Ski tracks in the region
Tartu Maraton course is 63km long and is covered with natural snow. The course is maintained throughout the winter. Both classic skiing and free style are possible. Tartu Maraton course is one of the most popular ski courses in South Estonia for practising and recreational skiing. The course is open for public use throughout the season for free. However, there are two exceptions: the day of Tartu Maraton (26th of February 2017) and Tartu Maraton Relay/Open Track (19th of February 2017) where the whole course is closed for competitions.
There are several points on the course where you can start skiing and it’s possible to ski both ways. Here are some of the most popular starting points:
1) Finish area in Elva, Tartu County Recreational Centre (https://goo.gl/maps/XsD5j3ao4c92)
Finish area of the Tartu Maraton gives you free and easily accessible parking close to the course. The course is rather flat and easy around Elva.
2) Palu TP (https://goo.gl/maps/QZohB92S5DD2)
Palu service point is about 16km away from the finish. It’s possible to choose either to ski right way towards the finish or opposite way towards the start. Towards the finish the course is rather flat and easy. Opposite way is a constant climb for about 7km and further ahead some rolling hills.
3) Kuutse TP (https://goo.gl/maps/PU7c556wEEx)
Kuutse service point situates on one of the highest points of the course and in the middle of classic South-Estonian rolling hills. It’s also in the middle point of the course – 32km away from Otepää and 31km to Elva.
4) Matu TP (https://goo.gl/maps/xa2RAWHsD4J2)
Matu service point is the first service point on the course. It’s best if you would like to test out the highest and toughest climb on the course towards Harimägi hill.
5) Start at Otepää (https://goo.gl/maps/RwdAbinuJdJ2)
Tehvandi ski stadium at Otepää is start place for Tartu Maraton. All the world cup and biathlon courses also start from there. Tartu Maraton course is a lot easier compared to local smaller courses at Tehvandi.
Additionally, if the natural snow conditions are not best around Tartu Maraton course, there are also several places in South-Estonia with artificial snow cover.
1) Tartu Tähtvere Recreational Park (http://arena.ee/en/tahtvere-leisure-park/sports-park/)
Only place to ski in the town of Tartu. Artificial snow is often used. Different courses with different layouts.
2) Lähte ski courses (http://terviserajad.ee/tervisekeskus/lahte-terviserada/)
Located 15km North of Tartu. Has different layouts but the courses are more difficult than in Tähtvere. Artificial snow is often used.