MAPLE GROVE, Minn. — After an unusually warm winter so far, Saturday's falling flakes were a relief for those who love outdoor winter activities.
Elm Creek Park Reserve in Maple Grove was packed with hundreds of people for the Nordic Ski Season Opener.
The crunch of fresh snow below their skies was something many have been missing this December.
"The snow fall, the hot cocoa and the skiing....it's like winter has officially begun," said Megan Baker, a Nordic skier.
The Nordic ski trail at Elm Creek Park is a little over a mile long, a 2K.
"It's actually snowing while we're skiing, it's great!" said Allison Trimpe, who was skiing with Luke Baker on Saturday. The two had to stretch out their off-season training longer than they would have liked this year because of the lack of snow.
"[It's] unfortunate, but there are other ways to practice skiing like roller skiing, running, hiking," said Trimpe.
Some wished the ski season could have started a lot earlier than it did.
"It's a little disappointing considering we like to do these outdoor sports like cross country skiing and downhill skiing," said Linh Tu, who was at the park skiing with her family and some friends.
The snow may have arrived late, but at least it made in time for the holidays.
"It's always nice to have a white Christmas, especially in Minnesota," said Luke Baker.
The chalet at Elm Creek Park is now open 7 days a week until 9pm.
The park also offers downhill skiing and snowboarding, as well as tubing and sledding.
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