You're Invited to Learn How it all Began!

The Legacy of the American Birkebeiner


In 1973, a determined group of 35 skiers assembled at the start line of the first American Birkebeiner Ski Marathon.  

2016 marks the 43rd racing of the Slumberland American Birkebeiner where over 10,000 skiers will participate in the Birkie – the largest cross-country ski marathon in North America. 

The American Birkebeiner ski race was the vision of Hayward native Tony Wise, who discovered skiing as a soldier serving in Germany in World War II.  After the war, he brought his concept of a cross-country ski race home to Wisconsin.   

Recently, longtime Birkie friend and skiing historian, Tom Kelly, presented
The Legacy of the American Birkebeiner, an inside look at the origins of the Birkie.  The presentation is chock full of legendary stories of the race’s roots, and of Tony Wise, whose ingenuity and vision created a ski race that has become an iconic festival of cross-country skiing.  You'll also learn more about the newly named Tony Wise Museum of the American Birkebeiner, slated to open in 2016.

You won't want to miss it!




American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation
The Birkie is a year-round lifestyle choice for thousands of outdoor fitness enthusiasts of all levels. From its signature ski race, the legendary American Birkebeiner--Title Sponsor, Slumberland Furniture--the Birkie has grown into an exciting array of fitness and recreational opportunities. The 107-kilometer Birkie Trail system attracts skiers, runners, bikers, trekkers, and hikers, from casual day-trippers to elite superstars. Located near Hayward and Cable, Wisconsin, the Birkie is now an outdoor sports mecca, a series of great races, a fitness destination, and a Lifestyle.      

Copyright © 2015 American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation, All rights reserved.

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