Korkki Nordic a Northeastern Minnesota Gem

Posted by on February 9th 2009 in Team Communication, Trails

Lee at KorkkiAs Marshall Nordic skiers we are very lucky to live in Northeastern Minnesota, due to the number of fine ski trails just a short drive away from our home ski trail.

Within the city limits of Duluth we have Snowflake Nordic Ski Center, Spirit Mt., Bagley Nature Area and the Duluth city trail system. Just outside of the city limits we have Boulder Lake, the Superior city trails and Korkki Nordic Ski Center, the focus of this post.

Korkki Nordic Ski Center is one of the finest single track classic ski areas in the nation. It is a place where time seems to stand still. While skiing at Korkki, nordic skiers have a chance to “get back to the roots” of the sport. Skinnyski.com has this to say about Korkki Nordic: Korkki Nordic Center is a secluded trail just east of Duluth, consisting of a single-track classical trail. Wicked hills, flats, downs…it has everything. Trails were designed for racing and are recommended for those with at least intermediate to advanced classical skiing skills.”

Charlie Banks crafted the Korkki Nordic trails with an axe and grub hoe in 1954, to make a trail system for his Duluth Central Ski Team. Charlie would often bring members of his Duluth Central Team out to Korkki, delivering them to practice and back home again in his car. If you look hard you can even find evidence of the lighting system that Charlie installed to extend the practice hours for his team. Charlie passed away in 1998, but left Korkki Nordic in the able hands of Mark Helmer, Charlie’s dear friend.

Mark has carried on the strong traditions started by Charlie Banks as well as added some new ones. Soon after Charlie’s death; Mark Helmer and the Korkki Nordic Board started the Charlie Bank Memorial Fund. This fund has generously distributed much needed monetary support to all of the area high school ski teams. It is with this support that Marshall Nordic was able to purchase a Ginzu groomer for our home trail.

One tradition that has remained strong is the annual Eric Judeen 10K Classic Ski Race. Held since 1963, the Eric Judeen race attracts skiers from Olympic level down to the newest Jr. High level high school skier. Another tradition that has grown in popularity is the 100 and 50 kilometer challenge. If a skier is able to ski 100 or 50 kilometers in one day, Mark will place their name and the date of their ski on the plaque in the chalet. Just remember when you try the challenge, be sure to ski the entire loop, include the big hill to be eligible for the award!

I would like to encourage every member of Marshall Nordic (and anyone else reading this article) to consider purchasing a yearly membership at Korkki Nordic. Korkki Nordic is a gem in the nordic ski world.

Membership application

Eric Judeen Entry Form for February 15, 2009

Eric Judeen Results from Feb 15, 2009

Link to a photoset of a day at Korkki Nordic

Korkki Nordic Trail View

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