cross country skiing and snowshoeing In Northern Wisconsin

Northern Wisconsin has hundreds of public xc ski trails, some of which are shared with snowmobilers. There are also many resorts for xc skiers to find amenities and services in northern Wisconsin. The region is most famous as the home of the American Birkebeiner, which is America's biggest xc ski marathon competition between Cable and Hayward annually held in February. The 55 km race, which attracts 8,000 skiers also offers a week-long extravaganza of shorter races and other activities. For ski conditions at many Wisconsin parks and areas to XC ski click Wisconsin Ski Report.

There is more information and trail details on the Web about xc skiing in northern Wisconsin at www.norwiski.com, 800/234-6635.

Minocqua Winter Park (715/356-3309, www.skimwp.org) in Minocqua, WI is located in the beautiful glaciated northwoods lake country. There are 75 km of groomed trails and 2 km of lighted trails. Lessons, xc ski, snowshoe, telemark and pulk sleds rental equipment are available. Race camps, day care and programs for men, women, seniors, adaptive and children available. Plenty of different accommodations in the vicinity. CCSAA member.

The Beacons of Minocqua (800/236-3225, www.thebeacons.com) is a lakefront resort on 13 acres with a wide range of lodging options including condos, lodge units, and cabins.With all the amenities such as full kitchen, fieldstone fireplace, TV, Internet access, and great views. Nearby Minocqua Winter Park and the town of Minocqua for restaurants and shopping.

Afterglow Lake Resort 715/545-2560, www.afterglowresort.com) in Phelps, WI has 11 miles of groomed trails for classic and skate skiing on 240 acres of mixed forest with dependable lake-effect snow. It is surrounded by the Nicolet National Forest and connects to the Phelps Ski Trail. Snowshoe equipment rentals are available. There are guided snowshoe hikes and 7 miles of marked snowshoe trails. Afterglow Lake Resort has 11 winterized cabins and it also features ice skating, night skiing, a tubing hill and the Polar Plunge in the spring fed lake. The trail fee is $5.00 daily and you must register in the office.

Trail Farm (715/427-5460, www.trailfarm.net) in Westboro, WI is a 420 acre private retreat. There are 30 km of groomed trails that are 12 feet wide over rolling terrain. Snowshoe rental equipment on site and xc ski equipment at Pine Line Sports in Medford. There is a former ski hill that is great for sledding and tubing. Accommodations include cabins or a bed and breakfast in the main lodge. Trail Farm is near the Ice Age Trail and Pine Line Trail. Plenty of short scenic runs for beginners and some hills for more advanced skiers.

Palmquist Farm in Brantwood, WI is a western style ranch with 35 km of groomed trails for classic skiing. Lessons, xc ski and snowshoe equipment rentals are available. There are horse-drawn sleigh rides available, ice skating, sauna, scavenger hunts, and toboggan/sledding. Cozy craftsman log cabins, log lodge, and warm friendly hospitality.