OLIVIA — For the first time, recreation trails in Renville County's Beaver Falls and Skalbekken County Parks will be groomed during the winter to allow for walking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, fat-tire biking and other non-motorized recreational uses.

The trails will be groomed with two sets of parallel ski tracks, allowing for two people to classic ski on one half of the track. The other half will be hard packed for walking, snowshoeing and other non-motorized uses, according to Jesse Diehn, Renville County Parks Manager.

"With an expanding interest in outdoor winter recreation, we thought it’d be a really great opportunity to offer this new activity in the parks.” stated Diehn in a news release announcing the trails.

A groomer was put to work on Jan. 24 to groom the first-ever trail in Renville County's Skalbekken Park. The trail for snowshoeing and fat tire biking is groomed, but a second track for cross country skiing lacks enough snow to be packed. 
Photo courtesy of Renville County Parks
A groomer was put to work on Jan. 24 to groom the first-ever trail in Renville County's Skalbekken Park. The trail for snowshoeing and fat tire biking is groomed, but a second track for cross country skiing lacks enough snow to be packed. Photo courtesy of Renville County Parks
The grooming effort is the result of a collaboration between the Renville County Housing and Redevelopment Authority/Economic Development Authority and Renville County Parks Departments. The trail will follow the park road in both parks, providing a 1.5-mile trail in Skalbekken and a two-mile trail in Beaver Falls.

“After surveying the public to see if they would use groomed trails in our county parks, and with a majority response of 'yes,' we are excited to offer this new activity in Renville County.” said Janette Wertish, Renville County HRA/EDA board chair.

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The first initial snowpack took place Sunday. The trails are ready to be used for snowshoeing, walking and fat-tire biking.

Due to the low amount of snowfall to date, the parallel ski tracks have not yet been set for cross-country skiing. Once the ski tracks are ready, it will be announced on the Renville County Parks Facebook page and website.

Grooming will take place as needed to keep the trails in good condition.

Visitors are encouraged to park in the horse camp in Skalbekken and at the south entrance in Beaver Falls. Maps showing the groomed trail routes are posted at all trail entrances and along the route and are available to print online at www.renville.com. The park shelters and restrooms remain available for visitor use. Entrance into the county parks and use of the groomed trails is free for day use.

For updates on trail conditions, visit www.renville.com or like “Renville County Parks” on Facebook.