Cross Country Skiing in Wisconsin & Upper Michigan

Cross Country Skiing | The Wilderness Reserve

Cross country skiing, like snowshoeing, is a wonderful way to enjoy the winter season in Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. You get a great workout and a unique experience amidst the beauty of nature and the chance to spot majestic wildlife! Are you planning a winter vacation to the area and having a hard time choosing between snowshoeing and cross country skiing? Why not try them both?

Comparing Cross Country Skiing to Snowshoeing

The best thing about both of these winter silent sports is that they require very little practice to get the hang of. Each is fun for any age, and depending on your goals, don’t require a high fitness level. When choosing between the two for a winter outing, consider the workout you want, as well as the terrain and your time span for the outdoor activity.

If you are planning on setting out in the woods off groomed trails, snowshoeing might be the better option. This is especially true if you will be carrying heavy gear or are expecting to encounter hilly terrain. Snowshoes provide a larger surface space to distribute your weight, and if you have ever tried to ski UP a hill, you know it’s not easy! However, if you are an experienced cross country skier, breaking your own ski trail can be very rewarding.

On the other hand, if you like a little more speed, than break out those skis! Although cross country skiing does take a little bit more practice than snowshoeing, it is an even better workout and allows you to skim over the snow quicker. Now it’s just a matter of finding the type of cross country skis best suited for your adventure!

Differences Between Cross Country Skis

Landscape Cross Country SkiingAs cross country skiing grows in popularity, the options for types of skis grows as well. You don’t have to be limited to groomed trails, or by speed. There are skis available for almost any terrain and challenge level you could want!

Classic Nordic Skis:

Classic cross country skis are best suited for groomed trails with nicely packed snow. They are narrow and lightweight, and can be waxed or not, although for this kind of skiing, using wax is more common.

Touring Skis for Backcountry Skiing:

Touring skis are designed to glide over unpacked snow to forge your own ski trail. Off trail skiing allows you access to areas that are otherwise hard to reach in the winter. There are several varieties of touring skis to choose from, based on the terrain you hope to navigate. The metal edged touring skis offer a good grip in icy conditions, and tend to be heavy, wide, and shorter. Shorter skis are easier to use, but slower.

Skate Skis:

The latest popular cross country skiing method is called skate skiing because the movement resembles that of an ice skaters. This method works best on groomed trails, but is also a perfect way to enjoy a trek across a frozen lake (The Wilderness Reserve boasts of 5 private lakes for your winter enjoyment!). The skis are short and stiffer than classic Nordic skis, and provide an even better workout.

Plan a Cross Country Skiing Vacation!

With the abundance of snow and beautiful scenery, Wisconsin and Upper Michigan are the ideal locations to enjoy a cross country skiing vacation. The Wilderness Reserve is a great place to break in your new touring skis, or enjoy the forested roads and trails on your Nordic skis. And after a day exploring nature, nothing is more satisfying than returning to your secluded cabin to enjoy an evening by the warmth of a wood fireplace!

If you are looking for even more winter fun, check out the abundance of ski trails throughout Vilas County. There are also miles of cross country skiing and snowshoeing trails available in nearby Iron River, Michigan and Watersmeet, Michigan. Whether you are an experienced skier or just looking for a new adventure, The Wilderness Reserve is THE cross-country skiing vacation destination!

Book Your Winter Vacation Today!