The 23rd Annual Book Across the Bay will be Saturday, February 16th, 2019!  Stay tuned for upcoming details. 

Book Across the Bay is the upper Midwest’s most unique winter event, open to skiers and snowshoers of all ages and ability levels. The 10-kilometer course, which is groomed for both classic-style and skate skiing, starts in Ashland and ends in Washburn, and follows a route not on land, but over the frozen surface of Lake Superior, the world’s largest lake. The event is held at night, and the course is lit by the stars above and up to 1,000 candles in ice luminaries that line the entire route.

This is a point-to-point race that starts in Ashland and ends in Washburn. Please plan your transportation accordingly. WE STRONGLY URGE YOU TO PARK YOUR CAR IN WASHBURN, near the finish area at Thompson’s West End Park, and catch a shuttle to Ashland before the race. Buses will run from Washburn to Ashland from 1:00–5:00 pm prior to the race. We also strongly urge you to take an early shuttle, as traffic conditions, weather conditions, and last-minute bottlenecks may delay the later buses, and may result in your missing the starting gun.

Again: There is always a last-minute rush; if at all possible, arrange to register early and get on an early bus. Please note: There will be no shuttle transportation after the race!

Registration and Bib Pickup
Pre-race registration and bib pickup will be held in the finish-area tent at Thompson’s West End Park in Washburn, starting at 11:00 am race day. Shuttles will be running from Washburn to the start area in Ashland starting at 1:00 pm race day. We strongly encourage you to park in Washburn, register and/or pick up your bib, and take a shuttle to the start area. There will be a big heated tent, bonfire, food and drink, and lots of activities going on at and around the Ashland tent all day on race day.

Start and Finish
Once again this year – in order to improve safety and to ease congestion at the start area, the race will start in four waves. During the registration process, we ask that you choose placement in the wave most appropriate to your level. Wave divisions are as follows:

  • Wave #1: competitive skiers and snowshoers
  • Wave #2: recreational skiers and snowshoers
  • Wave #3: recreational skiers and snowshoers
  • Wave #4: all walkers, runners without snowshoes, and skiers and snowshoers who do not wish to be timed.

The start area is at Maslowski Beach, which is located along Highway 2 at the far west end of Ashland. The first wave will leave at 6:00 pm and subsequent waves at five-minute intervals after that. Bring your plastic bag to the start and put anything in it you don’t plan on carrying or wearing during the race. Plastic bags will be transported to the finish line where they will be waiting for you at the end of the race. The finish line is in Washburn, on the bay near Thompson’s West End Park. A heated tent will be set up there for the post-race chili feed, beer and soda, music and awards.

Special Notes

  • The starting area will be closed to everybody but registered Book Across the Bay participants and event volunteers. You must present your bib as proof of your registration to gain access to the race course.
  • Book Across the Bay is a family event, but please note that there are possible dangers involved due to unpredictable weather and other conditions. All children should be closely accompanied by an adult for the duration of the race, and we advise that children under 5 not participate in this event.
  • Book Across the Bay is for skiers and snowshoers only. No dogs or other animals will be allowed on the course during the event. No vehicles with wheels (bicycles, wagons, etc.) will be allowed on the course. We will allow walkers (with no showshoes) to participate if conditions permit. If snow on the course is deep and soft, walking will not be an option.
  • Please DO NOT WEAR HEADLAMPS to ski or snowshoe. The course is well-marked and lit, and in most cases, headlamps are unnecessary and can be bothersome to other participants. If you need additional light, we suggest you strap a small light to your ankle so it lights the ground but doesn’t shine in the eyes of other participants.

Closer to the race date, if there is any question about whether the race will proceed as usual, answers will be provided on the Book Across the Bay web site’s home page, or by contacting the Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce at (800) 284-9484.