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Cross Country Skiing

January 20th Session at Hyland

As you could probably guess, we will be at Hyland again on Sunday. Read previous posts below for tips on how to help make our ski sessions as Hyland enjoyable for all. Most importantly.....our coaches try to have everyone head out on the ski trails at 11:45 so it is best to ARRIVE by 11:30 if not earlier. looks to be our coldest session of the year, so we're reposting our guide on dressing for the cold below. Don't let cold temperatures scare you off....skiers dressed appropriately enjoy all types of weather!


1. Please use your discretion noting your child's activity level and the outside temperature/wind chill. Often a winter jacket and snow pants or a snowsuit are too warm once the child gets skiing. They will warm up quickly, so it is okay if they are a little bit cold to begin with.

2. Children should be dressed in layers. A moisture wicking under layer, an insulating layer, and a windproof layer are typically appropriate. Each layer should be breathable.

3. Make sure to dress your child in a waterproof and windproof outermost layer. Cross-country skiing often requires hard work and skiers may sometimes fall down. Without a waterproof layer, the child could get wet from falling down, which makes for a cold and uncomfortable session.

4. Make sure your skier is wearing a hat, insulated & waterproof gloves, and warm socks. Wool socks are the best choice for cross-country skiing.

5. Avoid long scarfs that could fall off or get in the way. A better option is a nordic buff. Here is an example of what a nordic buff looks like

6. Try avoid cotton because it has little insulation capabilities and once it gets wet, it stays wet and can create a miserable experience.

7. Pay attention to the weather. On colder days, more layers are appropriate. If it is warmer out, do not overdress your child. It is never fun to be too hot or to have to carry around layers.

January 13th - Additional Details for our session at Hyland

As posted previously, we will be meeting at Hyland for our Week 2 session. Please read previous posts to be aware of key items when meeting at Hyland. Some important items to be aware of this week:

  • Our coaches make every effort to head out on the ski trails promptly at 11:45 so it best to ARRIVE by 11:30 if not earlier.
  • If you have anyone to carpool with, please do so. That way one adult can help unload skiers while the other searches for a parking spot.
  • We are scheduled to finish at 1:00 PM, but sometimes groups return early. It is always nice to be waiting for your skier(s)when they return so you can see the big smile on their face showing you what a fun time they had.
  • We DO have authorization to use the “Jan’s Place” building to warm-up if needed. Be aware that it can get very crowded in so don’t assume you’ll be able to find room in there while waiting for your skier.

Thanks and we’ll see you there!

Jan 13th Session Will Be at Hyland

As you might have guessed, we will be back at Hyland this Sunday.  Please have your skier ready to ski at 11:45. As you likely saw last week, parking can be scarce so plan accordingly. More details to come, but remember that we meet at Jan’s Place, not the main visitor center.

Helpful Hints for first week of Cross Country Skiing

Welcome to the 2019 EVAA Cross-Country Skiing season! Our first session is  Sunday, Jan 6th, from 11:45 -1:00 at Hyland Park Reserve in Bloomington.  See previous post for directions and details on where to meet.

As you prepare for our first session, we wanted to provide the following helpful hints for week 1:

  1. Meeting Place: As mentioned in our previous post, we will be meeting outside the building called "Jan's Place". There you can pick up the Minnesota Youth Ski League bib with your skier’s name, and then proceed to the meeting area for your skier’s group. You can determine where to meet based on the color of your skier’s nametag. Just look for the flag with the same color of your skier's nametag.
  2. Start Time: To minimize the amount of time skiers stand around getting cold, when at Hyland we will try to release them with their leaders onto the trails promptly at 11:45.  To make sure they are ready to ski at 11:45, we suggest you allow at least 10 minutes for skiers to get their bib, put on their skis, and get to their meeting area. That means it is probably wise to be in exiting your vehicle in the parking lot at 11:30; earlier if you have multiple skiers to corral. Latecomers will need to wait for their group to return; we can’t have skiers heading off on their own to try and find their group unless they are with a parent.
  3. Trail Pass: At Hyland, a trail pass must be purchased for anyone 12 years of age or older. Passes ($9.50 + tax) can be purchased at the main Visitor Center.  Please plan your time accordingly if you need to purchase a trail pass.  Note that our group will NOT be meeting at the main Visitor Center so if you have to buy a pass you will need to make a separate stop here.
  4. Label Your Equipment: Please be sure to label your skis and poles with your child’s name. Colorful duct tape or painter's tape works well for this process.  Many youth skis are the same brand and size and they are easy to mix up.
  5. Prep:  We’ve found that it is best if skiers put their boots on at home or in the car  to help them be ready to ski at 11:45.
  6. Clothing: Check the previous post on this page for seven tips about how to dress your skier. The first tip is as follows:
  7. 1. Please use your discretion noting your child's activity level and the outside temperature/wind chill. Often a winter jacket and snow pants or a snowsuit are too warm once the child gets skiing. They will warm up quickly, so it is okay if they are a little bit cold to begin with. For tips 2-7, scroll down to our first post of the season.
  8. Patience: We have over 100 skiers signed up for our session, so when combined with parents we will have quite a crowd. All of our coaches and leaders are volunteers who are donating their time to help make this a good experience for your skier. Please be patient as our volunteers do their best to get organized this first week, and remember that your child’s group leader may also be working with his/her own child to get equipment on, visit the restroom, or handling the many other needs that spontaneously arise with children.
  9. Skier Group Assignments: We do our best to place skiers in a group that is the best fit for them.  If you find that your child’s assigned group does not seem to be a good fit, please let one of our volunteers or coaches know and we’ll attempt to adjust for future sessions.
  10. Parent Skiers: You are welcome and encouraged to ski with your child’s group as a “Ski Chaperone”. Just let the group leader know, and if you can assist with any issues such as dropped mittens, loose boots, etc. while skiing along that would be appreciated. Please be aware that all adult skiers who are not coaching will need a trail pass, so please factor this into your schedule since that could take a few minutes depending on the line. 
  11. On Site Rentals:  if you are renting skis at Hyland, do so at the main visitor center as you enter the park. Remember that we do not meet at this location, we meet at the building called "Jan's Place". Remember to arrive even earlier to allow for the time it takes to go through the rental process
  12. End of Session: At the end of the session, skiers should remember to a) return their bibs to the group leader or to the tent; and b) thank their group leader and any assistants. D

Please be aware that we will not necessarily send reminder emails to you for upcoming sessions, so it is always wise to check the club webpage for any announcements. In addition, we have a facebook, twitter, and instagram accounts managed by our Minnesota Youth Ski League partners that will enable you to stay abreast of club announcements and information.

  • Twitter: @mysl_leb_hills
  • Facebook: MYSL Lebanon Hills
  • Instagram: mysl_lebhills

Thanks, and we are looking forward to a fun, snow-filled season. If you have any questions, just let us know via email at and we will do our best to answer promptly 

We look forward to seeing you on Sunday!

First Session to be moved to Hyland (Jan 6)

Due to un-skiable conditions at Lebanon Hills, our first EVAA Cross-country ski session will move to the Hyland Park Reserve in Bloomington (10145 Bush Lake Rd, Bloomington, MN 55438) where they have snowmaking equipment. We will meet from 11:45 to 1:00. We apologize for having to meet at the earlier time but due to the high demand we have to take the time assigned to us.

There are a couple of things to be aware of at Hyland:

  • A trail pass must be purchased for anyone 12 years of age or older. Passes ($9.50 + tax) can be purchased at the main Visitor Center.  Please plan your time accordingly if you need to purchase a trail pass.  Note that our group will NOT be meeting at the main Visitor Center so if you have to buy a pass you will need to make a separate stop here.
  • Our group will meet at the building called Jan’s Place which is in the first parking lot past the Visitor Center.
  • Hyland does not allow any walking on or alongside the trails, so those of you with younger skiers will not be able to accompany your skier unless you are on skis. However, the very young skiers will be likely be in the "training" area and parents can stand nearby and watch.
  • IMPORTANT - There will be one other Minnesota Youth Ski League group meeting there at the same time, so be sure to look for the signage for the LEBANON HILLS club.  
  • When there is no natural snow in the Twin Cities, Hyland can become quite crowded and parking can be scarce. If you have friends in the program, please consider carpooling.

Check the map on the EVAA cross country ski program webpage  for details on where to meet at Hyland.

More details on how to prepare for the first session will be provided but we wanted to give you advance notice about the time and location change.

Welcome to Cross-Country (Nordic) Skiing


Registration for the 2019 EVAA Cross Country Ski program HAS NOW CLOSED. We have reached our capacity for the season. Please contact us if you would like to be put on the waiting list in case we have cancellations.


This program will be run in collaboration with the Minnesota Youth Ski League, a statewide organization with the mission of developing and promoting the participation and enjoyment of cross country skiing for youth and their families.

Registration for the program is expected to open in late October, 2018.The program is open to ages 4-15 and is designed for skill levels ranging from beginner to experienced. The organization is a volunteer led organization, with parents and guardians encouraged to participate and learn with the children (No registration is necessary for parents/guardians, and equipment for parents/guardians can be rented at the ski venue each week) For the younger children, parents are required to be “on the snow” with their children (although not necessarily on skis).

Cross-country skiing provides numerous benefits, including:

  • Great cross-training for fall and summer sports
  • Helps children learn to enjoy the outdoors during winter.
  • Provides a great low-impact, cardiovascular workout
  • Helps learn a life-long sport that can be enjoyed for many years to come.


Our group will meet for eight Sunday afternoons in January (6th, 13th, 20th, 27th) and February (3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th) at either Lebanon Hills ski trails in Eagan from 12:45 - 2:00 if snow conditions are good, or at the Hyland Lake Park Reserve in Bloomington from 11:45 - 1:00 if natural snow is not skiable at Lebanon Hills. Parents and guardians are encouraged to participate either with or without skis. Although skiers will build their skills and learn to enjoy skiing the most by participating each week, there is no problem if scheduling conflicts arise and a skier is unable to attend. 

And just in case you weren't paying attention when reading the above paragraph, we will repeat the fact that if Lebanon Hills does not have enough snow for quality skiing, our sessions will move to Hyland Recreation Area in Bloomington where they have snowmaking equipment. If we have to move to Bloomington, the sessions will be held from 11:45 - 1:00.


A limited amount of ski equipment is available for rental, either for the full season (in which skiers take the skis home each week) or for the weekly sessions only. The fee for the full season rental is $65 ($75 after November 30). The daily rental charged by Lebanon Hills is expected to be $6 per session, while Hyland charges $8 for youth and $12 for adults. We recommend the full season rental so that you have access to the skis for independent use, while also eliminating the need to wait in line each week to a) get fitted and receive the skis, and b) return the skis.


The registration fee for the season is $65 ($75 after November 30), and includes membership in the Minnesota Youth Ski League, 8 scheduled ski outings (weather permitting), and a special gift to help keep skiers warm.


No, these are not ski lessons. The organization is designed to promote and encourage skiing in a positive and supportive environment so that youth can ski with others of similar ability and increase their skills together. Although our volunteer leaders use teaching curriculum with specific learning goals for each group, we prefer to use the term “ski outings” rather than “ski lessons”.  If you are looking for ski lessons, contact the program director to obtain recommendations for private organizations that conduct lessons.

Dave Freed

Program Director


The Eastview Girls Nordic Ski Team won the South Suburban Conference Championship at Hyland Park Reserve on Wednesday, Jan 28.


The Eastview High School Girls Nordic Ski Team was recently featured in an article in the Star Tribune.  Click on the link below to read the story.

Kylie Kraemer of Eastview High School


We have a Shutterfly account that displays photos from our 2014 sessions. We would love to have additional photos from 2015 added!

Click here to gain access.

A Video promoting a similar program

The "Winter Kids" organization in Portland, Maine also has a youth cross-country ski program.  We thought you might enjoy seeing how some of their kids feel about cross-country skiing.

Important Information for Skiing at Hyland