I don't know about you, but when I was a kid, I spent a lot of time outdoors. Regardless of the weather, my brothers and I were outside!
If it was summer, we would walk the creek, swim, hike the woods, bike ride, and even climb a tree or two!
In the winter, we usually had a good amount of snow and lived where it was cold enough for the ponds and creeks to really freeze over.
We would trudge through the snowy woods and pretend we were like the characters in a Jack London story!
Impressive igloos and of course, huge snowmen that required all builders to stack those over-sized snowballs were also part of our winter fun!
The TV (...screen of the day!) was not allowed on until after dinner-- which, after all that time outside, we could barely stay awake to watch anything!
We even had a couple of years where my whole family tried downhill skiing!
It was fun to try, and I'm glad I faced my fears and tried it, but going downhill with much better skiers whizzing by was not really my thing!
At some point along the way, curling up with a book inside while sipping hot cocoa replaced going outdoors during winter!
I'm still a fan, mind you of the curl up & sip cocoa thing, but when Cenzia came along it all changed!
Like many kids, she loved snow! It was a complete game-changer!
(...FYI, if you want a really good hot cocoa recipe, this one by Alton Brown is my go-to!! It's delicious!)
Her excitement inspired me to jump back on board with the snow thing!
We made snow angels, built snowmen, trudged around in it with our snowshoes, sprayed it pretty colors, made snow ice cream, brought it inside to make snow scenes with her toys, AND because we loved it so much, we always kept a bag of the last snow to keep in the freezer!
I know there's probably still a bag of snow buried down in our freezer somewhere!
Over the years that Cenz was growing up, we tried it all - ice skating, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing...you name it!
We gradually built up our gear, so we could choose at the last minute and go where our hearts -and the snow, took us!
We still enjoy ice skating and snowshoeing, but, I'd have to say that our favorite winter activity is definitely cross country skiing!
A neighbor had given us her set of skis and poles a few years back and that's what got us started! We bought a set for my husband and daughter when time and budget allowed and then there was no stopping us!
Cross-country skiing is a great choice of a winter sport for many reasons!
You don't need much snow! As long as you don't see the grass on flat terrain, you're good to go. If the trail is rocky or has tree roots, you'll need a little more coverage or you risk damaging the bottom of your skis.
Many golf courses and state parks have trails for cross-country skiing and snow shoeing, so all you need is equipment.
Some state parks even have equipment to rent.
Cross-country skiing is a fabulous all-body workout! Arms, legs and engaging your core for balance are all involved!
Minimal cost! If you need equipment, check out online sites like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, etc.. Another place to look is at sports equipment resellers like Play It Again Sports. There are a lot of people selling cross country equipment very affordably!
Eat dessert without guilt! ...at least for one night! Cross-country skiing burns 400-600 calories per hour! So, after that day on the trail or afternoon in the woods, you can indulge with that dessert you've been wanting!!
It's fun! Gliding on skis while seeing squirrels scampering, the sun peeking through the pines and breathing in the crisp, fresh air is just the best!
So, this week when we found ourselves with less obligations and plenty of time, we made it our goal to get outside!!
We were itching to go cross-country skiing!
Unfortunately, the snow had not fallen in a while, so if we were to enjoy some of the white stuff and the beauty of the season, we were going to have to go somewhere!
A quick Google search offered up some options of places we could drive to that had snow and decent conditions!
We settled on Lapland Lake Cross Country Ski Center in Northville, New York. It was a reasonable driving distance for us and had great reviews!
They update their ski conditions daily along with weather and expected changes throughout the day, which is perfect for folks that are making the drive.
A quick visit to their website indicated that their trail conditions were perfect!
The sun was shining, it was brisk, but not crazy cold.
The Lapland Lake Nordic Vacation Center has over 30 miles of groomed trails for both beginners as well as more seasoned and advanced skiers.
The Lodge also has a fully stocked shop with necessities as well as gift items!
In addition, you can enjoy tubing, snowshoeing and lake skiing (when conditions allow and only on groomed trail) for those winter enthusiasts who are interested in a little variety!
If you're traveling farther or want to make a weekend of it, they have several cabins you can reserve to make for a lovely overnight or weekend!
What better way to start the day than to wake up, step outside and begin your day with some cross-country skiing?!
We skied a couple of the beginner trails that brought us near the lake -- one was the Lake Trail! It was well-marked, easy and brought us to a beautiful view!
They also have a variety of more challenging trails for the more advanced or adventurous skier!
We loved the trails, and of course, we stopped to take pics along the way!
If you like photos as much as we do, be prepared to have plenty of room on your phone or camera!
The gorgeous scenery and late afternoon sunshine are very compelling reasons to take off those mittens and gloves and document this pretty place!
We enjoyed stopping into the lodge after a couple of hours of skiing on the trails and relaxed in this cozy seating area with an adorable wood stove!
The lodge also has the Kuuma Feeding Station on the second floor which features breakfast options, lunch and beverages to refuel after your outdoor exercise! Restrooms are on the first floor and wifi is available as well!
Also, inside the lodge is a little convenience store selling ski essentials such as gloves, energy bars and even little souvenirs!
Pins, maple syrup, and other fun little tokens are available to purchase to remember your experience by!
Some Reminders Before Heading Out For Your Outdoor Adventure:
Cell service can be sketchy. Make sure you either take a map or at least take a screen shot on your phone of directions!
Deer! We saw 10+ deer on our drive back. They had just crossed the road, so always be on the lookout and drive expecting it!
Always allow for extra time! The sun goes down earlier in wooded areas and back country roads can be a little twisty and icier than the main roads.
Bring extra gloves, hats, socks, etc.. It's colder in the woods and better to be prepared than be too cold! Luckily, if you forgot something on your trip to Lapland Lake, they have a well-appointed shop!
Take the right vehicle! Make sure your gas is filled, the tire pressure is good, you have emergency supplies and food/water with you. This is good advice for any road trip, but when you're headed to country or remote areas, it's best to be well-planned and prepared.
Well, that about brings our ski day outing at Lapland Lake to a close!
We highly recommend it to any fellow skiers and outdoor enthusiasts!
If you're reading this post and love getting out in that crisp, fresh air, this is the spot to ski! Click HERE to find out more about Lapland Lake!
We're always looking for suggestions of where to go next- would love to hear where you go for your outdoor fun in the comments below!
Keep Calm and Ski On!
Photo Credit: Cenzia
Hot Cocoa photo: Wix