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.

Experience More

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(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.
Route 10
Lake Pleasant, NY 12108
Follow this short, gentle path through the forest to a remote lake with views of distant rolling hills. This trail makes for an incredible hike, snowshoe, or ski making it perfect for an easy outing no matter the season.
Good Luck Lake is a wonderful paddling lake.
Tarbell Hill Road
Long Lake, NY 12847
Catlin Bay is a simple 1.4 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.
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.
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.
Route 421
Long Lake, NY 12847
From Long Lake, drive 12 miles north on Route 30, to County Route 421 ( 1/5 miles past the Hamilton / Franklin County Line ).
A beautiful spot for paddling with no motors allowed.
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.
A person crosses a 3-plank wooden bridge.
39 Airport Rd
Piseco, NY 12139
This trail is an ode to the infamous hermit and guide Foxey Brown, whose hermitage was located about 6-miles north of Piseco.
North Point Road
Raquette Lake, NY 13436
Take on as much or as little as you'd like on this great trail. See multiple bodies of water, filled with an incredible variety of wildlife and luscious plant life. 
North Point Road
Long Lake, NY 12847
This mostly flat trail takes you through gorgeous, open hardwood forest. The paths lead quickly to a detour for Grass Pond and later to Lower and Upper Sargent Ponds.
This network of trails in the Sargent Pond area means abundant hiking choices.
327 Big Moose Rd
Inlet, NY 13360
Moss Lake is a beautiful place for a picnic, a hike, a cross-country ski, horseback riding, and wildlife viewing! 
The wildlife viewing platform is a great way to experience Moss Lake.
Rondaxe Road
Inlet, NY 13360
This little used trail is the perfect spot to find some solitude away from the crowds. Visitors can hike, fish, snowshoe, or cross-country ski. 
Inlet, NY 13360
The trail to Sis and Bubb lakes is very pleasant and suitable for families. Stunning views await those who take this short walk.
Indian Lake, NY 12842
*Until further notice, parking and access to King's Flow has been closed. Keep up to date on access on the NYSDEC website (same as for Chimney Mountain).
Lake Lila Access Road
Long Lake, NY 12847
Lake Lila is located in the William C. Whitney Wilderness Area in Hamilton County. It is a remote, motor-less lake with 24 first-come, first-served camping sites along its shores.
A summer view of Lake Lila from a rocky outcrop with pines.