What’s it like living in Northwest Wisconsin? (skiing and snowshoeing)
Maybe you already enjoy coming to Northwestern Wisconsin for a few weekends every winter. But what’s it really like to live up here and ski or snowshoe all winter long?
First, relax. Pace yourself. Winters are a little longer up here. There’s plenty of time, and you don’t have to worry about getting out every day while there’s still snow. Never mind tropical locations like Madison, Milwaukee, or Chicago. Suppose you’re reading this at your nice warm computer in St Paul or Minneapolis. Although you’re only a couple hours’ drive to our south, you still live in a different climactic zone.
Your ski season—or snowshoe season, for that matter—will probably be about 2 ½ months long. Maybe three months in a good year, especially if you don’t mind scratching your skis when the snow is a little thin. Here, it’s different. If you’re willing to take advantage of late-season crust, you could have good skiing for over four months.
If we don’t have an early snow, there’s always ice skating. Check out some of those ice blades that work with your ski boots; they’re made for rough outdoor ice. When there’s just a little more snow, skate skis work great on the lake. Same for late-winter crust; that’s the best of all. Classic technique works fine on the lake or in the woods. If you do a little checking around, you’ll find lots of good places to ski off-trail.
If you prefer groomed trails, we have plenty within minutes. Most of them in our neighborhood are groomed for classic technique, but a few are groomed for skating. Even on groomed trails, you’ll see a lot less traffic than you would back home in the city.
And, if you prefer snowshoes, we have plenty of backcountry areas that are actually easier to explore in the winter. No mosquitos, no deerflies, and no mud. Oh, and fewer worries about sunburn or heat exhaustion.
Maybe our northern winters aren’t so bad after all.