Six destinations for nordic skiing in Northwest Montana
Story by Myers Reece
Over the years, the Flathead Valley has progressively expanded its inventory of Nordic skiing trails, opening up myriad opportunities for classic cross-country and skate skiers alike. The trails range from the quickly accessible — as in directly on the outskirts of town — to the slightly more remote, although none of the popular destinations listed below require serious winter adventuring to reach.
North Shore Nordic Club
This organization grooms and maintains two Nordic networks in the Flathead Lake area: Blacktail Mountain Nordic Trails, with 25 kilometers of varied terrain, and Bigfork Community Nordic Center, with 10 kilometers of varied terrain.
Glacier Nordic Club
The club grooms and maintains the popular Glacier Nordic Center at the Whitefish Lake Golf Club, which features 12 kilometers of trails for skate and classic skiing, and coordinates with other organizations to maintain the Big Mountain Nordic Trails, with 25 kilometers of groomed trails. It also grooms the Meadow Lake Nordic Trails in Columbia Falls, which have 6 kilometers of flat and gently rolling terrain.
Dog Creek Lodge
Located near Olney, the lodge’s Nordic center maintained about 20 kilometers of trails groomed for skate and classic skiing last year and was working on opening an additional 15-plus for the 2019-2020.
Stillwater Mountain Lodge
The lodge maintains a network of more than 20 kilometers of groomed cross-country trails minutes from Whitefish.
Izaak Walton Inn
This historic inn in Essex grooms 33 kilometers of trails that are convenient for guests but also open to the public.
Volunteers groom 19 kilometers of classic and skate trails on national forest land. For more information about Round Meadow and other national forest Nordic skiing options, visit www.fs.usda.gov/main/flathead or contact the supervisor’s office at (406) 758-5208.