February 4, 2017

Get outside and enjoy the winter at Barneløpet, a non-competitive ski or walk event for children ages 3-13. The event is free and is held the first Saturday of February at 10:00 a.m., with registration from 9:40 to 10:00 a.m. at the Decorah Community Prairie.

Barneløpet is open to children of all skill levels and is a great event for the entire family. Everyone’s a winner! Each registered participant will receive a printed bib for the event and a medal. Sons of Norway lodges all over the country sponsor Barneløpet events, modeled after the American Birkebeiner cross-country ski race held in Hayward, Wisconsin.

The Decorah Community Prairie is accessed by car at the south end of Ohio Street, near Aase Haugen Homes. The trail will be in a loop, with the start and finish at the site of the butterfly garden. After completing the course, participants are welcome to hot chocolate and cookies. Special thanks to Sons of Norway members for providing the cookies.

Along with the main loop for skiing and walking, there will be a shorter loop for younger skiers. Caregivers can walk or ski the course with the children, or may choose to stand along the course and cheer. Sleds are welcome for younger siblings.

Participants must provide their own skis. There are a limited number of children’s skis for rent at Decorah Bicycles.

In the absence of snow, children will walk the course. If in doubt about weather conditions, listen to local radio stations for cancellations or check this website.

For more information about Barneløpet contact Darlene Fossum-Martin at, or (563) 382-9681, ext. 215. Barneløpet is sponsored by Jon and Mary Hart and Sons of Norway Lodges—Valdres #503 in Decorah, Iowa, Heimbygda #376 in Lanesboro, Minnesota, and Valheim #364 in Spring Grove, Minnesota.

Find an album of pictures from the 2016 event here.

Check out these fun Sons of Norway videos of previous Barneløpet events from 2012 and 2014.