Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Cross-Country Skiing at Fahnestock

When I mentioned to friends I was planning to go cross-country skiing, everyone shook their heads in disbelief, wondering why I would want to do something so boring yet utterly exhausting. So I viewed this adventure as an intense work-out that could perhaps merit a week off from the gym, but wasn't sure whether it would actually be enjoyable. Turns out, cross-country skiing is indeed tough work, but also a surprisingly fun & relaxing way to spend a winter afternoon.

We headed up north to Fahnestock Winter Park, about an hour and twenty minutes north of the city, near Cold Spring. Boots, skis & shoeshoes are available for rental at the park, but they can run out of boots in certain sizes so I advise getting there before noon, especially on a holiday weekend.

Small hill in woods - harder than it looks
There are 9 miles of trails at the park, graded by level of difficulty from "easy" to "black diamond." Easy is really quite easy even for a beginner skier; black diamond is hard for even the advanced. While the black diamond hills were barely even hills, the skis are incredibly long and the snow is icy in parts which makes even a small hill challenging. Fun for me, but maybe not so much for a beginner skier. The scenery was nice - we circled through a wooded trail and then skied across a large frozen lake.

To complete my Fahenstock experience, I couldn't resist falling flat into a foot deep of snow and making a 6 foot snow angel. Try it sometime - it's just as fun as when you were 8 years old.

Two hours is more than enough time to feel like you've seen some nature, gotten a workout and have earned some pints of beer & pub food... so we headed to Nyack, NY for dinner on the way back. Nyack is a cute little town in the summer with not so much going on in the winter, unless you find yourself eating chicken pot pie and drinking 2-for-1 draft beers at the Monday night hot-spot O'Malley's

While we rented a car for this day trip, but there is also a train from Grand Central to Cold Spring. At Cold Spring, you can call a taxi to take you to the park. 


  1. I love the snow angels! I'm not an avid cross-country skier but do really enjoy it. That's really nice to know that this place exists and can cater to all levels! I've also always wondered if Central Park has any designated cross country skiing areas where you can also rent skis? It seems so obvious but I haven't heard of anything. Anyway, thank you!

  2. OMG! Those photos are beautiful! Almost makes me not hate the cold so much