I thought last year’s winter was bad, but December and January in Chicago have been awful for the Chicago Adventure Traveler. With record setting lack of snow, it has left the Chicago skier with a serious case of cabin fever. Worst yet, it has been cold. Nothing is worse than cold with no snow.
The cure to this problem is a drive to Madison, Wisconsin. From downtown, it is about a two and a half hour drive. They have been one of the few places in the Midwest with consistent snow since Christmas. With another 9 inches that fell on Thursday, they are back again with good skiing.
A great resource for Wisconsin area skiers is the Mad Norski Ski Club. They allow users to post skiing conditions at local skiing areas. Therefore, it is easy to get up to date information for places like Blue Mound State Park, Lake Kegonsa State Park, and Blackhawk Ski Area.
Related: Blue Mound State Park cross-country ski review
Blue Mound State Park is one of the best skiing places in the area. It is not quite as good as either of the Kettle Moraines, but it is not far behind. Lake Kegonsa is a little lower on the scale, but it is good enough especially when you consider the most we have received is about an inch of snow a couple of times.
Lake Kegonsa has 6 miles of groomed trails and a few decent hills. The park does a great job of keeping up with the grooming, so it is definitely worth a try. One nice perk about Lake Kegonsa is you do not have to purchase a state trail pass to ski the trails.
February is off to a good start in Chicago with the first significant drop of snow, but it most likely will not last given the way this winter has gone. If it does, great, but if it does not, a trip up to Lake Kegonsa State Park or Blue Mound State Park near Madison is the cure for the winter blues. Check the Mad Norski site for other options in the Madison area like Governor Dodge and Elvers Park.
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