SPOONER LAKE, Nev. – For the first time in four years, Spooner Lake State park is home to a system of meandering cross-country ski trails that wind through dense forest, across an open meadow and along the banks of Spooner Lake. The 10 km (6 mi) trail system is free to the public and made possible by a partnership between Nevada State Parks and Nevada Nordic, a non-profit group based in the Tahoe Basin.

Fueled by donations and driven by volunteers, Nevada Nordic, a member of State Parks’ Volunteer in Parks (VIP) program, has spent hundreds of hours planning and grooming the system of trails at Spooner.  “Our mission is to bring cross-country ski trails back to Nevada,” said Dave Straley, Nevada Nordic co-founder.

The scenic trail system includes several teardrop loops, offers both skate and classic skiing, and is intermediate with flat rolling terrain, which makes it great for both families and experienced skiers. The plan is to expand the trails in the future to increase distance and difficulty.

“With favorable conditions, the hope is to be open through the early part of April,” said Nevada Nordic co-founder David Clohessy.

Winter conditions permitting, Nevada Nordic plans to collaborate with Nevada State Parks to provide cross-country ski trails at Spooner Lake for years to come. “This new system of trails is ideal for both families and seasoned skiers, and you couldn’t ask for a more scenic location than Spooner Lake,” said Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park Supervisor Jay Howard.

In order to protect the environment at Spooner, ski trails will close when the snow pack gets thin enough that grooming would have a harmful impact.

 When using the trails, please be mindful of trail etiquette:

·         Do not walk on the trail in shoes or boots.

·         Dogs should be on a leash of not more than 6 feet in length and off to the side of the groomed trails.

·         Snowshoers are welcome, but should stay to the far edge of the trail and be careful not to mar the center of the trail for skate skiing, or the tracks set for classic skiing. 

For updated conditions or to make a donation to support the trail system at Spooner Lake, please visit www.nevadanordic.org.

All access to cross-country ski trails are open to the public and free of charge; however, there is an entrance fee into the park of $7 per vehicle. Nevada residents receive a $2 discount. Spooner Lake State Park is located near the intersection of Hwy 50 and 24.

Photo Credit: Nevada State Parks