by Laura Kocum
on Thursday, August 30th, 2018 at 9:33am.
The Blackhawk Ski Club is thriving and, as fall begins, the club is preparing to welcome new members. With six alpine skiing and snowboarding trails and miles of cross country skiing trails, more than 5 miles of mountain bike trails, 60 acres of land, even targets for biathlon participants, the club aims to make winter weather fun, and to make summer trails worth a visit, too. Blackhawk Ski Club is located in the Town of Middleton, on Blackhawk Road. It was founded 71 years ago by a group of ski jumpers who were seeking more space to practice. Today, the club sits next to Pleasant View Golf Course. It has expanded its offerings and aims to teach new generations to love the outdoors.
"I wanted my kids to learn how to ski, and this was the perfect venue," says Rick Hardy, Board Member at Blackhawk Ski Club. Hardy joined the club when his kids were young. They took ski lessons, learned to enjoy downhill and cross country trails, and later taught lessons at the club. He says the club is perfect for families with younger kids, as they provide lessons for beginners, programs and team opportunities for older kids, and training for both leisurely skiers and for serious competitors. Now Hardy's family enjoys the club's resources for simple family fun. "I love having activities that I can enjoy with my kids, outdoors, all year long," he says.
The club's benefits include four ski jumps, snow-making machines and lit trails. Snow is made consistently throughout the winter season. Cross-Country trails are groomed to accommodate both classic and skate skiing, and additional trails are groomed for fat-tire bike riding. Summer means hiking and mountain-biking trails, also groomed by the club.
Memberships at the club can include access to all trails, or can be limited to a few activities. All are good for 12 months, with individual and family rates. Lessons are an available add-on for kids through middle school, and the club hosts teams for middle and high school skiers.
Most members enjoy the club's resources for leisure. But some are there for more serious training. Cross Country skiers use the trails to train for the Birkie race. The Blackhawk Ski Club has sent 3 ski jumpers to the Olympics, and most recently had a ski jumper place 7th at the Olympic Trials. "We are a volunteer-driven organization, and a non-profit, but we have excellent training for our members," Hardy says.
Last year, the club opened a new Chalet, complete with indoor plumbing. An open house is scheduled for September 9 at the new Chalet. Membership renewals take place on September 12, and new members can join on September 24. Lessons are offered on a first-come, first-serve basis. Private lessons are available for adults, and for those who can't get in to group lessons. See the Blackhawk Ski Club website to learn more about their facilities. The Blackhawk Ski Club aims to make outdoor activities fun for the whole family, and welcomes new members.