What We Do

XC Skis

xcskiing-webWhen the first snow of winter falls from the sky, winter sports enthusiasts race outside for the first ski of the year. Always wanted to try cross-country skiing but not interested in buying your own equipment? Then come to the Urban Ecology Center, sign up for UEC membership, and borrow ours for free! Cross Country Skis, boots and poles are available at all three of our branches in a variety of sizes for kids and adults.

Frequently Asked Questions about Cross Country Skis

I’ve never been skiing before…where should I go?
Washington Park is a great place to ski with over 100 acres of possible exploration. You can also frequently find skiers along bike paths- skiing in another person's tracks is much easier than clean snow when you're starting off. You can also check the Milwaukee County website for locations nearby with groomed cross-country ski trails. If you’re new to the sport, we encourage you to sign up for one of our beginner ski classes.

Find a list of recommended skiing locations by staff member, Chad Thomack, here.

Find ski trail conditions here

Can I reserve skis in advance?
Yes! We are now able to reserve cross country skis in advance. Please call our receptionist at any branch with the height and weight of all members of your party and they will be more than happy to help you reserve skis. Please note that youth skis can be reserved, but particular sizes for children's skis and poles are available on a first come-first served basis. For more information, check out this blog written by our Visitor Services Manager.

How can I tell if there is enough snow to go skiing?
Our cross-country experts at the Urban Ecology Center regularly evaluate winter conditions to see if they are suitable for skiing and snowshoeing. Skis can be damaged by running over exposed rocks and tree roots if there is not enough snow. Please call us to find out if snow conditions are good enough for us to lend our skis.

My family is traveling to Colorado for two weeks over winter break. Can we take a set of skis with us?
Unfortunately, no. Our skis are very popular, especially over winter break, so we need to enforce the 3-day maximum on equipment loans.

I have some old skis that I never use; will you accept them as a donation?
Thank you for thinking of us! All of our skis and boots use a NNN binding system, so if your skis use this system we would love to have them. Otherwise it will depend largely on the size and our current need because it's expensive to change the bindings. Contact our Visitor Services Specialists with inquiries.

Margaret Siebers (Riverside Park) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Jackie González (Menomonee Valley) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Erin Ganzke (Washington Park) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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