Equipment Rental

To pre-register for ski’s or snowshoes, go to our registration site

Covid-19 has significantly impacted programming (including our rental program) at Hartley Nature Center, but we believe it is more important than ever to spend time outside connecting with nature. It is because of this we plan to offer winter equipment rental for the 2020-2021 winter season, beginning on January 9th, 2021. Please read below to see what changes have been made to the program for this season. We will continue to update this plan as the Covid-19 pandemic changes.

NEW COVID PROCEDURES (Click here for the full Rental Pandemic Plan)

Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, the winter equipment rental program at Hartley Nature Center will look a bit different this season. Please see below for some of the most notable changes…

  • Due to limited staff availability, HNC will only be providing rentals on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00am-3:30pm. Additional hours may be available during holidays. Any additional days will be advertised on our website and social media. Need gear during the week? Check with the UMD Recreational Sports Outdoor Program or the CSS Outdoor Pursuits Program.
  • Reservations must be made in advance for all rentals at our registration site here: https://www.cogran.io/index.html?hartleynature We will not be providing any walk-in rentals this year. Reservations for skis and snowshoes can be made  up to one week in advance. Due to very limited inventory, reservations for kicksleds and  studded boots must be made via phone at 218-724-6735. All payment is due at the time of reservation.
  • Reservations must be picked up in person at Hartley Nature Center during the time you indicate on your rental reservation.
  • The Hartley Nature Center building will remain locked, even during the rental period. Those picking up a reservation will be required to call the nature center (218-724-6735) when they arrive and will be escorted into the building by staff to complete the pick-up process.
  • Up to 5 people from one household will be allowed to enter the building at a time. If you arrive during a busy pick-up window, you may have to wait outside until the group in front of you is finished with their pick-up.
  • All guests 5 years of age or older will be required to wear a mask, when inside the building. All guests should keep a distance of 6ft or more from staff at all times. Anyone who has any signs or symptoms of Covid-19, or have been in contact with a positive case in the last 14 days, will be denied entry.
  • Bathrooms will be available to those picking up a rental, but use should be limited as much as possible.
  • Personal items cannot be left in the building at any time.

Please Note: Our reservation system does not allow us to manage inventory. While we will make every effort possible to ensure that your rental is available at the time you indicate in your reservation, we cannot guarantee specific gear will be ready for pick up at your desired time. We will make every reasonable effort to accommodate your rental request, but if for any reason we cannot accommodate that request, we will refund your rental in full. (see our cancelation policy for more details)

All Rentals

  • Must be reserved ahead of time
  • Must be used Hartley Park
  • Must be returned by 3:30 pm on day of rental
  • Are subject to gear availability, snow conditions, and staff availability. While we will make every effort possible to ensure that your rental is available at the time you indicate in your reservation, we cannot guarantee specific gear will be ready for pick up at your desired time. We will make every reasonable effort to accommodate your rental request, but if for any reason we cannot accommodate that request, we will contact you as soon as possible, and refund your rental in full. Additionally, if we need to close for lack of snow, or if we do not have enough staff due to illness, we will post it on Facebook and email customers as soon as we are able to. You will be issued a full refund if we close for any reason (see our cancelation policy for full details).

Cross country skis

 $10 per day

  •  During the winter, we have full packages of beginner friendly cross-country skis, boots, and poles that should fit almost anyone ages 4 and up.
  • We also have plastic skis that strap to the boots of our youngest participants (under 4). These can be “rented” for free on a first come first served basis.
  • All gear is for use in Hartley park only and must be returned by 3:30 pm on the day of rental.
  • Hartley Park has 5 km of groomed classic cross country ski trails for your enjoyment. Hartley Park is not groomed for skate skiing.
  • For current trail status and grooming updates please visit Duluth XC  or  Duluth Parks and Rec.
  • Great MN Ski Pass ($25 annual pass/$10 day pass) is needed for anyone 16 years old and older on the groomed ski trails and can only be purchased at a DNR license distributor (i.e. Holiday gas stations, bait shops). It is not available at Hartley Nature Center.
  • Advanced reservations required.
    • See above for cancelation policy

Snowshoes

 $10 per day

  • We have aluminum adult and youth snowshoes for rent in a variety of sizes and styles.
  • Snowshoes are for use in Hartley park only and must be returned by 3:30 pm on the day of rental.
  • Snowshoes can be used on nearly 10 miles of multi-use and hiker-only trails, including the Duluth Traverse and Superior Hiking Trail. Snowshoes are not allowed on the cross-country ski trails.
  • Advanced reservations required
    • See above for cancelation policy

Kicksleds

Wait. What is a kicksled?

Imagine a dog sled with long steel runners underneath the user. It’s pushed along (or kicked like a scooter) and glides over snow or ice. The seat can be used to push a friend along. They work best on long straight open trails (like Old Hartley Road) that are well packed or on Hartley Pond when there is enough ice (5+”).

 $10 per half day

  • Kicksleds can be rented for half day rentals (11am-1pm or 1:30pm-3:30pm).
  • We have two sleds for adults and two sleds for youth.
  • Must be used in Hartley Park.
  • Anyone renting kicksleds will be given a free studded boot rental (must be used on the same day).
  • Advanced reservations required by calling 218-724-6735 (No online reservations for kickselds).
    • See above for cancelation policy

Studded (Icebug) Boots

 $5 per day

  • Icebug boots have studs built into the sole of the shoe for added traction on icy trails. They are great for hiking in the shoulder (icy) season, or for use with kicksleds when traction isn’t great and you can’t get that “kick”.
  • Can be added to any kicksled rental for free.
  • Must be used in Hartley Park.
  • Currently, we only have a limited number of sizes (W 6.5 – 10.5, M 9 – 12).
  • Advanced reservations required by calling 218-724-6735.
    • See above for cancelation policy