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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

winter: the not so off season

cheap winter sports can be found not far from your backyard

Forget the $70 lift tickets, gas money for the two-hour trek to the slopes, airport-priced resort food, lessons and equipment. No doubt, there are things to be depressed about financially right now, but the exorbitant cost of winter sports does not have to be one of them. Alpine skiing and snowboarding are merely two options among a long list of winter sports that rival in adventure and win in affordability.

cross country skiing

Long before the days of gondolas, groomed trails and manmade snow, people in northern latitudes set out on skis as a mode of winter travel. Invented by the Nordic peoples of Norway and Sweden 1,000 years ago, cross country or Nordic skiing exists today as a sport of worldwide popularity.

Hillary Behr, a Dover resident and long-time skier, says she loves cross country because it can be done almost anywhere.

The variety of terrain on the Seacoast offers cross country skiers the opportunity to practice classic skiing on groomed trails and flat tracks, and backcountry glade skiing through the woods. Behr has already made a number of trips to her favorite local ski spot, Kingman Farm off Route 155 in Madbury, a property owned by the University of New Hampshire that is open for public recreation. UNH hosts a number of places to ski including College Woods, East and West Foss Farm and groomed fields behind the Field House Arena. Other free trail systems for cross country skiing can be found at state parks, conservation areas, old logging trails, snowmobile trails, frozen lakes and golf courses. read more...

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