6 Western MA Cross-Country Ski Resources

Nordic Skiing Connects Families to the Outdoors through Local Resources

With winter truly upon us here in western Massachusetts, families are gearing up for ski season! Take advantage of the many properties and trail systems catering to cross-country skiing during the winter months, including Notchview in Windsor. Families can find lessons, equipment rentals, and opportunities to explore the wintry landscape by tapping into local resources for cross-country skiing!

With its roots lying in the snowy winters of Scandinavia, cross-country skiing has been a competitive sport since as early as the 18th century. Though cross-country techniques certainly have changed over the past two and a half centuries, the sport itself has become a winter standard all around the world. Here in western Massachusetts, cross-country skiers enjoy numerous trail systems and, generally, snow-filled winters that offer a long season of skiing within a beautiful landscape.

Distinctly different from downhill skiing in both structure and purpose, cross-country skiing utilizes much narrower skis than downhill, and uses boots that attach to skis only at the toe – thus creating a piece of equipment that is the skiing equivalent of speed skating’s clap skate. Cross country skiers strive sometimes for speed, but aim more to cover great distances than to zip through courses. Of course, competitive cross-country skiing combines both of these elements (top speeds and long trails), but recreational skiing emphasizes distance rather than speed.

Accessible to skiers of all ages and abilities, cross-country skiing is a favorite winter activity locally. Skiers young, old, inexperienced, and expert can take advantage of local trail systems, equipment rentals, classes, and special community events in order to experience the magic that cross-country skiing adds to a western Massachusetts winter!  Read the rest of this entry »

7 Places to Downhill Ski in Western MA this Weekend!

MA Office of Travel & Tourism Gives a Round-up of Skiing in Western MA Post Nemo!

Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort in Hancock, MA.

For those of you with cabin fever, Western MA ski areas have good news! They have fresh snow, and lots of it. With most mountains reporting at least a foot of fresh powder, there’s still time to get a few runs in this weekend. Below is a round up of conditions. For up-to-date information visit the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism’s massvacation.com/skilocal.

  1. Ski Butternut in Great Barrington – Ski Butternut saw more than one-foot of fresh snow during the past 24 hours. The ski area has 22 open trails, two terrain parks, and eleven lifts. skibutternut.com
  2. Jiminy Peak in Hancock With 42 trails and nine lifts open today, visitors to Jiminy Peak will enjoy a foot of fresh powder. If you can’t make it this weekend – check out their great lodging deals available during the President’s Week holiday. jiminypeak.com
  3. Berkshire East in Charlemont Berkshire East has nothing but fresh powder, and 18-inches of it! The mountain has 45 trails, 3 lifts, and plenty of skiing until 10 p.m. tonight. berkshireeast.com
  4. Blandford Ski Area in Blandford With plenty of fresh snow, Blandford is open for business today and will open at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday morning. skiblandford.org
  5. Bousquet in Pittsfield Bousquet’s groomers have been busy nurturing the nearly one-foot of fresh powder dropped by the storm. Ski and ride tomorrow for $25, with the mountain’s Sunday Saver special. bousquets.com
  6. Catamount Ski Area in South Egremont Catamount saw 15-inches of fresh snow on its 29 trails, and offers great ski and stay packages with mid-week specials starting at $45/day. catamountski.com
  7. Otis Ridge in Otis With ten trails and nearly two-feet of fresh powder, Otis Ridge is ready to welcome visitors with great lessons and rental packages. otisridge.com

– Submitted by Meghan Malloy. Photo credit: MOTT.

Winter Trails Days: Outdoor Snow Sports for the Family


Due to the thin snow cover, most Winter Trails Day events are being rescheduled from Saturday, January 8 to Saturday, January 22 at Notchview on Route 9, Windsor, MA. On January 8th, the free “Winter Woods” snowshoe hike will take place as planned at 1:30 p.m. All other free events will take place on Saturday, January 22 , between 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM. A special ½ price trail fee is offered to everyone on January 22, first time visitors are free. Snowshoes will be available for free to try out for up to two hours.

Winter Trails Day at Notchview
Free Snow Sport Events for the Family
Saturday, January 8th, 2011 Rescheduled for January 22nd, 2011

“At Notchview we strive to create a community of skiers of all abilities who love the outdoors. Winter Trails Day is a great opportunity for someone thinking about trying cross-country skiing or snowshoeing to jump in,” according to Jim Caffrey, the superintendent of Notchview Reservation. “Outdoor exercise is a great way to beat the winter blues and pick up your spirits. Nordic skiing is a low-impact, healthy sport for men and women of all ages. The lessons will cover everything from the basics: how to dress; how to get your skis on and off and how to get up after falling; to more advanced topics like proper form and balance. Plenty of skiers will be on hand to provide advice and support.” (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

The Trustees of Reservations invite everyone to try out a snow sport on Winter Trails Day. Free events will take place at Notchview on Route 9, Windsor, MA on Saturday, January 8th January 22nd, from 10am-3pm. Snowshoes will be available for free to try out for up to two hours. Free cross-country ski lessons and trail use will be offered for beginner and intermediate skiers at 10:30am and again at 1:30pm. At 11am there will be a waxing clinic covering both waxable and no-wax skis. Find out why no-wax skis should be waxed and how to find the proper ski fit. A good fitting pair of cross-country skis can make or break your skiing experience. At 1:30pm The Trustees volunteers will lead a one-hour “Winter Woods” snowshoe hike. A special ½ price trail fee is offered to everyone; first time visitors are free.

People can venture out for a Nordic orienteering game where they ski along Notchview’s scenic trails, following a map to reach marked locations. Each location has a unique punch code to record on a game card. Prizes will be awarded based on the number of locations recorded.


Winter Trails Day is a national event to showcase the health benefits of snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. These low-impact aerobic activities incorporate strength and endurance training, and can help people stay active and healthy throughout the winter months when other sports are impossible to pursue.

To enjoy winter sports, dress in layers with a windproof shell or parka as the top layer. Wear sturdy, waterproof winter boots. Snowshoe bindings are designed to strap on over regular boots. Notchview does not have ski rentals on site. Rental ski packages including skis, boots and poles are available in advance from various local ski shop.


Notchview is one of more than 100 Trustees of Reservations properties across the stat with 3,108 acres with 40km of trails (28km groomed), of mostly single-track trails for classical skiing. Skate skiing is available on 10 km of groomed trail, and 2 km of trail are available for dog owners and multi-use. Snowshoe rentals are available for non-skiers, who can trek alongside the groomed tracks. Hot drinks and snacks are available at Notchview. Lunch is available from nearby stores or bring your own. For more information contact Notchview at www.notchview.org or 684-0148. Ski conditions are available from the Notchview phone or at www.xcski.org or www.xcskimass.com. Notchview is open daily from sunrise to sunset, year-round.

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