Cross country (XC) skiing and snowshoeing have lots of space in MassachusettsCross country skiing is a marvelous winter sport that is growing in popularity among people of all ages. It is easy to learn for kids and adults and equipment is not complicated. And it is a sport that whole families can do together. Centers for cross-country (also called XC or Nordic skiing) are found in most parts of Massachusetts, with the greatest concentration in the Berkshire Mountains in the west. Almost all cross country skiing centers also welcoming snowshoeing and also offer snowshoe equipment rentals and lessons. Snowshoeing is usually allowed on or near Nordic ski trails and there are many more snowshoeing trails.
Western Massachusetts Cross Country Ski Area Association is a group of seven Nordic ski areas, all of which provide groomed trails and usually lessons and equipment rentals. A sampler pass for all seven areas is available for $55. The association is based in Hawley and its phone number is 413-339-4265. The association’s goal is to make cross-country skiing (and snowshoeing!) accessible for everyone.
1986 Fred Snow Road Becket, MA, 01223 Phone: 413-623-0100
Northern exposure with good snow; 32 km of trails for all levels; snowshoeing and ice skating; good for families; bed and breakfast inn
Dave’s nature tours for groups go out every Sunday to observe habitats of beaver, otter, moose, bear. On the property is a cozy country B&B.
55 Lee Road Lenox, MA, 01240 Phone: 413-637-1364
Ten km of groomed trails adjacent to a luxury resort; ice skating; free spa; lodging packages
Tamp down your Nordic-induced hunger at nearby Sloane's Tavern. Skiers and snowshoers using the property also may use the resorts spa and indoor pool. Winter Getaway packages for the resort are available.
Maple Corner Farm, 794 Beech Hill Road Granville, MA, 01034 Phone: 413-357-8829
30 mk. of skiing and snowshoeing trails; lodge with food; rentals and lessons; 1,400-foot elevation
A rental shop has plenty of skis and snowshoes for children through adult sizes. Group and private ski lessons are available. The ski lodge has a cozy wood fire and snack bar with hot foods. Behind the lodge is a warm-up area and beginner trails. Open for skiing 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends and holidays, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.
Notchview Reservation, 83 Old Route 9 Windsor, MA, 01270 Phone: 413-684-0148
40 km of trails, mostly groomed; long snow season; ski with your dog
64 West Hill Road Hawley, MA, 01339 Phone: 413-339-4265
25 km of trails for classical Nordic skiing and snowshoeing; lodge includes meals and bunk rooms, available for overnights by groups
The lodge has wonderful views in all directions, a fireplace, bunkrooms. Home-cooked served to weekend guests and midweek groups. The lodge is a destination for family reunions, clubs, small weddings, and informal business meetings.
86 Winchendon Road Baldwinville, MA Phone: 508-939-8962
Camping, water sports, hiking
1018 Lowell Street Carlisle, MA, 01741 Phone: 978-369-7486
10 miles of groomed XC skiing trails; night skiing on Tuesday and Thursday evenings; rentals
Machine-groomed trails east of Lowell Street are open only to paid skiers. Tickets can be purchased at the ski touring center at 1018 Lowell Street. People who have their own ski equipment may use ungroomed trails west of Lowell Street. Equipment rentals are $3 to $13. Trail passes are $8 to $11, depending on age. Season passes are available.
289 Pearl Street Gardner, MA Phone: 508-632-7897
Water sports on pond; walking trails; Nordic skiing and ice skating. Fully wheelchair accessible
Weston Ski Track
200 Park Road Weston, MA, 02193 Phone: 781-891-6575
Close to Boston; round-the-clock snowmaking; lesson and rentals for adults and kids; night skiing; snowshoeing
Family-friendly area. Lots of support and teaching for beginner skiers and snowshoers. Trails passes, for all day, evenings, for three days, range from $8 to $29, depending on skier age. Equipment rentals, including snow shoes, for all sizes. Snack bar.
Northfield Mountain Cross Country Ski Area
99 Millers Falls Road Northfield, MA, 01360 Phone: 800-859-2960
25 miles of varied-skill XC and showshoeing trails, including 800-foot mountain climb
Off Depot Avenue Falmouth, MA, 02540 Phone: 508-457-2536
Hilltop Orchards Cross Country Skiing
Hilltop Orchards, 508 Canaan Road / Route 295 Richmond, MA, 01254 Phone: 800-833-6274
Four miles of trails for XC skiing and snowshoeing; trails in woods and a orchard; snowshoeing; lodge with winery
Skiers and snowshoers are welcome to free tastings of Furnace Brook Wine, the orchard’s other non-traditional offering. Day trail fees are adults, $15 trail fees, youth, $12. Season passes available. Open daily 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Guests of the owner’s Garden Gables Inn in Lenox ski for free.