The official start to winter is still a couple of weeks away, but the cold, snowy winter weather is already here, meaning it's time to get out and enjoy all the top things to do in Wisconsin in the winter. Of these winter activities, cross-country skiing in Wisconsin is one of the most popular. In part, that's because cross-country skiing in Wisconsin is accessible and can be enjoyed wherever you are. But it's also tons of fun and a great way to get out and enjoy Wisconsin's winter wonderland.
There are few things more beautiful than spending a sunny winter afternoon cross-country skiing in Wisconsin - an activity perhaps only bested by snowshoeing. You can enjoy cross-country skiing (and snowshoeing, for that matter) in many of the top Wisconsin State Parks, local bike trails, popular hiking trails, and many other spots around the state.
It's truly remarkable how many of our public lands are not just open but accessible and outfitted for winter sports like these year-round. There are many great things about living in Wisconsin, and this is definitely one of them! Wherever you end up cross-country skiing in Wisconsin, you'll find a range of trails from single-track for more traditional Nordic skiing to tracks built for skate skiers and even some for both. There's even a fair amount of lighted tracks for night skiing - a truly magical experience.
Wherever your cross-country adventure takes you in Wisconsin, know that you'll have the opportunity to relax, unwind, and warm up in some of the best lodgings in the state. Our group of Wisconsin Bed and Breakfasts offer some of the most unique accommodations in the state. From urban guest rooms to rural retreats and log cabins to historic estates and everything in between, you'll surely find something that speaks to you from our collection of properties. Find your special place this winter, and book a room at a Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast today!
10 Places for Cross-Country Skiing in Wisconsin
As we've already mentioned, there's no shortage of fantastic destinations for cross-country skiing in Wisconsin. Currently, there are more than 700 known cross-country skiing trails in the state - and that's not counting any ungroomed or private trails that may be out there, too. That's welcome news for avid fans of cross-country skiing in Wisconsin, as you can spend an entire year trying one new trail after the next and still not try them all!
Though we can't do justice to the 700+ trails designated for cross-country skiing in Wisconsin, we can highlight some of the most popular - and even list a few of those hidden gems near our properties that we simply love. We even have a few Bed and Breakfasts that off cross-country skiing on their own property!
As you get ready to plan your trips for cross-country skiing in Wisconsin, be sure to keep an eye on the Travel Wisconsin snow report tool, so you know what to expect and can plan accordingly. Below, enjoy reading about 15 incredible spots for cross-country skiing in Wisconsin.
- If you're up north in Door County near Sturgeon Bay, enjoy some of the best cross-country skiing in Wisconsin on the Ahnapee State Trail and the trails at Whitefish Dunes State Park. It's undeniably beautiful, as you'll be skiing along the bluffs of Lake Michigan.
- A bit further south in Green Bay, you'll find great trails at Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary.
- On the other side of the state near Bayfield, you'll find Mt. Ashwabay, which offers more than 40 km of cross-country skiing in Wisconsin, along with exceptional views of the area - including views of the Apostle Islands.
- Copper Falls State Park near Ashland offers multiple loops of classic and skate-groomed trails suitable for various ability levels. Skiers will enjoy winding through mature hardwood forests and enjoying the scenic views of the Bad River.
- Near Chippewa Falls, you'll find plenty of excellent cross-country skiing trails on the Chippewa County Cross Country Ski Trails.
- In nearby Hayward, you'll find another great place for cross-country skiing in Wisconsin, which offers a range of lighted trails for night skiing. It's the Birkie Trail, considered the granddaddy of ski trails in Wisconsin, and also home to the American Birkebeiner Cross Country Ski event every February, which is North America's largest and most prestigious X-C ski marathon.
- If you plan to be up near the Wausau area of central Wisconsin, you'll encounter not only excellent downhill skiing at Granite Peak Ski Resort but some of the best cross-country skiing in Wisconsin at places like Nine Mile Forest and Sylvan Hill Park.
- Hartman Creek State Park in Waupaca is a beautiful place to spend a snowy afternoon on the trails, as is the nearby Iola Winter Sports Club, which also offers night skiing.
- In Two Rivers, we recommend heading to Point Beach State Forest, a gorgeous place to go cross-country skiing right on the banks of Lake Michigan. This spot offers both groomed and ungroomed trails to enjoy.
- We mentioned that Wisconsin State Parks could be excellent places to enjoy some of the best cross-country skiing in Wisconsin, so why not visit one of the most popular state parks, Devils Lake State Park? For even more snowy adventures in the area, head to nearby Mirror Lake State Park. Both parks are located near Baraboo.
- Head to the gorgeous and hilly Driftless Region for some of the best cross-country skiing in Wisconsin. Popular places include Wildcat Mountain State Park, the Kickapoo Valley Reserve, and the Black River State Forest. There's even a nearby property, Justin Trails Resort in Sparta, that offers excellent cross-country skiing trails on their property.
- The Lapham Peak portion of the Kettle Moraine State Forest is located near Waukesha and is another great place for cross-country skiing in Wisconsin. It offers one of the longest downhill portions of ski trails in the state, and there's excellent night skiing here.
- If you're in the Madison area, head to Elver Park on the southwest side of the state capital and enjoy excellent cross-country skiing in Wisconsin's capital. They offer just under 4 miles of trails to enjoy, which are lighted at night.
- Another popular Wisconsin State Park for winter sports is Governor Dodge State Park near Spring Green.
- Blue Mound State Park near Mount Horeb, home to the highest point in southern Wisconsin, features excellent cross-country skiing in Wisconsin and is a great place for skiers of all abilities.
The Best Places to Stay in Wisconsin This Winter
At the end of a long day out in the cold cross-country skiing in Wisconsin, there's nothing better than returning to the warm, welcoming, and cozy accommodations found at our member Wisconsin Bed and Breakfasts. Our collection of Inns represents some of the best places to stay in Wisconsin, particularly as you enjoy the best of this beautiful state.
At the heart of every guest experience at our Wisconsin Bed and Breakfasts are our incredibly dedicated Innkeepers, who tend to every detail of your stay to ensure it matches and even exceeds your expectations. Your stay at our Wisconsin Bed and Breakfasts starts with accommodations that feel as close to home as possible.
Next, they'll kick start your day with a delicious and filling breakfast, impeccably prepared for you each morning of your stay. It's the perfect fuel for even more cross-country skiing in Wisconsin! It doesn't get much better than a stay at one of our unique Wisconsin Bed and Breakfasts. Experience the difference this winter, and find the perfect Inn for you.