Subtle slopes or heart-racing hills, find the groomed cross-country skiing trail you’re looking for. Local Trees For Tomorrow Environmental Educator, Kim Feller tells us her favorites, but we’ve got plenty to choose from, so take your pick.
If you’ve only got an hour or so, or you have limited experience, Kim recommends the Eagle River Nordmarka trails at the Eagle River golf course. They’re consistently groomed and maintained and they give skiers a nice variety of topography to enjoy along the ride. Skiers of all ability levels can enjoy a quick outing and stop by the nearby shops and restaurants of downtown Eagle River to warm up afterward.
One to Two Hour Routes
For a scenic out-and-back, Kim suggests the “Military Road” trail at Anvil Recreation area in Nicolet National Forest. It’s a shorter ski – about one mile each way – and could take a beginner close to an hour, but an advanced skier could do it in much less time. If you’re legs are feeling up to it, there are additional loops, like the lake loop (with steeper hills) that can be added to this trail. Just make sure you look at the maps or print one out to take along.
Afterglow Resort in Phelps is another trail system where you could piece together a one or two-hour route. The scenery is wonderful and varied, winding around Afterglow Lake, through coniferous forests, and along maple ridges. The trails here range from beginner to advanced, and the trail grooming is the best around. Because of the dedication and quality that owner Pete Moline puts into grooming, there is a fee for use. There is also a heated warming shelter available as well as snowshoe trails.
Update: All Cross Country Skiing and Fat Tire Biking Trails at Afterglow Resort are closed to the general public this winter and will be for resort guests only.
Razorback ski areas in Sayner (maintained by the local Lions club) offer fantastic ski routes and are Kim’s personal favorite for cross-country skiing. There are multiple loops and routes available for both classic and skate skiers plus a warming tent at the beginning of the trail system with running water to help keep you hydrated. Beginners and advanced skiers can choose from beautifully maintained free trails at all skill levels but we like to think the Lions Club deserves a donation or two for their hard work grooming the area.
Want to connect more with nature? Feed chickadees out of your hand at the warming shelter at Anvil Ski Trails. Just remember to bring your own birdseed. The shelter can be found at the junction of Military, Devil’s Run, Ninemile and East Trails. Got that? Parking is available off of Hwy 70 with a 3-4 Km ski easy way. Or you can park off of Military Road for a shorter 2 Km ski.
Make your way through the varied habitat of Three Eagle Trail. Go over three bridges covering marshes and spruce bogs and enjoy the scenic, mostly flat trail. The trail is five miles one-way from trailhead to trailhead.
Don’t Forget Your Gear
If you don’t have skis of your own or if you’re looking for a tune up and some added layers, visit one of our sales or rental shops to stock up.