One of the best ways to explore a winter wonderland is on cross-country skis. You can ski up close to backcountry geysers in Yellowstone Park, through covered bridges in New England, on top of glaciers in Norway and through forests, across frozen lakes and up and over mountains in many other places around the world.
It’s also one of the most awesome conditioners, not only building a strong heart and muscles, but capable of burning over 650 calories and hour.
And while the sport is one of the oldest in the world, its popularity is growing particularly fast in recent years.
A standout example of this is in the state of Maine. So determined to reap the health benefits of the sport, they have developed a WinterKids program, whereby they provide young Maine children from preschool through 7th grade with opportunities for free cross-country and snowshoeing.
And in the western mountains of the state, Maine Huts & Trails is in the process of creating a 180-mile-long ski corridor with a dozen ski-in huts. Not too shabby a way to spend your time. You glide along through beautiful scenery and top off the day with a hot shower and a meal in a well-appointed backcountry hut…and then set out again the next day.
Photos: Top right, Innovation Norway. Lower left, WinterKids program, Maine.