The sun is shining, the air is crisp, and the ground is blanketed with a fresh layer of snow. It’s a perfect day to experience the joy of winter on two skis. Cross-country skiing is a great activity to do solo or with others, to explore new places and outdoor spaces, and to get in a cardiovascular workout. Cross-country skiing is a great upper and lower body cardiovascular workout. Even a slower skier can burn about 400 calories per hour and advanced racers can burn more than 1,000 calories per hour. As far as workouts go, it’s not as repetitive as indoor fitness centres, and the views are certainly more beautiful than the inside of a fitness centre! Remember to dress appropriately for winter weather conditions. Come out to Hilton Falls, Crawford Lake, or Mountsberg, and workout in the winter weather!
If you’re new to cross-country skiing, there are a few things you need to know. First, there are two basic types of cross-country skiing. There are two basic types of cross-country skiing: classic skiing and skate skiing.
Classic skiing involves moving the skis parallel to one another. It tends to be slower, easier, and requires less physical effort. Motion may start off as a simple shuffle (sliding one ski ahead of another, one leg at a time, over and over) and evolve to a kick and glide stride. We groom our trails at Hilton Falls (three) for classic skiing. The groomed tracks consist of two tracks or slots set in the snow, parallel to one another. Skate-skiing resembles, well, skating! The pace is faster and the skis move in a ‘ v’ pattern. It requires more physical effort, greater know-how, and specialized skate skis. Groomed trails are wider. We do not groom our trails at Halton Parks for this type of skiing.
The poles are needed for balance and propulsion. To cross-country ski, lean forward a little, and bend at the knees and ankles instead of your hips: you need your weight balanced over your feet. Naturally, your weight will balance on the ski moving forwards.
If you’re cross-country skiing for the first time, we recommend that you use the trails at Hilton Falls. This park offers groomed trails (trail conditions are available here) and rentals. There are three trails groomed for classic skiing at Hilton Falls. Rental fees are $25/day or $18/half day per adult and $18/day or $11/half day per child (limited sizes available). Rentals are available from 8:30am – 4pm daily (must be returned by 4:15pm).
Looking for a ski experience that’s a little more vertical? Try a free Discover Skiing lesson program over at Glen Eden!