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The Northern Kettle Moraine Nordic Ski Club

10-Year Master Plan — New Initiatives Planned for the Greenbush Trail System

The 10-Year Master Plan adopted by the Northern Kettle Moraine Nordic Ski Club contained 7 goals, 5 of which have been implemented – a great accomplishment. The 7 points of the 1998 10-Year Master Plan were:

  1. Development of a 5k loop for Classic technique
      — Completed in 2004
  2. Development of an 8k loop for skiing with dogs
      — Phase 1, 2 and 3 are complete and we now have over 8 miles of single track mountain       biking and snow shoe/dog trail
  3. Development of an additional 8k skating trail
      — Not complete -- tied to point 6) below and addressed in action plan
  4. Development of a formal grooming contract with the Ski Club
  5. Construction of an addition to the Ski Trail Maintenance Building
      — Successfully completed
  6. Move snowmobile trail to the east of Kettle Moraine Drive
      — Not yet completed -- addressed in action plan
  7. Designate Greenbush Hiking and Ski Trails as Hiking and Skiing only
      — Successfully completed

It is now time to update the plan. Much has changed in the last years, and to support the demands of modern skiing including expanding youth programs and taking the climate changes into account, we need to improve the trail system. The improvements break into four categories: 1) Restoration and improvement of existing trails, 2) trail modifications including moving a section of the snowmobile trail, 3) providing lighting for a portion of the trails, and 4) implementing snow making for a section of the trail.

1) Restoration and Improvement of Existing Trails (Much of this work has been completed)

With the snow conditions being marginal, it is critical to have a full width (15’), level surface in order to be able to groom properly. With the current trail condition, a large portion of the trail has bumps, dips, center depth, and side slope. The trails also need select straightening to conform to current standards for skate skiing. Lastly, a few sections of the trails need improvement in terms of shade cover. A combination of minor re-routing (particularly the upper section of the Brown trail) and tree planting will have a significant impact on the ability to maintain snow cover during warm spells.

2) Relocating the Snowmobile Trail and Add Section for Skating Trail

This is a carryover from the prior plan and is a key to improve the quality of skiing at Greenbush. It would also free up a very nice addition to the ski trail system, starting at the intersection of the Brown loop and re-join at the connecting point of the current Bridle Trail, and follow it south to its intersection with the Green Trail. Only a minimum amount of grading would be required to widen and level the existing Bridle Trail.

3) Lighting of the Trails (Brown Trail Lighting Completed 2009)

The proposal is to start by installing lights on the Brown trail. This section is already wide and is used extensively for instruction. A natural second stage would be a loop backward on the purple to the green cut-off, following the green to the upper parking lot and returning down the purple to the lower parking lot.

4) Install and Operate Snow Making

Without consistent snow conditions, cross country skiing will not be around as a sport for the masses and competitive skiers alike. On the other hand, a centrally located facility with consistent snow conditions will allow for the development of the sport, with benefits ranging from public health to healthy activities for youth. Greenbush is ideally situated to implement snow making. The colder micro-climate, the central location and the ability to keep snow due to excellent tree cover, all favor the implementation of a snow making set-up.

The successful places that make snow for cross country skiing use the man-made snow as a base in a limited area so that it can withstand thaws and serve as a foundation for natural snow. In Greenbush, the natural application is two-fold; 1) to cover the Brown trail which will be lit, and 2) to cover select, exposed areas on the rest of the trails as capacity permits.

5) Develop a 1-2K Beginner Trail - Trail should be as flat as possible for kids and beginners to learn

Next Steps

Upon approval of the plan by the club, detailed budgets will be developed with suggested funding sources and the plan will be presented to the DNR.