I made it to Whitaker Woods (Mount Washington Valley Ski Touring), King Pine XC, Great Glen Trails, Bear Notch Ski Touring and Jackson Ski Touring over the last couple days. Each was a quick visit, but I was there long enough to tell you that you should strap on your cross country skis and get out there. Yes – it is cold. Yes – we had a wind storm a couple weeks ago. Nonetheless, the trails are very nice and there are a ton of folks out there enjoying it. Groomers have been chopping up the fallen debris and it is being mixed in each day. Deep tracks help those classic skiers to really push. I still fall but I blame it on the large video camera-bearing backpack shifting around. Yup.
Don’t forget your thermos of hot chocolate and a Balance Bar. And by the way, just because you have small kids, doesn’t mean you have to hibernate in cold weather. Many of the cross country resorts rent pulks (kid sleds with a rigid harness that you pull behind you) that keep those babies warm. Great Glen, Jackson XC, Bretton Woods XC and Bear Notch all rent pulks. To tell you the truth, 2 out of the last 3 times I have used one, my kids have fallen asleep during the ride. Quiet. For. Just. A. Bit.
While up at Great Glen Trails (you will love the scenery, it is just amazing – no joke), get a seat on the SnowCoach. It’s warm, comfortable and you get a trip to above treeline on Mount Washington (weather permitting). You can bring the kids on this too – they let you strap your kid seat in. It is first-come, first-serve and they have been selling out. No reservations. You’ll get the next available seat on the next SnowCoach. And bring your camera! Not everyone gets to do this ride, so take advantage. You won’t regret it. Get up to Pinkham Notch, buy your SnowCoach ticket then go enjoy some time on their fresh tubing hill. They made snow on it this week.
King Pine Cross Country Ski Reserve will be freshly grooming out their XC trail network tomorrow (Sunday) with corduroy and tracks. Purity Lake is in great shape and my family had a great time out there straight out the door from “the Mill” area. They have even cleared out a small section for ice skaters who love the outdoor pond skating experience. Bring sticks and a puck. The covered skating rink, “Tohko Dome” is open too and is kept smooth by a Zamboni. Free skating with the purchase of a downhill ski ticket.
While at Jackson Ski Touring, I had the pleasure of watching the Friday Gliders in action. They are a great group of mainly season pass holders (although you can buy in as a day pass holder) who get together every week to ski together. They get tips, apres ski massages and food in the Jackson XC base lodge. There is something about Jackson…it is so well maintained. They also have welcomed Gorham Bike & Ski into their base lodge to show off their latest wares and services. Looked like some good stuff although I didn’t linger long. I was on a mission!
Bear Notch Ski Touring is a gem located in the town of Bartlett. Owned and maintained by the trio of Garland brothers (and more!), these folks have done a great job keeping their system in fantastic condition despite our drought of snow in New Hampshire. Their snow bridges are up and you can get pix of a beautiful waterfall one minute from the base lodge. Keep it flat in the meadow or start up the hill for a challenge. Pulks are available for rent here. Stop in at the house on the right as you first pull in the the parking lot if you need skis, snowshoes or pulk. You can also pick up tickets there too. If you need lesssons, Sandra Iacozelli will get you flying in no time at all.
Mount Washington Valley Ski Touring grooms out Whitaker Woods and the Intervale fields behind the 1785 Inn (and beyond). Eat at the 1785! I had one of the most delicious dinners I’ve ever eaten there. Whitaker Woods is conveniently located right behind John Fuller School in North Conway. If you need rentals, Ragged Mountain Equipment in Intervale (same parking lot as Scarecrow Pub) is the go-to place. You can also access trails from there. This is considered the base for this trail system. You can also rent snowshoes if you don’t feel like skiing. Check out their incredibly affordable rates here.
See you at Bretton Woods Cross Country tomorrow!
On a business note – 2010 weddings are now booking. Kelly Cicero Films is now on Facebook too. Call and we’ll chat…603-662-8451.