Whether you book your vacation rental in Vermont, Massachusetts, or New Hampshire, you’re in for an unforgettable winter getaway. These New England states offer unparalleled cross-country skiing opportunities. Get into the wilderness, explore snow-covered trails, and escape the daily grind. Cross-country skiing is great exercise for the whole family, and it’s easier than hiking or running in rugged terrains. Many Nordic Ski Centers feature cross-country skiing trails adapted for use by different skill levels. From flat loops for beginners to steep climbs for experts, visitors of any age and ability can enjoy the sport. Book a stay at a New England vacation rental today. Here’s a list to help you find the eight best places to cross-country ski in New England.
1. The Trapp Family Lodge – Vermont
The famous singing von Trapp Family settled in Stowe, Vermont and established Trapp Family Lodge. It became the home of the first and largest cross-country ski center in the country. The center offers 37 miles of groomed trails and 62 miles of backcountry trails to suit cross-country skiers of all skill levels and ages. The Nordic Center rents and sells all of the equipment needed for your trek. If you ski to Slayton Pasture Cabin, you can warm up by the fireplace and enjoy hot chocolate, sandwiches, and homemade soup. If you’re up for a challenge, head for the 25 miles of territory on 2,500 acres of un-groomed snow.
2. Weston Ski Track – Massachusetts
Weston Ski Track is just 15 minutes from Boston. Your escape to the rural, snow-packed paradise gives you access to just over nine miles of skate-skiing and classic skiing, two of which are in the snow-making area. This means you almost always have access to some snow regardless of what Mother Nature says. You can fill your evenings by skiing on the lighted trails after dark or driving into Boston for dining, shopping, or entertainment.
3. Trail System for Dogs at Notchview Nordic Skiing Center – Massachusetts
As more and more Nordic centers allow dogs to accompany skiers on their trails, Notchview Nordic Skiing Center in western Windsor, Massachusetts provides an entirely separate trail system groomed specifically for skiing with dogs. This is in addition to the 11-miles of classical track-set country trails and 5 miles of groomed skate-skiing trails. Notchview includes more than 3,000 acres of forest and meadow land, offering a range of trails for everyone, including seven beginner trails, 11 intermediate trails, and seven expert trails. As most of the trail network sits above 2,000 feet in elevation, skiers typically find snow for more than 80 days out of the year.
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4. Ellis River Trail Destinations Along Jackson XC Trails – New Hampshire
Jackson, New Hampshire is one of New England’s best winter recreation towns, including cross-country skiing. Jackson Ski Touring Foundation maintains a 93-mile network of trails using state-of-the-art grooming technology. The trails are designed to accommodate different tastes and abilities, from quiet striding through old New England forest or all-out skate skiing on an international race course. The Ellis River Trail destinations include the warming hut, Cocoa Cafe, and numerous pubs and restaurants, all of which are contained in the charming village of Jackson. Jackson XC Trails also connect with trails in Pinkham Notch and White Mountain National Forest.
5. View of Three States From Stump Sprouts Cross Country Ski Center – Massachusetts
Almost 16 miles of backcountry routes and rolling loops with tracks await you at Stump Sprouts Cross Country Ski Center. If you want to summit Lone Boulder Hill, the large glacial boulder rewards you with a magnificent view of three states. This rural trail network is located atop a high-elevation meadow in northwest Massachusetts, making it one of the best natural snow locations in the state. Originally a handmade trail network, it has been refined and groomed to offer optimum cross-country skiing experiences. The center rents all sizes of cross-country skis, boots, and poles.
6. Challenging Trails at Windblown Cross-Country Skiing – New Hampshire
Windblown Cross Country Ski Area is located just minutes from your Ipswich vacation rental, making it convenient to Hoppy’s Country Store and the Whitetail Eatery. Set on the elevated terrain in southern New Hampshire’s Monadnock region, the ski area scenic trails wind through lush, natural landscapes. It features almost 25 miles of expertly-groomed skate and classic trails that wind through hills, valleys, dense woodlands, and past serene ponds. There are gentle trails for beginners and backcountry trails for experienced skiers. Barrett Mountain trails are some of the most difficult and steepest groomed trails available for cross-country skiing in New England.
7. Full-Moon Treks at Tubbs Snowshoes & Nordic Adventure Center – Vermont
Tubbs Snowshoes & Nordic Adventure Center features an impressive network of cross-country ski trails. If you like tough climbs and speedy descents, check out the trails that wind up and around Mt. Peg and Mt. Tom. You can always go out on your own or opt to join one of the guided tours, including an occasional full-moon trek to a cozy cabin in Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park. Expert trainers at the center also offer lessons for those who feel they need more guidance. When you’re ready to get out of the cold for a warm meal or some hot coffee, Woodstock Inn is just a half mile up the road from the center.
8. Gnome Homes at Rangeley Lakes Trails Center – Maine
If natural snow makes your cross-country ski adventures better, Rangeley Lakes Trails Center in Maine gives you a great option. Aligned with the northernmost point of New Hampshire, Rangeley often sees an average annual snowfall of 200 inches. The Center features almost 35 miles of Nordic trails flanking Saddleback Mountain and through Maine’s western lake and mountain regions. Growing through the years, the network of trails offers fun for beginners to experienced cross-country skiers and features opportunities for seeing local wildlife. Bring the kids on a trek and help them look for the hand-made Gnome Homes that appear in all kinds of places out on the scenic trails. It’s okay to open the doors to explore the little woodland dwellers’ homes and meet the inhabitants.
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