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Like lots of other skiers and snowmobilers we headed up to the U.P. over the three day weekend. The U.P. is one of the few places with good snow cover this year. Even though their snow totals are down they have enough snow to groom the trails. Midweek they were dumped with another foot of snow.

Miljes Ski Trails

On Sunday we drove up to the Ironwood area. Neither my wife or I have done any skiing this year because of a lack of snow. In addition, I caught a bad cold at Christmas time have haven’t been able to get out much. This was my first outing in a couple of weeks. We decided that we would drive over to the Miljes Ski Trails just outside Wakefield, Michigan. We skied them last year and since they are not particularly difficult or long we felt it would give us a chance to ski for a couple of hours and get out ski legs back. It would also allow us to get back to the motel to watch the disaster at Lambeau Field. We were also interested in seeing if they had made any changes since last year’s visit.

Snow Fort

Last year we had problems finding the place. The clerk at the local gas station never heard of it and we finally asked at the local state patrol office. This year there was a big sign posted at the intersection of highway 2 and 28 indicating the direction and mileage.

Old Warming Hut

New Warming Hut

The trails have a new warming hut.  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 and new warming. Big improvement.

Last year there were some discrepancies between the description, distance and costs on Skinny Ski and what we actually found. This year the information was correct and Skinny Ski had an accurate map posted. Unfortunately we didn’t make a copy of it and there weren’t any spares in the warming hut.

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. The fact that is a classic only ski area makes it a good place to go if you don’t want to encounter lots of skaters flying by. It also makes it a good place to take the kids if they are just learning to ski. It is gently rolling terrain and there is only one hill that would be considered challenging and local skiers have made a track around the hill.

Facilities

It looked like the trails had been freshly groomed and it was a beautiful sunny day with the temperature a little warm for my taste but since it was our first outing and we were just out to enjoy ourselves it worked out well. There were quite a few other skiers out on the trail. Many of them were locals that use the trail for their daily exercise. We kept meeting the same folks on the trail. One fellow said he skis about 12 miles every day on the trail and frequently sees fox and bobcats. A couple of times were weren’t sure where the trail went he pointed us in the right direction. It’s not that there are all that many trails but in a couple of places 4 or 5 trails intersect and without a map we were not sure where to go. This is the one criticism from last year that hasn’t been fixed. They do need to put a small map up at the major intersections for those folks that are visiting for the first time.

We had a nice time and met some great people on our visit.

More photos from Miljes can be found on my website.

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