New Skiers

If you’re new to cross-country skiing and winter recreation in general… …this is the right spot to get started!

Dressing the part

You probably already own the clothing for cross-country skiing. Dress in layers beginning with synthetic long underwear. The next layer can be fleece or wool. For pants, tights or athletic pants are a great choice. Try and avoid cotton pants like jeans. Final layer is usually a wind layer, nylon or microfiber or Gore Tex for snowy and rainy weather. As you ski you can generate heat and the layering system lets you shed a layer and continue on your way. The reverse is true – bring an extra layer to wear if you stop for lunch or the weather changes. Don’t forget hat, gloves or mittens, sunglasses and sunscreen.

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Food and Water to Fuel Your Day

Eat a big breakfast and plan on eating through out the day. Bring lunch and trail snacks. Don’t forget water. Winter weather is generally very dry, and dehydration is easily overcome by drinking water before you begin skiing and through out the day.


If you’re new to cross-country skiing, begin skiing at a cross-country ski center with rentals and lessons. A full day package (rental, trail fee, and group beginner lesson) can cost as little as $25 – $35 for adults. Some ski centers will even credit your rental fee toward purchasing cross-country ski equipment. There are many differing types of cross-country ski equipment depending on where you may be skiing mostly – groomed trails, skate or classic skiing, ungroomed fields and golf courses, summer hiking trails and old roads, backcountry and ski mountaineering routes. Ask the professionals at a good ski shop or ski center for advice on cross-country ski selection.  Visit our Cross Country Ski Area Directory Page for Contact Information.  Follow some of our links to manufacturers and other cross-country ski websites for more information on getting started.