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The warming house at Soaring Eagle Cross Country Ski Trails is on Highway 71 north of Park Rapids. (Anna Erickson / Enterprise)

Soaring Eagle needs Mother Nature's help to open

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Park Rapids Enterprise
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Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

With just a little more snow Soaring Eagle Cross Country Ski Trails should be ready for skiers.

Soaring Eagle, located 8 miles north of Park Rapids on Highway 71, is maintained by the Itascatur Ski/Bike/Run club.

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The Itascatur club is hoping to increase awareness of cross-country skiing and introduce children and adults to the activity, said Janine Weideman, Itascatur member. This year, the club was able to purchase new ski equipment to lend out free of charge for people interested in trying the outdoor sport.

The club has plenty of equipment of all sizes (20 adult skis and 18 children skis) for groups or individuals to use. There is also a variety of boots and poles. Interested groups will need to coordinate with a member of Itascatur to help check out equipment. Weideman can be reached at 732-4589 or janine.weideman@gmail.com.

Itascatur raises money through events such as the Headwaters 100 bike tour in the fall and the Fish Hook Challenge run. The club also receives money through the Department of Natural Resources Grant-in-Aid program.

The group was able to purchase a new snowmobile and grooming equipment last winter with some of the funding.

Once there is a sufficient amount of snow, the trail is groomed each Friday and when there is more than 2 inches of new snow.

A Minnesota Ski Pass is required for skiers ages 16 and up. A pass can be purchased where hunting and fishing licenses are sold, Weideman said. More information about the passes can be found at www.dnr.

state.mn.us/licenses/skipass/ index.html.

Itascatur will be hosting two open houses during the holidays to give the public an opportunity to check out the new equipment and be introduced to skiing. The open houses will be from noon to 4 p.m. Monday, Dec. 28 and Wednesday, Dec. 30.

Also, a Family Fun Day will be from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 9. There will be games for kids, door prizes, a campfire, cookies and hot chocolate.

For more information about the ski trails or the club, go to www.itascatur.org. Ski trail conditions can be found at www.skinnyski.com.

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