West of Brainerd, the Pillsbury State Forest has 25+ miles of trails shared by cross-country skiers and snowmobilers. The trails are rolling past ponds and lakes through stands of maple, oak and ash.
To reach the trailhead from Brainerd, head northwest on CR77 for 10 miles. Turn southwest on Pillager Forest Road for 2 miles. The trailhead is on the west side of the road.
Overall, Pillsbury State Forest is the 33rd most popular cross country ski area of all 39 Nordic ski destinations in Minnesota.