I didn’t know there were so many cross country trails to choose from in the Upper Valley, but researching the Upper Valley Land Trust’s site opened a whole world of trails to explore.
There are over ten parcels of land that have been conserved for the public’s enjoyment with trails you can snowshoe or cross country ski on. Since a lot of these trails are likely not groomed, don’t include rentals, and their difficulty level is unknown, these might not be the types of trails to try if you’re new to the sport. I’d welcome any comments as to their level of difficulty to add to the post for people who are interested in exploring the trails.
Hartland – Cobb Hill Trails. Around 14 miles of groomed ski trails within the network of Hartland Winter Trails and you can see a working farm as you ski too. Trails are through pasture and forest and vary in difficulty.
Plainfield – French’s Ledges and Farnum Trails. I love to walk these trails in the summer. These are a great place to cross country ski because these particular trails are pretty flat and relatively short (about 1.5 miles). However, there are some trails that are steep and should only be used by advanced skiers, which you can read in more detail about here. Snowshoers are asked to walk parallel to the tracks. These are groomed trails and are maintained by the Plainfield Trailblazers.
Enfield – Bicknell and Colette Trails. 2.5 miles of easy trails. The Colette Trail was created in memorial of Colette Drape, an avid lover of nature, who was killed in a car accident in 1991. You can also see waterfalls and streams on these trails.
Norwich – Cossingham Road Farm Trails. There are about 3 miles of trails of moderate difficulty for skiing. Cross country skiing is popular in Norwich and these trails are popular and loved by the community.
Wilder/Norwich – Hazen Trail. This is 1.5 miles of forest and farmland to meander through. If you use the Norwich Trailhead, park on the side of the road and not in the Montshire parking lot (unless you’ve paid admission). There’s also a trailhead in Wilder. Learn more here.
Lyme – Clay Brook Trail. 3 mile trail through fields and forests.
Lyme – Trout Pond Trail. This is a ¾ mile trail that passes through a forest to a pond. It is considered easy to moderate for skiing and snowshoeing. This trail had some specific directions when exploring the trail I thought were worth quoting so you don’t find yourself on a particularly difficult trail in the winter:
Directions From a reader: “Red and white sign no longer there. Now there is an arrow painted on a rock, instead. Winter parking is not at the lot, but at a small pullout (that should be plowed, but isn’t always) with room for 1 or 2 cars, just past the last driveway on Hardscrabble Road.”
South Royalton – Rikert Broad Brook Trail. This .5 mile easy trail follows a brook and was dedicated to veterans by a veteran, Hugh Rikert. Mr. Rikert liked to snowshoe on his property with his own homemade snowshoes, and now you can enjoy the same peaceful experience.
Newbury, VT -Sleeper’s Meadow. This location includes 1.5 miles of moderate level trails through fields with views of the White Mountains. What I love about these trails is that they were given to the public; they’re gifts. Some honor loved ones. Some honor families that have lived in the area for generations.
By using and respecting these trails, I feel I am honoring the gifts we’ve been given as a community.
Want more trails? Check out my comprehensive list on my blog. The featured photo is of the Hanover Country Club.