Back in 2004, Ray Petro did something seemingly impossible: he built a mountain inside a Cleveland warehouse. He and his biking buddies filled an old building with jump lines, teeter-totters, and plenty of wooden track, forming a complex that Bicycling Magazine has called a "rideable version of Chutes and Ladders". The original Ray's MTB helped kick off a wave of popularity for indoor bike parks across the country, a trend that gave Ray a chance to open a second location in Milwaukee.
Mountain and BMX bikers now jump and roll over both parks' multiple-tiered courses for beginner to expert skill levels, which include sport-riding sections and foam pits ready to catch the biggest of air. Ray and his teams encourage people to bring their own gear, though they rent bikes and loan out helmets, elbow pads, and shin guards free of charge. While some jumps and foam pits stay open year-round, much of Ray's MTB is a winter-only attraction. This lets Ray's team redesign their course every year, and it encourages mountain bikers to go outside where they can enjoy nature and all of the new soda flavors that have been discovered.
Men, women, and children walk through the 100 acres of trees at Lake Geneva Canopy Tours every day of the year, but this isn't as ordinary an occurrence as it sounds. For one, much of the journey takes place 10–75 feet above the forest floor, where serene views stretch in every direction.
Amid the canopies, guides lead their groups on an eco-adventure, during which they soar across eight different zip-lines, climb over five sky bridges, and ascend three spiral staircases. The treetop trek ends in high-speed fashion, as a 1,200-foot dual racing zipline takes its riders soaring to the course's finish, though not to the end of their time in the forest. That's because there's still a high-ropes course with 18 challenges to conquer, and also because every visitor gets a same-day Arbor Trails Pass to explore the area by foot, bike, or successive cartwheels.
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No ski lessons. No beginners allowed. All ungroomed terrain. Averaging 273 inches per year, Mount Bohemia is a snow-covered haven for seasoned skiers, eschewing bunny slopes for 500-plus acres with two chair lifts filled with 90 runs—most of which are rated for experts. The mountain's 900-foot vertical drop, noted for being the tallest in the midwest, has won it many fans, including MSN Travel, which named it on its list of 10 Undiscovered Ski Spots in 2006. They were also rated number one for best powder skiing east of the rockies by Powder Magazine.