August 2021 Blackhawk Newsletter

fairy house at Blackhawk

Hello, everyone! We hope you’re savoring all the wonderful moments to be had at Blackhawk in August—cool mornings riding trails in the woods; sunny afternoons by the spring; the sight of hawks flying overhead and members of all ages biking, hiking, picnicking, and chatting on our beautiful property. As we enjoy the golden light of late summer, here’s the latest news from Blackhawk.  


Riding bikes in the woods 


Important Dates at a Glance  

Read on for more details and exciting club news! 

Mondays at 10am, Member Mountain Bike Ride 

August 27-28, Composite Team Relay Race 

September 12, Otter’s Den Grand Opening  

September 19, Fall Open House 

September 20, Returning Member Registration Begins 

September 26, Otter’s Den Nature Exploration Event 

October 3, MTB Dirt Day 

October 4, New Member Registration Begins 


Leonard’s Way Safety Enhancements 

We are happy to announce that the Grants Committee of the Kelly Brush Foundation has awarded Blackhawk Ski Club a Ski Racing Safety Grant that will augment funding we had set aside to purchase new safety equipment. Thanks to the grant, we were able to purchase 11 rolls of B netting and poles to improve safety on Leonard’s Way for our ski racers who train there; our ski lesson groups and individuals who use Leonard’s Way; and for Blackhawk members who ski Leonard’s Way during open ski times. The Kelly Brush Foundation is committed to safety and supports the efforts of organizations like Blackhawk that implement additional safety measures. Learn more at  


Rope Tow Improvements 

Blackhawk has also received a grant from the Chapman Foundation to rebuild the tow rope bases and towers on all runs, beginning with Hills 0 and Leonard’s Way this year and Hills 1 and 2 next year. The extensive—and expensive—process involves volunteers drying and digging out the two bases, and then hiring a team to pour concrete and install new steel towers. Many thanks to the Chapman Foundation for its support of Blackhawk and to Blackhawk member David Hilton, who is a family member of the foundation. 


Blackhawk Fall Open House September 19, 1-3 pm  

Have friends interested in becoming Blackhawk members? Interested in checking out our winter programs?  Our fall open house will be Sept. 19 from 1-3 pm, outdoors at the West Chalet. Join us! 


Fall Volunteers Needed 

Fall Volunteers Needed! Open House set up, Fall Tour guides, fall clean up, membership tag hand-out and more! Contact to learn how to get connected. 


Registration Begins September 20 

Registration Begins September 20, 7pm for returning members and October 4, 7pm for new members. Members who opted out of the 2020-2021 season due to COVID concerns may contact the Board to return to priority status: Email 


Blackhawk is Hiring 

We are hiring a lead snowmaker and assistants this winter to make snow at the club. The application deadline is September 1, 2021. If you or someone you know is interested, we encourage you to apply or share the job description.


Winter Ambassadors: Coming Soon!   

You've seen them on bikes; now they will be on skis! Interested in becoming a volunteer Alpine or Nordic winter ambassador? Contact us at


Ski jumpers practice in the summer! 


News from the Otter’s Den 

Join us for the grand opening of the Otter’s Den, our new nature observation center, on Sunday, September 12, from 2-3:30pm (Bottom of Hill 6, by the big pond). Walk our new story trail, try out letterboxing, enjoy a nature craft, and use our new selfie stand! To volunteer to help with this “grand” event, contact Jill Stevenson at

Join us again on September 26 for stream/pond exploration and fairy house building. All ages welcome.  

Use this signup genius link to secure your family’s space at Nature Exploration events in September: 

Below is a view of the Blackhawk pond through the Otter’s Den mid-restoration. Thanks to Bob Hubanks for donating reclaimed lumber for the table and benches and to Drew Ross for help with bench design and construction. A green heron is a regular on the partially-submerged log in front. 


 A view from the Otter’s Den 


Save the Date:  MTB Dirt Day October 3  

Blackhawk is teaming up with our friends from Trek Madison West to bring you a member-only event on October 3. Fun for all ages! More details soon. 


Blackhawk’s Anna Hoffman and Estella Hassrick Soar at Ski Jumping Nationals 

Blackhawk members Anna Hoffman and Estella Hassrick placed at the 2022 Ski Jumping National Championships in Park City, Utah, July 30-31. On the 90m hill, Hoffman placed 3rd and Hassrick 13th, and on the 120m hill, Hoffman placed 2nd and Hassrick 12th. Hassrick placed 2nd  in the U14 Age-group (67m). Both are headed to Europe for FIS competitions. Congratulations to these impressive young athletes! 


Anna Hoffman with two young Blackhawk fans 


Estella Hassrick on the podium 


Ongoing Activities Around the Club 


Monday Group Mountain Bike Ride 

Interested in meeting other mountain bikers? Join us for a weekly members’ group ride Mondays at 10am. Ride time: 1.5-2 hours. We will plan to ride to Pleasant View and on the Blackhawk trails. If enough people show up, we can split into groups, per rider interest/pace. Meet at the East Chalet ready to ride at 10am. Rides will not take place if trails are closed, or if thunder/lightning /heavy rain are imminent during ride time. Skill level should be at minimum comfortable going down Howling Wolf. Questions? Contact Nancy at 


Get Your Vehicle Tag!  

Mountain Bike Ambassadors are available to hand out vehicle tags to you at Blackhawk, or mail us a self-addressed stamped envelope to P.O. Box P.O. Box 628094, Middleton WI 53562-8094, and we will send it to you.   


Avoid Wild Parsnip 

Do not touch this plant! Although this striking plant is quite beautiful this time of year at Blackhawk, the wild parsnip contains sap that makes our skin more sensitive to UV radiation. Brushing up against or breaking the plant releases sap that can cause a severe burn within 24-48 hours. It is found in several places at Blackhawk, and we intend to begin eradication efforts in the spring. 



Please Join Us as a Volunteer  

We encourage every family to volunteer at Blackhawk. Please contact if you are interested. 


Help Us Make Great Snow Capital Campaign 

Help us take our snowmaking process to the next level with a donation to our snowmaking capital campaign! Donate here. 


Lost and Found 

Check out the East Chalet Lost and Found if you’ve misplaced something on the mountain bike trails or elsewhere. 


COVID-19 Guidelines 

Our current COVID-19 guidelines can be found here: 


Have an Item for the Newsletter? 

To share Blackhawk-related news with our membership, email Katie Ginder-Vogel (! 


Wishing you plenty of memorable outdoor moments in August! 



The Blackhawk Board of Directors 


Join us for fairy house building in September