Enjoy some winter magic.

Cross-country ski trails in Milwaukee and beyond

February 2021

Cross-country skiing is a great winter activity that the whole family can enjoy. Enjoy a leisurely ski on groomed trails, take part in a race or blaze trails in the backcountry. Here are a few suggestions of where you can explore some of these trails in and around Milwaukee.

 

MILWAUKEE COUNTY

Brown Deer Park

7835 N. Green Bay Rd., North side of Milwaukee

4.5 miles of  trails.

Groomed for skate/freestyle and classical/diagonal for the beginner and intermediate skier. Find flat, gentle terrain; wooded and open.

 

Whitnall Park

6751 S. 92nd St., Franklin, Southwest side of Milwaukee. 5 miles (4 loops) of trails.

Lightly groomed for striding; beginner and intermediate skiing. Gentle, rolling terrain; wooded and open with a shelter; snowshoe rentals; concessions and toilets. Snowshoe trails are across 92nd Street near Ross Lodge.

 

waukesha COUNTY

Retzer Nature Center

S14 W28167 Madison St., Waukesha. (22 miles southwest of Milwaukee). 4 miles (7 loops) of trails. Ungroomed for snow shoeing.

Rolling terrain, wooded and open. The center offers snowshoe rentals, toilets and drinking water. Trails are open sunrise to 10pm.

 

KETTLE MORAINE STATE FOREST

Southern Unit:

Lapham Peak Unit

W329 N846 County Road C, Delafield. 25 miles west of Milwaukee. 17.5 miles including 2.5 miles of lighted trail.

The only state unit to offer man-made snow on part of its trail system. Groomed for skating and striding; for the beginner, intermediate, and expert skier. The rolling but mostly hilly terrain with steep climbs and descents is wooded and open. They offer man-made snow on 2.4 km  of trail. The Evergreen shelter provides toilets and drinking water. Ski and snowshoe rentals are available at the white building on the road to the Evergreen shelter on weekends. Snowshoe on the Ice Age Trail or Prairie Path. Hours: 7am-9pm; closes 5pm Sundays. Lights on Mon.-Sat. until 9 pm. Wisconsin vehicle pass and skier trail pass required.

 

Nordic Trails

N9084 County Road H, Whitewater. 50 miles southwest of Milwaukee

23 miles (7 loops) of trails.

Groomed for skating and striding for the beginner, intermediate, and expert skier. The gentle, rolling, and steep terrain is mostly wooded. Their shelter has drinking water and vault toilets. Named for the Nordic Ski Club of Milwaukee and designed by one of the members. Wisconsin vehicle pass and skier trail pass required.

 

Northern Unit:

Zillmer Trails

W833 County Road SS, Campbellsport. 55 miles north of Milwaukee.

11 miles (4 loops) of trails.

Groomed for skating and striding; the beginner, intermediate, and expert skier. Enjoy gentle wooded, rolling, and hilly terrain. Wisconsin vehicle pass and skier trail pass required.

 

Greenbush Recreation Area Trails

N5854 Kettle Moraine Dr, Glenbeulah.

70 miles north of Milwaukee

13.5 miles (6 loops) of trails, including 1.2-mile lighted trail

Groomed for skating and striding; for the intermediate and expert skier. Well-groomed, hilly wooded trails. Find a shelter; grills; drinking water; vault toilets. Known for its micro-climate that retains snow throughout the season. Wisconsin vehicle pass and skier trail pass required.

 

Resources

 

Nordic Ski Club of Milwaukee

Nordicskiclub.org

Founded in 1971, and created many of the cross counrty (XC) trails in the Kettle Moraine State Forest. This year-round recreation and social club arranges XC ski and snowshoe trips with XC ski lessons - both classic and skate.

 

Skinny Ski trail reports

skinnyski.com

Provides real time Wisconsin

(and beyond) ski trail conditions.

Wisconsin State Park System dnr.wi.gov

Information on many additional ski trails in Wisconsin

 

Peak Nordic Ski Club

laphampeakski.club

A competitive XC ski program for high school athletes.

 

Friends of Lapham Peak

laphampeakfriends.org/skiing/

Host Wed. night ski races and Tues. night chip timing races.