Illinois ski resorts give mountain feel to Prairie State

No mountains in Illinois? No problem. The Prairie State still has plenty to offer for people who love outdoor winter activities, including skiing and snowboarding. There are five ski resorts in Illinois, including three in the Chicagoland area, along with Galena and Andalusia in the northwest part of the state. Chestnut Mountain, located near Galena, is Illinois’ largest ski resort and offers the highest vertical drop at 475 feet. 

Galena is not just for history buffs and antique enthusiasts. In the winter, the town transforms into a snow-covered wonderland filled with many outdoor activities. Chestnut Mountain Ski Resort offers options for all skill levels, with 19 rails ranging from beginner to expert. The complex has six chairlifts and three surface lifts, along with a seven-acre terrain park with over 25 rails that is one of the top-rated snowboard parks in the Midwest. Also close by in Galena, visitors can enjoy a winter getaway at the Eagle Ridge Nordic Center or reserve a room at the Farmers Guest House. 

“There is so much to do and experience in Galena and Chestnut Mountain,” stated Rep. Tony McCombie (R-Savanna). “The scenic rolling hills and magical snow-covered landscape will make it seem like you have travelled thousands of miles to the Rocky Mountains, but instead you will be close to home experiencing the most exciting outdoor winter activities Illinois can offer.”

Located near the Quad Cities, Ski Snowstar in Andalusia offers skiing, snowboarding, and tubing in the winter, along with other activities in the spring, summer, and fall. Snowstar includes 15 trails covering more than 28 acres, providing a variety of downhill excitement for all abilities and skill levels. There are over 40 features to enjoy throughout the terrain park, and the snow-covered tubing hill offers fun for children ages 3 and up. The area averages 40 inches of snowfall each year, making it the place to go for family fun all winter long. 

In Chicagoland, ski resorts include Four Lakes in Lisle, Villa Olivia in Bartlett, and Plumtree in Lake Carroll. People of all ages come to Four Lakes to learn and enjoy skiing and snowboarding. Staff are ready to assist families or large groups with all of the basics and safety techniques to get started. Lessons are available and all-day entertainment is ready for everyone to enjoy. 

At Villa Olivia, downhill skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing are all available. The facility includes snow making equipment, lessons for all levels, and rental equipment. The hill includes seven runs, a chairlift, six rope tows, and a tubing hill.  Plumtree Lodge/Tube Hill in Lake Carroll is a private facility that hosts kids’ camps and family events all year long. Tube Hill features a mechanical tube-tow system on a 600-foot landscaped incline.