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The Best Cross Country Ski Trails | We Pick the Best 5

by in Jan 2012
The Best Cross Country Ski Trails | We Pick the Best 5
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Cross Country Skiiers
Photo/Art by Chris Millian
Cross Country Skiiers

When Vermont author David Goodman isn’t writing, he’s skiing or, even better, writing about skiing. His newest book is Best Backcountry Skiing in the Northeast: 50 Classic Ski Tours in New England and New York (Appalachian Mountain Club Books; We asked him to choose the best cross country ski trails in New England, and these are his top 5.

Halfdan Kuhnle Trail, Blueberry Hill Cross-Country Ski Center
Looking for romance? Try this: Start with a stay at the gourmet Blueberry Hill Inn; then head out the back door up Romance Mountain on the Halfdan Kuhnle Trail, the highest groomed Nordic ski trail in Vermont. From Romance Clearing high on the slopes, beautiful views of the Green Mountains and a long, twisting descent await you. I enjoy feeling “out there” without being too far out on this seven-mile-long tour. Goshen, VT. 802-247-6735;

Mountain Road, Bretton Woods Nordic Center
A ski lift on a cross-country trail? Just one of many unique Mountain Road features. I took the Bethlehem Express chairlift at the Omni Mount Washington Resort’s Bretton Woods ski area; then gently switchbacked five miles down the side of a mountain on groomed cross-country trails into the sprawling 100-kilometer Nordic network. I was repeatedly forced to a stop by the huge views of the Northeast’s tallest peak that greeted me at each turn. Bretton Woods, NH. 800-314-1752, 603-278-3322;

Sam’s Run, Craftsbury Outdoor Center
One of my favorite ways to travel through Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom is to slide along an incongruously gentle groomed passage known as Sam’s Run, a 8.3-kilometer cross-country ski trail that’s part of the nonprofit Craftsbury Outdoor Center. After meandering through deep woods, the trail bursts into the open with huge views of the Lowell Mountains. Craftsbury Common, VT. 802-586-7767;

Chris’s Run, Trapp Family Lodge
My favorite way to end a day at this renowned ski center is to descend the long, sinewy Chris’s Run (formerly 40 Year Trail). Situated between the Austrian-themed lodge and the rustic Slayton Pasture Cabin, the trail is bathed in afternoon light and framed by a beautiful Green Mountains skyline. Stowe, VT. 800-826-7000, 802-253-8511;

Wildcat Valley Trail, Jackson Ski Touring Foundation
Deep powder; high-speed cruising; classic New England countryside; hundred-mile views: The adrenaline-pumping gem of this world-class network does it all in a 12-mile odyssey from the top of Wildcat Mountain to the village of Jackson. Pinkham Notch to Jackson, NH. 603-383-9355;

Please Note: This information was accurate at the time of publication. When planning a trip, please confirm details by directly contacting any company or establishment you intend to visit.

Updated Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

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