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My Top 4 Places to XC-Ski in NY & NJ!

December 22, 2016

Ol’ man Frost has finally walked this way making it officially winter!

 

Though the weather has only been teasing us with windows of white fluffy stuff, something tells me this winter is gonna be a WHOPPER…so many W’s.

 

To commemorate the newly arrived solstice, I’ve decided to round up a few of my favorite local spots to ski away those winter blues…Here we go!

 

1. XC-Ski Minnewaska State Park Preserve, Gunks, NY

Directions

Trail Map

Trails Available: 32 km

Fee: $10 Parking Fee

Rentals: Not onsite (Visit Rock and Snow in New Paltz)

Hours of Operation: 9:00am-sunset

Description:

With miles and miles and MILES (maybe I should say KM’s in this case ;) ) of groomed carriage roads, on top of additional tracks of ungroomed trails, Minnewaska State Park in the Shawangunks is perhaps my favorite spot for xc-skiing in the NY/NJ area. With its added elevation, this area holds on to snow better than its surrounding valley, making it a great locale for skatin’ through that powpow. Plus, its unique ecology and geography make it a mesmerizing place to explore! Take a look in the video below for a virtual tour:

 

 

2. XC-Ski High Point State Park, NJ

Directions

Trail Map

Trails Available: 15 km

Fee: $16 Trail Fee - Full ticketing info here

Rentals: Yes, on site

Hours of Operation: 8:00am-4:00pm, weekends

Description:

In the northwestern tip of New Jersey lays luminous High Point State Park; Another groomed-trail paradise that features miles of tracks in varying difficulties. According to their website, High Point’s, “over 1600 feet in elevation guarantees that [it] is the snowiest spot in the metropolitan area. It's ‘New England’, nearby!” While they may be romanticizing a teensy bit, I will whole-heartedly agree that this wonderful park is a xc-skiing gem within the Garden State. Check out a virtual tour of the trails below:

 

3. Fahnestock Winter Park, Hudson Highlands, NY

Directions

Trail Map 

Trails Available: 18km

Fee: $12.00 trail fee

Rentals: Yes, on site

Hours of Operation: 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m, weekends

Description:

Sweep through hardwood forests and over frozen lakes on the trails of Fahnestock Winter Park! Located smack-dab in the middle of the Hudson Valley within Clarence Fahnestock State Park, this park offers "18 km of machine groomed, tracked and mapped trails for beginning and experienced skiers and snowshoers." What more do you need?! Virtual tour below:

 

4. Mt. Van Hoevenberg, Adirondack High Peaks, NY

Directions

Trail Map

Trails Available: 50 km

Fee: $20 Trail Fee (Adult Full Day Weekend). Full ticketing info here.

Rentals: Yes, on site

Hours of Operation: 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m

Description:

Okay, first of all, I literally laughed out loud when I visited the Mt. Van Hoevenberg website because Marek and I are FRONT AND CENTER on the welcome page! How hilarious is that?! With our insanely bright outfits, I guess they couldn’t resist ;P. ANYways, yes, the Adirondacks may not be “local”, perse, BUT they are certainly worth a visit if you want a spectacular backdrop for your cross-country skiing adventures. The trail fee may seem steep, but once you get out on the OODLES of groomed kilometers (50 to be exact), you’ll see what all the fuss is about. OH and there’s this fabulous little warming hut called “Josie’s Cabin” where you can stop in and get a snack (like WAFFLES) while you defrost inside or toast yourself by the outdoor firepit #luxury.

Photo courtesy of whiteface.com

 

I think that’ll do for now. Hopefully I’ll find myself on these trails along with other new and exciting spots in the Northeast this season. Fingers crossed we get just the right amount of snow…not too much, not too little -- Goldie Locks style.

 

P.S. Know of another splendid spot for skiing or, better yet, to backcountry ski? Share in the comment section below!

 

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