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Cross-Country Skiing in the New York Adirondacks

Miles of quiet trails, the soft glide of your skis on snow - there's nothing quite like the sensation of gliding through an Adirondack winter landscape on cross-country skis.

cross country skiing in the Adirondacks

Cross-Country Ski Through the Adirondacks

Throughout the Adirondacks, cross-country or "XC" ski trails traverse frozen lakes, dash along forested glades and circumnavigate every town from Lake George to Star Lake. It is one of the most easily accessible - and easiest to learn - winter sports. Trek along the famous Northville-Placid Trail, or XC ski from Keene to Saranac Lake exclusively on the Jackrabbit Trail. Grab a headlamp and enjoy skiing under the stars. Many cross-country ski trails are multi-use, offering Adirondack snowshoeing tracks parallel to XC ski trails. For a more adventurous excursion, Adirondack outfitters offer backcountry expeditions and overnight treks. Pack binoculars for wildlife viewing and a winter picnic to enjoy on a soft blanket of snow.

The Lapland Lake Nordic Vacation Center in Benson offers a cross-country skiing retreat perfect for families. Operated by U.S. Olympic skier Olavi Hirvonen and his family, discover a bit of Finland in the Southern Adirondacks - and plenty of trails to explore.

Groomed Trails, Restaurants, and More to Keep You Skiing

Cascade Cross Country Ski Center just outside of Lake Placid provides everything skiers need - from a fully outfitted ski shop to ski and snowshoes rentals, to lodging and an on-site restaurant and bar. A can't miss Adirondack event, Cascade's Full Moon Ski Party offers live music, bonfires, and refreshments. Enjoy the center's 20 kilometers of groomed trails that connect to nearby Mt. Van Hoevenberg, with miles of trails through towering, snow-covered forests. Part of the Olympic Sports Complex, Mt. Van Hoevenberg also serves as a biathlon training facility for Winter Olympic hopefuls. See if you have what it takes and sign up for the "Be a Biathlete" workshop.

Check out the Paul Smith's Visitors Interpretive Center trails, offering wildlife lookouts, or head to Dewey Mountain in Saranac Lake for their Friday night Ski Jams complete with live music and refreshments.

Lake George area recreational trails parallel the Hudson River and wind around the Adirondack foothills. The Tughill Plateau may be well known as an NY snowmobiling haven - yet cross-country ski trails can be found everywhere. Check out Barnes Corners Ski trails or the Lowville Forestry Nature Trail for scenic, leisurely skiing. For an adrenaline-pumping experience, check out one of the eight ski resorts in the region and discover why we're the winter destination of choice for generations of skiers, riders, and snowmobilers.

Cross Country Skiing Venues

  • Lapland Lake Nordic Vacation Center in Benson - Finnish-style resort offering lodging, dining, and shopping as well as a full-service Nordic ski center with plenty of trails. 139 Lapland Lake Road, Benson NY 12134. (518) 863-4974.
  • The Adirondack Mountain Club's Cascade Welcome Center in Lake Placid can not only help you with all your outdoor adventure planning, but features a 12-mile network of cross-country ski trails as well as gear rentals. The center's trails also connect to the Jackrabbit trail network. 518-837-5047.
  • Garnet Hill Lodge Cross Country Ski Area in North Creek - Authentic Nordic ski resort offering four seasons of fun on 600 acres. Lodging, dining and family-friendly entertainment offered throughout the ski season. 39 Garnet Hill Road, North River NY 12856. (518) 251-2444.
  • Olympic Sports Complex at Mt. Van Hoevenburg in Lake Placid 
  • Dewey Mountain in Saranac Lake
  • Fern Park Recreation Center in Inlet
  • Nordic Ski & Snowshoe Center at Whiteface Club & Resort in Lake Placid
  • Tug Hill Plateau Trails in Lowville
  • Otter Creek Trails at Otter Greek Lodge in Glenfield
  • Paul Smith's College Visitor Interpretive Center in Paul Smiths
  • New Land Trust in Saranac
  • Osceola Ski & Sport Resort in Camden
  • Higley Flow State Park in Colton. In the winter season, campground roads are all groomed for classic skiing with some portions including a skate lane as well when possible. Skis and snowshoes can be rented at the administrative building as you enter the campground. Cross-country skiing and snowshoe trails double as hiking trails throughout the remaining seasons.
  • James C. Fernette Sr. Recreational Trails in Tupper Lake
  • Adirondack Interpretive Center in Newcomb

More Winter Activities

skiers and snowboarders in the Adirondacks

Skiing & Snowboarding

bunch of snowshoes in a circle


snowmobiling in the Adirondacks Tug Hill region