I decided to make a trip to Benson last week to experience Lapland Lake Nordic Recreation Center. I had never been to the cross-country ski center, but have heard great reviews of it, so I decided it was time to make the trip.
When I first pulled up, I went into the lodge to get my pass. I was kindly greeted by the owner, Kathy, who was swamped with people checking in and getting day passes and waxing skis in the shop. Despite how busy she was, she still took the time to chat with me about Lapland Lake and what makes it so special.
Kathy has owned the recreation center for four years, and she's loving every minute of it. When you arrive at Lapland Lake it is almost like entering a new little village, or as Kathy said, “It is like our own little snowball up here.” After our last snowstorm, the trails were in great condition and it was a picture perfect ski day.
I got my pass, laced up my ski boots, grabbed my skis, and headed to the trailhead across the road. I was sticking to some easy to intermediate trails as it was my first ski of the year. To enjoy some slightly more difficult, hilly trails, there is another trailhead next to the lodge.
Looking at the map and talking to some ladies in the lodge, I decided I was going to try Lake Trail and Era Polku. They were described to me as “picturesque and beautiful,” so I figured it was worth a try.
The views did not disappoint one bit. While skiing, I found myself stopping regularly and looking around at the beauty. The trails at Lapland Lake are different than any other groomed ski trails I have skied before. The scenery was so beautiful, partially due to our new fallen snow, and even though it was a busy day at the Nordic center, it was so quiet on the trail I felt like I was on my own. I can thank the expansive trail network for that! There may be a lot of people mingling around the lodge, but once you get out on the trails you may not run into anyone! it was definitely a peaceful and relaxing day!
Lake Trail took me to Woods Lake, where I popped my skis off to enjoy the view. To ski to the lake and back to the lodge is about 1.6 miles. It was the perfect length for me as I had already done the Era Polku trail, which is just over a mile long. Each trail had perfectly groomed tracks set, it made the skiing a breeze and so enjoyable. It is hard to explain the beauty along the trails, so I will let some pictures do it justice.
I am already thinking about scheduling my next trip to Benson and experiencing more trails at Lapland Lake! I can't wait to get back. Once you're done with your ski trip, head back toward Speculator or Indian Lake and grab a bite to eat at one of our favorite eateries.