When it comes to ski season, there’s lots of talk about hitting the slopes. But what about the trails? Cross country skiing is one of the most widely enjoyed winter sports that fortunately, it can be done in so many unrestricted places- from snow covered paths in the woods to frozen lakes. Skiers of all ages enjoy ‘Nordic’ skiing, as it’s also called, because it allows them to get a great workout, marvel at the wonderous winterscapes, and chat with skiing buds all at once.
While it's easier to find a cross country skiing spot than it is to find a great place to downhill ski, not all trails are created equal. We’ve rounded up the top cross-country skiing destinations, from Colorado to Vermont. Whether you’re a novice skier or an expert, a kid or a senior, you’ll undoubtedly enjoy Nordic skiing at these top destinations.
Where to Cross Country Ski in the U.S.
Image Credit: Ales Krivec
1. Trapp Family Lodge - Stowe, VT
If you’re looking for the quintessential alpine experience without the international plane ticket, the Trapp Family Lodge is as authentic as it gets this side of the Atlantic. Started by the Von Trapp family (yes, that Von Trapp family) in 1950, the lodge is full of old-world charm within 37 miles of groomed cross country trails and 62 miles of backcountry trails. The lodge offers everything you need, from skis to food. Stop mid-trek for some homemade soup at the rustic Slayton Pasture Cabin and after you’ve taken in the stunning Vermont countryside from your skis, warm your belly with upscale Bavarian fare at the Dining Room or a traditional lager from the on-site brewery.
2. Lapland Lake Cross Country Ski Center - Adirondacks, NY
Tucked in the northeast corner of New York, the Adirondack Mountains offer some of the best cross country skiing trails amid stunning views. Beginners will appreciate the groomed trails at Lapland Lake Cross Country Ski Center, a Finnish style lodge started by a U.S. Olympic skier. If you’re looking for a bit more adventure, hit up the backcountry trails found throughout the region. Don’t miss Whiteface Mountain in Lake Placid, where you can ski the same trails as previous Olympians. Snag a private Adirondack cabin (complete with Finnish sauna) at Lapland Lake or, if you’re skiing near Lake Placid, stay at Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort. Lake Placid eaters rave about the insane burgers at Redneck Bistro and the fresh veggie options at the Good Bite Kitchen.
3. Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center - Gorham, NH
In a tiny hamlet in northern New Hampshire you will find some of the best family-friendly cross country skiing in the country. With nearly 30 miles of groomed and backcountry trails, Great Glen offers easy tracks for novice skiers as well as more challenging runs for the Nordic connoisseur. Take in the unbeatable view and grab a simple breakfast or lunch at the onsite Glen View Cafe. Then for dinner, head into Gorham and get cozy at the Saalt Pub at Libby’s Bistro, a James Beard finalist. For a fun evening out, stop by the Wentworth in nearby Jackson and share some delicious Swiss fondue.
4. Devil’s Thumb Ranch - Tabernash, CO
Devil’s Thumb is a luxurious, rustic ranch with more than 60 miles of groomed cross country trails and fun for the whole family. Beginners and advanced skiers can hone their skills with ski clinics or opt to jump right on to the variety of trails winding amongst the stunning expanse of the Rocky Mountains. The ranch is a winter oasis to meet all your needs from horseback rides to a rejuvenating spa (with special treatments for both men and women) to a handful of eateries. Known for their emphasis on all things sustainable, the restaurants at Devil’s Thumb keep it organic and local whenever possible.
5. Soldier Hollow - Midway, UT
This resort in the Wasatch Mountains is dedicated to cross country and their high-quality trails prove it. From easy loops to Olympic courses, there is something for every skier here. Soldier Hollow is just a 30-minute drive from Park City, which is plush with lodging and dining options, but you don’t even have to venture that far. For an impressive dining experience, share a meal at Blue Boar Inn's award-winning restaurant.
6. Maplelag Resort - Callaway, MN
This family-owned spot is the epitome of Midwestern hospitality and a truly unique experience. Once you’ve sampled the 40 miles of cross country trails, hang up your skis and enjoy the “bottomless” cookie jars, the weekly amateur variety shows, or the state’s largest hot tub. While Maplelag offers a variety of accommodations for any family and there is not a single TV or video game to be found, ensuring your visit will focus on the fresh air, crisp trails, and quality family time.
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This article was written by Katie Vaughan and edited by Tripping.com Content Specialist, Lexi Perman.