Anoka adding cross country skiing this winter

This winter Anoka will be hosting a new winter recreation opportunity.

The city will groom a cross country ski trail at Green Haven Golf Club for the first time.

The 5k trail will be available for traditional and skate skiing, said Lisa LaCasse, the city’s recreation supervisor.

This year the council agreed to spend $25,000 on a snowmobile and track groomer for new ski trails.

“I think there has been a lot of desire to add more winter recreation opportunities in the city,” LaCasse said.

The plan was developed in conjunction with the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board as well as input from a few citizens keenly interested in improving access to cross country skiing in the community.

La Casse said it is common for golf courses to host cross country ski trails in the winter. The trail at Green Haven will be one way and take off from the first tee near the pro shop.

Trail maintenance will be coordinated by Mike Brual, superintendent at Green Haven Golf Course.

City staff have been working closely with parks maintenance staff from Anoka County, who have many years of experience grooming and maintaining cross country ski trails.

In addition to the Green Haven trail, the city will groom a multi-use trail at the Anoka Nature Preserve that can be used for walking, snowshoeing or cross country skiing. This trail will not have groomed cross country ski tracks and be a mile to a mile and a half long, said LaCasse. Motorized vehicles are not allowed in the Anoka Nature Preserve.

Both trails will be free to use.

Anoka is hoping for the winter recreation activities, including outdoor skating rinks, to be up and running the week of Dec. 16-20.

The city started making ice at the outdoor rinks this week. For cross country skiing, at least six to eight inches of snow is needed on the ground to start packing and grooming the trails, according to LaCasse.

Mandy Moran Froemming is at