North Conway, NH - The White Mountain Nordic Association is proud to mark its 40th anniversary this season, celebrating a rich history of promoting cross-country skiing in the heart of the White Mountains of New Hampshire. With six exceptional Nordic ski areas, hundreds of combined trails and an array of winter activities, White Mountain Nordic touring centers collectively allow outdoor enthusiasts to discover the natural beauty of this stunning region.
The White Mountain Nordic Association comprises six popular Nordic ski centers: Bear Notch Ski Touring, Bretton Woods Nordic Ski Center, Great Glen Trails, Jackson Ski Touring Foundation, Mt. Washington Valley Ski Touring and Snowshoe Center, and Purity Spring Resort XC and Snowshoe Preserve. Each center offers its unique charm and character, making them a must-visit for both seasoned skiers and those new to the sport.
One of the most remarkable features of this region is the extensive network of cross-country ski trails, totaling over 400 kilometers, all conveniently located within thirty minutes of one of the US’s top ski towns, North Conway, NH. Located in and around the 788,000-acre White Mountain National Forest, these trails wind through classic New England cross-country villages, providing breathtaking panoramic views along the way.
Unlike backyard skiing on local trails, White Mountain Nordic areas offer more reliable snow, trails that are purpose-built for skiing, and grooming at world-class standards to make the ski touring experience the best it can be.
Visitors to these trails can explore them on cross-country skis, or snowshoes. The extensive trail network also provides opportunities for travelers to experience the region's charming inns and eateries, whether for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a refreshing beverage apres ski.
“So much has changed over the last 40 years since our organization was formed. Grooming has become more sophisticated, some centers have added snowmaking, and equipment and gear continue to improve. But what hasn’t changed is the tremendous culture of skiing that exists here in NH’s White Mountains. It’s not just the 400km of skiing, it’s also the ability to ski from inn to inn, stopping at restaurants and taverns, and taking part in citizens' races and fun events. There’s truly nothing like it anywhere else in the U.S.,” stated Jackson Ski Touring Foundation Executive Director Ellen Chandler.
Other changes over the last 40 years include an ever-growing list of activities at ski touring centers. For instance, the burgeoning popularity of snowshoeing, backcountry skiing and uphill “skinning” has changed the way their trails are accessed. Designated trails are available for skiers to engage in the exhilarating activity of skijoring with their dogs or exploration on a fat tire bike.
Best of all, cross-country skiing remains a sport with a reasonable price tag - trail passes range from $20-$26 a day with discounted prices for children and seniors. The sport remains accessible and affordable to families. Some areas offer free tickets for kids up to a certain age. Trailside accommodations midweek in January 2024 can be had for as little as $99/night.
Unlike planning a winter ski trip to a single resort destination, the multiple locations offered by White Mountain Nordic mean ideal snow conditions are almost guaranteed. Visitors can stay at a single hotel for an entire trip, and make decisions on where to ski based on conditions and weather, which often vary from day to day, and area to area. And unlike some Western resorts, there’s no downtime waiting to acclimate to higher elevations. In fact, White Mountain Nordic areas are an easy drive from major East Coast metropolitan areas such as Boston and New York City.
In 2017, North Conway was recognized as the #1 Best Ski Town in North America in USA Today's 10Best Reader's Choice Awards and has been in the top 5 ever since, further affirming the appeal of this destination for winter sports enthusiasts. Both Great Glen Trails and Jackson Ski Touring consistently rank in the Top 10 for Best Cross Country Ski Resort in the country, reflecting the high quality and popularity of the trails offered by these six centers.
If you are new to cross-country skiing or searching for equipment and programs suitable for you and your family, the Nordic Skiing 101 resources on their website (https://wmnordic.com) is the perfect resource to get started.
Upgrades for the 2023-24 Ski Season
White Mountain Nordic member resorts reported significant investments this year, which will result in improved grooming and facilities, including:
Join the White Mountain Nordic Association in celebrating four decades of excellence in promoting Nordic skiing and providing access to these remarkable trails. With the 40th-anniversary season approaching, now is the perfect time start planning a winter vacation to discover the winter wonderland of the White Mountains.
For more information about the White Mountain Nordic Association and its six Nordic ski centers, please visit their website at https://wmnordic.com/.