Want a guilt-free way to indulge yourself with food while exercising? Cross country (XC) skiing and snowshoeing are some of the best forms of aerobic exercise, but if you go on a "Gourmet Ski Tour" on your XC skis or snowshoes, you may very well eat your way to fitness at a number of trailside food stops. What a grand time so go ahead, eat, ski, and be merry - appetizers, wine, champagne, fondue, entrees, desserts, and more.
Here's a cross-section of the culinary XC ski events that are planned this winter across the country with a varied menu of fun and fine cuisine.
Smugglers Notch in Vt. has the Snowshoe Adventure Dinner at the mountain summit on Tuesdays. The Maple Experience is on Tuesdays on a tour to learn about maple sugaring and get to take home a sample and the Sugar on the Snow snowshoe tour is on Wednesdays. The Hot Chocolate Warm Up is daily at 3:30 p.m. with a bonfire.
Notchview Reservation in Windsor, Mass., hosts the Breakfast Ski Club with a short tour followed by beverages, pastry, and fruit (9 - 11:00 a.m. on Jan 18, Feb 1 and 15).
The Chocolate Festival at Mt. Washington Valley Ski & Snowshoe Center in Intervale, N.H. on Sunday, February 23 is an inn-to-inn affair at about 12 stops to experience your chocolate fantasies including moose and fondue. Go on a tour of any length and actually gain calories, even if you ski as far as 20 kilometers. A shuttle is also available for those that have overindulged at the event dubbed the "Sweetest Day on the Trails."
Treetops Resort in Gaylord, Mich., has the Skiable Feast Getaway Package that features a winter gourmet adventure with 5 buffet food stations along 6 km of trails. It is offered at 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. on 7 dates on Saturdays during January-March. Also, the Wilderness Sleigh Ride Dinner is on Saturdays at 5-9:30 p.m. on a tour to the cabin for a culinary adventure.
Cross Country Ski Headquarters in Roscommon, Mich., has the "Around the World Wine & Ski Tour" is a new event with XC skiing, and Ribs & Blues food music event, and the Gourmet Chili Bard. Look for the Fill at the Grill and Fire on the Mountain food events.
The Upper Peninsula of Michigan in Ironwood features cuisine from local restaurants that can be purchased at a nominal fee for a food court with local restaurants at the Taste of the Trails on the ABR trails on March 14.
Just Desserts Eat & Ski in the Enchanted Forest in Red River, N.M. on February 22 features goodies from 20 different local restaurants at three trailside stations with up to 100 desserts within a 4-kilometer loop. Their motto is, “It’s not a race, just a gorge fest.” Additionally, on Feb 14 there is a Yurt Dinner Party for Valentine’s Day.
Look to the Galena Lodge in Ketchum, Idaho for the Full Moon Dinners on nights with the full moon, whereby you can go ski or snowshoe ($5 snowshoe rental offered) and then return to the lodge for a 4-course dinner at $40 or half price for kids under 12. There are also special Wine Dinners, Holiday Dinners, and Valentine's Day Dinner scheduled from mid-December to mid-March.
At Devil's Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa in Tabernash, Colo., the Ski, Sip & Spa is an all-day event that includes lunch and wine & cheese is scheduled for Feb 9, 2020. Also, set for Jan 25 is the Stagecoach Classic Race & Tour starting at Devil’s Thumb into the town of Winter Park followed by an event with a beer garden and hosted by multiple food vendors.
The Rendezvous Trails in West Yellowstone, Mont., features cuisine that is homemade and from local restaurants that can be found along a designated route on the trails at the Taste of the Trails on Feb 16. Pay in advance at West Yellowstone retailer Free Heel & Wheel.
Frisco Nordic Center in Colo., has the Ski, Eat and Be Merry event on Feb 1 from 6:00 - 10:00 p.m. with a progressive dinner along the trails featuring food, drink, 3 bonfires and luminaries on a 2 km loop.
Bear Valley Adventures in Calif., hosts the Wine Tasting in the Meadow in late November to sample local wineries with appetizers.
Tahoe XC in Tahoe City, Calif., has the Fish Taco Night is a fundraiser on Jan 29 at the Sunnyside Restaurant & Bar in Tahoe City.
Cypress Mountain outside of Vancouver, B.C. has Fondue Dinner Snowshoe Tour, S’Mores Tour, and Cheese & Chocolate Fondue Tour all scheduled with a snowshoe trek to the Hollyburn Lodge Building to start in January. These programs include rental equipment, trail access, and guides/instructors.