Just six minutes from Coon Rapids High School, there's a new cross-country ski trail which the Cardinals Nordic ski racing teams can call their own.
The trail is groomed for both classic and skate skiing, and on property owned by the City of Coon Rapids. It’s something former high school varsity coach, and now volunteer coach, Denny Nelson has talked about for years. Nelson worked out the details with city officials and it finally became a reality last Wednesday.
"Well today is our first official Nordic Ski practice on our new 1.25 kilometer ski trail at Riverview/Reservoir Park," Nelson said.
There are over 30 skiers on the Nordic boys and girls team who are thrilled with the new ski trail, including sophomore Lachlan Demmer.
"I think it's a really nice trail, there's a few things with the grooming but it's a first try, it was really nice," Demmer said.
The team received a grant from the North Star Ski Touring Club, to make the trail, not only for the high school athletes, but citizen skiers as well.
"The North Stars (Ski Touring Club) gave us the grant for grooming, signage, all kinds of development," Nelson said.
Denny then built a grooming sled with the help of one of his former Nordic skiing athletes.
"Rick Petroff, was my first ski captain back in 1979-80,” Nelson said. “Rick and his homemade, groomer which actually flattens out for the freestyle skating technique, but it also has a classical side track, two by two track as well."
The high school Nordic skiers are happy to have a groomed ski trail which they can practice on, in Coon Rapids. And that meaning less time traveling, to practice, and more time skiing.