Friday, December 29, 2017

Pilot Knob

Had a fun time skiing Pilot Knob Lake while it was snowing today.  The lake has been rolled once again tonight after 4 to 5 inches of light fluffy snow earlier today.  Plus a set of classic tracks were set around the lake. 

Pilot Knob Lake Friday morning (3" new snow)

 Rolling lake (compactor down) (4" to 5" new snow)

 Tracksetter behind roller on final pass

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Pilot Knob Lake

We received a good inch of snow this morning.  I used the snow mover again to funnel in some more snow over the existing trail, then rolled over it.  Will probably start using the Ginzu next to get a much better finish, now that the packed snow is getting deeper.

This is a flat 1.5 km (0.9 mile) loop that is located on the ice going around the perimeter of Pilot Knob Lake.  It can be accessed by parking in the sledding hill parking lot and heading south from the warming shed.  Or it can be accessed by parking at the far southeast part of the campground (group camping area).  The entire lake is less than 2 feet deep so it is a good safe place to ski and is well protected from the wind.

Rolling Pilot Knob Lake

 Have grooming stuff, will travel

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Pilot Knob Lake

There was only about 1/2" of snow on the Pilot Knob Lake to work with.  But by using the snow mover to combine snow I was able to make a ski path Monday that packed pretty well.  It was only rolled so it doesn't look pretty, but it skate skied surprisingly well today.  And with the possibility of snow Wednesday night, I'm hoping for more to work with.  (No classic tracks set yet, but still would be ok for classic skiing)

Pilot Knob Lake

Using the snow mover 

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Rolling again

I took the roller over about a foot of snow this morning on the road through Pilot Knob and at the Lodge.  It would be skiable but it will still be soft today and there are no tracks set.  Plans are to take the Ginzu over it early Sunday morning to have skating with tracks set.  So hopefully skiing will be good by Sunday morning.

Sled and roller on Pilot Knob road

Pilot Knob road

The Lodge Resort

The Lodge Resort

Saturday, February 11, 2017


I skied for a couple of hours through pilot knob this morning.  Conditions were poor to fair for skating on the road.  The classic tracks are still intact for now.  Sorry to see it melting this early in February.  

Pilot Knob Lake 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Rejuvenated skate deck

The skate deck has been rejuvenated on the Pilot Knob road tonight.  The classic tracks are hard and icy.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Pilot Knob Ski Race 2017

The 2nd annual Pilot Knob ski race was held yesterday.  We had a total of 29 skiers which was up from the 16 last year.  The park was in great shape for the race and having temperatures in the 20's made for an all around great day.  Thank you to all of the great volunteers that helped direct skiers & bring food and to North Iowa Nordic for contributing to expenses.  It was truly a pleasure to be able to ski with all of you at my favorite trail!  Jeff

Start on Pilot Knob Lake

Andy O'Brien of Mason City

Todd Juhlin of Iowa City.

Jen Juhlin of Iowa City

Darrin Siefken of Tripoli

More pictures from the race will soon be posted on Facebook "Pilot Knob Ski Race".

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Pilot Knob

The trails for the Pilot Knob Ski race have all been groomed for skating and classic skiing.  This includes the road and lake.  The lake has some icy spots but is still skiable.  The classic tracks on both the lake and road can be anywhere from poor to very good, but skiable.  The skating decks all look very good especially on the road.

The race starts at 8:30 am with three different distances, 27 km, 9 km and 4.5 km.


Thursday, February 2, 2017

Adding a new race distance

 We will also have a 3 lap race around the Pilot Knob lake this Saturday for a total distance of 4.5 km. This will cater to new skiers and kids who don't like to ski hills. This is free for kids. There will not be any awards for this distance but I think every kid should earn a treat for completing it!

So the Pilot Knob Ski Race will consist of the following three freestyle races.

27  kilometers
9    kilometers
4.5 kilometers.

Freestyle means that you can ski either the skating style or classic style.  All races start at 8:30 am.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Pilot Knob pictures

We still have snow and we are still having Saturday's race.  We will be using two Ginzu groomers Friday evening to chew up the hard pack conditions.  Looking forward to some good skating conditions.  We'll do our best to make some good classic tracks too.

Pictures from today.

Pilot Knob lake race start area. (rolled only, not groomed yet)

Pilot Knob road

Pilot Knob road

I just rejuvenated the skate deck on the road through Pilot Knob this morning.  Nice to still see so much snow there!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Pilot Knob Ski Race

Come challenge yourself to ski the hills in beautiful Pilot Knob State Park.  This is a great preparation race for the American Birkiebeiner.  Enjoy eating lunch in the warming house afterwards.  Any profits from this race will go towards the costs of grooming the trails in the park.

February 4, 2017
both races start at 8:30 am

27 km freestyle race.
9 km freestyle race.
Lunch included for racers.
Awards to top 3 overall, male & female each race.
Racer's fee is $15.00.
Family and friends welcome to lunch also(free will donation).
Classic skiers are welcome to join the freestyle race also.  At least 90% of the course will be tracked.

Start & finish located at the warming house.
Register day of race only.  Please email, text or phone if you plan to attend so as to make sure there will be enough food.

Sponsor; and the Forest City nordic grooming crew.

Jeff Hovinga

Pilot Knob State Park
2148 340th St. Forest City, IA 50436

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Winter Fun Day

Yesterday the Friends of Winnebago County Conservation Foundation sponsored a Winter Fun Day at the Bear Creek Golf Course.  Wayne's Ski and Sport of Mason City was there with skis and snowshoes to try out.  Fun was had by all!

Max from Wayne's Ski and Sport helping a 3 year old girl ski for the first time!!

Pilot Knob

I rejuvenated the skate deck on the road through Pilot Knob this morning. The classic track looked ok for the  most part so that was left alone.  Nice to see so many ski tracks from yesterday!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Pilot Knob road

The road through Pilot Knob has been groomed this morning for both classic and skate style skiing.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Golf course

The golf course has been groomed for both classic and skate style skiing.

Tomorrow the 28th, Winnebago County Conservation Foundation is holding a Winter Fun Day on the golf course at the clubhouse.  Time is 10:00 AM to 11:30 am and is free.  Wayne's Ski and Sport from Mason City will have cross country ski and snowshoe equipment to try out. Snacks and warm drinks will be available.  It should be a great day to come out and enjoy winter!

Bear Creek Golf Course

Sunday, January 15, 2017

PIlot Knob

The road through Pilot Knob has had the skating lane rejuvenated again this morning.
The old classic tracks are still in fairly decent shape.  Hope you get a chance to enjoy it today.  The forecast this week does not look good for us.

Skating conditions were very good yesterday!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Rejunvenated Pilot Knob Road

The skating lane has been rejuvenated on the road through Pilot Knob this morning.  I made six passes to chew up the hard packed snow and ice, so the snowmobile was working hard!  It looks pretty good considering the conditions.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Pilot Knob road

The skating deck was rejuvenated this morning on the Pilot Knob road.  The classic tracks were left alone and are still in fair shape most of the way.  It should be a good place to ski once things warm up some!

Pilot Knob road 1/7/17

Saturday, January 7, 2017

PIlot Knob road

The skating deck on Pilot Knob road was rejuvenated this morning.  I left the old classic tracks alone because of the hard pack conditions.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Lodge & Majopa areas groomed

I had just enough time to groom the Lodge and Majopa properties tonight for skating.  I did put in a small classic track at the bottom of the hill.

The golf course is too thin and icy in spots to regroom that.  But the old classic tracks are still there, just a little hard and icy.

Majopa property