Adirondack Cross-Country Skiing

Cross-country ski trails in the Adirondacks

Move swiftly and silently through snow-covered forests in the Adirondacks and discover the solitude and quiet beauty of a winter landscape that's like no other! Our cross-country ski trails traverse mountain ridges, follow lake shores, snake through valleys and merge with the tracks of deer, fox and the occasional moose.

In winter, Adirondack backcountry hiking trails are transformed into the perfect cross-country ski destinations, traveling through some of the most unspoiled landscape in the Northeast. Enjoy a variety of cross-country skiing opportunities — from groomed trails at ski touring centers to the exhilarating descents found in the backcountry.

Cross-country skiing is the perfect introductory sport to a winter backcountry adventure with the relaxation of a Sunday afternoon or the challenge of an Adirondack peak. It's your choice, and there is something here for everyone. If you are a beginner and need a lesson, check out Lapland Lake Ski Center!

Nordic ski centers

Our Nordic centers are a great way to learn a new sport on groomed trails and with a professional at your side. Lapland Lake Nordic Center in Benson, right in the southern corner of Hamilton County, has a 50km private trail network designed by a former Olympic cross-country skier. Any level of skier can enjoy classic or skate skiing on the center's 38km of machine-groomed trails. The remaining 12km are ungroomed trails for snowshoeing and backcountry skiing.

As you get more comfortable, move over to Fern Park Recreation Area in Inlet for more groomed backcountry options. With 20-miles of designated trails for all abilities, enjoy some of the 14-miles of meticulously groomed trails, then test your backcountry skills as you move on to the 6-miles of ungroomed single-track trails.

What to know when cross-country skiing in the Adirondacks

It is true that all hiking trails are open for cross-country skiing, but it is important to know which ones are best for you and your skill level. Some trails get less snow cover due to the canopy coverage and forest type. Other trails are way too difficult and dangerous for the average skier. However, many are just the ticket and perfect for beginner skiers all the way to advanced Nordic enthusiasts. There are trails that tend to get much less attention than others and may have unconsolidated snow, requiring the visitor to break-trail for an extended period of time. It's important to have all of the gear you need for your trip and some extra gear just in case. Always play on the side of caution. In winter, it is especially important to come prepared and practice ways to Love Your ADK; the best way to avoid emergencies is to properly plan and prepare for your trip.

Leave No Trace and Love Your ADK

The magic of the Adirondacks is the result of previous generations taking a long view and protecting the mountains, lakes, and rivers within the Blue Line. That tradition continues today as we support and encourage everyone to practice Leave No Trace ethics, which helps protect the lands and waters of the Adirondacks. You can pledge to Love Your ADK to help protect this magical place for generations to come.


(518) 863-4974


139 Lapland Lake Rd
Benson, NY 12134
50K private trail system including 38K of XC ski trails. The XC ski trails are machine groomed for both classic and skate ski technique and range in difficulty from easy to expert.
Big Moose Road
Inlet, NY 13360
Known as the "Great Eight Lakes", this trail is easy to intermediate and is only 3 miles to Queer Lake, then 2.3 miles to Chain Ponds. Even longer loops to the other loops are possible.
State Route 30
Speculator, NY 12164
The Pathway is a 1-1/2 mile long boardwalk & path, which provides a unique opportunity by making wetlands, transitional forest, and upland timber areas accessible to all fitness levels.
Tarbell Hill Road
Long Lake, NY 12847
Catlin Bay is a simple 1.1 mile hike along the Northville-Placid Trail at a scenic location along the northeast shore of Long Lake. Catlin Bay is also easily reached by canoe or kayak for an outstanding multi-day canoe camping adventure.
The sunsets on Long Lake make great photos.
Wells, NY 12190
Take a walk beneath towering old growth pines and mature spruce trees on this leisurely trail. A mix of fields, wetlands, marshes, and hardwoods keeps the scenery changing every step of the way.
3464 State Route 28
Blue Mountain Lake, NY 12812
As seen from the summit of Blue Mountain, Tirrell Pond is a beautiful gem hidden in the forest. Despite sharing a trailhead with Blue, Tirrell Pond sees less use, making it the perfect choice for a relaxing stroll in the woods.
Tirrell Pond courtesy sunyolanda [CC BY-SA 3.0 (]
Blue Mountain Lake, NY 12812
Cascade and Stephens ponds are two beautiful gems in the Blue Ridge Wilderness. In any season, you'll find peaceful forests and pristine waters. If you're lucky, you'll catch a glimpse of an otter; they've been known to frequent these parts.
Cascade Pond
Cedar River Road
Arietta, NY ‎12139
This incredible hike provides views of the forest, mountains, and the water. With plenty of well-trafficked trail, this hike can be enjoyed as an out-and-back of any length.
The Cedar Lakes of the Adirondacks are a wonderful paddling, camping, and hiking destination.
Speculator, NY 12164
Off South Shore Road in Lake Pleasant, a trail leads to an old cemetery containing the grave of Colonel Loring Peck, Hamilton County's only Revolutionary War officer.
901C Sabattis Rd
Long Lake, NY 12847
The William C. Whitney Wilderness Area is a paddlers paradise. But that said, there are hiking opportunities here for hikers, birders, campers, fishermen and women, and even some hiking for paddlers. 
This wilderness area is a great place to view fall foliage.
Indian Lake, NY 12842
John Pond is a worthy destination in the Siamese Ponds Wilderness. This relatively flat trail through an Adirondack wilderness area ends at a lean-to, the perfect place to rest on the shore of scenic John Pond.
State Route 8/30
Indian Lake, NY 12842
This short and easy trail offers a short jaunt for a nature hike, birding, and a perfect Adirondack paddle on a secluded lake. Shhh... it's also a remote fishing lake.
Lake Pleasant, NY 12108
The Nature Trail at the Hamilton County Building Complex in Lake Pleasant is a well maintained trail system. 
Waterfront Park
Northville, NY 12134
This is the big one.
Carry your room with you on this through hike trail.
7965-7940 NY-28
Indian Lake, NY 12842
The Rock River Trail is a 3-mile trail through a pristine forest that ends at a very scenic area on Rock River. Rolling hills and quiet atmosphere give this trail a contemplative quality.
Raquette Lake, NY 13436
This interesting hike in the Raquette Lake region offers outstanding views out over three wonderful Adirondack ponds. This is an excellent half-day hike that shouldn't get overlooked.
Chain Lakes Road South
Indian Lake, NY 12842
Chain Lakes Road South allows access to a network of dirt roads and trails in parts of the Blue Mountain Wild Forest, Pine Lake Primitive Area, and Hudson Gorge Wilderness.
Many lovely pond views along the hiking trails.
Big Brook Road
Indian Lake, NY 12842
This easy trail is excellent for all hiking skill levels and horseback riding. Beautiful scenery along riverside and the shore of a pond.
Beatiful winter scenery on the way to Round Pond.