Cross-Country Skiing

With glorious winter landscapes and miles of passable trails, Wisconsin is a cross-country skier’s paradise. Whether you’re a seasoned skier or a beginner, you’ll find ski trails to accommodate your family and friends. New to the sport? There are plenty of schools ready to  show you the ropes. And, if you come in February, there’s an annual ski event, which will inspire you to take up the sport if you haven’t yet.

After a ski trip here, you’ll want to keep coming back every winter to make more memories with the people who matter most. Here’s everything you need to know for an unforgettable cross-country skiing trip.

Journey Through a Winter Wonderland 

Cross-country skiing is your ticket to embracing the most beautiful winter landscapes Wisconsin has to offer. 

With 200 acres of woodlands and meadows, the Justin Trails Resort in Sparta offers rural charm and plenty of trails for cross-country skiing. During your trek, slow down every once in a while to enjoy the sight of snow-dusted trees and fields. It’s a magical experience for the entire family to share.

You can find some of the best cross-country ski trails at state parks, like  Blue Mound State Park, which sits atop the highest point in southern Wisconsin. Skiers will feel right at home scaling big hills and pausing at the top to gaze at the dramatic, rugged terrain down below. The park features over 10 miles of groomed trails, varying from beginner to advanced, twisting and turning through fields and past oak-hickory trees. 

Other state parks with cross-country skiing trails include Lake Kegonsa State Park, south of Madison. The park features several miles of trails, perfect for skate and diagonal-stride skiers. Peninsula State Park in Door County has a total of 22 miles of trails, which vary in difficulty, and cater to skate and classic skiing.

Hone Your Cross-Country Skills

Cross-country skiing is a popular sport in Wisconsin. We want everyone, no matter their skill set, to join in on some outdoor fun and make cool memories.

Want to improve your skiing or learn how to ski? Here in Wisconsin, there are various Wisconsin ski clubs and centers that offer lessons, including the top-rated Minocqua Winter Park Ski Shop & Nordic Center. This center is home to a PSIA-certified ski school that offers private and group lessons for all ages and skill levels. You’ll become an expert in no time!

Experience the American Birkebeiner

For an unforgettable experience, check out the three-day Slumberland American Birkebeiner, which takes place every February in and around Hayward. It’s the largest cross-country skiing marathon in North America, attracting skiers from all over the U.S. and dozens of countries abroad. 

Even if you’re not the biggest cross-country ski fan, you don’t want to miss the chance to watch and cheer on the elite skiers with us as they make their way up the snow-covered main street to the finish line. Some skiers have been doing this race for years, while others are racing for the first time. Either way, they know how to excite a crowd. 

Want to get in on the action? Register yourself for one of the three distances and ski through the Northwoods along with thousands of your newest friends. Even sign your kids up for one of the kid-friendly events, like the Junior Birkie or the Barnebirkie, which caters to smaller children. Dog parents can register along with their dogs to compete in the Barkie Birkie. 

If you enjoy cross-country skiing and are looking for a new family or friend’s tradition, look no further than Wisconsin. 

Explore Winter Magic

Glittering snowscapes, downhill rushes, moments with loved ones — winter here is unforgettable.