6 Slick Spots to Cross-Country Ski
1. Carson Park 101 Carson Park Drive, Eau Claire • Offers several shorter, groomed trails perfect for beginners looking to stay away from steep grades.
2. Lowes Creek County Park Lowes Creek Road, Eau Claire • 839-4738 • Just minutes south of Eau Claire, experience 250 acres of cross-country ski bliss. The two-way trail system has many loops and shortcuts giving you a wide selection of route variety. Trails twist up and down hills through creek bottoms and white pine forests, ranging from easy to difficult, so a trail map is a good idea for those new to the park.
3. Tower Ridge 955 S82 Ave., Eau Claire • 839-4738 • This popular cross-country ski site is the largest 15 miles of groomed trails, both hilly and flat, in west central Wisconsin. Trails snake through wooded, rolling terrain and offer fun to all skill levels.
4. Hickory Ridge off Bob Lake Road/225th Ave., northern Chippewa County • 726-7880 • This cross-country ski trail winds 14.2 kilometers through the quiet and scenic northern hardwood forest. There are three challenging loops with lots of hills and steep grades. Entire trail is groomed from both classical and skating style skiers.
5. Hoffman Hills State Recreation Area 730th Ave., Colfax • 232-1242 • Don’t overlook the 707 acres of preserved and restored wooded hills, wetlands, and prairie, scribbled with cross-country ski trails for all levels. Glide through the snow while feasting your eyes on spectacular views of the surrounding countryside. Vehicle admission stickers aren’t required, but all skiers over 16 years of age must have a state trail pass.
6. Blue Hills between Rusk County and Rice Lake • www.bluehillswisconsin.com • If you don’t mind a short drive (about an hour and a half from Eau Claire), check out the Blue Hills quiet winter sports area, named for the blue-tinted forested hillsides when seen through the mist. There are tons of super sweet trails to choose from. Make it into a day trip or spend an entire weekend there.