The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, January 21, 2005


Cross-country skiing
When it comes down to it, there are only a few days to cross-country ski each winter. Between snowfall, weather conditions, and family life, often the days can be counted on one hand. Nordic skiing can also be an extremely aerobic sport. You have to feel up for it. But when the stars align — good snow, free time, and extra energy — skiing can be a rare pleasure. You have to seize the opportunity.

Great Brook Farm State Park on Lowell Street has ten miles of trails, more than enough to please the most energetic skier. The trails are machine-groomed with double-tracks for traditional Nordic skiing and a lane for cross-country skating. There are a couple of hills to practice downhill techniques. Always vulnerable to the amount of snow we get, the cross-country center stays open as many days as it can.

To really get away from it all though, there's nothing like setting new tracks in the snow. While gliding in tracked snow is faster, breaking a trail has its own rewards, especially in fresh powder. There's a lot of back-country skiing here, whether in the Town Forest, the Cranberry Bog, Estabrook Woods, or other forest land.

Covered in snow, even the most familiar trail is transformed. There are animal tracks to explore, cold, fresh air, and white beauty. Snapping on a set of skis and setting out from the front door feels like living in the country. Even though this is a suburb, on a pair of skis or snowshoes a wilder world emerges.

2005 The Carlisle Mosquito