Feel like a cross country ski trip? Look no further than Pierz

Nine-hole golf course transformed for use during winter months

By Terry Lehrke, News Editor

A cross country ski trail has been groomed at the Pierz Golf Course, thanks to the encouragement of Jennifer Sadlovsky, left, Rachel Young, and not pictured, Bridget Britz.
A cross country ski trail has been groomed at the Pierz Golf Course, thanks to the encouragement of Jennifer Sadlovsky, left, Rachel Young, and not pictured, Bridget Britz.

When travelling to Kathio State Park or even to Crane Meadows for a family cross country ski, more time is spent driving than actually skiing.

At least that what three Pierz women found out.

But not any more — a cross country ski trail has been groomed around the nine-hole golf course in Pierz and is open for use by the public — at no cost.

Two years ago, Jennifer Sadlovsky, Rachel Young and Bridget Britz asked the Pierz City Council whether a cross country trail at the Pierz Golf Course could be a possibility.

But, the three didn’t pursue it.

Last year, there wasn’t much snow and the idea didn’t progress.

But this year, the three made their request again after hearing a lot of interest from employees of the School District.

Sadlovsky is a fourth-grade teacher at Pioneer Elementary; Young, a nurse with District 484. Britz is executive director for Horizon Health.

The Pierz Council was open to the idea of the ski trail and to keeping people in town.

Golf Course Superintendent Daniel Baert and the Park Board were open to the idea as well.

With a groomer donated by the Pierz School District, Baert led volunteers Chris Young, Don Bujalski and Mike Menden, grooming the path for the trail, Saturday, Dec. 15, despite a little rain.

“I went out Sunday with my sister Jill and daughter, Emily,” said Sadlovsky. “It was absolutely beautiful.”

Sadlovsky owns her skis, but she was able to rent skis for her daughter for the season from Pap’s Sport Shop in Little Falls.

Young and her husband, Chris, went out both Sunday and Monday.

“Cross country skiing is a great winter activity for people of all ages to enjoy during our cold winter months,” said Young.

The ski course is about 2.1 miles long and follows the river at different points and goes through the woods. It takes about a half hour to ski the course, Young said.

A shorter loop is also available.

The ladies didn’t stop at getting their request granted, however. They requested funding from the Pierz Fire Department for trail signs and fuel costs, and were granted $250.

The Pierz Lions have also been approached for funding, as the vision is to purchase a snowmobile to do their own grooming, instead of having to rely on volunteers with snowmobiles.

Now the ladies would like to see the community make use of the trail.

“We’re just excited to get the community out,” said Sadlovsky.

It’s been quite a few years since Pierz Mayor Toby Egan has gone cross country skiing. “I just might start again,” he said.

“We don’t have really any activities for people to do in the winter time,” Egan said about supporting the trail.

“It keeps people in town, brings people in, helps out businesses a little bit and gives our residents something to do in the winter time,” he said.

Skiers can park by the clubhouse at the  Pierz Golf Course. The trail starts where one would walk to begin a round of golf.

“The Pierz Golf Course is beautiful and this allows people to enjoy it not only in the summer, but in the winter as well,” said Young.

While cross country skiers are welcome to use the course at no cost during daylight hours, no snowmobiles will be allowed.

“For the most part it wouldn’t be fun for snowmobilers and would wreck the cross country ski trail if snowmobiles used it,” said Baert.

The only snowmobiles allowed are those of the volunteers who use them to pull the groomer.