Traveling Ted is a blog that takes readers along on my adventures hiking, canoeing, skiing, and international backpacking. Many blogs focus on one aspect of backpacking, but I tackle both the outdoor adventure side and international exploration as well.

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Ham Lake Ski Trail

Subaru Crosstrek parked at the Gunflint Lake Overlook

The Ham Lake Trail is a perfect trail for a cross-country ski breakfast. Gunflint Lodge along the Gunflint Trail has one of the superior cross-country ski trail systems in the region and the country.  One of the pretties of these trails is the Ham Lake Trail.

Ham Lake Ski Trail

Ham Lake Ski Trail

It is a six mile trail through pine and hardwood forest. To get to the trail you need to access it through the Highlands Trail which follows an escarpment over Gunflint Lake. Ham Lake is not a thrilling trail with crazy hills as it is relatively flat, but the scenery is king here. It is a relaxing ride, which is perfect for a morning jaunt.

Gunflint Lake

Gunflint Lake from the Highlands Trail

Ham is an option on the breakfast menu for those who live the high life. Adding ham to your eggs, hash browns, and pancakes is sure to tip the scales on your breakfast bill from the $10.00 range to the $15.00 range.  Even a breakfast sandwich with ham, Denny’s moon over my hammy, will cost around $8.00, far more than a five dollar footlong.

I work off a low budget, so for me it is a basic breakfast of pancakes and eggs with coffee. Fortunately, on this day, I was able to add some beautiful ham to my breakfast. It was not the meat variety, but the Ham Lake Ski Trail in Gunflint Trail system.

Ham Lake Ski Trail

Ham Lake Ski Trail

I was up staying at our north woods cabin, which only put me about ten miles away from the Gunflint Trail system: perfect striking distance in order to get some Ham Lake with my breakfast. I woke up and skied across the lake and headed over to the Gunflint Lake Overlook on the Gunflint Trail.

Ham Lake Ski Trail

Ham Lake Ski Trail

It was a crisp, clear, and really cold day. The thermometer hovered around 0 degrees. A beautiful ski through a Minnesota pine forest got the blood pumping. The first part of the trail is along the Highlands Trail. Due to a recent fire, the area is bare of trees, so cover from the wind is scarce.

Gunflint Ski Trails

Cold out in the open along the Highlands Trail

Ham Lake Ski Trail

Fresh powder on top of the Ham Lake Ski Trail

Once the trail junction for Ham Lake was met, the trail darted into thicker woods providing protection. It had snowed the previous two nights, so a foot of fresh powder covered the woods and the trails. There were sections where pine trees on both sides made a beautiful snowy pine tunnel to ski through.

Gunflint Trail skiing

Returning back the Highlands Trail

After a relaxing ski trip around the Ham Lake Trail, it was back to the Highlands Trail.  The section of the Highlands back to the overlook is quite a thrill with several ups and downs and some stunning views of Gunflint Lake. The hill going down to the overlook is a great ride and a great way to end the trip. I did not see one other person along the trails.

Pancake breakfast

Beautiful golden brown pancakes with no ham

After a nice ski around the Ham Lake ski trail, I was back for breakfast. No ham and no steak for me. It was pancakes and eggs as I already had my ham on the Ham Lake ski trail.

Consider a stay along the Gunflint Trail and stay at a cabin up here, so you too can ski Ham Lake for Breakfast.  Voyageur Canoe rental has cabins at the end of the trail as does Gunflint Lodge.

TT


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