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Nuznik

This past weekend we took a skiing road trip to the U.P. of Michigan. Our goal was to ski Keweenaw Mountain Lodge Ski Trails and the Swedetown Ski Trails. On the way up to Calumet we stopped at the Miljes Ski Trails to get some quick exercise. The first problem was finding the trails. They are located about a mile south of Wakefield on highway 519. Unfortunately we couldn’t find any markings for highway 519. After asking at a local gas station (they weren’t sure) we stopped at the state patrol office a found out the location. At the intersection of highway 2  and 28  (the only stoplight in town) drive south through the downtown and continue for about a mile (you finally see a sign for 519 after leaving town). You will see a large sign for the trails on your right.

Old Warming Hut

The trails have a new warming hut. A sign in the hut indicates that it is under construction and will be finished this year. There are rooms to change and several couches and comfortable chairs in the hut. It includes a table and chairs as well as a kitchen. There is a stove with firewood which you can use. This is a shot of the old warming hut which was formerly a herders cabin.

The blurb on skinny ski indicates there are 14 km of trails. The trail map on skinny ski indicates 9.2 km and the map on the warming hut indicates 6 km of trails. I believe the map in the hut and we were a little disappointed to find the trails were not as extensive as we were led to believe.

Skinny ski indicates there is a $10 dollar trail fee. When we finally found the donation box (it was about 100 feet down the trail) it said $7.00. Fortunately one of us had kept our money out so we could pay the fee.

Miljes Ski Trails

The trails are gentle classic through a mix of hardwood forests and cedar swamps. This is a family run ski area and apparently the family has a Serbian and Finnish heritage. Many of the signs along the trail are in these languages. There were some local touches with a small Christmas tree decorated and later we found a tree decorated for valentine’s day.

Valentine Tree

The biggest problem was fact that the map on the internet did not match the trail system. The trail off to the northwest was as marked on the map and easy to follow. However the trails off to the southwest did not correspond to the map. My wife had picked up a map from the hut and it wasn’t until we became lost that we realized they were two entirely different maps. The southwest trails had been converted to a series of small loops. Unfortunately none of the trails were marked so when you came to 5 intersecting trails you had no idea which way to go. Since the trail system is so small you can’t get lost but the trails are in serious need of some trail markings and some maps posted along the way. I noticed in the log book that a number of people have commented on this.

This is probably not a place I would ski again, mainly because there are not enough trails and it is a bit pricy. The experience would be improved by developing a few more trails and marking the trails better. It is a bit off the beaten path and would likely be a fun place to spend skiing with the family. A morning ski followed by a visit to the warming hut and an afternoon ski would be enjoyable.

An updated report from 2012 is available on my Blog.

2 Comments

  1. DO NOT SKI HERE!! My family and I have been skiing here for 7 years and have enjoyed it very much. We visit family 30 minutes away over the holidays and always head up here skiing. However, this year we went up there and were all prepared to ski when the ‘lovely’ owner approached us and was EXTREMELY rude. We have never had to pay to ski here and have always given donations. We were very surprised to find out that they are now charging $7/per person to ski! This is ridiculous to pay this amount for so little trails that are so poorly marked. The owner very rudely said we could not ski here because we didn’t have enough money for us to ski. Since we haven’t had to pay for the last 7 years, we didn’t bring enough money for us. No way was he going to give us any exception and was very rude to us. Meanwhile he goes over to help some other people put their skis on and was very nice to them. You can’t go from being free to all of a sudden charging that much and expect people to know about it. We didn’t even know there was a website for the place. Due to this one person being very rude to us and not letting us ski this one time without paying, we will never return to Milje’s and will tell everyone we know to stay away from this place. It’s too bad that he had to ruin our yearly family ski time. Don’t waste your time or money here unless you want to be treated like this.

  2. Phillip,

    First off I would like to thank you for visiting our ski trails. I have owned it for the past 4 years and have lots of plans for the future. But being I do this for a hobby and not an income builder, I need to watch my bottom line maybe more than others have to. Owning trails like this are an expensive hobby, it is pretty easy to say to just develop new trails but at 150+/hr for a dozer it adds up pretty quick. The 2 new little loops you saw during your visit will be finished off this summer so the trails have more flow. I can tell you just those 2 little additions cost me over 2K to complete. One of my other projects this summer is to create trail heads and furnish each intersection with trail markers. Once again I am a donation only trails system with no volunteers, I am a one man show. I am trying to build a group of people to give me a hand but no one is jumping in line to help me out. Talking about the different trail maps that are published is becoming a pain in my side. There have been many revisions to the trails over the years and I need to find all of the outdated maps and update them once the work is completed this summer. As part of my trails are on County land, it is impossible for me to maintain them as I am not allowed to cut any of the trees that may fall over the trails, so that puts me in a bind. As I said I am working on developing trails on my land but that takes time and money. I hope you give it another chance as I continue to grow this property.

    Greg Miljevich


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