Because I made a vow to not make Minnesota winters force me to hibernate for several months, I decided to take up skiing. I have a love/hate relationship with cross country skiing (it’s fun when I don’t fall, which is all the time), but I’ve always loved downhill. It’s a rush. So if you're feeling like an Olympian, here are some spots around Southern Minnesota (or within driving distance) you could try.

I haven’t been here yet, but this looks fun based on the description. There are 14 runs, and the Mississippi River bluffs offer 425-foot drops. And that, of course, means speed.

Welch Village, 20 minutes west of Red Wing

This is apparently one of Minnesota’s biggest ski areas, with 60 runs dropping 360 feet. This place looks huge, so it’s a great option if you’re looking for variety.

Mount Kato in Mankato

This ski area has 19 runs with a 240-foot drop.

Afton Alps in Hastings

This place has six terrain parks for snowboarders, along with 48 runs with 350-feet drops along the St. Croix River bluffs for skiers.

Buck Hill in Burnsville

Odds are, you’ve heard of this place (or been there), but it’s notable because this is where Minnesota’s Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn trained back in the day.

Check out Explore Minnesota’s Skiing Guide for other slopes throughout the North Star State. Good luck! Don’t break anything.

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