Cross-country skiing is great exercise, easy to learn, and a wonderful way to enjoy the outdoors without dealing with ski lifts, expensive lift tickets and crowds.
If you’re searching for the perfect place to do some cross-country skiing in New Jersey, High Point Cross Country Ski Center is the obvious choice.
At more than 1,600 feet in elevation—the highest point in the state—High Point is considered the snowiest spot in the metropolitan area. Located at the very northern tip of New Jersey, this beautiful setting is akin to a New England ski resort, with an alpine hollow of lakes, trees, wildlife and sweeping vistas.
High Point requires a trail pass for the use of its groomed trails, starting at $22 for adults on weekdays and $25 on weekends. It also offers ski rentals and lessons; group lessons are offered on weekends and holidays, and private lessons are also available. High Point also has a Youth Ski League program for children 12 and under.
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Other places to cross-country ski in New Jersey include Palisades Interstate Park in Bergen County; Wawayanda State Park in Passaic County, South Mountain Reservation in Essex County and Lewis Morris County Park in Morris County. Be aware that these locations don’t offer rentals, but there are ski shops around the state that rent cross-country skis (and snowshoes), such as Big Bear Gear in Lambertville, where there are also places to go nearby for cross-country skiing.
In the event of a big snowstorm, you can even try cross-country skiing in your local park—if there’s enough snow. Brookdale Park in Essex County has plenty of flat, ungroomed places to ski, along with a few small hills.
The New York-New Jersey Trail Conference, a volunteer organization that builds, maintains and protects public trails, also has information on where to cross-country ski in the area. Before you leave for the trail, be sure to check that the park is not closed due to severe weather. High Point posts a trail report on its website in the winter; it also lists nearby restaurants and lodging.