Over 740 skiers enjoyed the March-like weather of the 6th annual Birkie Tour. This year’s event started at the Birkie Ridge Trailhead and climbed up into the hills and ridges overlooking the Namekagon river valley.
“Lots of fun, lots of kids, lots of smiles,” said Ben Popp, executive director of the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation, who led one of the tour groups.
With temperatures in the low 30s both days, the Birkie Tour on Sunday capped a successful weekend, partnered with the Seeley Classic Ski Race on Saturday. Tad Elliott, men’s Seeley Classic winner, as well as US Olympic cross country skiers Caitlin and Brian Gregg, skied the tour, mingling with the hundreds of skiers participating.
The untimed and fully supported Birkie Tour offers cross country skiers a relaxing way to experience the trail without the pressure of competition. Ski tours ranged from 10 to 46 kilometers, with shorter events for the Nordic Kids.