2003 Number 9 Resort in the Midwest: Chestnut Mountain, Ill.


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Located high on a bluff above the Mississippi River, eight scenic miles from historic Galena, Chestnut Mountain has long been one of the Midwest’s most popular resorts. It has 17 trails, a 475-foot vertical drop, five chairlifts and three surface lifts, a seven-acre terrain park with halfpipes, quarter pipes, tabletops, kickers and rollers. One reader notes, “stunning views and excellent beginner area.” Indeed, the beginner area is one of the best in the Midwest. Located on top of the ski hill, it places novices in the center of the ski excitement. The rest of the mountain offers a lot of variety. The bravest skiers attack Warpath, a black-diamond, fall-line run down a face of the rocky bluff. The seven-acre Far Side Terrain Park, with its own 900-foot triple chair, attracts freestylers. “Love the views of the river,” says a reader. Chestnut’s recently renovated main lodge makes the full-service resort a good choice for everything from group and family trips to romantic getaways. The Alpine and Steinhaus dining rooms offer contemporary and traditional fare. And the 20,000-square-foot Village Ski Center ties everything together, giving Chestnut a cozy ambience.

WHAT’S NEW One of the first Snowdeck Parks in the Midwest. (Snowdecks are a cross between a snowboard and a skateboard. The rider is not strapped to the board.)

A GOOD DEAL Ski for Free, Nov. 29 and 30. Dec. 1-20, the days date is the lift-ticket rate.

HIGH/LOW MW RANK Après (2), Terrain Parks (3), Scenery (6); Family Programs (16), Snow (19), Access (27).

DON’T MISS Klondike Kapers family weekend, Jan. 25 and 26. There’s an on-slope barbecue, entertainment, kids games and prizes, fireworks and a silly slalom.

READER REMARKS (+) “Good slopeside lodging.” (-) “Can be icy; cold and windy.”