Superior National Forest/BWCA

Cross Country Skiing - Astrid Trails

There are over six miles of trail in the Astrid Lake Trail system. Visitors may ski a variety of loops for a day tour, or choose a winter camping experience. Permits are not required for use of this trail system since it is outside the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.

There are wilderness-type campsites with firegrates and box latrines on the lakes along the trail. They are generally located on short spur trails off the main trail. These spur trails are not signed. Opportunities for solitude are excellent during the winter season. Less than one-half mile from the trailhead at Lake Jeanette, skiers approach County Road 116, the Echo Trail. Use extreme caution when crossing this road as motorists on it are generally unprepared for pedestrians crossing. Once across, the trail meets the portage from Lake Jeanette to Nigh Lake. This is a rare chance to experience a spruce bog while keeping your feet dry.

Almost at Nigh Lake, the trail heads south from the portage, and skiers get a glimpse of some imposing bluffs. The point nearest Nigh Lake on the southeast is a scenic overlook of the lake and area vistas. Either route from this area traverses ledgerock with jackpine, maple, birch, and oaks. Watch for rock cairns marking the trail.

The trail loop between Pauline and Nigh Lakes has some of the largest exposed boulders known anywhere in this area, as well as some old growth "giant" Red and White Pines. The section of trail around Astrid Lake is of more gentle terrain with views of the lake from all around the south side. The trail then meets the portage, which takes skiers to Forest Road 200.

Dispersed campsites are generally located on short spur trails off the main trail. These spur trails are not signed.

Check with the LaCroix District Office for trail conditions.

Location: The Astrid Lake Trails are located approximately 50 miles northeast of Cook, Minnesota, and approximately 38 miles northwest of Ely, Minnesota. There are two access points.

Access #1 - Lake Jeanette Campground
Off County Road 116 (Echo Trail) approximately 14 miles east from County Road 24. Parking is available but the campground road and parking area are not plowed in winter. Snowpack may inhibit accessibility. The trailhead, 150 feet south of the boat landing, is signed.

Access #2 - Astrid Lake Portage
Off Forest Road 200 approximately 2 1/2 miles south of County Road 116 (Echo Trail). Limited parking is available along the west side of the road. Check with the LaCroix Ranger Station for snow conditions and plowing reports on the 200 Road. The trailhead is signed.

Recreation Opportunity Class: Semi-Primitive Motorized

Other Trails
Astrid Trails
Birch Trail
Coxey Pond Trail
South Farm
GW Pine Plantation
Herriman Lake
Jasper Hills Trail
Big Moose Trail
North Junction
Pincushion Mountain
Slim Lake Trail
Tucker Lake
Bird Lake

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 20 Apr 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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