The Bittersweet trails are operated and maintained by the Bittersweet Cross Country Ski Club. Situated in the Assiniboine River valley, they are a short 1½ hour drive from Winnipeg, 50 km SW of Portage la Prairie on highway 242 between highways 1 & 2, just north of the Assiniboine River bridge at the top of the hill. There are two trailheads – the main trailhead at the Nordic Centre
( https://goo.gl/maps/P9zxYop7xXqG4vaQA ), and the secondary eastern trailhead
( https://goo.gl/maps/ZA6wumQuAbjbyk4U9 ).
The 21K of classic trails and 12K of skate trails are in a hilly wooded area. They are continuously groomed and offer an experience for all levels of skiers, from beginner to expert. The trails range from easy to challenging. To maintain the intimate, woodsy feel of the trails, most of the skate and classic trails are separate to minimize trail width. The skate ski trails can only be accessed from the Oak Meadows Trailhead at the Nordic Centre. Classic trails can be accessed from either trailhead.
Signs at the two trailheads state that dogs are not allowed on the trails.
There is a heated Nordic Centre building at the Oak Meadows Trailhead. It features a large south-facing deck, big windows that overlook the trails, comfortable seating, and (one of the grand ideas from Maplelag Ski Resort) a “bottomless cookie jar”! The Nordic Centre is available for day use. No overnights stays please. A Terrain Park is also located at the Nordic Centre.
The wood-heated Ski Hut is located among the trails for your convenience, either as a rest stop or as a lunch spot to meet with your fellow skiers.
Bittersweet has developed a new map for its trail system. It uses the Avenza Maps app and a georeferenced PDF file (Bittersweet Trails Map). The Avenza Maps app uses your phone’s (or tablet’s) built-in GPS to precisely track your location with a moving blue dot in real time. It does not require cellular service or internet access to function. The app also provides a number of other features, including the ability to zoom in or out, record your track distance and time, drop and label placemarks, attach photos, and more.
To use the Avenza map:
— Install the free Avenza Maps app from Google Play (Android), the App Store (iOS), or the Windows Store.
— Download the Bittersweet Trails Map (2.8 MB PDF). (The map can also be printed or viewed without using the Avenza Maps app.)
— Open the Avenza Maps app, configure Settings from the menu, and import/copy the downloaded Bittersweet Trails Map into the app. Tap the map to begin using it.
The updated map has been printed on aluminum and mounted at all trail junctions. There are also large versions in the Nordic Centre and the Ski Hut.
Membership to the Bittersweet Cross Country Ski Club can be purchased by going to zone4.ca and searching for Bittersweet Ski Club. Membership prices are $60.00 per person, or $120.00 per family, per year. Donations are also accepted in donation boxes at both the Eastern Trailhead (The Oaks) and at the Nordic Centre. In addition, donations are accepted by e-transfer to firstname.lastname@example.org. All donations help the club with the expense of operating the Nordic Centre and grooming the trails.
Non-members must sign their names and the date in the registration books provided at our trailheads, and are thus covered as day users by our liability insurance provider for that particular day. Appropriate signage to this effect is posted at our trailheads. We thank you for your cooperation in this matter. We hope that the benefits you gain by accessing our beautiful trails will justify the trouble of signing the guest book.
The club produces a newsletter in the Fall and Winter that it emails to members. Non-members can be added to the distribution list by contacting email@example.com .
January 7 Candlelight Ski
This year we held a Candlelight ski during the January full moon. Starting from the Eastern trailhead (The Oaks), the Ski Hut trail was lit with candles. Once at the Ski Hut there was a warm fire, hot chocolate and goodies waiting for you. The event was a great success, and we look forward to hosting another one next year.
Sunday, Febuary 19
Bittersweet’s annual recreational skiing event is held every year on the Sunday of the Louis Riel long weekend. This year we held a Ski Poker Derby from 12 noon to 3 pm, with free lunch of chili, delicious homemade buns (thanks to our neighbours at Baker Community) and other goodies. There was also a raffle with many generous donations from the surrounding business community. This event is an annual fundraiser for our club to raise money for grooming and equipment costs.
The skate trails will be groomed early Sunday morning. Conditions for skating will be best likely until late-morning Sunday when they will start getting slower and sticky.
Robin egg blue sky, pristine white snow and excellent groomed trails made for a very enjoyable ski today. Tracks are holding up nicely and are well formed. Conditions should be very good tomorrow but you would have to ski early as possible in the day. Thanks, Lynn for the timely and descriptive reports all winter long and the dedication you and…[Read more]
The skate trails will be groomed early Saturday morning. Conditions for skating will be best likely until about noon Saturday when they will start getting slower and sticky.
Trails are all freshly groomed and ready for action for what will most likely be our last ski weekend! Enjoy! Watch out for the big snow mess at Lookout point where we got REALLY STUCK with the groomer late last night 🙁
We received 15 cm of snow Wednesday. We are in the process of grooming the trails today and hope to finish late tonight or early tomorrow morning. Conditions should be great for Friday!
We received ~13 cm of snow Sunday. All classic and skate trails are groomed and in good condition. All hills are open, but be cautious on the big hills (Badger, Whitetail, Coyote, Timberdoodle) as the track was not lifted as it usually is. Expect the skate trail to be soft Tuesday.
We plan to groom the trails as soon as possible following the…[Read more]
We have very good spring skiing conditions at Bittersweet! The classic trails are well-formed but icy in the morning and soft in the afternoon – best skied mid-morning with klister or skin skis. Approach all the big hills with caution. Badger Hill, Cranberry Run and Blue Jay Hill are closed with signage due to bare patches. We plan to groom the…[Read more]
Badger Hill and Cranberry Run have now been closed due to bare patches on the trails. Signage will indicate these closures. Classic trails remain well formed in most places, but are fast and icy in many areas – best skied with Klister or skins. Use caution if skiing hills. As snow is expected on Sunday, we will not be grooming classic trails…[Read more]
Skate trails were groomed this morning and are in very good condition.
Classic trails are still well-formed from the last grooming, and conditions range from crystalline snow to icy depending on exposure to the sun. Flat trails like Caleb’s and Farm can be classic skied with hard wax and double-poling the icy sections, but klister or skin skis…[Read more]
Freshly groomed trails were perfection yesterday!! Thank you to the Bittersweet groomers!!
Classic trails are being groomed tonight and will be ready for tomorrow morning. Skate trails will be regroomed tomorrow to renovate after our warm day we had today.
Skate trails were groomed this morning and are in very good condition. Condition of classic trails is very good where they are sheltered from the sun, but some sections exposed to the south are soft in the middle of the day or glazed/icy in the morning. Trails least impacted by the sun include North Star, Farm Trail and Caleb’s Way. South…[Read more]
Post ski report – Trails have been blown in in open areas by the strong winds we had today. All sections in the trees are still in good condition.
Skate trails were groomed today. Classic trails were groomed on Monday. All the trails are in very good condition and ready for the weekend.
East side classic trails and skate trails all groomed today. All trails are now groomed.
West side trails on Cottonwood, North Star and Caleb’s Way have been groomed. They look very tasty!!
All other trails scheduled for grooming tomorrow. We will keep you posted.
We’ve received 14 cm of snow. We plan to start rolling and grooming the classic trails on Cottonwood, North Star and Caleb’s Way this afternoon with tracks ready for Monday. East side classic trails will be groomed Monday morning. Skate trails will be groomed Monday morning.
We skied most of the classic trails yesterday. They may not look perfect, but they are in quite good shape! There are crumbly parts, but for the most part very well formed, and fast but not icy.
The skate trails were groomed Sunday morning and are in good condition.
The classic trails were groomed Saturday night removing the ice but some sections are crumbly. The skate trails will be groomed early Sunday morning.
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