Cross-country skiing offers a fantastic way to glide through the wonderland of a New York winter. Invigorating yet relaxing, it's easy to learn, inexpensive, and provides a great full-body work-out. New York has trails for every style and skill level - from beginner to back-country explorer-at parks, forest preserves, ski resorts, and nearly 50 cross-country ski centers across the state. Some trails are fully groomed, and even lighted for night-time skiing, while others are pristine powder. Most ski centers offer instruction, equipment rental and other amenities. Accommodations range from cozy cabins to posh resorts.
In the Hudson Valley, just north of New York City, you'll find trails for all levels, including those on the grounds of the Mohonk Mountain House. In the Catskills, traverse the 19-mile Catskill Scenic Trail, situated on a former railroad bed. In the Capital-Saratoga region, Pineridge Cross Country Ski Area, features 30 miles of groomed trails and backcountry skiing in the foothills of the Taconic and Berkshire Mountains.
Lake Placid's Olympic Sports Complex at Mt Van Hoevenberg, one of the premier venues of North America, has 31 miles of impeccably groomed trails for all levels. Lapland Lake is a Finnish-flavored resort with trails designed by a former Olympic skier. Garnet Hill Lodge's 34 miles of cross-country trails, from novice to expert, include a lighted trail for night skiing. Trails at Wellesley Island State Park in the Thousand Islands-Seaway region, follow miles of shoreline. In the Snowbelt, east of Lake Ontario, lake-effect snow covers the entire Tug Hill Plateau with an annual average of 300 inches. Cross-country skiers find easy sliding in Central New York at Osceola Tug Hill as well as state and county parks like Greenwood Park, in Lisle. In the Finger Lakes, Bristol Mountain's night-lighted cross-country trails climb up to the summit. Beaver Lake Nature Center and Highland Forest Park feature miles of groomed trails plus snowshoeing and horse-drawn sleigh rides. Byrncliff Resort in the Greater Niagara region is a premier destination for cross-country skiers, snowshoers and snowmobilers. Allegany State Park gets five stars for some of the finest cross-country ski trails in the Northeast - along with 150 winterized cabins. Further west, the diversity of terrain at Peek'n Peak Resort provides options for every level of cross-country skier.
Want to take your cross-country skiing up a notch? Try skijoring (pronounced