Southeastern Wisconsin is known for its pristine natural beauty and genuine community. Surrounded by gorgeous lakes, forests, and rolling hills, the area makes for a one-of-a-kind destination that offers endless fun and adventure, no matter the time of year. This winter, we have curated a list of the top ski destinations in the area to get you outside and exploring all season long.
The first destination on our list is the Grand Geneva Resort, which offers a great selection of year-round activities for everyone and has become one of the most popular destinations in the area.
THE MOUNTAIN TOP AT GRAND GENEVA
Conveniently located outside of downtown Lake Geneva, the Grand Geneva is home to The Mountain Top, a popular ski and snowboard destination for both locals and visitors. The Mountain Top offers 20 downhill ski runs, terrains designed for all ages and abilities, and certified instructors for lessons. The facility also houses a large rental area with a wide range of ski and snowboard equipment as well as other accommodations such as transportation via vintage trolleys, three chairlifts, night skiing, and a six-acre terrain park.
Chad Hart, the Director of Ski Operations at The Mountain Top explains, “The slopes are designed for progression learning, from 4-year-old’s snowboarding for the first time, families getting their legs ready for their big trip out West, to local riders hitting the terrain park.”
Reserve your ticket or season pass online at www.grandgeneva.com
Only 20 miles south of The Mountain Top at Grand Geneva is Wilmot Mountain. Wilmot Mountain is a longstanding staple for the surrounding communities with easy access from the Chicagoland and Milwaukee areas. With its dynamic terrain, Wilmot offers skiing and snowboarding for all skill levels. Not a skier or snowboarder? No problem. Wilmot Mountain has up to 22 carved snow tubing lanes with a double conveyor lift that takes you effortlessly up and down the mountain.
Wilmot is celebrating its 81st season this year, and recently became a part of Vail Resorts, which conducted a $13 million-dollar renovation. The entire resort has now been re-imagined with improvements like new lifts, upgraded food and beverage, advancements in snow making, an all-new dedicated beginner learning area, and a main lodge transformation ensuring Wilmot will be enjoyed by guests young and old for years to come.
Rachel Muhlenbeck, Marketing and PR Manager at Wilmot Mountain says, “We have a lot of great events planned for this season! Family events such as ski with Santa, our free New Year’s Eve ﬁreworks with live music, and our ski and snowboard competitions at the terrain park for the more advanced guests.”
Purchase your season pass online at: www.wilmotmountain.com
Our next stop is Backyard Bikes and Ski in the town of La Grange. This local shop is a few miles from Kettle Moraine State Forest, providing endless opportunities to enjoy the park trails with cross-country skiing, hiking, mountain biking, and road cycling. Having first opened up their doors in 1982 as a health food store, Backyard Bikes and Ski has evolved to cater to the adventure seekers in the community. Today the store is fully equipped for the fall with full suspension mountain bikes and top of the line road bikes for rent. Come winter, Backyard Bikes carries a variety of cross-country skis and snow shoes available for rent or purchase. This year, the shop will be offering fat tire snow bikes as a new option for riding and exploring the snow-covered Kettle Moraine State Forest without letting the weather hold you back.
Mike Bettinger, Founder and Owner of Backyard Bikes and Ski says, “We have maps of the trails, equipment for all difficulty levels, and can happily direct people where to go. The fall and winter season truly is the best time to visit Wisconsin. The trees begin to change, the bugs have left, and it finally starts to cool down outdoors.”
For more information check out: www.backyardbikes.com
Alpine Valley Ski Resort
Last but not least, we have the Alpine Valley Ski Resort, located in Elkhorn. This popular skiing and snowboarding destination has the most diverse trails and scenery, and is home to over 90 ski-able acres, 20 ski runs, and a vertical drop of 388 feet with the longest run being 3,000 feet. Alpine caters to the beginner and intermediate skiers or snowboarders with new trails, a new terrain park, and group ski schools.
Ski down the resort’s snow-covered hills and straight into your hotel room! Alpine remains one of the only resorts in Southeastern Wisconsin with ski-in and ski-out rooms, complimented with full-service bistro dining. Alpine Valley is the one stop shop for a fun family day trip or an adventurous weekend getaway.
Purchase your season pass online at: www.alpinevalleyresort.com
Whether you are interested in skiing, snowboarding, or cross-country skiing, these extraordinary local businesses provide you with everything you need to enjoy an action-packed winter. Each business prides itself on bringing together the community. Whether you’re a local season pass holder or an out-of-towner, you’re invited to join the fun this winter in Southeastern Wisconsin!
By: Jen Yih
Photography by: Matt Haas