Cross-country skiing is a wonderful winter pastime in Massachusetts. All that’s needed is skis, boots, and poles, and some nicely-packed snow. Unlike downhill ski areas, cross-country skiing is often free or very inexpensive. The next time the great outdoors are calling your name, check out these seven amazing cross-country skiing spots in Massachusetts.
Six miles of trails grace the land at Lowell-Dracut-Tyngsboro State Forest. ATVs aren’t allowed, so even the little ones will love to learn to ski here without fear of the off-road vehicles. Parking is free at this gorgeous spot. What more could you possibly ask for?
One thousand acres of land comprise Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park. Trails take cross-country skiers past the historic canal. Some will take them past historical sites, too. There are restrooms, free parking, and a visitor’s center, as well.
Cross-country ski with beautiful views of York Lake at Sandisfield State Forest. Just be sure to stay off the ice unless a park ranger has authorized its safety! Hiking trails throughout the forest make great skiing trails with some truly serene spots and excellent vantage points for spotting wildlife. You do have to pay to park here. It’s $8 for Massachusetts residents and $15 for non-residents. When compared to the price of downhill skiing, it’s a bargain.
Hikers love to climb up Carpenter Rocks at Wells State Park, but that’s definitely not recommended for cross-country skiers. Instead, they can take advantage of the more than 10 miles of trails at the 1,400-acre park. A scenic view of Walker Pond is worth skiers’ efforts, and an excellent spot for a short rest.
Shawme-Crowell State Forest spreads over 700 acres in this pretty Cape Cod town. More than 15 miles of trails makes it a perfect spot for cross-country skiing. Restrooms are available, which is always a plus if you’re spending the day on the trails, and parking is free.
Comprised of 16 miles of trails—many of which are old carriage trails—Maudslay State Park is the perfect place to spend the day on cross-country skis. In addition to the dirt trails and carriage trails, there are paved bike paths. During the spring and summer the trails are flanked by a vast array of wildflowers. The snow brightens the barren paths during the winter months. Visitors must pay for parking here. It’s $5 for Massachusetts residents and $10 for non-residents—per carload.
Breakheart Reservation is home to a large forest and two lakes. If cross-country skiers don’t mind a bit of an uphill climb, they’ll have incredible views of the region. The reservation’s large trail system includes Breakheart Reservation Loop—a two-mile trail—and Upper Pond Trail a close-to-five-mile trail. Both are perfect for cross-country skiing. Parking is free.