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Local Betty Field Trip: Cross Country Skiing in Whitney Woods

red coffepot in the snow x355


Snow. !@#$%^& Snow.

Rather than throwing myself on the floor in a full on tantrum {I'm still recovering from the winter of 2015} as soon as there's enough of it, I'm going cross country skiing – and making an event of it.

I'll head to Whitney Thayer Woods. I love them- they're totally different than World's End or Wompatuck. Wilder than World's End, W/T has gently rolling trails that wind their way through magically tall trees, past mossy fern-covered boulders, through dwarfing groves of rhododendron. The kind of woods that help you understand why ancients believed in wood nymphs and forest fairies.

I take suggestions from Signe, who weathers winter better than anyone we know.  Here is her map to ski Whitney Thayer Woods. Print it out and follow along:

  • This is a 1 1/2 - 2 hour loop for relatively proficient and focused skiiers.  I am neither so I'm planning on 3 hours minimum.
  • Take a friend, a phone, a camera, and take a map.  It's easy to get lost in Whitney Woods so no Hansel and Gretel please.
  • Park at the gate on Turkey Hill Lane before you get to the top of the hill.  Walk in a bit and strap on the skis.
  • The first marker you will come to is #35, you're on your way.
  • The loop 35,16, 17, 23, 18, 25, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 27, 16, 35 {colored red on the map} is the easier loop and about 1 1/2 hours of steady skiing.
  • Add 19, 20, 5, 7  and 8 to that loop {colored yellow on the map} to make it harder, longer and more like 2 1/2- 3 hours. 

Did I mention that I firmly believe that cross country skiing was invented in order to provide a reason for a winter picnic? Why on earth else would one strap on skis to huff and puff skate along on flat land with no gravitational pull to help out?

That means a trip to Bloomy Rind for provisions. Here are a few of their suggestions:

North Country Black Forest ham, Shelburn Farm cheddar, and Fox Farm balsamic vinegar & fresh garlic mustard on a baguette.
Salami Billese sopressatta, housemade feta, and Romesco red pepper spread on a baguette.
Tour de Marze Brie cheese and red onion jam on a baguette.
A thermos of one of their amazing soups is highly recommended too.

Then a stop at The Fruit Center for a bottle of wine. Yes, wine and sport. A most underrated combination.

Ski a bit, find a lovely log with a view, have lunch {hydrate with wine} and ski a bit more. Perfect. 

Alternately, get the picnic and the wine and spread it out on the floor at home in front of a roaring fire. Prop the skis up against the garage and pretend. Your choice. We won't judge.