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Cross-Country Skiing & Snowshoeing Tips for Newbies

Dec 21, 2017 01:11PM ● By Linda Ditch
The Woodstock Inn’s Tubbs Snowshoes & Nordic Adventure Center provides more than 40 kilometers of groomed trails for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. If you’re new to these sports and want to give them a try, here are a few tips to help you get started.

Cross-Country Skiing

There are two types of cross-country skiing. The classic style is moving your skis parallel to each other. This is the easiest way to do it and the way most people start.

The other style is skate skiing. As the name suggests, it involves more of a skating movement on specialized skate skis. This technique is faster but more physically demanding. It also requires trails that are wider and well groomed.

When you’re starting out, spend your time learning the basics—moving smoothly and dealing with hills. The Nordic Center offers lessons, or you can find information about techniques online to show you how it’s done. Also, start with well-groomed trails. Once you get the hang of things and depending on your physical conditioning, you should be able to ski 10 to 15 kilometers in an afternoon.


Considered the fastest-growing winter sport in the world, snowshoeing is perhaps the easiest to learn. There are casual snowshoers, enthusiasts who tackle the backcountry, and even those who compete in races. And compared to other winter sports, it’s the least expensive. Not to mention you’ll burn more than 600 calories per hour!

Before buying a pair of snowshoes, it’s a good idea to rent them a time or two so you can try out the sport before spending money on it. When you do decide to buy, there are three types of snowshoes available:

  •  Recreational hiking snowshoes—perfect for newbies. This type works best on fairly level terrain without a lot of steep hills.
  • Aerobic/fitness snowshoes—great for active snowshoers, these have a sleek design.
  • Hiking snowshoes—made for experienced snowshoers, they’re designed with a strong aluminum frame and bindings for all types of boots.

The size (length) of your snowshoes will depend on your weight. The store will help you buy the right ones.

The Tubbs Snowshoes & Nordic Adventure Center at The Woodstock Inn & Resort offers rental and retail ski and snowshoe equipment as well as clothing and other gear. It is open daily 9 am to 4 pm through mid-March. Call (802) 457-6674 for more information.

What's your favorite outdoor winter activity?

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