New NH Cross-Country Resort Offers Winter Sports Alternatives.

Olympian Sue Long Wymess demonstrates “Gorilla Arms” technique at Great Glens Trails. Credit: Tamsin Venn

Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center just past Wildcat on Route 16 in New Hampshire, sits at the base of the towering Mt. Washington. At 1,600 feet in an area known as the Glen, the snow is plentiful, and the managers cut Nordic trails to perfection daily for both classic and skate.

Cruise around a 45-km network of groomed and backcountry trails. Most trails are double tracked, for two-way traffic.

“Great Glen has some of the finest designed trails for cross country skiing in the world. The late John Frado is famous for designing them for quality and whimsy that the Great Glen trails beautifully convey,” says Roger Lohr, SeniorsSkiing.com cross-country editor and publisher of XCSkiResorts.com. 

“The Meister program at Great Glen may be the most successful in the country with a fat bike component, too,” he adds of the weekly locals’ race series.

Learn from the best. Ski School Director Sue Long Wemyss, a U.S. Ski Team member from 1983-86, competed in all four of the XC races in the 1984 Olympics in Sarajevo. She offers a lesson package of three one-hour private lessons.

Heads up. Nordic equipment has changed radically in the past decade. You can rent or buy skis that are waxable, waxless, or skinned. A new adjustable binding system lets you move your weight forward or backward with the turn of a dial. The new skin skis are much faster than the old mohairs (“slohairs”). Music to our ears: “You can enjoy skiing more with the new gear,” says Great Glen XC shop director Nate Harvey.

A scavenger hunt for grandkids will keep them searching for forest friends. Credit: Tamsin Venn

Take the grandkids out on the green trails and let them spot all their furry friends at animal cartoon stations. Punch all the holes on the map and they earn an official Trails Tracker button.

Come and stay awhile trailside. Just opened in September, The Glen House is the fifth hotel on this site (four others burned down). It’s an airy building that manages to be both rustic and sleek. Thanks to the efforts of Great Glen Trails General Manager Howie Wemyss (Sue’s husband), the hotel uses state-of-the art green technology to harness geothermal for heating and cooling and eventually solar and hydro. Half the hotel’s 68 rooms have balconies facing the Northern Presidential mountains and the Carter Moriah range. The Notch Grille and indoor heated saltwater make après ski relaxing. In the great room, two story windows face the peaks of Mt. Washington, Jefferson, Adams, and Madison, and Architectural Digest recently named it “The Most Beautiful Bar in New Hampshire.”

Great Glen is a good spot to try a new activity or for everyone in the family to enjoy themselves. Choose fat biking, snowshoeing, tubing, or taking the SnowCoach up Mt. Washington to timberline into an Arctic winter wonderland. Ski and stay packages are reasonable. Summer brings a whole other basket of activities.

The Glen House hotel has a truly beautiful bar with dramatic artwork. Credit Tamsin Venn

Nordic Rates: Season Pass Seniors $100 (62 Plus), $75 if bought by Dec. 1. Day pass Senior (62 Plus) $12. Two for 1 Mondays and Fridays (non holidays).

Trails are groomed to perfection at Great Glen. Credit: Tamsin Venn

 

 

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