Trapp Family Lodge Wins Best Cross Country Ski Resort!
American Birkebeiner Trail, Tahoe Donner, Devil's Thumb Ranch and SilverStar Mountain Resort also winners.
Nordic skiing, downhill's more cardio-centric cousin, has exploded in popularity as a fun way to get fit and enjoy some of North America's most stunning winter scenery. We asked three Olympians (all current or former members of the U.S. Nordic Ski Team) to nominate their favorite cross country resorts in North America. For the past four weeks, USA TODAY 10Best readers have been voting for their faves, and the results are in!
Mount Bachelor Nordic Center (Bend, Ore.)
Skiers at Mount Bachelor Nordic Center enjoy one of the longest groomed seasons on the continent, running from mid-November through May. Athletes can choose from a dozen different trails, and 35 miles of them are groomed each night. The longest trail, Oli's Alley measures over 7 miles with a 600-foot elevation change. Photo courtesy of Brian Becker
Jackson Ski Touring Center (Jackson, N.H.)
Managed by the Jackson Ski Touring Foundation, the Jackson Ski Touring Center offers some of the East Coast's most popular groomed and backcountry trails, perfect for casual skiers and competitive racers. Sights along the trails are quintessentially New England: covered bridges, steepled churches and charming villages. Photo courtesy of Jackson Ski Touring Center
Royal Gorge Cross Country Resort (Soda Springs, Calif.)
isn't just for downhill skiers! With an average 500 annual inches of snowfall, more than 125 miles (200 kilometers) of trails and 6,000 acres of terrain, Royal Gorge Cross Country Resort has a trail for everyone (as well as nine warming huts for breaks along the way). Photo courtesy of Daphne Hougard
Craftsbury Outdoor Center (Craftsbury Common, Vt.)
At the Craftsbury Outdoor Center in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom, skiers glide through deep woods and fields along 65 miles (105 kilometers) of groomed trails. Lessons and rentals are available for skiers of all abilities. Photo courtesy of AP Photo/Craig Line
Lone Mountain Ranch (Big Sky, Mont.)
Not far from Big Sky and Moonlight Basin, Lone Mountain Ranch maintains one of the best Nordic trail systems in the region (if not the country). Just 18 miles from Yellowstone, skiers will find more than 52 miles (85 kilometers) of trails, including the challenging 10-mile Siberia Trail. Photo courtesy of Lone Mountain Ranch
SilverStar Mountain Resort (Vernon, British Columbia)
SilverStar Mountain Resort in British Columbia is home to Canada's largest network of daily groomed Nordic trails. Dual mountain ski passes allow visitors to enjoy the 34 miles (55 kilometers) of trails at SilverStar in addition to 31 miles (50 kilometers) of trails at neighboring Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre. Photo courtesy of MEC, Noel Hendrickson
Devil's Thumb Ranch (Tabernash, Colo.)
With 68 miles (109 kilometers) of trails, Devil's Thumb Ranch in Colorado has become one of the nation's most popular destinations for Nordic skiing. Located on private land at the base of the Continental Divide, the ranch has something for everyone, including lessons, clinics and rentals. Photo courtesy of Devil's Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa
Tahoe Donner (Truckee, Calif.)
Tahoe Donner Cross Country Ski Area recently opened a new state-of-the-art facility for visiting skiers, which includes a bar, rental shop, lockers and an extensive retail section. But what skiers really come for are the 62 miles (100 kilometers) of trails winding through the Tahoe Donner area. Photo courtesy of Tahoe Donner
American Birkebeiner Trail (Hayward, Wis.)
The American Birkebeiner Trail, or 'The Birkie" for short, measures a whopping 66.5 miles (107 kilometers) in Wisconsin. Besides hosting one of North America's biggest cross country races, the 27K Birkie Classic, the trail attracts skiers of all types and ability levels. Photo courtesy of ABSF
Trapp Family Lodge (Stowe, Vt.)
Inspired by The Sound of Music
, the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe opened as the first cross country ski center in the U.S. Today, the resort boasts 37 miles (60 kilometers) of groomed trails and another 62 miles (100 kilometers) of backcountry trails suitable for skiers of multiple ability levels. Photo courtesy of Trapp Family Lodge
The top 10 winners in the category Best Cross Country Ski Resort are as follows:
- Trapp Family Lodge - Stowe, Vt.
- American Birkebeiner Trail - Hayward, Wis.
- Tahoe Donner - Truckee, Calif.
- Devil's Thumb Ranch - Tabernash, Colo.
- SilverStar Mountain Resort - Vernon, British Columbia
- Lone Mountain Ranch - Big Sky, Mont.
- Craftsbury Outdoor Center - Craftsbury Common, Vt.
- Royal Gorge Cross Country Resort - Soda Springs, Calif.
- Jackson Ski Touring Center - Jackson, N.H.
- Mount Bachelor Nordic Center - Bend, Ore.
A panel of experts picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Sadie Bjornsen, Holly Brooks, andSophie Caldwell were chosen based on their extensive cross country skiing experience.
Additional nominees in the category Best Cross Country Ski Resort included Bohart Ranch Cross Country Ski Center, Hatcher Pass, Kincaid Park, Methow Trails, Rendezvous Ski Trails, Soldier Hollow, Stowe Mountain Resort Cross Country Center, Summit Nordic Center, Sun Valley Nordic & Snowshoe Center and Whiteface Lake Placid Olympic Cross Country Trails.
10Best and USA TODAY extend their congratulations to all the winners.