Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Nordic ski trail user fees

Nordic skiers at Theodore Wirth Park
Theodore Wirth Park chalet
My enthusiasm for nordic skiing this winter has been dampened considerably by the user fees required to ski on trails, both in town and around the state.  Locally, the Minneapolis Park and Rec trails require a daily pass of $8, and a seasonal pass $45.  Then regionally there are the Three Rivers Park District trails which charge $4 for a daily pass or $50 for the annual pass. Then, at the state level, the Minnesota DNR has trails which can be skied for $6 a day or $20 for the season. 

Bike trails developed across the state are now being widely used, at no cost to the riders.  Given the trend in "user fees" I wonder if they too will soon be requiring fees for use. 

Heading downhill
As Americans continue to get heavier, and less fit, shouldn't we be doing everything we can to remove barriers to active sports for our kids and adults, while incentivizing fitness activities?  I have to believe that the costs of making nordic ski trails freely available to the public would more than outweigh the loss of productivity and increased health care from a sedentary population.  It is not right that only the wealthy can afford to be healthy.  Shared public taxes are vital to develop and support a safe, educated and healthy public.

In addition to the exercise one of the things I enjoyed most about nordic skiing is getting out in nature and away from all electronic devices; no ipod, cell phone, pda or email.  I took a camera with me yesterday, as evidenced by these pictures.  The camera stays home on the next ski.

1 comment:

  1. I think it's even worse out east with their "Destination Trails". I'm not looking to go on Holiday, just go for a ski!