Cross-country skiing is a winter sport in which participants propel themselves across snow-covered terrain using skis and poles. It is one of the most difficult endurance sports, as its motions use every major muscle group and it is one of the sports that burn the most calories per hour in execution. The Mid-Hudson Valley landscape provides the perfect environment for this winter sport.
Cross-country ski trails. Nine kilometers of trails from beginner to expert. Trails are free. Open (conditions permitting) November to April.
Catskill Forest Preserve
Rochester Hollow Trail: 5.6 total miles. Trailhead elevation: 1,280 feet. Surface quality: Ungroomed, user-tracked. The tough, rugged, and mountainous trails in the Catskills are generally not suited for cross-country skiing. With elevations ranging from 1,100 to almost 4,200 feet, Rochester Hollow Trail is certainly not golf-course flat. It is, however, one of the few easier ski/snowshoe trails in the vicinity of Slide Mountain (the Catskills’ highest peak). As part of the Shandaken Wild Forest, it offers gentle climbs and gradual descents with no steep sections or dangerous downhill turns. This short, pleasant journey through a mostly deciduous forest can be taken at an easy pace or as an invigorating fitness workout, challenging the body on the way up the old woods road and providing a fast-paced slide on the way back.
Big Indian, NY
Clermont State Park
In addition to the Clermont family home, the property houses five historic gardens restored to their early 20th century appearance and five marked trails for the outdoor enthusiast. Both hikers and cross-country skiers will enjoy the same trails the Livingston family developed as carriage roads, farm roads, or recreation trails for their varied guests.
Fahnestock Winter Park
Fahnestock Memorial State Park’s 10,000 acres of natural wonders offer 7.2 total miles of machine-groomed, tracked, and mapped trails for a safe snowshoeing or cross-country skiing experience. With an elevation of 1,000 feet, Fahnestock’s winter trails are groomed for both classic and skate-style cross-country skiing. Many more miles of wilderness trails may be accessed from the park. The wilderness trails are not groomed or maintained by park staff, but are used by many winter enthusiasts interested in exploring the vast woods on their own. Tubing may be enjoyed on the park’s sledding hill.
Cold Spring, NY
Minnewaska State Park
Located in the dramatic Shawangunk Mountains. Dramatic rocks, interesting trails, big views, unique trees, and mountain lakes make this a special place. Unique and sensitive environments, valuable for their many rare geological and vegetation features, characterize Minnewaska State Park Preserve. The preserve rises more that 2,000 feet above sea level. The ridge dominates Minnewaska and its immediate environs. Experience trails like Awosting and Castle Point Trail Loop, 9.2 total miles with an elevation of 1,650 feet.
Mohonk Mountain House
Thirty-five miles of trails groomed for skiing. Trails wide enough for good skating as well as classic striding. Rental skis for classic striding. Cross-country ski lessons are available.
New Paltz, NY
The Mohonk Preserve has a large network of trails for cross-country skiing through interesting cliffs, trees, and rocks. Lands open daily. Occasionally groomed trails. Two favorites are Spring Farm trailhead and the Trapps.
Cross-Country Ski Center, Tannersville
Offers 35 kilometers of quiet nature trails on 300 acres that are groomed, track-set, and marked to their degree of difficulty. All trails are patrolled by the National Ski Patrol. The center carries all the necessities for your skiing enjoyment. They rent the equipment that they sell so you can try it before you buy it.
Ski Frost Valley YMCA
Set on 6,000 acres deep in the Catskill Mountains, Frost Valley YMCA offers great skiing for all ages and abilities. Visit for the miles of beautiful backcountry trails, the pristine streams, and rolling hills.
Many winter trail users consider the area’s longer trails to be a “destination tour,” a self-paced ski or walk with a place to meet friends and fellow skiers and snowshoers. Create your own tour. Make a plan for a trail breakfast or lunch before continuing your journeys through the great outdoors.