Cross-Country Skiing In Connecticut

Some years, Connecticut gets barely enough snow to make a snowball. Other years, when the snow falls fast and deep, there are plenty of opportunities for cross-country skiing.

Just a few places in the state offer groomed trails, where machines regularly fluff the snow back up and make fresh tracks to follow. But after a good snowfall, there are lots of parks, rail trails and nature preserves where the skiing is fine and the scenery is sublime.

State Parks: Cross-country skiing is permitted in all of Connecticut's state parks and forests, and the state Department of Environmental Protection has designated 12 parks that are particularly suited to the sport.

Winding Trails Cross Country Ski Center, 50 Winding Trails Drive, Farmington, has about 12 miles of wooded and hilly terrain, marked for varying abilities and groomed regularly. For more information, call (860) 678-9582. Directions: I-84 West to exit 39. Head west on Route 4 for 2.2 miles.

White Memorial Conservation Center, 71 Whitehall Road, Litchfield. The conservation center, a 4,000 acre wildlife sanctuary, has 35 miles of trails. Rentals are not available. Most either rent their skis from the Trails Edge Sports shop near the center's entrance or ski on their own equipment. There are no trail fees. For more information, call (860) 567-0857. Directions: Take Route 8 to exit 42, then take Route 118 West to Route 202 West.

Northwest Park, 145 Lang Road, Windsor. A town-owned park of 473 acres has about 14 miles of cross-country trails that vary in degrees of difficulty. Trail maps are available. Equipment may be rented on weekends only, and must be returned by 4 p.m. Be sure to call ahead to make sure the trails are open. There is no trail fee. For more information, call (860) 285-1886. Directions: I-91 North to exit 38. Take a right onto Poquonock Avenue, then left onto Prospect Hill Road, then onto Lang Road.

The Woodbury Ski and Racquet Area, 785 Washington Road, Woodbury, has snowmaking equipment along 10 miles of cross-country trails. Information: (203) 263-2203. Directions: I-84 West, exit 17, Route 64 to Route 6 (Main Street). Right on Main, left on Washington Road.

Rail Trails: Cross-country skiing is permitted on the states rail trails, but they are not groomed and hikers sometimes walk in the tracks. Try one just after a snowfall, though, and you'll get a flat and easy trip.

Copyright © 2018, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad