Greetings, DV Chapter members who love cross country skiing!

A message from Sue Bickford-Martin, X-C Skiing Chair, ski@amcdv.org

This is the third winter we have a Yahoo Group for x-c ski enthusiasts in our chapter. The Yahoo Group will be for ski chat and last minute trips, either local or distant. Due to global warming and other weather changes, skiing in our Pennsylvania-New Jersey=Delaware area has been very spotty, if non-existent for the past couple of years. When it does snow, it seems we have to make a mad dash to our favorite local places in hopes that there is enough snow to ski on. Many times there is no snow at all in our region and we must "Head North" to higher elevations like the Adirondacks and Vermont.      Snow lovers have good tools these days for finding "Where the Snow Is", through word of mouth or snow websites.

When there is snow we need to go, hence the amc-dv-ski@yahoogroups.com.      Please join this Yahoo Group either as a happy participant or lead a planned or last minute x-c ski trip this winter.      Email me      at ski@amcdv.org if you are interested in the Yahoo Group and I will send you an invitation.      At present the amc-dv-ski Yahoo Group is private and non-searchable, so you must let me know by email to join.      .

Any leaders that would like to join the x-c ski committee are most welcome and we will only have meetings with our "boards strapped on."

Read about Sue's favorite nearby places to ski in a winter's issue of Footnotes.

They are:      Minnewaska X-C Ski Center, which is is $6 for a trail pass, and Blue Mountain Lake is free. T

Other nearby places to ski for free

Skiing free, away from touring centers. No equipment rentals, no warming huts, no groomed snow or set tracks; but also no trail fees, no crowds, just you and the beautiful snow-filled woods — off-track skiing. In the backcountry in winter you should never go alone, find a friend or two to go with you. Some possible destinations include your local park, and:

Valley Forge National Park, when it has snow, often has lots of decent broken trails. Often skiable on four inches of snow, suitable for beginners. Closed park roads are also skiable.

Jacobsburg State Park, near Wind Gap, PA, a 1,167 acre park just off Rt. 33, seven miles north of the Lehigh Valley and Rt. 22. Good trails for novice and intermediate skiers.

Nescopeck State Park, near White Haven, PA. Woods trails, holds snow well, intermediate.

Brady’s Lake. in the Poconos, state game lands. Holds snow very well, very large. Varied terrain, but you are on your own to find or break trail. It is not as good as it once was, but still decent.

Broad Mountain, Lehigh Gorge State Park, PA. Holds snow. If you can bike it in the summer, you can ski it in the winter.

Promised Land State Park, PA. Stay in the area and on the trails where snowmobiles are not allowed. Easy terrain, holds snow better than most area state parks.

Hickory Run State Park, PA. You need a lot of snow on the ground to ski here, but it holds snow well. A thousand foot climb awaits the energetic skier. Unless you are really good, it is safer to do it as a climb!

High Point State Park, in Sussex, NJ, with groomed trails, fantastic views, a heated lodge, snack bar and ski lessons.

Stokes State Forest, Branchville, NJ, dedicates miles of it's unplowed roads in it's southern section to X-C skiing.

Jockey Hollow. near Morristown, NJ. Parking lot fills early if snow’s good.

Wawayanda State Park. Northwest, NJ. Ask them to point out the no snowmobiles trails.

Find your park on the web, but call ahead before driving any distance. It will save you time and frustration. The state parks often post snow conditions on their web pages, but be sure to check the date these were posted.

Also, many of our region's bicycle trails are good for a few hours or even a day of very local skiing, particularly the Perkiomen and Schuylkill trails.

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