American Birkebeiner

Race information

American Birkebeiner
Address:P.O. Box 911, Hayward, 54843 Wisconsin USA
Tel: +1 715 634 5025
Fax: +1 715 634 5663


First race: 24th February 1973, 48 km (34 participants), 22 km (19 participants)

Highest number of participants in main race: 9183 (5851 skate skiers and 3332 classic skiers) in 2011

Worldloppet membership: founding member

American Birkebeiner was founded in 1973 by Tony Wise, alpine ski resort owner of village Cable. In the beginning of the 1970s he understood that surrounding rolling hills and wooden trails were ideal for cross-country skiing, which was not yet popular in America. Wise, who had roots from Norway, brought to life the American version of the Birkebeinerrennet to attract more customers to his resort. Within a few years thousands of skiers were participating and his dream of becoming an international race came true. With the American Birkebeiner well on its way, Wise started to work on his dream of an international cross country ski series, which finalized in the founding of the Worldloppet. Today the American Birkebeiner ski event hosts over 10000 participants.



The American Birkebeiner ski race is held in the beautiful north woods of Wisconsin. A new classic trail was added in 2007. Beginning at the start line, the 20-foot wide classic trail weaves through forested terrain, merges back into the Birkie Trail at Food Station locations and then merges completely at 23 kilometers. The new trail is groomed with three sets of tracks giving classic skiers better tracks and skate skiers more room over the most congested section of the race. The undulating Birkie trail traverses 32 miles of some of the most beautiful and challenging terrain of any trail system in the world.



By plane: Hayward and Cable are located in Northwestern Wisconsin, approximately three hours from the Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota airport. International and national flights service both Minneapolis/St. Paul and Duluth, Minnesota.

By car: Hayward is situated within driving distance of Chicago, Illinois, the Twin Cities (Minneapolis - St. Paul), Duluth, Minnesota as well as many other outlying areas. 

Distances: Chicago to Hayward, 425 Miles (683 Kilometers); Minneapolis to Hayward, 150 Miles (240 Kilometers); Duluth to Hayward, 80 Miles (130 Kilometers)



All of the previous winners of the Birkebeiner are invited to attend the 40th anniversary in 2013. The first winner, Eric (Sam Ersson), from Sweden, will be attending and will participate in many of the events. Elite skiers who are participating in the FIS Marathon Cup will also be skiing!

  • Registration form »
  • Previous results »
  • Tips for travelling » (if you don't want to travel alone... have look at the IAWLS page)

  • DATES IN 2016/2017:
    15.01.2017Open Track50 KmCT
    24.02.2017Korte F24 KmFT
    24.02.2017Korte C24 KmCT
    25.02.2017Main51 KmFT
    25.02.2017Main C55 KmCT

    20.02.2016US-Victories at American Birkebeiner and FIS Worldloppet Cup
    19.02.2016Hayward is Ready for American Birkebeiner and the World Elite
    10.02.2016Great Cinema at Birkie: North American Premiere of 'Birkebeinerne'

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    I-38037 Predazzo (Tn), Italy
    Phone: +39.0462.501110
    Fax: +39.0462.501120

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