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Skate-Ski in a Hilly Forest

Minocqua, Wisconsin

Above: Skate skiing at Minocqua Winter Park Photo: John Noltner

Difficulty Meter Tough to master and physically intense

Endurance athletes seeking a lung-busting, ass-kicking workout will find it in skate skiing, a tougher version of the classic “striding” form of cross-country skiing. When done right, it combines the speed of trail running and the look of ice skating, but with bigger side-to-side movements. “It’s like flying,” says Tim Collins, executive director of Minocqua Winter Park, one of the most scenic places to learn the burgeoning sport. Set in a 6,500-acre hilly forest, the Nordic ski resort boasts more than 42 miles of trails primed with the kind of wide, groomed lanes skate skiing requires. The sport has a “relatively steep learning curve,” Collins warns. Translation: Cross-country skiing experience will give you a leg up. Minocqua’s skate skiing school (beginner packages with gear rental, trail pass, and one-hour group lesson from $43, minocquawinterpark.org) will teach you how to generate power, keep your balance, and glide on the snow. Feeling cocky? Try the 6.2-mile River Run, which winds through the Squirrel River Pines State Natural Area.

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The Particulars

Body Burn Your glutes, thighs, triceps, and shoulders will feel it.

Stay Hibernate in the deep woods in a cabin along Lower Kaubashine Lake at Black’s Cliff Resort (from $125, blackscliff.com).

While There Hunt for everything from vintage jewelry to vinyl records at Gaslight Antiques, an 18,000-square-foot maze of dealers in Minocqua’s Gaslight Square Shoppes mall (gaslightsquareshoppes.com).

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