Winter Trails Day

Winter Trails Day, which has been around for about 15 years, offers wannabe skiers an opportunity to give the sport a try for free. Children and adults who’ve never gone snowshoeing or cross-country skiing can enjoy free lessons, lift tickets, equipment, and other offerings at one of 100 resorts and ski areas across the Upper Midwest in January (2010's program took place on January 9th). Many Winter Trails Day venues change year to year, but this Winter Trails Day guide will help you plan ahead of time.

Winter Trails Day Details

Winter Trails Day 2010


Winter Trails Day programs include group lessons, nature hikes, product demos, and much more. Most Winter Trails Day venues, however, offer up a day of free lift tickets, ski equipment rentals, and even lessons.


Early to mid January


More than 20 US states usually participate in Winter Trails Day, so there are many fun, free events to choose from. The following venues, listed in alphebetical order by state, may feature Winter Trails Day deals and freebies. Contact the one you’re interested in for more details.


  • Alaska Backcountry Access & Alyeska Resort
  • Hatcher Pass / Matanuska-Susitna Borough Parks and Outdoor Recreation
  • Alaskans for Palmer Hay Flats


  • Bear Valley XC
  • Kirkwood Cross Country Ski Area and Snowshoe Center (anchor site)
  • Tahoe Cross Country Ski Area


  • Echo Lake (anchor site)
  • Estes Park  (anchor site)
  • High Trail Sports
  • Keystone Resort Nordic Center
  • The Trailhead


  • East Mink Creek Nordic Center
  • Schweitzer Mountain Resort
  • Winchester Lake State Park


  • Carter’s XC Ski Center
  • Rangeley Lakes Trails Center


  • Canterbury Farm Cross Country Ski Center
  • Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environmental Center
  • Notchview Reservation
  • Stump Sprouts Cross Country Ski Center and Guest Lodge
  • Weston Ski Track (anchor site)


  • Wisp Resort Nordic Center


  • American Nordic Walking System
  • Cross Country Ski Headquarters
  • Crystal Mountain Resort & Spa
  • Hartwick Pines State Park
  • The Homestead
  • Shanty Creek Resorts
  • Vasa Pathway


  • Fort Snelling State Park (anchor site)
  • Midwest Mountaineering
  • Shingobee Hills Recreation Area, Chippewa National Forest


  • Blacktail Mtn. X-C ski trails
  • Glacier Outdoor Center
  • Glacier National Park
  • Montana Discovery Foundation
  • Tenmile Environmental Trail
  • Moonlight Hike from Moose Creek Cabin West of Helena, MT
  • Nature's Playground, Lincoln, Montana
  • Rendezvous Ski Trails, Gallatin National Forest
  • Snowshoe Discovery Hike, Lone Pine State Park

New Hampshire

  • Bretton Woods Nordic Center
  • Great Glenn Trails Outdoor Center
  • Gunstock Cross Country and Snowshoe Center
  • King Pine Ski Area & Purity Spring Resort
  • White Mountain Exploration at Tenny Mountain


  • Sinnemahoning State Park
  • Jennings Environmental Education Center
  • Liberty Mountain (anchor site)
  • Nescopeck State Park
  • Presque Isle State Park 
  • Prompton State Park
  • Pymatuning State Park
  • Sugarloaf warming hut/ Sugarloaf Sledding area

New Jersey

  • High Point Cross Country Ski Center

New York

  • Ellicott Creek Park
  • Joseph Davis State Park
  • Knox Farm State Park
  • Lapland Lake Nordic Vacation Center
  • Lighthouse Tour and Trail Adventure
  • Taconic Outdoor Education Center
  • Tree Haven Trails
  • Hasbrouck Park

North Carolina

  • Sugar Mountain Resort


  • Black Butte Ranch – Glaze Meadow Equipment Rental
  • White River Snow Park (anchor site)


  • Soldier Hollow (anchor site)


  • Blueberry Lake
  • Bolton Valley Nordic Center
  • Blueberry Hill Inn & Nordic Center
  • Craftsbury Outdoor Center
  • Hazen's Notch Association
  • Highland Lodge and Cross Country Ski Center
  • Mountain Top Inn & Resort Nordic Ski & Snowshoe Center
  • Ole's Cross Country Ski Center
  • Sleepy Hollow Inn, Ski & Bike Center
  • Smugglers’ Notch Resort Nordic Ski and Snowshoe Adventure Center
  • Woodstock Nordic Center


  • 49 Degrees North Nordic Center
  • Badger Ski Hill

West Virginia

  • White Grass Touring Center


  • Camp Ski Area
  • Minocqua Winter Park & Nordic Center


  • Grand Targhee Nordic Center


Registration is required for many Winter Trails Day freebies, so make sure to contact your preferred ski area or resort for details. In the meantime, check out the main Winter Trails web site for more information:


Vacation rentals in the following states may be located near Winter Trails Day programs -

Alaska, California, Colorado, Idaho, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, New Jersey, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and Wyoming