Birds Hill Park has 38K of classic ski trails.
The Group Use #1 Road loop (5.2K), including the two new-in-December-2017 additions (~2K), and the new-in-December-2017 out-and-back Spruce trail (~5.5K) are groomed for skate skiing and skijoring (and kick sledding … and dog sledding on the Spruce trail).
Please do not ski on trails that are designated for other uses. Skiing on a horse trail, snowmobile trail, and walking trail does not have the same negative impact as walkers, snowmobiles, horses, and ATVs have on ski trails, but it does add to the level of conflict between different users.
There are signs at the Chickadee and Riding Stables trailheads that inform park users that groomed ski trails are for cross country skiing only.
Birds Hill Park Patrol: 204-792-1849
There is a warm-up building at the stable area that is available for park users during regular park hours. It has a common area and two wheelchair-accessible washrooms / change rooms, and there are some vending machines.
Birds Hill Park’s District Park Manager is Joanne Podolchuk (Joanne.Podolchuk@gov.mb.ca 204-654-6730).
Trail Conditions reported by Manitoba Parks.
See below for reports submitted by skiers.
All trails including GUR skate ,are in very good shape. GUR looks very flat and fast, no boot tracks and only a few skate marks on the cordouroy. Just some tree debris on all trails from the windstorm on Tuesday, but the warmer weather, no wind and fresh grooming make up for it.
From Al Stewart on Monday evening:
I skied this afternoon on Lime Kiln and Esker. The grooming was outstanding, the trails were out of Trax Magazine. The trees were laden with snow, the sky was bright blue, the temperature was cold but the wind was not a factor in the forest. I had excellent grip and decent glide with Rode Special Green. An…[Read more]
Friday at noon I skijored part of the Spruce Trail, and was happy to see it had been freshly groomed. It was a nice combed surface, perfect bite for skate-skiing, with just a few softer or leafy areas. It could still use more snow pack for this trail to be amazing; but it was a delightful ski; and my dogs loved it too! Many thanks to the groomer!
Does anyone know why the Spruce Trail doesn’t get groomed? It is not very useful for skating without grooming.
Manitoba Parks (Sloan Cathcart, Director of Interpretation) is a member of this trail Group, but he may or may not receive email notifications and/or check this page often. In other words, he may not see your question. You could contact the Park Manager — Joanne Podolchuk, whose contact info is listed above in the description.
Tuesday at noon I skijored on the Spruce Trail. Unlike the rest of BHP ski trails, it wasn’t groomed last week and has lots of fluffy new snow. There’s too much loose snow for a decent skate-ski, but my enthusiastic dog was pulling at a fast pace, and I hardly used my legs. Dogsled teams are also enjoying this beautiful, quiet trail through the forest.
From Joanne Podolchuk, Park District Manager, Birds Hill Provincial Park:
Park staff are grooming and track setting trails as of Thursday morning. There are still some bare spots/grass/leaves on trails, so skiers should continue to exercise caution while on the ski trails.
The tracks on all the trails we skied (Bluestem, north Chickadee, parts of Esker and Aspen) were good to excellent. Yes, leaves had been churned up in a few places and there were a few twigs poking through, but the handful of bare spots were only a few cm long. It was snowing during our entire time there (Thursday from 1:30 to 3:30). There were…[Read more]
Monday afternoon we classic skied Chickadee and parts of Esker and Lime Kiln. There must have been many skiers out on the weekend, and conditions are better than expected. Lime Kiln was the best of the 3 with less stubble and a decent double track. Beware of the rocks on Chickadee’s downhill at the tower.
Skate trail is hard packed/wind blown in places with the cooling temps (especially the North side) Occasional branch fragments from the wind, and lots of footprints conveniently right down the middle of the track especially on the North side… all it takes is for the park to hand out one of those $500 fines, and that’ll be the end of the hikers..…[Read more]
BHP skate is very good.. nice track up the middle… and yep.. there’s some footprints…. Was a constant light snow while I was there late afternoon…
Some nimrod had dumped a white plastic bag filled with dog poo on the skate track just by the small hill on the north side. Lucky I was climbing the hill instead of descending it. Would have been hard to see and avoid coming down the slope. These evil people really have a bone to pick with skiers, and need to be reported.
Nothing surprises me anymore….
Birds Hill Park, mid-day, -6°:
Skate: Group Use Road, including the two internal bays — very good to excellent.
Classic: Chickadee, Esker, Lime Kiln — fair to good skier-set tracks.
The Chickadee parking lot was ~75% full, and there were significantly more skiers than walkers, plus many fat bikers using their singletrack trail system.
Kevin &…[Read more]
At about noon on Tuesday the GUR had 20 or 30 skiers on it and no walkers. (There were a few footprints, however.) It had been groomed for skating, but was still on the soft side. With a temperature of -14, conditions were on the slow side. The two internal bays had also been groomed, but they appeared to be quite slow.
From Joanne Podolchuk, Park District Manager, Birds Hill Provincial Park on Tuesday morning:
Staff have been out yesterday and back out again today on the trails. We have our groomer out, staff tried track setting this morning, but there is not enough snow. The end result was grass and leaves. They will continue to pack only until more snow is…[Read more]
Any idea if the hikers keep off the trails signs are up,, I never took a good look this year because everyone just ignores them anyways.. I can only imagine the fresh groomed skate lane has more footprints than ski tracks over the holidays…
On Saturday afternoon at the Chickadee trailhead, the sign (https://www.ccsam.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/2017-12-14_BirdsHillPark_Chickadee_TrailheadSign_cropped.jpg) hadn’t yet been put up.
Hi Kevin, If you know the ski trail open today Jan 1st, and what’s the fees to access ski trails? Thanks!
Sean, you only need a Manitoba provincial park pass. (https://www.gov.mb.ca/sd/parks/park-fees/index.html) Many places sell them … including all Manitoba Liquor Marts. 2020 passes should be available very soon (tomorrow.?) 2019 passes expire on April 30.
Hi Kevin, That’s great – I have a 2019 MB park pass. Will find a time to check out! Thanks!
We skated on the GUR on fresh corduroy! Although it was slightly soft on the edges, overall it was just fine, and tomorrow it will be even better. Classic trails that we saw looked skier-tracked only, not machine groomed yet.
Classic skiing not great today. Skied Chickadee, Esker, Lime Kiln, and Bluestem, and the skier tracked conditions ranged from fair to poor. Most of the trail’s width is packed solid and flat, and even the tracks through the deeper snow (and stems) at trail edges are becoming trampled. Bluestem was probably the best of a bad bunch. Hope this a…[Read more]
Skated Group Use Road this morning.. center is hardpacked now as mentioned, but I really had no issue on it.. only a few times where my ski got “loose” on the center section… dunno where the snow is they keep promising, but we really need it!
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