Chestnut Mountain

Chestnut Mountain, a ski resort tucked in the hills near the Mississippi River, is a scenic choice for Illinois skiing. With terrain geared for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities, this resort in the northwestern corner of the state is consistently one of the top-rated resorts in the region. During the winter, the base averages between 25 and 62 inches of snow, and plenty of snowmaking equipment can fill the gap if the snow isn't falling. Beyond the slopes, you'll find an array of places to relax, soak in the scenery, and experience a life at your own pace.

If you're looking for thrills, you'll want to spend time doing some Chestnut Mountain skiing. The vertical drop of 475 feet encompasses 3,500 feet of ski runs. A total of nineteen runs, rated beginner to black diamond, can be found at this resort near the scenic town of Galena. Nearly half of the trails are rated intermediate, while a quarter of them are set aside for beginners. The remaining trails are divided between advanced runs and freestyle runs. The lift capacity exceeds 10,000 people an hour, spread over four triple lifts, two quads, and a trio of surface lifts, that will bring you to the top in no time for more Chestnut Mountain skiing.

You'll also find adventure at the Farside Terrain Park at Chestnut Mountain. This seven-acre space has more than 25 rails, as well as table tops and quarter pipes—all accessible by a triple chairlift. You'll also find the requisite half pipes at the Farside. If snowboarding has been one of those things to do at the top of your list, but you don't know how to get started, you can sign up for lessons. More than 50 guides work at the Chestnut Mountain Ski Resort, eager to show you the ropes and how to get started. If you've been snowboarding or skiing for a long time, the guides can help you strengthen your skills and have more fun at the same time. Lessons also are available for kids as young as four.

With a visit to the Village Ski Center, you'll find all the gear you need for Chestnut Mountain skiing and snowboarding. The experts who work at the rental center ensure that you have the right skis, boots, and other gear that's perfect for you. There's also the chance to do some shopping at the apparel shop. A first aid station keeps the skiers safe while the tuning shop keeps the gear in tip-top shape. When it's time for a break or a snack, you'll have several choices throughout the resort. One restaurant has earned a reputation as one of the finest places to dine in the Galena area, and there are plenty of hotels in Galena as well. If you're just looking for a quick snack or a hearty meal to start the day, you can find that at Chestnut Mountain, too.

After a day on the slopes or at the terrain park, you can find a place to relax without having to drive even a mile. The onsite lodge offers more than 100 cozy rooms with excellent views of the slopes and full-service amenities. Wireless Internet access, an indoor pool and sauna, and spa services are all available to guests of the Chestnut Mountain Ski Resort. Special packages are available no matter when you decide to go.

Once winter has wrapped, the Chestnut Mountain Ski Resort transforms in a large outdoor playground. The Alpine slide is quite a thrill. After riding a lift to the top of the hill, you can climb into a sled that races down the 2,050 feet of specially-made track. Summertime visitors also can take a cruise of the Mississippi River to explore a wildlife refuge and play a round of miniature golf, or spend time relaxing the lodge. The vast acres of Chestnut Mountain are crisscrossed by interesting Illinois bike trails, which showcase the area's unique geological formations.

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