Thanks to glacial topography, southern Wisconsin has great cross-country skiing
Southern Wisconsin would not seem like a mecca for cross-country skiing, but due to the glacial topography, the terrain is actually ideal. Over 10,000 years ago, the receding Wisconsin Glacier created hills and depressions called kettles and moraines which are perfect for Nordic skiing.
Five cross-country ski destinations in southern Wisconsin
South Kettle Moraine –Whitewater,Wisconsin
South Kettle Moraine has three trail systems and they all are top notch. There is the Nordic, the McMiller, and the Scuppernong. The Scuppernong is classic cross-country ski only, but McMiller and Nordic are groomed for both classic and skate.
The Nordic is the best ski trail system, and possibly one of the best in the state. It is the perfect training ground for the February Birkebeiner Marathon as the rough terrain is similar to the 54km trail from Hayward to Cable. The Blue Trail is 9.2 miles. Do this three or four times in a day and you are prepared for anything the Birkebeiner throws your way.
There are two rental areas in the vicinity. Backyard bikes just south of the Nordic Trail system and Quiet Hut Sports in Whitewater both rent skis and snowshoes.
Lapham Peak Kettle Moraine Unit –Delafield,Wisconsin
LaphamPeak has some choice hills on the Moraine Ridge Trail, and many of them have interesting names. The most difficult trail is like a rollercoaster as some points and does not lack thrills.
LamphamPeak also makes its own snow. If the weather is cold, but there is a paucity of snow then come to this park and ski the 1.3 mile White Trail. Most of the trail is flat; however, there are a couple of hills when the trail veers from the lake into the woods.Lapham Peak also has a lighted trail.
North Kettle Moraine –Kewaskum,Wisconsin
Just like South Kettle Moraine, the northern unit has three trail systems. New Fane, the Zillmer, and Greenbush give skiers plenty of options in this beautiful state park north of Milwaukee.
The Zillmer Trails are my favorite of the three. The five mile Yellow Trail at Zillmer is as good as it gets. The Greenbush trails are nice too. One of the trails at Greenbush is lighted, so skiers can stay out past sunset to get some more miles in.
Richard Bong Recreation Area – Burlington,Wisconsin
The trails at Bong are nice, but the quality and more importantly the upkeep falls far below the first three parks. They do not groom the trails here, hikers are allowed on the trails, and the terrain is not as interesting. However, the park is beautiful and you will most likely have the park pretty much to yourself.
Bigfoot Beach State Park –Lake Geneva,Wisconsin
This is a park I have never skied, but I walked some of the trails this summer. There are some decent hills, so it is a place I want to check out this winter. Perhaps readers who have skied this locale can chime in in the comment section to give me some information or thoughts on skiing Bigfoot.
All of these parks are part of the wonderful Wisconsin State Park system. There is a fee system to enjoy all of these parks. For more information on the fees click here.
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