Sometimes nice surprises come in small packages. Skiers and snowboarders could say that about Wisconsin's [R295R, Nordic Mountain], mid-state near Appleton.

Be prepared for a pleasant surprise, if you haven't been there before. It's not big compared to nearby Granite Peak, but delivers a solid skiing/riding experience with three terrain parks, glades, and a new, expanded beginner area.

Special packages even offer savings on multiple-day lift tickets and rental equipment. A two-day lift ticket is $55 and rental equipment can be added for $50. The normal daily weekend rate is $35 for a lift ticket and $35 for rentals. There are lesson packages that include lift ticket, equipment and a three-hour lesson for beginners or those fairly new to the sport. The ski package is $99 and snowboard is $109.

Midweek specials include Monday night Learn to Turn, which is $25 for a lift ticket, rental, and free beginner lesson. Tuesday night is Men's Night when lift tickets and rentals are $12 each. Wednesday night is a Twofer, two lift tickets for $20. College kids - ID required - get lift tickets and rental equipment for $12 apiece Thursday night. Friday is Ladies Day when, up until 4:30 p.m., they can get $12 lift tickets and $12 rentals.

"We pride ourselves on being one of the most affordable ski hills in the state and surrounding region," General Manager Bill Ringenoldus told OnTheSnow.

You know what? He isn't far off.

Nordic Mountain also operates Blackjack Resort in Michigan's nearby Upper Peninsula (UP).

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