It's a good time of the year to be a cross-country skier on the Kenai Peninsula.
"With the long daylight hours, there's more time for skiing," said Dale Bakk, the coach of the high school team in Nikiski. "Plus, the temperatures are getting warmer.
"It's a good time of the year to enjoy the trails."
Bakk said the skating at the Nikiski Community Trails has been amazing this past week. Currently, the trails behind the Nikiski pool also are providing great skating. Neither trail system has a classical track set. With Thursday's fresh snow, Bakk said he would try and set a classical track at the trails behind the pool soon.
Bob Frates, the director of Kenai's Parks and Recreation Department, said the skiing at the Kenai Nordic Trails also has been great this past week.
There were classical tracks set on Tuesday, but Frates said the new snow falling Thursday would probably erase those tracks.
"The new snow is a welcome sight," Frates said. "The fresh snow will help recondition the trail.
"With the heavy use, we were constantly working so the trails didn't turn to ice."
Dave Kenagy, a park ranger, also raved about the skiing at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.
The first three loops on the Nordic Lake Routes have an excellent base and a very good surface. The fourth loop, or loop that is farthest from the refuge headquarters, has some snowdrifts.
The Centennial Trail, which is for snowshoers, is in great condition and will get even better when it is groomed Saturday.
Those skiing Headquarters Lake should watch for some overflow near the shoreline. The lake has not been groomed.
The skiing also has been excellent across the Sterling Highway at Tsalteshi Trails, where groomers are getting ready for the Region III ski meet on Friday and Saturday. The races Friday start at 2:30 p.m., while the Saturday races start at noon.
Down in Homer, Dave Brann, the vice president of the Kachemak Nordic Ski Club, was looking forward to the Wine and Cheese Tour after canceling the event last week due to warm weather.
The tour will be Sunday. To get to the self-guided tour's starting point, skiers should turn on to Diamond Ridge Road from the Sterling Highway and drive 1.8 miles. The fee is $10 for club members and $15 for nonmembers. The tour will be about 7.5 kilometers long and takes skiers to two new houses, where wine, cheese and juice will be served.
Brann also said Homer has good skiing at the McNeil Canyon Ski Trails, where there is 7.5 kilometers of fast skating. Lookout Mountain also has a 3-kilometer loop set up for the classical and skating techniques.
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