-2 inches of snow on the trail since yesterday’s snow squall. They have completed the 5K and are almost done with the 10K now and will head out to complete the 25K loop next.  There is enough new snow that they are setting classic tracks, which in some areas are setting up nicely and in other spots are rather shallow depending on snow depth. All in all it should be a great day to get out and enjoy the trail while temps are colder and the snow is fresh.

Leelanau Grooming Report:  #5
Date: 1/7/2020
Time:  11:00 am
Snow squall came through without much snow!  Shucks!
North Section
Bill D. groomed the whole trail this morning with roller and skirt from Suttons Bay to DeYoung, yeah Bill.  So nice wide corduroy for skate or classic.
Parallel Trail  
Chad groomed the parallel Fat Bike trail from Suttons Bay (4th Street) to Fort on Monday so should be in good shape.
South Section
Groomed with north section, see above.  Snowmobile problem solved so should see more grooming soon.

VASA Update:
Date:  01/07/20
Time: 10:47 am
Snow Report:
Did anyone else just get a loud alert from their smart phone indicating a snow squall warning?! The TART Trails office was abuzz for a minute as the signals came through and it’s a snow globe outside the headquarters window now with more lake effect snow forecast into the evening and early morning Wednesday. We just got word from the groomers that they are busy doing some mechanical work on the snowmobiles today and plan to get out tomorrow morning following this welcome snow.  Stay tuned for updates and safe travels if you are out on the roads today.

Leelanau Grooming Report:  #4
Date: 1/6/2020
Time:  11:45 am

North Section
RK groomed with roller and skirt from Center Hwy near Fort Road to Suttons Bay (4th Street) and back.  So nice wide corduroy for skate or classic.
Parallel Trail  
Chad groomed the parallel Fat Bike trail from Suttons Bay (4th Street) to Fort and back as well.
South Section
No grooming 
Date:  01/06/20
Time: 8:01 am
Snow Report: 
How about this fresh snowfall?! We just heard from groomer James who is out on the trail now grooming the 4 inches of new snow that we received yesterday and last night.  James reports that they have wrapped up the 5k and the 10k loops and are now out on the 25k. Trail conditions should be great, especially earlier in the day before it warms up a bit, so get out there if you can. We’ll send more trail updates and grooming reports as conditions change.

Date:  01/04/20
Time: 7:01 am
Snow Report: 
There they go again talking about a “winter mix” – Ugh! Seems that “Old Man Winter” is having a few New Year resolution issues. Anyway, we will be patient while he works things out and realizes that he just needs to “do winter” :). The trail is in pretty rough shape.  It was skiable yesterday.  However, very icy and not much fun.  Forecasts are calling for cold temps and a little snow Sunday. We will be watching this closely and keep you posted.  In the meantime enjoy family, friends and the anticipation of fresh snow.

Date:  12/31/19
Time: 5:25 pm
Snow Report: 
Dave and I have completed todays groom.  We compacted the 2 – 3 ” of fresh snow.  There were countless branches and 8 large tree down so it took us awhile  to navigate the trail. Looks like some cold temps overnight so skiing tomorrow morning should be pretty good.  Oh, and there are next to no oak leaves :).  What a great way to bring in the New Year. We will wait for more snow before attempting another groom.  Stay tuned.

Date:  12/31/19
Time: 8:53 am
Snow Report: 
It is 30 degrees here at the barn with light snow falling.  The trail has 1-2″ of wet heavy base from yesterdays slush fall and about 2″ of drier fine snow that fell this morning.  We are headed out to compact the trail and will be out until mid afternoon. Temps are forecast to fall to 23 degrees tonight which will help to harden the trail.  Skiing today will be soft and slowish.  I will put out an update when we complete the groom today.

Date:  12/30/19
Time: 8:53 am
Snow Report: 
It is snowing :).  What a great way to bring in the new year.  We will be watching the conditions and hopefully be able to roll the fresh snow sometime tomorrow. I will keep you posted when we make our move. So now would be a good time to put a fresh coat of wax on your skis and do a little “jig.”

Date:  12/27/19
Time:  7:10 am
Snow Report: 
I am currently at the trail head where it is 35 degrees and , you guessed it, not a good ski day.  The trail is dirt.  So we start over as soon as we get snow.  Let’s hope that winter comes back in like a lion just the way it did on New Year’s Day last year. The good thing about this weather is you can still hike, bike and run.  So keep up your fitness for the return of snow.  Get out there :).

Date: 12/20/19
Time: 12:50 pm
The trail is holding up well and is still very skiable.  It is getting pretty skied out, however, there just is not enough snow to allow us to freshen the trail.   Weather forecasts suggest a very quiet week coming up with no new snow and temps between 26 and 40 degrees.  We will continue to monitor the weather and trail conditions throughout the week.  It is unlikely that we will groom again until we receive more snow.

Date: 12/18/19
Time: 8:35 am
Jim and John have rolled the 5k and are currently on the 10k. They report 13 degrees and 1 or 2 inches at most of fresh snow.  Just enough to leave a little corduroy behind.  We did not get the amount of snow that was forecast, however, every little bit certainly helps our cause. Temps will stay cold at around 14 degrees today with brisk north west winds.  So if you head out take your bundlies ( neck gator, mitts, you know the drill ).

Date: 12/16/19
Time: 6:28 am
Dave and Don compacted the trail last night.  They reported about 2″ of well skied in powder over about 1/2″ to 1″ of crusty base.  And after a cold night skiing today should be fast.  Watch out for the few areas of exposed gravel and those pesky oak leaves. It is 19 degrees with light north winds this morning.  The forecast is calling for 3″ of snow tomorrow night.

Date: 12/15/19
Time: 10:28 am
There is 1 to 2 inches of fluffy snow on the trail and it is 26 degrees.  The freezing temps and snow came in early this morning so I decided to leave the trail be today and compact it late tonight or tomorrow morning.  I skate skied the 5k and 10k and found really fun and surprisingly fast conditions.  I saw a few leaves lurking beneath the surface, however they offered no problems with glide.    A few classic skiers were out enjoying cutting in their own tracks. So if your sitting on that “fence” waiting for a push, this is it :).

Date: 12/14/19
Time: 9:39 am
It’s 35 degrees here at the trail head. The trail surface hardened up overnight and should offer some good skiing early today.  It will soften up quickly.  There will be bare spots, dirt and leaves to watch for and the whole trails snow pack is thin so use caution. Forecasts suggest below freezing temps returning tonight into tomorrow with very little snow.  We will need a few inches before we try to groom again.  Keep snow dancing :).

Date: 12/12/19
Time: 11:55 pm
Dave and I completed a roll / compaction of the 5k,10k and 25k tonight.  We did not do Jack Pine Valley or the Wall.  There was 1-2″ of fresh snow on the trail.  Warm temps and the possibility of rain for the next few days will render the trail soft, sloppy and slow.  We will not groom again until we get more snow with freezing temps.  Hope you got out today while the skiing was fast and fun.

Date: 12/12/19
Time: 8:35 am
A little more snow is in the forecast today along with steady rising temps into the 30s. Yesterdays bit of snow and wind helped to fill in the small low spots which go a long way in flattening out the trail.  If conditions allow we will be rolling / compacting the trail starting late this afternoon or early evening.  There is also a bit of rain in the forecast for late tonight which, hopefully, will have little adverse effect on the trail.  I will send out a report after we complete the task tonight. I will be skiing today.  Will you be ??  Hope so :).