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.
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.
Signs at the three 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, hot drinks, and (one of the grand ideas from Maplelag Ski Resort) a “bottomless cookie jar”! A new Terrain Park is also located at the Oak Meadows Trailhead.
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 on-site or by going to zone4.ca and searching for Bittersweet Ski Club.
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 McMaster@xplornet.com .
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 will now be posted at our trailheads. We thank you for your cooperation in this matter. We hope that the benefits you gain, access to our beautiful trails, will justify the trouble of reading and signing the necessary forms. Also, please make a donation in the locked box to help the club with the expense of operating the Nordic Centre and grooming the trails.
Bittersweet’s annual Loppet / Family Fun Day is held every year on the Sunday of the Louis Riel long weekend. It’s listed on CCSAM’s Events Calendar.
From Ardythe McMaster:
On Wednesday, while Winnipeg was experiencing periods of rain, we were having snow! About 3 inches (7 cm) fell through the afternoon and into the evening. It was just what was needed! The trails were beginning to be pretty tired and worn, and the warm temps were not helping. The new snow filled in some softening snow, and…[Read more]
The recent warm temperatures have taken their toll on the trails but you can still have an enjoyable ski if you take a few precautions. Conditions are very fast and there is less snow to control your speed. There are a few dirt patches that are avoidable and, as Elise mentioned, one large patch on the upper half of the Red trail which should not…[Read more]
Bittersweet was impeccably groomed as always, and the snow was holding up quite well in the warm weather. Conditions were very fast but snow was soft and deep enough to throw out the occasional half snowplough where needed. We skied nearly every classic trail and the snow cover is good to great throughout – but watch out for one bare patch on Red…[Read more]
Leave your rock skis at home. The Bittersweet trails are in mid season form with very good conditions due to having more snow than Winnipeg. The classic tracks are rock solid and the skate trail looks to be in excellent shape. Only a few dirt spots in the classic track which can be easily avoided. Found a blue MEC toque in the Nordic Center so…[Read more]
From Ardythe McMaster:
The trails are ready!
The hunting season ended, and the groomers set to work. All trails, classic and skate, are groomed and ready, and they look mighty inviting.
The parking lot is plowed. The Nordic Centre is warm, and there will be coffee and cookies on the weekend. Join us!
We thank those who have already renewed their…[Read more]
With a skiff of new snow on the trails we renovated Oak Meadow and Skaters Waltz skate trails this morning with the Ginzu. One bare patch on the uphill to Sunshine Hill, but otherwise we still have a good base on those trails. We’ll ski the skate trails later this afternoon and report. We have no plans at this time to renovate the classic…[Read more]
From Ardythe McMaster on Friday afternoon:
We surveyed all the trails this morning. We found that the skate trails look to be in good condition. The Cottonwood trails remain closed, having too many bare spots. However, the following trails looked fairly good, so we will be renovating them Saturday morning: North Star, Caleb’s Way, S…[Read more]
anybody know how the bittersweet trails are holding up?
Most trails were groomed today (Wednesday) and are in very good to excellent condition. The base is a little thin and needs the “big” snow expected on the weekend but if you can make it out before the weekend, you will experience some good skiing..
Today (Tuesday) skate skiing conditions were good in the early afternoon with the temperature between -2 and 0. Classic conditions were also good yesterday on the trails we did: North Star, Farm, Pine hill, and Omega. The snow is starting to get old and new snow on the weekend would be wonderful. I recommend skiing both the Classic and Skate at…[Read more]
We did both Classic and Skate today. Conditions are absolutely wonderful in terms of grooming and snow on the trails we skied. We did from the clubhouse to the cabin, the Farm trail, Pine hill around Omega trail, Archie’s Swamp, the bottom of Cottonwood, Blue’s trail and back to the Clubhouse. Skating we did Oak which was almost completed…[Read more]
Update posted by Glen McMaster: January 21 skate trails Oak Meadow, Skaters Waltz and Ridge Runner overall in Very Good condition with fast but crystalline snow throughout other than a few uneven spots and moderately icy conditions on the Knee Knocker and Two Deer hills. World Cup skate trail is closed due to bare patches on Grape Climb hill.…[Read more]
Classic trails on the east side of the system are in pretty good shape! The previous tracking is holding up well and the limited new snow is skied-in. The skate trails are skiable, but barely. Both our machines are down for repair so we have not been able to renovate the skate trails. Bundle up and come on out to ski!
From Ardythe McMaster:
The Nordic Centre is open! It is warm inside and the cookie jars are full. That is the good news!
Many of our trails have not been groomed, for want of snow. The classic trails that have been groomed are only fair. The Oak Ridge skate trail is passable, but needs fresh grooming. We are hoping for new snow.…[Read more]
From Ardythe McMaster:
After the Friday snowfall, some classic and all skate trails were groomed Saturday morning. The skate trails look excellent! The classic trails are fair to good in the woods, but show grass in some open areas. South-facing hills need more snow, so Cottonwood is closed, as are Red Hill, Raven’s Ridge, Archie’s Swamp and…[Read more]
Our skate trail still has a solid base of snow and is in good condition, but has not been groomed. We do not plan to renovate further this season. Unfortunately our classic trails have succumbed to the sun and are all closed.
Thank you to all who came here to ski this season. We look forward to greeting you again soon. Happy summer!