Now that snow has returned to the Capital Region, beat the winter blahs with outdoor adventures. Current spring skiing conditions, with area trails layered in deep powder and temperatures hovering at the freezing point, are ideal for introducing kids to Nordic skiing.
Like Alpine skiing, cross country skiing is a risky sport where experienced skiers may struggle to remain upright as they zoom down challenging trails. Otherwise, Nordic skiing is nothing like alpine skiing. There are no crowds, loud noises, smelly fumes, and no expensive lift tickets.
On a recent winter morning, as snow crystals sparkled under azure skies, our Cub Scout Den gathered at Pineridge Cross-Country Ski Area. For most of the boys, this was their first introduction to Nordic skiing, but after a short lesson they were ready to explore the groomed trails. My son and I thought we had an advantage since we’re both experienced downhill skiers, but all the boys learned quickly. That afternoon, we tackled one of the most challenging trails to the summit and back down, with a 10-year-old boy who had never done any kind of skiing before that day. In fact, the novice Nordic skier soon outpaced both of us!
Cross Country Ski in the Capital Region
Check current conditions: New York Cross-Country Ski Snow Report
- Cascade Cross-Country Ski Center – 4833 Cascade Road, Lake Placid, NY 12946, 518-523-1111 – Admission: $12/Adult, $10/Teen, $6/Child, FREE/6 & Under, Rentals: $10 – $20
- Cross Country Skiing at Mt Van Hoevenberg – Olympic Sports Complex, Whiteface Mountain, Rt. 86 Wilmington, NY 12997, 518-946-2223, Hours: 9-4 Daily, Admission: $18/Adult, $16/Youth, FREE/6 & Under, Rentals: $12 – $16
- Garnet Hill Lodge & Cross-Country Ski Center – Thirteenth Lake Rd, North River, NY 12856, 518-251-2444 or 1-800-497-4207, Admission: $17/Adult, $15/Teen, $8/Child, FREE/6 & Under, Rentals: $12 – $17, Kids Program.
- Lapland Lake Nordic Vacation Center – 139 Lapland Lake Road,Northville, NY 12134, 518-863-4974, Hours: 10-4:30 Monday-Friday, 9-4:30 Weekends & 4:30-9PM Sat. Nights, Admission: $18/Adult, $16/Teen, $8/Child, FREE/6 & Under, Rentals: $11 – $18.
- Pineridge Cross-Country Ski Area – 1463 Plank Road, Petersburgh, NY 12138, (518)283-3652, Hours: 9AM-4Pm Daily, Admission: $17/Adult, $13/Teen, $7/Child, FREE/6 & Under, Rentals: $10 – $20.
- Oak Hill Farms X-Country Ski Center – 1206 Oak Hill Rd, Esperance NY 12066, (518)-875-6700, Hours: 9:30-4:30 Weekends, Admission: $12/Adult, $5/Child, FREE/6 & Under,
- Tree Haven Trails (Bob’s Trees) – 1227 West Galway Rd., Galway, NY 1207, 518-882-9455
New York Cross-Country Ski – Beyond the Capital Region
- Cunningham’s Ski Barn, North Creek, NY www.cunninghamsskibarn.com
- Fahnestock Winter Park, Cold Spring, NY www.roberts-1.com/fwp
- Mountain Trails, Tannersville, NY www.mtntrails.com
- Byrncliff Resort, Varysburg, NY www.byrncliff.com
- Salmon Hills, Redfield, NY www.salmonhills.com
- Barkeater Inn Keene, NY www.barkeater.com
- Osceola Tug Hill, Camden, NY ww.uxcski.com
The Capital Area Ski Touring Association (CASTA) put together a fantastic list of all the cross-country ski trails within a 2-1/2 hour drive of Albany, find it on this link: Cross Country Ski Trails.
Sandra Foyt | Sandra Foyt is a storyteller, photographer, and road trip junkie. A veteran of six cross-country road trips, she drove Route 66, the Lincoln Highway, the fossil freeway, the extraterrestrial highway, and even “the loneliest road in America.” Find her on GetawayMavens.com, an award-winning destination guide to extraordinary travel in and from Northeast USA, on her portfolio site at SandraFoyt.com, and in freelance gigs on Family Travel 411, Minitime, Huffington Post, and Matador Network. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter @SandraFoyt.