Make tracks

Middleton is home to some of the area’s best cross-country ski and snowshoe trails.

The 550-acre Pheasant Branch Conservancy is another great spot for a snowshoe stroll. Take the trail up Frederick’s Hill and enjoy expansive views – you can even see the state Capitol. Even in winter, the wildlife here is abundant and the variety of terrain makes for an interesting hike. In order to protect restoration efforts for the prairie lands, snowshoers are required to stay on the trails.

At Pleasant View Golf Course, trails are groomed for both skating and diagonal striding, Mondays and Fridays, weather permitting. Skiing hours are 8 a.m.–8 p.m. Always check in to ensure that trails are open, here. The trails are free to use and the clubhouse is available as a warming house on Sundays from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Fat-tire bikers are also welcome on designated trails (snow permitting) — and not permitted on ski trails. Download a printable cross-country ski map here.

Just a short drive from Middleton, Governor Nelson State Park is home to 8.4 miles of hiking trails that convert to easy to moderate cross-country ski trails in the winter. A day pass for a Wisconsin resident is just $8.