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 recreational skiing event is held every year on the Sunday of the Louis Riel long weekend. It’s listed on CCSAM’s Events Calendar.
I skied Skaters Waltz and Oak Meadow. Skaters Waltz was freshly groomed this morning and is in very good condition. Oak Meadow has not been groomed since last week but is still in good condition. The start of deer pass has a melted bare patch but everything else is fine. I will go again tomorrow.
Anybody know/heard if Skater’s Waltz and Oak Meadow are still navigable after last weekend’s unexpected resurrection?
In spite of my recent report, we have some good ski news from Bittersweet. Corey has ‘scratched the surface’ of two skate trails with the Ginzu, just enough to create a decent trail and reports that he has just skated his fastest ski of the season! The two renewed skate trails are Skaters’ Waltz and Oak Meadows Trail, total about 5 1/2 km.
After Wednesday’s temps of +7C, our groomer writes.”I am declaring the trails done unless there is a snowfall. With the warm temperatures the base will have settled. Even if it freezes it will basically be ice which would require heavy renovation to break up into anything that could be tracked.”
We thank Jason Playter for all his meticulous…[Read more]
We had about 1 cm fresh snow midweek, as well as winds. Still, those skiing today seemed happy with their ski, even though the weather was warm and the trails had not been groomed. ( We never groom when the temperatures are above zero. ) Late tonight, or very early Saturday morning, if the temperatures drop below zero, our groomer plans to…[Read more]
We had a few cm of fluffy snow during the week, so grooming is underway today, Friday. The skate trails were completed by 5 PM, and the classics will be completed this evening, giving them time to set up over night. They look really fine, and should offer great skiing tomorrow. March is upon us, so do not delay. Get out and ski!
Feb 18 – we classic skied from Woodward’s to the hut, then did the Cottonwood. It was a cold sunny day, and with new snow in the tracks, it was slow going with some blown-in areas. Beautiful terrain that never disappoints – thanks to the dedicated folks that maintain these lovely trails!
Last night and early today about an inch of new snow arrived on the tracks. The snow conditions are now excellent. We ski groomed from the chalet to the cabin, farm trail, pine hill, the moguls, omega trail, cross over to Blueberry Hill, the stairs and northstar… I recommend going tomorrow, before the cold hits Wednesday. Best wishes.
Fantastic ski Sunday at Bittersweet. Skate and classic trails are in Very Good shape and well worth the drive from Winnipeg. Warm chalet to change and have your lunch in along with Ardythe offering coffee,water and cookies on the weekend.
Classic skied here on Friday and found the trails to have lots of snow for control on the tricky hills. The majority of tracks were well defined with only a few spots having drifted in snow. Bittersweet experienced the same heavy wet snow storm in October that Winnipeg did. As a result there was major trail repair needed which left less time for…[Read more]
At Bittersweet we had over 6 cm snow by Saturday morning, so groomers were busy through the day, and by 10 PM all of the east side classic trails were groomed and ready.
The west side classic will be groomed this morning, Sunday.
Skaters should know that all trails were rolled and packed, but have not yet been levelled for skating. They will be…[Read more]
From Ardythe McMaster on Friday evening:
Bittersweet has received a welcome 3-4 INCHES of fresh snow, and today we were out grooming trails. All trails are freshly groomed, and they look terrific! The parking lot has been plowed, and the Nordic Centre will be warm and welcoming.
Why not ski Bittersweet this weekend?
From Ardythe McMaster on Sunday:
The snow everywhere here is very fast but not icy. Trail conditions currently are good on the east side classic section of the trails, which are the flatter, easier trails. There is full snow coverage of these trails with just occasional sticks or leaves showing. Not all the hills have been groomed (e.g. Red Hill,…[Read more]
From Ardythe McMaster:
Grooming today opened most of the trails on the EAST SIDE of the fence: Ski Hut, Farm, Crossover, Archie’s Swamp and Omega. Skate trails have been prepared on the Oak Meadows loop. In all cases, the more demanding trails and the steeper hills have NOT been groomed, and will remain closed until we have more snow. The p…[Read more]