Elm Creek

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Elm Creek is a great place to get in a few laps on the cross country skis not far from downtown Minneapolis.

Written by

Louis Dzierzak


11.4 miles

Destination Distance From Downtown

14.6 miles


2 of 5 diamonds


Time To Complete

2 hours





Dog Friendly

On Leash Only

Fees Permits


Day Pass $8

Land Website

Elm Creek



Elm Creek Park Reserve is the largest park in the Three Rivers Park District. Spanning 4,900 acres, this goliath of a park rests in the northern suburb of Maple Grove.  Nearly 20km of ski trails are available for classic or skate skiing. 

What Makes It Great

Spectacular wildlife and meticulous grooming make Elm Creek a special place to ski. Whether you are a beginner hopping on skis for the first time or a well seasoned veteran of the Elm Creek Wednesday Night Race Series, and all of those in-between there is a trail for you. 

Elm Creek makes it easy for selecting difficulty of the trails. The farther you go away from the Chalet, the harder the trails become. So for you beginners stay close to the hot cocoa. Lake Trail systems are good starting points for those looking to advance in difficulty.  Those looking for a challenge should head to the Creek Trail. The Eagle trail is classic only and provides some difficult terrain for those intermediate skiers. Choosing how long you want to ski, is also quite easy. If you want to go out for a quick ski, you can stick close to the lodge on the Northern Lights Trail and Valley Trail. Which also happen to be the lighted loops. 

Who is Going to Love It

Everyone in the family! There is something for everyone at Elm Creek. Novice to Advanced, there is a trail that suits your needs. There is also equipment available at the Chalet for various experience levels. 

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

Parking is available off of Elm Creek Boulevard on James Deane Parkway, this is where the main chalet is located. There is also parking available at the Nature Center via Elm Creek Road.

Trails are open daily from 5 am to 10 pm.

Classic Skis (Youth) : $7
Classic Skis (Adult) : $11
Skate Skis: $16
High Performance package: $20
Trail passes also vary.
Daily pass: $8
Season Pass: $65. Additional pass for $32.50
This covers skis boots and poles for the day.
Ski lessons are also available.
A trail pass is required to ski at Elk River.
Please mind trail direction as many trails are one-way.
If you have any more questions or concerns visit here or call 763-694-7894 for more information

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Elm Creek Park Reserve

12400 James Deane Pkwy
Maple Grove, MN, 55369
45.13856, -93.437058

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