If you’re looking for the “real deal” – a ski area with over 24km of groomed trails from beginner to expert, the Timberland Hills Ski Area is the place to go. It’s situated on 2400 wooded acres of Burnett County Forest Land, ideal for cross country skiing. They even have a warming house just off the parking area, complete with trail condition updates, maps and humorous quips from fellow ski enthusiasts.
Timberland Hills is 9 miles North of Cumberland on Hwy H and is maintained by fund-raisers, donations and dues from the Cumberland Area Ski Touring Association (CASTA). CASTA membership dues are $40/year for a family or $30/year for an individual, but you can leave a donation if you just plan to go for a day or two.
Fair warning: the challenging trails are indeed challenging, so don’t let anyone talk you into a trail that you’re not ready for. I still remember my first visit to Timberland Hills almost 20 years ago, standing at the top of a scary hill wondering, “How in Gods-not-so-green-earth am I going to get to the bottom?” At the same time, a voice came to me from the bottom of the hill, “Just take off your skis darlin’ and slide down on your butt!” Well! I’d rather plant my face in a snow bank at the bottom than humiliate myself by having to slide down the hill on my rear. And so I did.
You can find the appropriate trail for your skill level, maps and more information at http://timberlandhills.com . ~ Wanda Boldon