My Kind of Town

Cross-country Skiing
By Christopher Collier

Flat prairie doesn't stop Chicagoans from skiing. As perhaps the most popular outdoor sport during the winter (aside from freezing your butt off at a Bears game), cross-country skiers in Chicagoland take to the snow in search of winter wonderland. These are some of the best places to find groomed trails and a few hills.

Scuppernong Ski & Hiking Trail

Cross-country skiing down hills doesn't always mean you stay on your feet, but what the heck. For those past the beginning stages of cross-country skiing, theScuppernong is out of sight. As part of Kettle Moraine State Forest in Wisco, it's about an hour and a half drive to hills galore. Marked, one-way single-track trail is what you'll find. The red loop has an observation deck that overlooks a glacial sand plain. The orange loop takes you into hardwood forest. The green loop, for advanced skiers only, is a veritable rollercoaster towards the end.

Rock Cut State Park

For cross-country skiing, Rock Cut State Park is also among the best. Chiseled out if the state's far northern region, Rock Cut got its name fromrailroad rock blasters creating suitable road bed. It now boasts 10 miles of groomed trails to explore. For level trails, ski through native prairie in the northeast portion of the park. For hills, head over to the West Lake Picnic Area.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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