The BioSki Cross-Country and Showshoe Club has maintained trails in the Laurentian Lake Conservation Area for classical skiing and snowshoeing since 1974. Access to the club is via South Bay Road off Ramsey Lake Road. A heated Ski Cottage with washrooms is open on weekends from 10 am to 4 pm. Ski memberships, trail passes, snacks, and hot and cold drinks may be purchased here. During the week skiers can place their daily-use fee in the money box at the trailhead.
The Lake Laurentian Conservation Area, through which the ski trails run represents a mosaic of plant communities including: white birch forest, poplar lowlands, stands of red pine and white spruce, alder swamps, marshes and beaver ponds. This habitat diversity provides the opportunity to see tracks of several animals including: snowshoe hare, red fox, red squirrel, porcupine, otter, and mice. Chickadees are constant companions and one frequently may see ruffed grouse and woodpeckers.
The trail system dates back to the early 1970’s at the time when cross-country skiing in Canada was expanding from a racing activity to a recreational one.
The Laurentian Lake Conservation Area ski trails were initiated by the student Biology Society and faculty members with an interest in the outdoors. It is from those beginnings that the club came to be known as “BioSki”.
While the current membership has grown far beyond just the Biology Society the name has been retained, partially in homage to the club's roots, but also because the trails were designed to allow skiers to be part of the natural environment. Trails are narrow and long, straight stretches were kept to a minimum.
The system was developed progressively over the years to fill the demand for longer trails over varied terrain. With an increased interest in snowshoeing, one of the five kilometre ski trails was converted into a dedicated snowshoe trail, the only such trail presently in the Sudbury area. This change has led to the full name of the club now being, the BioSki Cross-Country Ski and Snowshoe Club.
The club is operated on a purely volunteer basis. A small executive assumes the task and the responsibility of the day to day operation of the club. A larger group volunteers its time to the labour-intensive tasks of clearing and smoothing trails, construction and upkeep.
From the point of view of packing, grooming and track-setting of the trails BioSki comes under the umbrella of a larger body, the South Shore Rim trail system and this includes Laurentian University and Laurentian Nordic. The principal aim of the latter is to develop skiers at the competitive level.
Until recently all the grooming equipment has been housed at the University. Each time that the BioSki trails had to be track-set all necessary equipment would have to either driven over via a link or trucked by road.
Funds were raised in 2009 to enable BioSki to purchase a 60” YTS Ginzugroomer track setter from Yellowstone Track Systems. In the autumn of 2010 BioSki purchased and erected a 12 x 16 ft. steel shed to house the groomer. In the near future a snowmachine to pull the groomer will also be put at the same location.