About Brule Valley Ski Club

The After Hours Ski trails are owned and groomed by the Wisconsin DNR, in cooperation with the Brule Valley XC Ski club and countless, dedicated volunteers.

Club goals:

To provide the Brule River State Forest with volunteer and funding support to help build, maintain and improve facilities at the After Hours Ski Trail in Brule, Wisconsin.
* To provide area youngsters and the general public with a place, facilities and educational programs for positive outdoor recreation.
* To assure that the After Hours Ski Trail remains an asset that generates community pride and enhances the quality of life.
* To carry out these objectives in cooperation with the Brule River State Forest, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

A Full copy of the “Articles of Incorporation & Bylaws” are available.

History:

Brule Valley Ski Club Inc.-The story

In 1991, following the Halloween snow storm, volunteers Chuck Olson and James Rau began using an available Brule River State Forest snowmobile and homemade equipment to groom existing trails at the After Hours Ski area. The equipment and trails were poor but volunteers including Sally Runge, Chris Beaudin, Greg St. Onge, Darrell Thompson, Bea Laakonen, Patty St. Onge, Susie Isaksen, Ron and Chloe Manz worked together to build a skier friendly organization that gradually proved successful.

Chuck Olson found an old Alpine snowmobile and a new Tidd-Tech groomer were purchased with donated dollars. This equipment greatly improved our ability to consistently groom the trails. Cooperation between Brule River State Forest staff and club volunteers made consistent grooming possible.

Skiers from around the area responded to excellent trail conditions and came to ski. So on March 13, 1994, we held our first River View Loppet fundraiser and ski race. The races have been successful community events with monies helping both the Brule Lions Club and the Ski club to reach their goals. Continued work by volunteers led to club incorporation in January of 1997and that event was followed in May of 1998 with classification as a charitable 501 C (3) organization.

In 1997, an old garage slated for demolition was moved from near highway FF and the Brule River to the After Hours trail site. Once the building was modified we had an equipment storage space and a warming hut for the first time. Prior to that time, equipment had to be trailered to the trail head each time we groomed. Then in 2001, a new machine storage building was completed. That improvement allowed us to then double the size of our ski hut warming area utilizing the old equipment storage space. Ski club volunteers and BRSF staff joined together to complete both of these projects. Ski club fund raisers have been an integral part of these improvements to facilities.

In the meantime, increased use of the trail by the public has helped the state forest staff justify important purchases of equipment. Snowmobiles and grooming devices have been added as well as a Tucker Snow Cat that has the capability to cut through ice or heavy snow to keep the trails in top condition.

Improvements to the trail have been ongoing since the beginning in both small and important ways. Both classic and skate trails have been added. Major additions to the trail increased the trail length from about 8K to about 16K particularly in 2000 through 2002. Much of the trail improvement was financed through the combination of State Forest timber sale work planned and implemented to open up the ski trails. An additional 2 K of Classic trail has been completed in 2012 bringing the trail system closer to completion.

Community events in addition to the ski race are held each winter. Free lessons are offered for adults as well as children twice a season. An annual candlelight ski that attracts many families for a night of skiing has proved to be very popular. Two seasons ago, snow shoe trails were added and this too has increased the popularity of the Afterhours trail area. Other positive benefits of the trail include the use of parts of the trail for a summer running event, an archery range and frequent use by hunters and hikers who enjoy the scenery of the State Forest.

Future planned improvements include work on the trail system and a new and improved ski trail warming hut to replace the current warming hut.