New guy needs advice

New England States, NY and anyplace else east of the Mississippi

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xcskiforum 10K
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New guy needs advice

Post by abe » Mon Jan 14, 2008 9:07 am

My friend and I are both looking to get into the Cross country ski scene. We both did a limited amount of it when we were younger, and neither of us are from the area. We're living in the Seacoast area of NH and are looking for something close by, preferably public (free) trails.

I know that that in itself might be a bit demanding. So if it comes down to some private trails, which places do you guys recommend? We're also going to need to rent equipment, so any tips in that regard are also appreciated.

We're both pretty active - we do a fair amount of hiking, running and biking in the summer, so we may not need the most novice trail in all the land. Thanks for all your help

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Some N.H. suggestions

Post by LewLasher » Mon Jan 14, 2008 10:01 am

For groomed trails, the closest place to the New Hampshire seacoast is Gunstock, located in Gilford (near Laconia). Many years ago, I skied on the Charmingfare golf course in Candia, but they did not groom the trails well, and it isn't clear that they still offer cross-country skiing. If there is snow in the Monadnock region, Windblown in New Ipswich is a great place to ski, but Gunstock is probably slightly closer to where you are.

I'm not familiar with free public trails in the area, but the Web site for Pawtuckaway State Park (in Nottingham) claims that they offer cross-country skiing. I wouldn't be surprised if the trails are not groomed, though.

For renting skis, many (but not all) EMS stores rent skis - try calling the store in Portsmouth. A Web search yields a store called Portsmouth Rent & Ride which looks like it, too, rents skis. A good store for buying skis is the Golf and Ski Warehouse (I haven't been to their store in Greenland but only to the one in West Lebanon), but I'm not sure if they rent skis. Then again, if you are going to a place like Gunstock or Windblown, then you can just rent skis at the touring center.

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Post by MaineXC » Sun Feb 10, 2008 10:39 am

This might be a little out of your way, but a rather unknown gem I found recently is called Five Fields Farm in South Bridgton Maine. It's between Shawnee Peak ski area and Lake Sebago. There's an old apple barn that they converted into a warming hut and rental area. (I didn't check out the skis too closely, so I am not sure how good they are?)

The farm is next door to Bald Pate Mountain Trails, which is part of the Loon Echo Land Trust. Five Fields grooms trails through that area as well, and you can snowshoe to the top of the mountain for the views.

It's located on Route 107 in South Bridgton, Maine. You can google both areas for more info.

Also, if you are ever in Portland ME, Riverside golf course has groomed trails. Requested donation is $2.00. The snow was a little sketchy the last time i was there, but we have had a few storms since then.

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Post by sharon333 » Wed Nov 12, 2008 4:27 pm

That is a great suggestion. I will have to check them out.
Love to for x skiing at a pocono hotel.

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Post by MaineXC » Sun Jan 30, 2011 6:33 am

Sharon333, I am not sure of your location, but I just discovered another gem in Gray Maine. Between Portland and Lewiston. Libby Hill Forest Trails.

They are located right behind the Gray/New Gloucester Middle School. The grooming was outstanding and I am heading there this morning. It's free, but I was so impressed with the place that I emptied my wallet into the iron ranger in the parking lot.

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harrris farm in alfred me

Post by brambor » Sun Jan 30, 2011 6:40 am

Seems to be closest from the suggestions so far.

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