In Western Massachusetts, the outdoor fun only gets better when the snow starts falling! We’ve already got a great list of sledding spots, but cross-country skiing is a great family activity, and there are an abundance of trails in our area. We’ve put together a list of our faves, and some resources to get you started! Are we missing your favorite spot? Got any tips for cross country skiing with kids? Let us know in the comments!
If your family is new to cross-country skiing, visit Notchview and take nordic skiing lessons! Another place to take lessons is Northfield Mountain, which also offers ski rentals.
- If you’re trying out a new trail, hike the trail first before strapping on those skis. You should be familiar with the trail that you’re using, and able to judge the difficulty of the terrain.
- If you are not an experienced skier, stick to the paved trails, where the snow will be packed down and the terrain will be easier to manage.
- If you are a brand-new skier, take lessons and choose easy, flat areas to practice. The college campuses are a good place to start!
- Call the park before heading out and check on the trail conditions.
- Carry a trail map with you at all times. If you don’t understand how to determine the elevation of a trail, ask a park ranger!
Chicopee Memorial State Park, Chicopee Falls, MA
Granville State Forest, Granville, MA
Holyoke Heritage State Park, Holyoke, MA
Mount Tom State Park, Holyoke, MA
DAR State Forest, Goshen, MA
Kenneth Dubuque Memorial State Forest, Plainfield, MA (A note about this one: the Parks & Rec website lists the park as being located in Plainfield, MA but Google maps shows this park to be in Hawley. The park covers three towns. For cross-country skiing, the best place to park is at King Corner Road, off route 8A. For more information, call the park office at (413) 339-5504.)
Mohawk Trail State Forest, Charlemont, MA (Sections of the trail are closed. Plan accordingly, call ahead and consult the website for points of closure.)
Savoy Mountain State Park, Florida, MA