I learned to X-Country Ski 3 years ago so I’m looking for similar novices (we fall down a lot.)
Wisconsin has more than 90 cross-country ski areas, and is known as a Nordic paradise. As with Michigan and Minnesota, many of the trails are operated on a non-commercial basis. Trail fees are therefore usually quite low. The Chequamegon and Nicolet National Forests (Northern WI) groom a total of over 300 km of trail. Some like the Kettle Moraine State Forest Southern Unit near Eagle, WI are within hours of Chicago. This park has three groomed cross-country ski trail systems with a total of 48 km (30 miles) of trails: Nordic Trails - approximately 20 km (12 miles) skate and classic, trailhead cabin.
There are numerous opportunities for instruction such as with the Chicago Section of the Sierra Club. They hold a 1½ day class in early January in South Western Michigan, Madeline Bertrand County Park Berrien County, Michigan (near South Bend, IN). The park has Services & Amenities such as: Ski rental, Warming House, Restrooms, Water. The park is wooded, trails are groomed and the technical difficulty is beginner. I’m tied in with the Sierra club so I could pass on dates when they become available.
Skis can also be rented at REI around Chicago.
Don’t wear cotton. Cotton absorbs sweat, then you’ll get wet and then cold. Don’t wear downhill or snowmobile outfits. You’ll soon be overheated from the activity of x-country skiing. You should have a slight chill as you start skiing. You’ll soon warm up! Practice jogging or speed walking in the outfit you’ll wear x-country skiing. You’ll be able to gage how many layers you’ll need to wear. Usually I’m wearing 2 lite layers, and glove liners without the gloves. You’ll also need wraparound sun glasses for the snow glare. Goggles will fog up when you get heated-up.
Grand Geneva Resort:
1. X-country ski rental: Rentals are $12/day
2. X-country skiing trail fees rates? Trail pass is $6.
3. Times that X-country ski lessons are offered? No set times, they offer them based on requests (We will decide that later. I suggest 9 or 10 am. Car poolers can set up their own time as needed.)
4. Advanced X-country ski lessons, or just beginner lessons? Beginner lessons for the most part but they do have a few instructors for more advanced individuals.
5. Are instructors certified? They have 2 certified Nordic instructors.
6. Any X-country skiing/Resort packages? There are downhill packages, but cross country is not included
7. Trail maps? I can't attach it here but will email it out as time gets closer.
8. When does the ski school [masked] phone line start operating? You can dial [masked] now and they can answer questions. Reservations for the ski school are accepted two weeks prior to the lesson. (You will make your own reservation - we can coordinate the time.)
9. Ski lessons rates are $25 for one hour in a group lesson setting.