Are there any resorts 3 or so hours from Chicago with easier terrain parks? I've been riding the small park at the bottom of the blue at devils head but its pretty short. The features on the black diamond look huge and scary as hell.
The small terrain run at Alpine is alright, but I find the small terrain park at Wilmot to be a lot more fun. They seem to have a really nice set up in both small and the bigger park. You should check it out.
Went there last week and had a blast. Started getting comfy hitting the small jumps and doing 180s on them. Definitely plan on going there over Alpine next. Shorter drive and better park in my eyes for sure.
About an hour North of Alpine Valley, there is a place called Sunburst. It is a small hill no more than 300 ft, but it is super wide. They have 3 terrain park runs, serviced by a lift and towropes. At the top of the park they have a designated snack cabin. It's sick. They have a designated area all for progression park. It's where I hit my first box last season, and after riding their setup for most of the season I have landed front flips.
Its a great place to learn park. (Be warned the towrope is like sandpaper to your gloves. Wear old ones or buy the $7 protectors they sell at ski shops.)
Cannonsburg in Grand Rapids, Michigan supposedly has one of the better terrain parks in the region and I think that's about 3 hours from Chicago. I don't really ride park so I can't tell you for sure if this claim is true, but here's the website: