Are you seeking your inner winter Olympian? Are you wondering if you can get your kids involved in cross-country skiing? You sure can. Cross country skiing is not just for the adults but a fun winter activity for the whole family.
Downhill skiing can be daunting for a child to take on. Help your child get acclimated to skis while you and your family enjoy the wintry beauty of Lake County while getting a full-body workout, cross-country skiing. Lake County has a lot to offer with nearly 125 trails at your disposable.
Cross-Country Skiing in Lake County
Let’s take a look at where and when in Lake County you and your family can hit the trails. Remember to always check with the sites for conditions before heading out.
Des Plaines River Trail
The largest trail in Lake County, the Des Plaines River Trail stretches 31 miles and through 12 forest preserves. This trail travels through 85 percent of Lake County.
Ryerson Conservation Area – Riverwoods
This cross-country skiing area is listed as a National Register of Historic Places. The Riverwoods haven area consists of 6.5 miles of trails. A 4-inch snow base is required at Ryerson in order to protect sensitive habitat at this Illinois Dedicated Nature Preserve site.
Lakewood – Wauconda
Lakewood, Lake County’s largest forest preserve, is located in Wauconda. Stretching an astonishing 2578 acres. Here skiers are welcome to use the dedicated equestrian trails. Groomed trails are available in the winter sports area. Grooming is typically done tow days after a large snowfall.
Independence Grove – Libertyville
This majestic 1,135-acre preserve contains seven miles of cross-country skiing trails. In this Libertyville forest preserve, you could observe the woodlands that are centered around a 115-acre lake.
Old School – Mettawa
Not only can you ski on this Libertyville trail, but they also have tubing if you would rather slide down the natural inclines. This trail also connects to the lengthy Des Plaines River Trail. According to the LCFPD, this is the best beginner course. This trail is groomed, typically two days after a large snowfall.
Captain Daniels Wright Woods – Mettawa
Captain Daniel Wright Woods sits on 402 acres and also contains a three-mile trail. Get a whiff of nature as your trail looks upon the Lincolnshire preserves’ pond.
Adler Park – Libertyville
This season-long park contains cross-country skiing for those that like to create their own impromptu routes. At this park, you can enjoy other outdoor recreation as well as ice skating, sledding, and tubing.
Heller Nature Center – Highland Park
Heller Nature Center has three miles of ungroomed trails. Trails are opened from dawn to dusk.
Century Park – Vernon Hills
Cross-country skiing is permitted at the park that also houses a sled hill and ice skating.
Volo Bog State Natural Wildlife Area – Ingleside
The most unique trail on our list Volo is a quaking bog and state natural area. The Tamarack Trail is 2.75 miles and designed for cross-country skiing in the winter when there is at least a 6-inch snow base.
Cross-Country Ski Rental in Lake County
You don’t need to go purchase equipment and spend a fortune to give cross-country skiing a try. These locations will rent skis to you so you can experience this winter sport without breaking the bank.
Heller Nature Center
2821 Ridge Rd., Highland Park | 847-433-6901
You can rent skis for the day whenever snow conditions permit (4” base or greater). No overnight rentals are available. Rental packages include no-wax skis, boots, and poles. Sizes available for six-year-olds through adults. A driver’s license or $20 deposit is required per set of skis. No reservations are taken. Cash, check or credit card payments accepted. Call 847.433.6901 to check snow conditions.
Williams Ski and Patio
1672 Old Skokie Rd., Highland Park | (847) 831-4300
Williams Ski and Patio offers daily rentals are for all ages that can be rented and taken home on the spot while supplies last. (Helpful hint: We recommend coming in far in advance before holiday weekends.) As with our season rentals, we are diligent about the care and quality of our skis and boards.
Viking Ski Shop
131 W. Northwest Highway, Barrington | (847) 381-1188
Viking Ski Shop also offers rentals, call the store for availability and pricing.
Has your family been cross-country skiing? Where do you go?
Find all the winter fun in Lake County in one place: Winter in Lake County.