Some parks allow cross-country skiing but don’t prepare trails, so the snow and course of trail can be uneven and tougher to navigate on skis. This can be fine if you don’t want or need lessons and rental equipment, or you want someplace close to home for a quick outing. Here are some lists of parks and preserves in or near Westchester county:
- Ten places from the New York New Jersey Trail Conference (all within two hours of New York City)
- Westchester County parks
- Westchester trailways
Note that the South County/North Country trailways are paved so they’ll be tough on skis if you bottom-out (eg, when snow is not packed down or too thin).
The parks below have marked paths for cross-country skiing, and are within a 30 minute drive of most anywhere in southern Westchester. Any of these would be great for a short ski:
- Lenoir Preserve
- Tibbets Brook Park
- Old Croton Aqueduct
- South County Trailway
- Bronx River Pathway
- Palisades Interstate Park
- Rockefeller State Park Preserve
The above parks, plus ski touring centers are in a Google map in the Parks and ski trails page.
Parks where the trails will be less well-marked and rougher, for a more backwoods or wilderness-type ski experience
- Ward Pound Ridge Reservation
- Hudson Highlands State Park Preserve
- Bear Mountain State Park
- Harriman State Park
As always, if you want to venture out into the less-traveled woods in winter, bring adequate clothing for the weather, some fixit tools (Swiss Army Knife, duct tape, band-aids), a map and other self-guidance aids (’cause your phone might lose signal or die). And let someone know where you’re going and when you’ll return.