Looking for an outdoor activity for the cold winter months? When the snow falls, New Jersey’s many parks and open spaces are perfect for cross-country skiing. This fun, cold-weather activity is easy to learn and relatively inexpensive. Whether you’re looking for some vigorous exercise or just a leisurely glide, cross-country skiing is a great way to experience the peaceful, sparkling beauty of winter in New Jersey.
So next time the snow falls, strap on a pair of skis and head to one of NJ’s great cross-country skiing destinations.
Allaire State Park
Address: 4265 Atlantic Avenue, Farmingdale
Details: Allaire State Park features nearly 20 miles of marked trails, perfect for a day of cross-country skiing. Three easy trails (the green trail, the Floodplain Trail and the Nature Trail) are located near the park’s historic Allaire Village.
More info: www.state.nj.us or call 732-938-2371
Barnegat Branch Trail
Address: Burr Street, Barnegat
Details: The Barnegat Branch Trail, formerly a railway corridor, stretches from Barnegat to Toms River. Parking is available in Barnegat on Burr Street. This heavily-trafficked, flat 15.6-mile trail is a great place for some easy cross-country skiing.
More info: www.oceancountyparks.org or call 877-627-2757
Cheesequake State Park
Address: 300 Gordon Road, Matawan
Details: Cross-country skiing is permitted on the park’s roadways and many open field areas when snow is present. Snow shoeing is also allowed throughout the park.
More info: www.state.nj.us or call 732-566-2161
High Point State Park Cross Country Ski Center
Address: 1480 Route 23, Sussex
Details: With more than 9 miles of groomed trails, High Point State Park just might be the best place in New Jersey to go cross-country skiing. The ski center offers rentals, as well as private and group lessons for all ages. When snow is sparse, a two-mile trail is kept open with artificial snow.
More info: www.xcskihighpoint.com or call 973-702-1222
Address: 600 Tempe Wick Road, Morristown
Details: Many claim that historic Jockey Hollow is home to the state’s best cross-country ski trails. Comprised of both Morristown National Historic Park, where George Washington’s Army camped during the brutal winter of 1779, and Lewis Morris Park, Jockey Hollow features wide, weaving trails, perfect for a day of winter fun.
More info: www.nps.gov or call 973-543-4030
Long Bridge Park
Address: 895 Deacon Road, Hainesport
Details: Long Bridge Park, located in Burlington County, boasts 115 scenic acres nestled along the Rancocas Creek. The park features 2.5 miles of marked trails, traversing a variety of terrain. The park’s red trail is a .7-mile flat loop, great for cross-country skiing. Skiers might even spot a variety of wildlife including deer, fox and rabbits.
More info: www.co.burlington.nj.us or call 609-265-5858
Palisades Interstate Park
Address: State Line Lookout, Closter
Details: Palisades Interstate Park features 5 miles of designated cross-country ski trails of varying lengths and difficulty. The trails are marked and maintained but not groomed. Skiers are also permitted to use the hiking trails.
More info: www.njpalisades.org or call 201-768-1360
Schooley’s Mountain County Park
Address: 91 East Springtown Road, Washington Township
Details: Schooley’s Mountain County Park is home to miles of trails that are well-suited for cross-country skiing. After gliding around the park, visitors can warm up inside the Adirondack-style lodge. The interior of the lodge features exposed wooden beams and a cozy gas fireplace.
More info: www.morrisparks.net or call 973-326-7600
Address: 805 Newman Springs Road, Lincroft
Details: Equipment for cross-country skiing can be rented at Thompson Park’s Ski Hut between the hours of 10:00 am and 6:00 pm from early December through mid-March. The park features a variety of flat trails that are groomed for cross-country skiing when there is enough snow.
More info: www.monmouthcountyparks.com or call 732-842-4000
Turkey Swamp Park
Address: 200 Georgia Road, Freehold
Details: Turkey Swamp Park features a 3.3-mile marked, ungroomed trail that is perfect for novice skiers. For even more winter fun, ice skating is also permitted on the park’s lake when the conditions are safe.
More info: www.monmouthcountyparks.com or call 732-462-7286