Do you live in the Midwest and desire to experience a great new place to cross-country ski? If your answer is yes, head over to the Sugar Bottom Recreation Area in Iowa.
Located 220-miles west of Chicago near Iowa City, the area is part of the U.S. Army’s Corps of Engineers Coralville Lake Recreation Area.
Kick and glide aficionados have over 10-miles of rolling hills to ski. The 8,000-acre park winds through prairies, valleys and a mixed-hardwood forest that has spectacular views of Coralville Lake.
“We’re the best and biggest place to go for outdoor recreation in eastern Iowa,” says John Castle, project manager at the Corps of Engineers.
But there’s more: The Squire Point section of the lake has an additional 5-miles of trails to explore. Limestone outcroppings, tree-lined coves, and an elevation of 800-feet make this a popular destination.
And if you haven’t had your fill of trails, make it a point to visit the University of Iowa’s Macbride Nature Recreation Area; this 480-acre park has 10-miles of groomed cross-country ski trails. Call 319-335-9293 for more information.
After the trails, book-lovers may browse the Prairie Lights bookstore; explore the past at the Herbert Hoover National Historic Site and Library; shop for outdoor gear at Active Endeavors; brush up on Iowa’s history at the Iowa Hall-Museum of Natural History; take in the exhibits at the University of Iowa’s Museums of Art; visit the Amana Colonies; and for a good meal, fly over to the Airliner.
For more information, contact:
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
2850 Prairie DuChien Road N.E.
Iowa City, IA 52240-7820
Making The Trip
Here are directions from Chicago’s Loop: Take Interstate-55 south to I-80; go west on I-80 to Dubuque Street (exit 244); go north on Dubuque Street to the park.
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