Good for learning, inexpensive, cool lodge
small, row tows
Given the flatness of Chicagoland, it is a fluke to have any skiing at all close to home, so you have to grade Four Lakes on a curve. While the hill is small, it is certainly adequate for learning to ski or for teaching your kids. I live close by, and go there about once every week or two just get in a few runs in between trips to other places. I have never had to wait in line for the rope tows, which compensates a bit for the hill being so small. Also, the price for a slope pass is cheap in comparison to other places, so you don’t have to stay the whole day to feel like you got your money’s worth. The only downside to it being a great place to learn is that there are lots of people…uh…well….learning. The terrain park seems to get crowded sometimes, but the regular slopes not so much. Also, the row tows get tiring after a while. A T-Bar surface lift would be a major improvement.
One thing Four Lakes definitely has going for it is a cool Lodge. It is divided into two halves, one with a basic concession area and tables, the other with a full blown bar/restaurant. The restaurant has a stage for bands, has a huge fireplace, and even a moose head. I’ve eaten there twice, and the food was good.