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Powder Ridge offers skiing and riding just beyond the Twin Cities

Powder Ridge offers skiing, riding, and snow tubing
Powder Ridge offers skiing, riding, and snow tubing
John LaPlante

While Twin Cities skiers and snowboarders don't have expansive mountains nearby, they do have a number of ski areas to choose from. In the northeast are Wild Mountain and Trollhaugen. Afton Alps and Welch Village occupy the east and southeast, while Hyland Ski & Snowboard and Buck Hill are in the south and west. And in the far northwest reaches of the region, there's Powder Ridge, a mere 20 minutes from Saint Cloud.

At 200 feet of vertical drop, Powder Ridge is smaller than any of the six areas mentioned above. But it still offers opportunities for snow fun for residents of Wilmer, Hutchinson, Big Lake, and other towns in the exurban area. Its lodge is more pleasant than lodge of several of its closer-in-to-the-cities brethren. If you're learning the basics, working out a few kinks in your fundamentals, or seeking the enjoyment of a slide down the hill, it does the job.

Read more at Twin Cities Ski & Ride.