JACKSON -- There's a new groomer on the trails at Jackson Ski Touring this year, and early snow has already given the $175,000 state-of-the-art Kassbohrer PB100 a good workout.
The new machine incorporates the latest in grooming technology. Its arrival was much anticipated by Jackson's veteran grooming staff, which keeps the trails in good shape.
"Over the years, the Jackson Ski Touring has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars preparing the surface of the trails to be able to groom with the first snow of the season," said Executive Director Thom Perkins.
The Jackson Ski Touring Center has the largest trail system in the East and is known for the quality of its trails and world-class grooming. It is run by the Jackson Ski Touring Foundation, which is a non-profit organization, and maintains 150 kilometers of cross-country ski and snowshoe trails in the White Mountain National Forest, in cooperation with 75 private landowners and the village of Jackson.
With the recent snowfall, Jackson Ski Touring is now open for skiing and snowshoeing daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with miles of trails featuring scenic woods and vistas. Perkins recommends the "quite extraordinary" Boggy Brook Trail, a 3.5-kilometer trail in the northern section of the network groomed for both track and skate-style skiing.
Lessons and rentals are available for newcomers to skiing and snowshoeing. Jackson Ski Touring offers a one-hour children's lesson at 10:30 a.m. on weekends and holidays. The Anklebiter is a mini 300-foot course, complete with fun Storyland characters, located just outside the base lodge for children to master their skills before heading out on the main trails.
Free snowshoe rentals are also available for children up to age 7 so they can accompany their parents on snowshoe treks; children under 10 can ski for free. Skiing parents can pull their small children behind them in one- and two-seat pulk sleds, or they can ski in peace and quiet by taking advantage of day care offered at nearby Black Mountain Ski Area.
The facility is a draw for schools and students of all ages, ranging from the Jackson Grammar School to Dartmouth College. For this winter there are the three days of college races, two days of club races and a junior high school race planned.
Guided snowshoeing tours with expert guide/naturalist Peter Minnich are a great way to see what is in the woods besides other skiers. Additional tours are being offered during the Christmas/New Year's holiday week.
Jackson is a whole New England Village dedicated to Nordic skiing, with a picturesque white steeple church, covered bridges, cascading waterfalls and mountain scenery. Off the trails, great restaurants and charming country inns make it a destination for daytrippers and vacationers alike.
Cross-country skiing or snowshoeing is an affordable way to enjoy the winter. Day passes at Jackson Ski Touring start at $21 for adults, $10 for juniors (10-17) and $17 for seniors. Snowshoe tickets are $10. The rental shop is open daily with packages starting at $16 for adults and $12 for children. Snowshoe tours are available at the center as well. Children under 10 ski free. Season passes are available.
For the latest snow conditions and information call 1-800-927-6697 (9XC-SNOWS) or visit www.jacksonxc.org.