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Wilmot Mountain

Known as the "Matterhorn of the Midwest," Wilmot Mountain’s claim to fame in the region is its location, location, location. The mountain sits in the southern part of Wisconsin’s Kettle Moraine - the result of glaciation - just north of the Illinois border.  But don’t let Wilmot’s manageable size fool you. Its many features and easy access are why literally hundreds of thousands of Chicago and Milwaukee skiers have learned to ski and ride there, and return regularly. 

The Mountain That Could

Wilmot's humble beginnings provide a rich history that has made it a Midwestern favorite for decades. The hill was created in 1938 by Walter Stopa, a Chicago architect who began skiing as an adult.  Walter enjoyed skiing so much that after studying Wisconsin’s topography, he built a slope on the best land that he could lease, and installed a tow rope made from Model A Ford engine parts.   

Wilmot was first to location and also the first ski area in the region with snowmaking capabilities. Created from rubber hoses, aluminum pipes and sprinkler heads, the system was rudimentary, but it provided more consistency despite Wisconsin’s unpredictable weather patterns. In time, the primitive tow rope gave way to chairlifts, the snowmaking system was upgraded, a base lodge was built, and lights were installed.

A vertical drop of about 230 feet on 120 acres presents Wilmot as a manageable mountain to navigate. But despite its smaller size, it offers many features that rival other resorts in the region, making it the ideal spot for urban skiers and snowboarders to learn and practice. The slopes are wide open, with few trees or barriers, allowing skiers to cross several runs with no difficulty. Most of the runs are gentle enough for beginners, with just a few black diamond runs to challenge the experienced skier. Five terrain parks offer wide open features suitable for newbies and riders who desire to perfect new tricks. 

Off the Slopes

Wilmot's amenities attracts many visitors so it can get busy on the weekends. The entire slope is lit in the evenings, allowing night skiing and tubing to be offered all week. Tubing takes place in a separate area dedicated for just that, with lots of long lanes to rank it tops in the Midwest. Wilmot’s renowned race program has trained junior Olympians, and is reputed among talented young athletes nationwide. The ski school and learning area and are well-known for effectively training life-long skiers and snowboarders,  with the convenience of onsite equipment rentals, a full-service ski and snowboard shop and dining. 

Tubing 

The snow tubing area is a force to be reckoned with offering 23 tubing lanes more than 1,000 feet long supported by two conveyor lifts. Guests can safely reach top speeds of 35-50 mph on Wilmot's tubing hill. A brand new lodge complete with rentals, food, meeting rooms and more provides convenience throughout the day. And unlike many other tubing areas, Wilmot's is dedicated, separated from the ski and ride trails. Guests can spend the entire day on this side of the mountain, and feel the thrill of the hill in a different way than traditional skiing.

Wilmot has hit pay dirt by being acquired into the impressive portfolio of Vail Resorts, Inc. Vail has already started construction on its first round of improvement plans - an impressive $13M worth - to expand the lodge, add trails, increase dining options, expand the ski school, upgrade snowmaking and to include the mountain to the Epic Pass program. A unique ski experience no more than an hour’s drive from Chicago, Wilmot has come a long way from its humble start. 

Getting There

Wilmot Mountain is about an hour’s drive north of Chicago. From Chicago, take Interstate 94 W/Edens Expressway towards Milwaukee for about 30 miles. Exit at IL-173/Rosecrans Rd exit and follow IL-173 W to Wilmot.

The resort is 45 minutes south of Milwaukee. Take I-794 to I-94 East and exit 345 Wilmot Rd in Bristol. Follow Wilmot Rd to County Hwy W/Fox River Rd in Wilmot. 

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Image courtesy of Vail Property Search

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