Winter sports day trips
BY KIMBERLY ELSHAM For Sun-Times Media
Snow bunny: At Wilmot Mountain, hit up the Snocross course at that features banked turns, rollers, jumps. | SUPPLIED PHOTO
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Need to get away for a quick trip but can’t spare the time — or money — for a weekend getaway? Here are a few destinations to get your winter sports on that are only a few hours drive away. Double your vacation as a holiday gift, and your companion of the weekend will be extra appreciative.
Petrifying Springs Park
4909-7th St. (Hwy. 31 and Hwy. A), Kenosha, Wis.
Scenic hiking, cross-country skiing, sledding hill. Cross country skiing and snowshoeing on all trails; lighted sledding hill at Area 2; lighted cross country skiing track on golf course. The UW-Parkside Community Cross Country Ski Club grooms part of the cross-country ski trail using Kenosha County’s equipment. The night ski trail length is approximately 3,000 feet (0.57 miles). Free admission. This is the only park of the county parks that has any grooming.
Wilmot Mountain: Ski, Snowboard & Snow Tubing Resort
11931 Fox River Road, Wilmot, Wis., (262) 862-2301
Wisconsin’s premiere skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing resort. The snow tubing hill is for ages 5 and older and has 20 tubing lanes and a covered conveyor lift to take you back up the hill. The snow tubing area is open seven days a week during the winter season. The mountain’s 25 ski runs offer varied terrain for all skiers and snowboarders, from novices stepping onto the snow for the very first time to experts looking to further push themselves and their sport. Enjoy the mogul field and a Snocross course that features banked turns, rollers, jumps and plenty of speed.
9500 126th St. West, Andalusia, Ill., (800) 383-4002
The Mississippi River Valley provides the vertical drop at this winter sports park. Ski Snowstar offers 14 trails that cater to all skiing and snowboarding abilities and eight tubing runs. The park recently added another ski run and increased its snowmaking capacity to make more snow that will last longer in warmer months. Parking is free and adjacent to the park’s lodge for easy unloading. You can bring your meal if you like, or enjoy something from the two hot food and beverage facilities. Ski Snowstar is slated to open on Dec. 7 and is open through mid-March, weather permitting.
Big Foot Beach State Park
1452 S Wells St, Lake Geneva, Wis., (262) 248-2528
Big Foot Beach State Park is a destination for cross-country skiing. It has more than 6.5 miles of trails through forest and open meadow that is used for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. The trails are groomed through the season to make ideal conditions for skiers. A vehicle admission fee applies for Wisconsin residents at $25 for the year or $7 for the day. Non-resident fees are $35 for the year or $10 for the day. Park maps are located at the front of the park to make it easier for visitors to find access points for the trails and the sledding hill. A parking lot is next to the hill that people use for sledding, and many parking lots are throughout the property for cross-country skiers.