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Cross Country Skiing

Rental Equipment Return

Just a reminder that we encourage you to retain any ski equipment rented from EVAA until all hope of snow has passed. We'll contact you regarding the times and place to return equipment sometime in the spring.

In the meantime keep on skiing!

Last Session of the Year - Jan 25 at Lebanon Hills

It looks like a great day for our last session of the year. Be sure to allow plenty of time so you can navigate the crowds and check in around 12:30. Ski groups depart at 12:45.

We will be in touch with information regarding the day/time to return your rental equipment, but we encourage you to keep the gear until then so you can keep on skiing!

February 18th session at Lebanon Hills - Reminder to be on time

Our ski session will be held at Lebanon Hills on, Sunday February 18. Conditions are poor but skiable.

Please remember to try and check in by 12:30 so your skier can depart with the group promptly at 12:45. In recent weeks we have had numerous skiers arriving late and as a result they miss skiing with their group. In addition to frustrating the skier, this places an unnecessary burden on our volunteers as they try to help latecomers connect with their group. Although we will do our best to get late arrivals out skiing, please be aware that we won’t always be able to make that happen.

To help with being ready on time, remember to take the weather into account. A warm day with bright sunshine means the parking lot will be full and getting to the check-in tent will take more time than usual.

Thanks for your consideration and we look forward to seeing you on Sunday!

Feb 11th Session at Lebanon Hills

It looks like we will have plenty of sunshine for our session at Lebanon Hills on Sunday Feb 11. See you there!

Feb 4th Session at Lebanon Hills

It looks like we should have a beautiful, sunshine filled day for our session on Sunday. Although it will be cold, part of learning to ski is learning to dress for the weather. See the helpful tips below for guidance on how to help your skier have an enjoyable experience on Sunday and we’ll see you then!


- Skiers should be dressed in layers. A moisture wicking under layer, an insulating layer, and a windproof outer layer are typically appropriate.  Each layer should be breathable. For extra cold days add an additional layer.

- Make sure your skier is wearing a hat, insulated & waterproof gloves, and warm socks. Sometimes a wearing a thin layer of gloves under the insulated gloves works well.

-Wool socks are the best choice for cross-country skiing.

- Nordic buffs are also very helpful. Here is an example of what a nordic buff looks like:

- Try avoid cotton because it has little insulation capabilities and once it gets wet, it stays wet (either through sweat or falling in the snow) and can create an uncomfortable experience.

January 28th - Back to Lebanon Hills

UPDATE: The groomer has been out so conditions should be OK. Hope to see you there!


We will be back at Lebanon Hills on Sunday, January 28th. Although the wonderful conditions from earlier in the week have deteriorated into icy ruts, we'll make the best of what we have. Grooming of the trails is scheduled for Sunday morning, and if they can finish it up before we arrive it should be a great day!

Sunday, January 21st session moved to Hyland

Due to very poor conditions at Lebanon Hills, the  EVAA Cross-country ski session will have a location and time change for Sunday, January 21st. We will move to the Hyland Park Reserve in Bloomington (10145 Bush Lake Rd, Bloomington, MN 55438) where they have snowmaking equipment and will meet from 11:45 to 1:00. Please try to arrive at 11:30 so we can start skiing at 11:45. We apologize for having to meet at the earlier time but it is the only availability for group skiing on Sunday.

This will be a great opportunity for the skiers to have an opportunity to ski on groomed snow and ski in the tracks.

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.
  • IMPORTANT - There will likely be other Minnesota Youth Ski League groups meeting there at the same time, so be sure to look for the familiar faces and signage for the LEBANON HILLS club.  If you have trouble finding us call Dave Freed at 612-760-0771.
  • When there is no natural snow, Hyland can become quite crowded and parking can be scarce. If you have friends in the program, you might consider carpooling.

See the image below  for details on where to meet at Hyland.

Thanks to Volunteers!

We had a strong response from parents and should have enough volunteers for our January 21st session. Thanks to those who agreed to help!

Now we just need the snow to stick around so the kids have something to ski on!

Substitute Coaches Needed January 21st

It was another great day at Lebanon Hills on Sunday with almost 60 skiers in attendance. With the new snow we should be set for another wonderful day of skiing this coming Sunday January 21st. However, we do have a potential issue.

Our high school coaches from the ISD 196 Nordic Ski Team will be out of town this weekend for a winter training trip. That means we need to get parents to fill the role of “substitute coach” for this coming Sunday, January 21st.  Although the team usually provides 12 -15 coaches per week, we can probably make it work if we can get an additional 8-10 parents to substitute coach this week.

If you have experience skiing, that would be VERY helpful. Even If you don’t have experience skiing, we can have you help with the younger skiers leading games and drills. Our plan is to have at least one experienced coach per group so the substitutes will have guidance and support. In addition, please be aware that we provide suggested curriculum to coaches to help guide the session. Most everyone who helps coach finds it a fun and enjoyable experience!

Please respond with an email to let us know if you can help in this manner. If I spoke with you on Sunday about this, please confirm if you can help. We would prefer not to cancel the coming week but without substitute coaches that is a possibility.

Even if you don’t feel you can help coach, we could use volunteers to hand out bibs and stay at the tent to answer questions, guide latecomers, etc.  That way those who normally fill that role could move to a coaching role.

Please let us know if you can help this Sunday, Jan 21 so we can move forward with another good day of skiing!

Sunday, January 14th

The fresh snow from Thursday was  enough so we can ski at Lebanon Hills again this Sunday. Arrive at 12:30, be ready to ski at 12:45.

See you there!

January 7th

Welcome to the 2018 EVAA Cross-Country Skiing season! Our first session is tomorrow, Sunday, Jan 7th, from 12:45 -2:00 at Lebanon Hills.  The address is 860 Cliff Road, Eagan, MN 55123 which is at the Visitor Center. The trail conditions are poor and there has not been enough snow for the grooming equipment to lay tracks. Although this will make the skiing more challenging, we can also ski and play games on the lake so we determined that meeting at Lebanon Hills is a better alternative then moving to our back-up location in Bloomington. Also, because of the poor snow conditions Lebanon Hills will NOT BE RENTING EQUIPMENT. If this leaves you without skis contact the Program Director for suggestions.

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

  1. Meeting Place: Our meeting area will be at the tent behind the visitor center near the lake. To get there from the parking lot, go between the Visitor Center and the rental equipment building where you will find the tent. 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.
  2. Start Time: To minimize the amount of time skiers stand around getting cold, we try to release them with their leaders onto the trails promptly at 12:45.  To make sure they are ready to ski at 12:45, 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 12:30; 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. Label Your Equipment: Please be sure to label your skis and poles with your child’s name. Colorful duct tape works well for this process.  Many youth skis are the same brand and size and they are easy to mix up.
  4. Visitor Center: Although you are welcome to use the Visitor Center to have your skier change into ski boots, we’ve found that it is best if skiers put their boots on at home or in the car to minimize congestion in the building and to help them be ready to ski at 12:45. Please do not bring skis or poles into the Visitor Center.  There are ski racks outside the building to use. Some may be reserved for MYSL use, so feel free to use those if you see them.  
  5. Patience: We have over 70 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, viist the restroom, or handling the many other needs that spontaneously arise with children.
  6. 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.
  7. 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. Cost at Lebanon Hills is $5 per day or a season pass for $20.
  8. On Site Rentals: As mentioned, due to the poor snow conditions the Lebanon Hills equipment rental service will be closed on Sunday, January 7.  if you are renting skis at Lebanon Hills in the future, as you come down the sidewalk the rental building will be on your left. Ask for the MYSL rate, which is valid for both youth skiers and their parents or guardians. Remember to arrive even earlier to allow for the time it takes to go through the rental process
  9. 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. Dakota County sells hot chocolate and has other drinks available in the Visitor Center, and many skiers find it enjoyable to get a hot chocolate drink after their session. Last year the cost was $1.

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, there is a facebook page and twitter account 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

Thanks, and we are looking forward to a fun, snow-filled season. If you have any questions, it is best to email them now rather than waiting to ask in person when we’re trying to get the skiers in their groups and out on their skis.

We look forward to seeing you tomorrow!

Welcome to Cross-Country (Nordic) Skiing


The 2018 EVAA Cross Country Ski 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 now open!

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 Lebanon Hills 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 (7th, 14th, 21st, 28th) and February (4th, 11th, 18th, 25th) at Lebanon Hills ski trails in Eagan from 12:45 - 2:00,  with parents and guardians 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. 

In case Lebanon Hills does not have enough snow for 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.  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.