Chestnut Mountain, one of the older, grander ski resorts in the lower Midwest, gets high marks for after ski activities, scenery, and terrain park with Heartland skiers and riders. Located along a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River, the skiing and riding is first rate and scenic. It's always reminded me of a miniature version of Mont-Sainte-Anne, the large Quebec ski resort that overlooks the St. Lawrence Seaway.
Chestnut is scheduled to open, weather permitting, Friday, Nov. 28, and early season lift ticket deals will abound. Lift tickets will be only $10 each day from opening day through the Thanksgiving Day weekend. The resort is offering Dollar Days Dec. 1-19. Whatever the date, that's the rate for the day, so for example, if you ski Dec. 8, the rate for the day is $8.
The good news for those who like to start the season early is that Chestnut recently completed its three-year snowmaking expansion, which now gives the resort the capability to fully open the ski area with less than 48 hours of snowmaking. Just look for the small blizzard hanging over the ski hill, if the weather is cold enough conditions.
Here's a great deal for nearby Chicagoland skiers and riders: Early season lodging rates will be in effect, if you decide to spend the night.