4 Fantastic Trails for Cross-Country Skiing

Try these trails to make the most out of your winter cross-country ski season

Skiing doesn't have to just be down a mountain. Check out the beautiful trails around the woods of NH. Photo by Irene LeMessurier

Living in New Hampshire, you probably know one (or more) of those people who can’t wait for the snow to fall. Once the temperature drops and the lifts open, they disappear into the mountains practically every weekend.

For those who never got into the downhill skiing lifestyle but still want to find a way to enjoy the winter season, cross-country skiing is a less intimidating way to join the ski fanatics.

Cross-country is a very popular winter sport in New Hampshire, and is just one type of Nordic skiing (which also includes Telemark and ski jumping). It’s also the most accessible for the casual skier. So long as there is snow and someplace you want to venture, opportunities abound. But with a little planning, you can enjoy some of the most breathtaking parts of the state amidst a winter wonderland, all while getting a great workout. And most importantly, it’s an excellent excuse to drink copious amounts of hot cocoa.

Adams Pond Trail, Londonderry

A very popular spot in southern New Hampshire is the Adams Pond Trail located at Mack’s Apples in Londonderry (macksapples.com/plan-a-visit/trails). Additionally, Mack’s has a number of other trails, known simply as the Town Center trails, which are maintained by local nonprofit Londonderry Trailways. The Adams Pond trail loops around two orchards, skirts along a picturesque pond and is well groomed for cross-country skiing. There is no fee to use the trails.

Boston Lot Lake, West Lebanon

A popular hiking area in the summer and fall, Boston Lot Lake (2.5 mile-lakeside loop trail) attracts cross-country skiers in the winter and offers scenic water views and abundant wildlife, including beaver, rabbit, moose and deer.

Bretton Woods Nordic Center, Bretton Woods

With 100 kilometers of cross-country and snowshoe trails, Bretton Woods offers some of the best, most scenic winter skiing in New Hampshire. The full-service Nordic Center offers equipment rentals, and season passes are available for purchase (brettonwoods.com). The Mountain Road Trail is a favorite, featuring 7 kilometers of snowy skiing through dense, ancient forest. There is even a warming yurt available on Porcupine Trail for thawing out frosty adventurers.

Jackson Ski Touring Foundation

Jackson is a picturesque winter town that caters to ski fans of all types, particularly cross-country skiers. At the center of it all is the Jackson Ski Touring Foundation, a nonprofit that’s dedicated to maintaining a huge network of cross-country and snowshoe trails, programs, events, rentals and more for all ages (jacksonxc.org). You must either purchase a trail pass or membership, but the prices are reasonable and it’s free for kids 10 and under.

More things to do in NH this winter

Spring into Running

The snow is gone - time to hit the road.

The Volunteers Behind Search and Rescue

When things go wrong, these are the volunteers who come to the rescue.

What It Takes to Backcountry Ski

Leaving the lifts behind sounds romantic. No crowds, no rules and fresh snow! There’s no question that skiing freely on ungroomed powder away from the ski areas is like a dream come true, but the reality has its challenges.

Skiing Mount Washington's Gulf of Slides

A day spent in the backcountry skiing Mt. Washington's Gulf of Slides.

Snow Bond

Three friends set out on three winter adventures. In one trip they hit the trails with both fat bikes and snowshoes and attempt to scale a wall of ice.
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