I’ve been snowboarding for the better part of a decade, and during my first year, I heard about Trollhaugen. Anyone that snowboards or skis in the Twin Cities has heard about this ski resort, and I’m pretty confident a good chunk of them have attended a late-night session.
Trollhaugen isn’t the largest resort, they only have 3 chairlifts and a couple of tow ropes. The vertical footage isn’t that high, but it’s an extremely popular snowboarding resort in Western Wisconsin & Minnesota.
The reason I love Trollhaugen is the atmosphere. On most Friday nights you can shred until 3 am, and they have live music in the bar. One time they even set up a bar and grill on top of the hill between chairs 1 & 3 (See The Trollhaugen Map). At this spot, you could purchase shots and brats.
It made the night epic.
Table of Contents
Everything You Need To Know About Trollhaugen
Troll is a ski resort located in Dresser Wisconsin, it’s 1 1/2 hours NE of Minneapolis. This depends on where you’re located in the cities. Bear in mind, if you attend the Friday night shred sessions, you’ll be driving home late if you stay until the end. (I’ve gotten home after 5 am before…totally worth it)
Types of Terrain At Trollhaugen:
Speaking strictly about terrain, beginners and intermediate riders will have a great time at this resort. If you’re an advanced mountain who’s been to the mountains, you might experience some boredom if you’re alone. There is always a friend to be made though.
If you come to Trollhaugen, hit up the parks because troll has one of the best parks around. (Read a few paragraphs lower)
Whenever I’m heading to Troll, I always bring some friends with me. It makes the time at the resort so much better. Also, it’s a great place to teach & train rookies. I’ve used the Friday night price reduction to my advantage, and have gotten many friends hooked (I’m a pusher evidently). In addition to that, the resort has an awesome atmosphere, which makes it fun to hang out with.
Troll Beginner Terrain (Green Circles)
After you’ve purchased your lift ticket and walked through the entrance (it’s really easy to navigate around) you’ll see a chairlift in front of you and slightly to the left. While standing there turn 90 degrees to your right, and you’ll see the bunny hill, just sitting there waiting for you.
This resort makes it easy for beginners. The bunny hill is close to the chalet, and that alone is awesome. However, the bunny hill does utilize a tow rope, so you’ll have to master that skill fast. I’ve always wondered why they did that, but part of me assumes they wanted to make a statement about nothing in life coming easy.
Once you’ve mastered the bunny hill, take a look at the trail map. You’ll see another chairlift next to the bunny hill and next to that a small terrain park. Sometimes during the preseason, the park has no features, which essentially makes it a bunny hill. If it’s empty, hit that up next. Otherwise, jump on the chairlift, and ride the green run to the right of it down. You’ll love it, it’s wide and expansive with some great terrain. You’ll get a small amount of speed, and it’s a great way to learn control.
Also, it’s my favorite run to teach beginners.
Troll Intermediate Terrain (Blue Square)
Troll is full of intermediate terrain, almost every run is intermediate. The exception is one or two “Black Diamonds” and the terrain parks. Once you’ve reached the intermediate level of shredding. You can go anywhere on the hill.
Be advised, don’t get comfortable because the resort is smaller. When you let your guard down, injuries can happen. Don’t forget to stay safe and always wear your snowboarding helmet.
Troll Advanced Terrain (Black Diamonds)
The advanced terrain can be summed up pretty easily. If you go up chair 1 (it’s a two-seater) or chair 3. You’ll see a black diamond. It’s pretty fun in deep powder and you’ll get some good speed dropping into it. Be advised the ending is somewhat abrupt and multiple trails come together at the bottom.
It’s a fun ride though.
***(Update, for the 2022-2023 season Troll tore down the 2 seater and they replaced it with a brand new lift)***
Trollhaugen Terrain Parks
I know what a lot of you are thinking, “What about the terrain parks?”
I like to save the best for last, and I alluded to them above. Trollhaugen has some of the best terrain parks in the Twin Cities area (I know it’s in Wisconsin but whatever). They have a large jump park next to some epic rails. If you are a park shredder, you’ll love this place.
Both parks are well maintained, better than most resorts in Minnesota and Western Wisconsin. There’s something about Trollhaugen and how they maintain their snow. They do a great job of it, and I’ve never had a horrible icy day there like I’ve had at other places.
In addition to those, you’ll find a smaller park at the bottom of the ski resort near the bunny hill I described above. Sometimes it could be missing features, but that’s probably when they’re switching things out.
***Warning, on high-volume days, all the kids ride this tow rope…I think it stops more than it runs these days.***
Runs You Should Explore – My Personal Favorites
I’m a mountain rider, it’s what I thrive on, and I dream about it often. Because of this, I’ve had to stop comparing Minnesota to Colorado. In reality, there’s no comparison. So I have my favorite Snowboarding days in Minnesota and My favorite days in Colorado. It keeps things simpler and less depressing. Especially when I’m home in Minneapolis, I’m happy for whatever I can get.
The end of the 2018-2019 season was epic. We were continually getting dumped on, and I thought we were riding powder for days. On one particular Saturday, I was on the hill doing a lesson with my SkiJammers Class.
It consisted mostly of elementary school students, and we were having a great time when I noticed skiers heading into the trees. How have I not seen this yet, I thought. Then I realized we had perfect conditions for some tree riding. The night before we had 4-6″ of snow dumped on us.
I turned back towards my class and decided to do a quick crash course (no pun intended) about riding through the trees. So I explained my rules for tree riding:
Rules For Tree Riding:
Look at the gap between the trees. Never stare at the trees. When you look at the trees you hit them, and that will hurt.
Turning To Stop will get you into problems when riding trees. Turn uphill when you’re going too fast.
Stay In Control At All Times. Go Slower If you Must. Riding through trees Is Dangerous.
There’s always more to add, but these are the basics. So I jumped up and yelled follow me! Then dropped into the trees. I laughed to myself as I heard my class yell back. “Where you going coach?” and “Coach you’re going into the trees!”
They followed me in, and I kept an eye on all of them (it’s a small area). We all fell and had a good time. When we reached the bottom, my class was extremely excited. One of them asked if that was like Colorado. And in the same breath asked to do it again.
We rode that run until the end of the day.
The Chalet and Other Important Buildings
The chalet at Trollhaugen is like any other chalet. they’ve got burgers, hot dogs, and some nachos. It’s chalet food, but it’s warm and they have Hot cocoa. Off to the side, there are a few arcade games, and I remember they used to have “Time Crisis 2” at one time.
Upstairs is where the real action is. At the bar. It’s one of the coolest ski resort bars I’ve ever visited. During the Late Nights on Fridays, they’ll have live music playing, and a lot of local bands come to play. This gives it a small-town feel and that makes the atmosphere epic. The bar is packed, and live music is playing.
Trollhaugen has the best atmosphere.
Trollhaugen Ski & Snowboard School
Since I’ve mostly shredded there on Friday nights I haven’t experienced the Trollhaugen Ski & Snowboard School that much. However it’s an awesome resort to learn at, and I’d highly recommend getting a lesson if you’re in the area.
The Friday night ticket cost is what makes the 1 1/2 hour drive worth it. I haven’t even told you what the price is either. Well, for the 2018-2019 season, it was $20 from 9 pm to 3 am. That’s an epic deal.
I’m unsure what the prices for the upcoming season will be, however, if you click the link here, Trollhaugen Lift Ticket, Season Pass Price. The link will most likely be updated in September or October prior to the season opener.
Usually, Troll will open once in October and then get up and running daily sometime in November. It’s all dependent on the weather and how cold it can get, but they always race Wild Mountain to be the first ski resort to open in the midwest.
Why I Love Trollhaugen
I love Trollhaugen because it’s got a lot of good memories attached to it. I’ve had some epic wipeouts (hitting trees and breaking phones) and I’ve taught some great lessons to some awesome students. Regardless, all of my favorite times always come with time with friends. That’s why I always say if you’re going to Troll, make sure you bring some people with you. it makes it that much better.