American Birkebeiner

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

What's next
30 Jan
American Birkebeiner: Birkie Tour
26 Feb
American Birkebeiner: Kortelopet
26 Feb
American Birkebeiner: Kortelopet
Full Calendar


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.


Start area of American Birkebeiner in Cable, next to Cable Union Airport, coordinates 46°11’43.5″N 91°15’05.5″W

Finish area in Hayward on Main Street, coordinates: 46°00’55.1″N 91°29’08.2″W

Race centre in Hayward Middle School, coordinates: 46°00’42.9″N 91°30’13.2″W


The American Birkebeiner ski race is held in the beautiful north woods of Wisconsin. A 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.

50,25 km FT – total elevation gain 1398 m, 54 km CL – total elevation gain 1379 m


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)



  • The ice caves of Apostel Islands and Lake Superior, more info HERE
  • Mall of America, next to Minneapolis Airport

Tips for travelling » (if you don’t want to travel alone… have look at the IAWLS page)