Maasto Hiihto & Churning Rapids Trails


THE MAASTO HIIHTO TRAIL SYSTEM is a multi-use, silent sport recreation area that features the area's premier natural asset: The Swedetown Creek Gorge.

In Finnish, maasto hiihto means "cross-country ski." The trail was originally developed in the 1980s by a group of Nordic enthusiasts with support from the City of Hancock. This group adopted the name, Keweenaw Nordic Ski Club. In 1997, KNSC became official when it gained nonprofit, 501(c)(3) status.

Two trailheads provide access to the groomed trails at Maasto. One is at the Chalet on the Houghton County fairgrounds, and the other at Tomasi Road near the Hancock Department of Public Works garage, north of UP Health System - Portage Hospital.

CHURNING RAPIDS TRAILS provide an intimate, backcountry type of experience. This area can be accessed either from Maasto Hiihto or from a trailhead at Christensen Road, off M-203, 5 miles north of Hancock. Trails wind through the John Christensen wildlife preserve.

Today, the teamwork of KNSC and the City remains integral not only in maintaining and grooming 25 kilometers of trails spanning Maasto and Churning Rapids for winter use, but also in ensuring the trails remain available for a variety of silent sport uses, year-round.

The trails are groomed for classic cross country skiing, snow shoeing, and snow biking. We welcome your entire family to get outside together, as Maasto and Churning are the area's only 100% dog-friendly trails. We ask all trail users to purchase an annual membership or day pass. Ongoing trail maintenance and grooming are only possible if trail users help pay for it.

For the latest trail conditions and information about Maasto Hiihto/Churning Rapids go to the trail systems blog spot

Visit for:

  • buying a season membership or day pass

  • grooming and trail reports

  • viewing or printing a trail map

  • trail and club news

  • event information and to purchase tickets

  • making a donation

  • volunteer opportunities

  • contacting the KNSC board