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minnesota ski resortsEarning its reputation for great outdoor recreation during the summer months, the" Land of A Thousand Lakes" reinvents itself in winter as a top Midwest winter sports destination offering 18 resorts and ski areas.

With names like Lutsen Mountains, Afton Alps, Spirit Mountain and Giants Ridge, you know you've arrived in serious snow country.

Lutsen Mountains, the largest ski area in the entire Great Lakes region, encompasses more than 1,000 acres and 90 ski trails.

100 miles away, Giants Ridge also combines professional world class skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling and winter family fun with a reputation even among World Cup athletes and Olympic tryout hopefuls.

Head south and find Duluth's winter playground at Spirit Mountain with 200 acres of deep powder and featuring 22 trails, two terrain parks, and one breathtaking view of the city and its harbor along Lake Superior.

Head further south to find another top ski area that helps groom the US Olympic team at Buck Hill, located iin Burnsville near Minneapolis, with 15 trails for skiers and snowboarders as well as snow tubing. Its 11 lifts also means your up and gliding through the white stuff in practically no time at all.

Also in the Twin Cities' backyard lies Afton Alps, where skiing and snowboarding begins in late November in the spectacularly scenic St. Croix River Valley. Along with 48 ski trails, there are snow tubing areas as well as four terrain parks for daredevil snowboard action.

More about Minnesota Ski Resorts around the Web:

Skiing Spirit Mountain, in Duluth.

Ski Bum - Minnesota Ski Area Guide - Expert guide to major ski areas and resorts statewide with location and contact details, plus photos, reviews, and interesting insider notes on best skiing trails for novices and experts.

Minnesota Ski & Snowboard Resorts - Good overviews including a map, mountain stats and amenities, number of ski and snowboard trails, event listings.

Minnesota Nordic Ski Association - A clearinghouse of information on cross country skiing throughout the state with trail listings and locations, current weather and snow reports, membership details.

Minnesota Snow Reports - Quick stats and facts on current snowfall, surface conditions and open trails at major resorts and ski areas throughout the state.

also see related features -> Expert Skiing Tips

Fitness & Training for Skiers | How to Choose the Best Skis

How to Ski | How to Buy the Best Ski Boots

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