Battle Creek Winter Recreation Area

Battle Creek Regional Park ski trails
Battle Creek Regional Park ski trails

Project overview

Ramsey County sought $3.1 million in state bond funding as a matching grant to design and construct the first and only snowmaking facility in the east metro.

Total project costs are estimated at $5.3 million. Ramsey County has dedicated $1 million in county bonds, and the community will raise the necessary remaining balance through private funding (ski clubs, schools, fundraisers, etc.) for the required non-state funding match.

Project features will provide the ability to make sufficient snow when temperatures are below 27 degrees Fahrenheit for 2.5 kilometers of lighted cross-country ski trails, a teaching area for downhill skiing/snowboarding and a recreational tubing/sledding area.

This will be the only resource in the east metro that will provide residents with reliable trails in their community.

System features that will be constructed include:

  • Water cooling tower, pumping station, pipe and hydrants.
  • Electrical connections and fixture for snowmaking.
  • Tow rope system for ski hill.
  • Seasonal building to house the pumping station and equipment. 
  • Portable snowmaking guns and grooming equipment to grade the snow (will be provided with non-state funding).

Timeline

The county is currently seeking funding to begin engineering and installation of the Winter Recreation Area components.

Rationale

The winter recreation area will support local student athletes, foster healthy winter activities in the community, build the skier base statewide and bolster tourism efforts in the east metro.

Currently, skiers in the east metro must travel 30-60 minutes to reach consistently-available trails. Local high school ski teams are often not able to send their whole team to practice due to travel costs. Experienced athletes or those with personal transportation are the only skiers with the opportunity to practice on established trails. The new recreation area in the east metro will increase training and hosting opportunities for cross-country skiers and ski teams.

Snowmaking equipment at Battle Creek will extend the cross-country ski season from 60 to 100 days and provide reliable ski trails to more than 30 high schools in the east metro. Beginner downhill skiers and snowboarders will also have an opportunity to try the sport or practice their skills at a facility close to home on an entry-level hill. This will benefit statewide winter recreational facilities as novice skiers take interest in visiting larger ski facilities with trails for all skill levels.  

Battle Creek Winter Recreation Area