I had such a great time cross-country skiing over the holidays in Michigan, I was anxious to find a place close to home in NE Wisconsin that I could keep up the activity. Thank goodness for the internet search engines, I found a gem, Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve, just ten minutes up the road. I found that they charge to ski the trails or you can add your name to their membership for a mere $25 and have unlimited access to their 775 acres. The area features a huge peat bog, prairie, and woodland landscape. The ski trails are centered mostly in the peat bog with trails of varying distances. The trails interconnect so you can make your outing as long as you want without retracing your steps. I have skied the Deer Run Trail several times which is about 2.5 mi. But if you don’t want to ski the trails, they offer hiking and snowshoeing pathways as well. The Nature Center has rental equipment for the times you may have guests, but no equipment and I found the prices very reasonable. Most important of all, the Nature Center has nice warm restroom facilities and often they have something hot available to heat up your insides. While you are warming up, you can wander around the lodge-like interior of the center where they have maps of the nature preserve, history, and lots and lots of stuffed animals and fish mounted on the walls. They offer monthly activities to the public (I am looking forward to the Maple Syrup activities in March). While skiing I noted many boardwalk and docklike structures for visitors to get “up close” for warmer weather bird watching and general wildlife observation. Local schools use this resource to enhance their curriculum. My neighbor Ray said his grand daughter’s class went out there last spring. He asked her what she did there. She gave the standard kid answer “nothing” . Upon more inquiry, Ray found out her class participated in the Maple Syrup tapping, collecting, and tasting activites. They also offer monthly moonlight activities (skiing and snowshoeing). If we get more snow it might be a fun adventure!