About Cross Country Skiing
Cross country skiing is fun… it’s also easy to learn, healthy, family friendly, accessible, affordable, and offers great variety!
Easy to learn…
Cross country skiing uses natural movements – it doesn’t require special skills to get started and has a short learning curve. Just a couple of hours spent being coached by a professional instructor will give you the skills needed for a lifetime of fun!
Cross country skiing is one of the healthiest recreational activities for both body and soul. You can enjoy the beauty of nature – with its towering trees, mountain vistas, or snow-covered meadows – while experiencing a total body workout. It uses all your muscle groups and is a terrific cardiovascular activity! Plus, you can do it at your pace and according to your fitness level… from smooth gliding on gentle trails to bounding up, over, and down varied terrain.
Cross country skiing is a multi-generational activity. Infants and toddlers can ride in a backpack or on a sled… while it’s also gentle for grandparents and great-grandparents. Teenagers who want to go fast can skate ski, a technique that combines the leg motion of ice skating and the arm push of cross country skiing. Even the family dog can join you, as some centers welcome canines on designated dog trails. (Special enclosed sleds, called pulks, with a back support for a child, can be rented at many ski areas. They’re designed to be pulled by a cross country skier.)
There are more than 350 cross country ski areas in the U.S. and Canada. Most are less than two hours from urban centers and many are even within an hour’s drive.
A cross country skiing day trip costs an average of $12 for a trail fee and $35 for a trail pass, rental equipment, and a lesson package. And compared with other winter vacations, a cross country ski escape costs much less. A weekend vacation for a family of four – including accommodations, breakfast and dinner, trail fees, rental equipment, and a lesson – is available in New England for under $500. A week’s getaway for a couple at a lodge or ranch in the U.S. or Canadian Rockies – including seven nights lodging, all meals, and skiing – is priced from $2000.
Cross country ski areas offer lodging and skiing choices from log cabins with wood-fired saunas surrounded by backcountry ski terrain to romantic country inns with miles of groomed trails just outside the door. Cross country skiing can be combined with an alpine ski resort vacation… or with a village B&B getaway weekend of shopping, dining, and cultural pursuits. You can ski with friends and family or choose solitude…the choice is yours!
When cross country skiing at a ski area, resort, or trail:
- Help maintain the integrity of the ski tracks by not skiing over them.
- Obey posted signs.
- Give downhill skiers the right of way.
- Fill in your divots and sitz-marks.
- Grooming vehicles may be on the trails—use caution.
- Return to the lodge by closing.
- Remove skis at road crossings.
- Stay on the marked trails.
- Never ski alone.
- Choose trails appropriate to your ability and fitness.
- Report any accidents to the nordic center.