Monday, January 19, 2009

Skiing in Cheese Country

Now that last week's sub-zero temperatures have passed, people around the Green County area are starting to head outdoors for winter recreation again. If cross country skiing is your winter sport of choice, there are some great local trails available for your use.

Right in Monroe, head to Twining Park. There are 1.1 miles of trails here, nothing too difficult. If you are trying cross country skiing for the first time, consider starting here. Limited quantities of rentals are available in the Twining Park Warming House on Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 7 pm and Fridays from 4 until 7 as long as the wind chill is above zero. The rental cost is $5. If you have outgrown or unused equipment, consider donating it to the City of Monroe for the rental program.

Forest Prairie Park is just north east of Monroe on Hwy 59 heading towards Albany. Head out past the Green County Airport, then take the first right on Forest Prairie Rd. There are 8 miles of marked cross country ski trails here, and as a city park, there is no fee or pass required.

If you are up for a challenge, try the Browntown-Cadiz State Recreation Area. There are 10.5 miles of ungroomed trails here, just waiting for you to ski through. A State Park Pass is required for your vehicle.

Yellowstone State Park has 4.2 miles of groomed trails, and offers a shelter as well. A State Park Pass is required for your vehicle.

The Badger State Trail, Cheese Country Trail and Sugar River Trail are open for cross country skiers as well, with a total of 32, 47 and 24 linear miles of trail respectively. Be warned that neither of these are groomed for cross country skiing, and you will need to share the trail with other winter recreation sports users.

Since we have winter weather no matter what we do, we might as well get out and enjoy it!

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