We’ve recently received some questions about the conditions of the trails at Blue Mound State Park and wanted to take the opportunity to share information from park managers about trail grooming. Trail conditions depend on weather conditions. Temperatures and weather conditions also impact how and when the trails are groomed.

The heavy snowfall we received in 2024 was extremely wet and deep. Managers decided not to groom the trails to allow the snow to “dry out” and avoid creating a slab of ice by compacting it.  The earth underneath the snow was not frozen and contributed to the snow staying very wet, which also reinforced the decision to not groom the trails.

When the temperatures got colder, park workers “rolled” the trails to try and compact the snow in hopes of setting up a base. When conditions were better to do a complete grooming on the trails, another large-scale snow was imminent, so park staff decided to not groom because their efforts would have been buried by the next day by new snowfall.

After that second round of snow, the temperatures were more favorable, and park staff completed a full groom. Overall the weather created some challenges along with some minor equipment failures, which might have given the appearance of less grooming. Blue Mound State Park was not the only park to experience these issues.

When the forecast showed a stretch of warmer weather, park staff decided not to touch the trails until warm weather had past. Grooming when the temperature is consistently above freezing does reprehensible damage to the established base. It was better to leave what is there and wait. Driving heavy snowmobiles and groomers on the base would have only compacted the base to an ice sheet. You can see this under the hikers footprints where the snow was compacted into small ice sheets. Grooming during this warm weather with such a high moisture content in the snow would have destroyed any chance to recovering what was left when the temperatures dropped again. 

While the park lost a considerable amount of snow during the week of 40’ – 50’ temperatures, along with thunderstorms, staff was able to get out and recondition what snow remained on the north side of the park. 

There are so many factors that go into maintaining the park all year round and we hope that this information sheds some light on all the park staff must take into consideration to keep the park enjoyable for visitors. You can also find updated trail conditions on the MadNorSki website.


Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *