POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI) - A local fan favorite opened its doors this weekend in Pocatello.
The East Fork Mink Creek Nordic Center kicked off their 2020-2021 season on Friday. The center hosts over 12 miles of groomed skate and classic ski trails, as well as separate snowshoe trails and a sledding hill.
Local skiers from the area were eager in anticipation to get back on the track.
"We've been waiting to come out and do a lot of skiing," said local skier Matthew Olsen. "We do a lot of skiing each winter, so I’m just excited that it's open, and I wanted to come out and take advantage."
"I would consider myself a Nordic skier," said Pocatello native Heather Larsen. "Downhill is too fast, so this is the place that I spend probably every weekend I possibly can to get out here and Nordic ski."
The trails are open 24/7 via season pass or daily trail pass purchases. When the area is not manned, users are asked to pay using the fee boxes located at each trailhead. Cross country ski, snowshoe and snow tube rentals are available at the center Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Mink Creek employee Tony Chesrow says he is encouraged for the rest of the season with the attendance he has seen so far.
Turnout has been really good," Chesrow said. "It has been actually quite busy. I groomed Friday morning and then came up and skied later that day, and there were a lot of people here. I was pretty excited to see that."
For Chesrow, the Nordic Center offers a safe and healthy exercise that its guests can participate in the age of COVID-19.
"Come up and enjoy yourselves," Chesrow said. "It's a great workout. Nordic skiing has flown under the radar here in America, but I'd like to see more Americans get involved. It’s just a healthy lifestyle all the way around, and it's easy to practice social distancing."
The East Fork Mink Creek Nordic Center is located just seven miles south of Pocatello at the base of Scout Mountain. Larsen says the location combined with her enjoyment of the sport make her a regular at Mink Creek.
"It’s just a fantastic opportunity to come out and enjoy the snow and these views and to be just right here at the base of Scout Mountain and the Mink Creek area," Larsen said.
For current trail conditions, visit the Pocatello Cross Country Ski Foundation’s webpage at pokyxc.org.