Cross-Country Skiing Away the Winter Blues

Cross country skiing in Fahnestock Winter Park

Cross-Country Skiing Away the Winter Blues

The freezing cold temperatures and constant threat of snow are starting to wear down on me. I am a very positive person, but this winter is beginning to thin out my tolerance for the season, giving me a major case of the winter blues.

As much as I fell in love with winter last year, it’s only February, and like many, I am ready for this winter to end. Instead of going out and enjoying the season, I’ve been hibernating and dreaming of warmer days and beaches. I even booked a spring break getaway to Puerto Rico. By then the snow will be gone, but I know that I’ll need to thaw out from this frigid winter.

Puerto Rican dreams.

Still, as no end seems to be in sight, I have been trying to get myself through it. Last year, I discovered that by being outdoors and enjoying cold weather activities, I began to actually like winter. Going back to that mindset, I remembered the one activity that I didn’t get to try last year: cross country skiing.

The only issue I had was convincing someone to join me in the below freezing temperatures. Luckily, a few weeks ago, I happened to overhear a conversation my brother, Thomas, was having with my dad. It was all about wanting to go cross country skiing.

Immediately, I jumped on the opportunity and began looking up places nearby. Unfortunately, many places have trails, but you need to bring your own skis. Since this was our first time, we needed to find a place that had rentals, and after a little research we discovered Fahnestock Winter Park.

Olympics Fingerpost

About an hour north of New York City, Fahnestock Winter Park is a winter lover’s paradise. Not only can you cross country ski, but there are also trails for snowshoeing and tubing. Plus, for $26 each, we were able to get our rentals for the day, as well as our trail pass. There are eighteen kilometers of mapped trails for beginners and experienced skiers, as well as an outdoor fireplace with a lodge serving food, and the always important hot chocolate. For us, it was the perfect place to test out this winter sport.

Even though Thomas and I grew up on the slopes, we knew cross-country skiing was a different animal. We weren’t entirely sure what to expect, but we got on our skis, and headed on our way down the tracks, hoping for the best. Immediately, we both liked it.

Fahnestock Winter Park

It was easier than I expected, but even as I gained confidence, I realized that it was also quite difficult. We both fell a few times, naively thinking at first that we couldn’t fall, but always got up laughing, and challenging ourselves not to fall the next time.

Cross country skiing in Fahnestock Winter Park

Thomas was definitely better than I was, more confident and quick, and I spent my time trying to keep up. Instead of focusing fully on the sport, I let my mind wander, looking around and appreciating the world around me.

Cross country skiing in Fahnestock Winter Park

Being outside, able to fully enjoy the winter season, my hatred of the cold switched over to an awareness of the world around me. In my skis, the snow was no longer the inconvenience that it normally is in my every day life. There was no grey ugly snow or ice to mess up my commute, but instead I was able to realize how particularly magical the world looks when it’s covered in snow.

Cross country skiing in Fahnestock Winter Park

Outside, in the park, I was able to glide my way peacefully though nature, taking in the snow covered branches and seeing the beauty in the way the snow carefully blankets the world. Suddenly, the cold wasn’t bothering me, instead I was warm. Staring up at the trees and looking around me, I was too happy to hate winter.

Cross country skiing in Fahnestock Winter Park

Even today, as the slow blows around outside, piling up in inches by the hour, it’s hard to hate the beauty behind the season. Yes, it’s cold, and sure, it creates a ton of disturbances, but sometimes we need to take a minute to really look at how pretty the snow can be.

I think my time spent outside trying a new activity made me remember why I fell in love with the season last year. Now, when it snows, I am just looking forward to my next outdoor adventure, rather than letting the winter blues have their way with me.

Cross country skiing in Fahnestock Winter Park

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Comments (9)

  1. Lance | Trips By Lance

    I would like to do this. I’ve never been on skis. But I’ve been thinking this winter that we need to take a winter-themed trip next year. Living in Memphis, my son has had maybe three snows to play in. In his life. And we haven’t had one in probably three years, at least the kind he can actually play in. I’d love to cross country ski. The distance runner in me would love the challenge.

    1. The World Wanderer

      Lance, you would definitely enjoy it, even never having been on skis. You must take a big winter trip with the family! I know the perfect place…Lake Placid! 🙂

  2. @mrsoaroundworld

    This sounds so interesting and different 🙂 and you look FAB!

    1. The World Wanderer

      Thanks, Mrs. O! It was really fun.

  3. Mary Anne

    I was so close to trying cross country skiing in Canada this past Christmas… but didn’t quite get there. Next year.

    1. The World Wanderer

      You’ll have to try it next year. I think you’d enjoy it. Let’s go together!

  4. Traveling Ted

    I wish there were more people like you embracing winter and cross-country skiing. I am officially tired of seeing people whine about winter on Facebook. I need a winter whine hide plugin to hide those crazy statuses. This park looks great, and I see some hills in the distance in one of the pictures. I am glad you enjoyed my favorite outdoor activity.

    1. The World Wanderer

      Haha, Ted, I totally hear you on the plug-in. People are hating on winter this year. I know it’s been a tough one, but last year there wasn’t enough snow to cross-country ski, so I’m loving this year.

  5. Kat B.

    You have nicely captured what can make that silent sport so special — quietly enjoying the beauty of the winter landscape (preferably on an above-zero day!). I was happy to rediscover the pleasure of this activity a few years ago when my son joined the high school Nordic ski team. Great multi-generational sport and definitely a good way to chase the winter blues away.

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