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Monday, January 17, 2011

Three of My Favorite Places to Cross-Country Ski in New England

Since Boston just got walloped with another winter nor’easter, dropping more than 15 inches of snow, I thought I’d devote this week to winter adventure in New England. First up, three wonderful cross-country ski areas:

Grafton Ponds
Grafton Ponds is one of the few cross-country ski centers in New England that provides snowmaking (a 5 km loop). If there’s already decent snow coverage, head from the center’s main lodge up through the dense forest on 30 kilometers of groomed trails. Make it to Big Bear Shelter atop the ridge and your reward is a cup of piping hot chocolate and views of the village of Grafton below.

Blueberry Hill
Lost within the Moosalamoo National Recreation Area, 12 miles down the road from Middlebury, is the classic Vermont inn and cross-country ski center, Blueberry Hill, celebrating its 40th season in 2011. The 50 kilometers of groomed trails include the highest run in the state, at an elevation over 3,000 feet, and gentler routes through the pines.

Jackson Ski Touring Foundation
With over 150 kilometers of trails, Jackson Ski Touring Foundation is the largest cross-country skiing network in the northeast.  Novices can opt for the easy Ellis River Trail, which borders a babbling brook as it heads into the forest, while more experienced skiers should sample the challenging Wildcat Valley Trail, a classic 1930s throwback that slides steeply down the backside of the Wildcat ski area to the town of Jackson. Or take the Groomed Trail Challenge on February 12th, where avid x-c skiers try to do as much of the network as possible in an eleven-hour day.

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 01/17/11 at 02:00 PM
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photo of Steve Jermanok
Longtime Boston Globe travel writer, Steve Jermanok, dishes out his favorite travel locales and provides topical travel information that comes across his desk. is an Austin-Lehman Adventure's Top 125 Best Travel Blog Semi-Finalist

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