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The latest Cross Country news and information from across the country.

Plan A Family-Friendly XC Ski Vacation Next Winter; Lots Of Choices

Family XC at Maplelag

Plan to gather up the kids and head to the hills during the school breaks next winter. No need to head to warmer climes - winter can be snowy, yet mild, and perfect for a family vacation with plenty of activities such as cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. 

According to the experts, who regularly update XCSkiResorts.com and here at SnoCountry.com, the nation's top XC ski resorts are exceedingly family-friendly with lots to enjoy together both on the snow and off. What families want and need is exactly what an XC ski vacation delivers: multi-generational participation, quality time and shared memories.

There are special touches such as talent shows, child-friendly classes and family style meals to help your XC ski and snowshoe vacation become the perfect memorable getaway with your loved ones. Families can find resorts that offer the perfect combination of carefree atmosphere and picture-perfect views together with beautiful lodging, family dining, and expertly groomed trails and learn how they can enjoy the winter outdoors together. 

Here are some suggestions:

East

Lapland Lake Ski & Vacation Center in Northville, N.Y. has nightly bonfires on the weekends and the kids love to play Napa Kikku, which is a Finnish game on ice with a sled and a pole. Kicksleds, tubing, ice skating and parents use pulk sleds to pull the kids along the xc ski trails.

Pineland Farms in New Gloucester, Maine has family programs to engage kids and adults with outdoors and educational activities such as XC skiing, mountain biking, equestrian, exploring life and animals on the farm, apple cider making, butter making, milking a cow, carving pumpkins, and much more.

Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vt. is one of the most famous family resorts where the hills come alive with the "Sound of Music." In the Green Mountains of Vermont, Trapp Family Lodge is a paradise for families with a fitness center, an indoor pool and the Mountain Kids Club provides playtime, craft time and movies for kids.

Smuggler's Notch Resort in Smuggler's Notch, Vt. has a dynamic lineup of family programs with 1,000 acres for alpine skiers and snowboarders, teen centers, kids camps and FunZone play area, resort village with shops and restaurants, condo lodging, and walk-to free shuttles. There's XC ski and snowshoe trails, winter walking, ice skating, and more. Recognition for family focus has been awarded by numerous magazines.

Central:

Maplelag Resort in Callaway, Minn. is run by a three-generation extended family and this resort has families coming back year after year. They serve family-style meals and host a talent/variety show, which is a big hit. The state’s largest hot tub, bottomless cookie jars, sledding, ice skating, and XC ski/snowshoe trails combine to make this one of the most popular family destinations.

As the name implies, Palmquist Farm in Brantwood, Wisc. is an XC ski center on a farm with kid-friendly animals such as horses and a dogs. There are sleds to use on sliding hills and ice skating pond, plus horse-drawn sleigh rides and kids rental ski equipment. They say that a visit to Palmquist's is like coming home to Grandma's house.

West:

Devil's Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa in Tabernash, Colo. has outdoor adventures from XC skiing and snowshoeing to Zipline, horseback riding and laser biathlon. There are "cowpoke camps" for overnight guests with kids in half and full-day programs, heated pool, movie nights, game room, and more.

Snow Mountain Ranch is operated by the YMCA of the Rockies in Granby, Colo. and is a destination for the whole family with the most affordable options for lodging which includes a Day Pass covering a weekend kids program with outdoor fun and indoor activities such as a pool, climbing wall, roller skating, craft shop, and more.

Lone Mountain Ranch in Big Sky, Mont. has programs for outdoor youth adventures that include animal tracking, snowshoeing, tubing, snow kickball, obstacle Olympics, finger painting, scavenger hunts and ice cream socials. Parents will love the cuisine, massage and xc skiing on picturesque trails. 

You'll be amazed by the giant trees in Sequoia National Park and Monument near the Montecito-Sequoia Lodge in Kings Canyon National Park, Calif. There is a daylong program for children, which has a break for the family to join together during lunch. The kids build igloos, go tubing and XC skiing or snowshoeing on nature hikes to see and learn about animal tracks. At night there is a dance, karaoke and bingo.

Photo: Family cross skiing at Lapland Lake Ski & Vacation Center in NY



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An XC Ski View Of Olympics; Disappointing For Americans (Again)

Kikkan Randall QuebecHighlights of XC ski events in the recently concluded Sochi Olympics may be harder to find than a needle in a haystack. Still, here are a few for the scrap book.

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Michigan Resorts Start To Offer Fat Tire (Snow) Biking

Fat tire snow biking

Fat tire biking, snow biking, or whatever you want to call it has been gaining popularity at eastern and western ski resorts the last couple of seasons. The Midwest is just starting to catch on, and so far just in Michigan.

 

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Try XC Skiing After Watching Sochi Olympics; Special Offers

Cross country skiers at Lone Mountain Ranch by Tony Demin

The Salt Lake City Winter Olympics garnered 190 million TV viewers making it one of the most watched events in the history of the world. 

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Nordic Adaptive Sit-Skis Bring Freedom To Mobility Impaired Persons

Patrick Standen

Nordic sit-skiing gives a taste of freedom to a person with mobility limitations to access snow covered trails, fields, and cross country ski areas that cover the north country.

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Glide Your Way To Romance – XC Valentine’s Day Getaways

Romantic XC GetawaysHere are the Top 10 favorite romantic cross country ski resorts across North America as chosen by XCSkiResorts.com. 

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Trip Report: Trails Withstand Rain In Mt. Washington Valley, N.H.

Jackson xc skier gals

On a recent weekend in the Mt. Washington Valley in New Hampshire’s White Mountains the trail conditions were great. This had been a good start to the winter season and there had been a few snow storms that provided great trail cover in the region, but before we embarked we heard that an epic rainstorm and extended warm-up were in the forecast.

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Dog Sledding Means Winter Fun With Day Tours, Weekend Camping

Dog sledding fun at Wintergreen Dogsled Lodge

There is archaeological evidence that domesticated dogs (and dog harnesses) accompanied humans in northern Native cultures as far back as 15,000 years ago. 

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Here's How To Become A Nordic Ski Instructor

Canadian Associaton of Nordic Ski Instructors

Ask a Nordic ski instructor why they teach cross country (XC) skiing and they’ll reply that they celebrate the community and culture of the sport to share that experience with as many people as possible. 

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Take Advantage Of A Cross Country Ski Demo Day

SIA Nordic Demo at Devil's Thumb Ranch Resort

Try before you buy. Many cross country (XC) ski areas conduct demo days to give skiers an opportunity to test drive the newest XC ski equipment. It’s a day when product suppliers’ branded tents and flags are flapping in the wind and company reps stand guard armed with knowledge of their wares. 

 

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