Midwest cross-country skiing paradise

Forest in snowAs a kid I was raised in Far East Russia, close to Alaska. Snow was plenty during winter as well as spring and fall seasons. It is Chukotka (the name of that region) where my love to cross-country skiing comes from. You don’t need any special equipment or groomed trails like with Alpine (or mountain) skiing hence the sport was very popular in our town.

Lake Forest Resort in Eagle River, WI is the place where I have spent Christmas and New Years over the past several years. A number of other families come with us as well. Each of us rents a townhouse, some share one for two families. We rent the resort club house for the New Years and have fun together.

Feeding BirdsThe resort is perfectly located between a variety of parks with trails for cross country skiing. There is a couple just 5 minutes away in state forest preserves around the area. Anvil Lake is the name of the closest one. There is a shelter in the middle of the park where you can get warm and feed birds right from your hand. My 8 y.o. daughter goes crazy.

Afterglow Resort in Phelps is another place you might want to check. It is about 20 minutes drive from Eagle River. It is a big park with trails going around a beautiful lake. They have rooms for rent as well but I was told you have to reserve a year in advance to get in.

TreeMinocqua is a town about 40 minutes west of Eagle River. They have a terrific Winter Part with a great variety of trails that will satisfy anyone from beginners to pro-skiers. Finally, if you feel like taking a break and have some fun on a slope, Ski Brule is about 1 hour away. It is no match to the great slopes of Colorado but will work fine if all you need is a day of fun.

One of the great things about the area is that they always have snow by New Years. Given where I spent my childhood, snow is a very important part of the holidays for me. Rain for Christmas in Chicago feels very depressing. :-(

BirdWe are staying in the Lake Forest resort right now and I have included a few shots from our recent skiing trips. All pictures are taken today in Anvil Lake forest preserve. There was a lot of snow over the past several days and the forest looks very beautiful.

How do you spend the holidays? Did stay home or did you go somewhere? Please tell me in your comments.

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3 Responses to “Midwest cross-country skiing paradise”

  1. 1 Aleksey (alex) Dec 28th, 2007 at 9:20 am

    ahhh… very nice. See, before I came here I used to live in Ural Mountains area (Chelyabinsk), so the landscape and nature in general is very similar. If you like this kind of environment go to Apostle Islands area another couple hundred miles north-west. ;)

  2. 2 mike g Dec 28th, 2007 at 11:15 pm


    This looks beautiful. Those are some friendly birds to feed right from your hand.

    Spending the holidays at home.


  3. 3 Yan Dec 29th, 2007 at 10:29 am

    Thanks guys, I am having a great time! Skiing during day, hot tub/rolling in the snow in the evening, table tennis and/or Age of Empires for 6 tonight. ;-)

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