Did you know that 18 of our parks have cross-country ski trails, about half of them groomed?
Cross-country skiing is a great way for families to get outdoors and enjoy the winter together! It’s less expensive and safer than downhill skiing, it helps kids stay fit, and it’s a skill they’ll have for a lifetime.
Here are our top seven tips for getting kids hooked on cross-country skiing:
1. Start them young
Avid cross-country skiers introduce their children to the culture before they can walk, carrying them in a stroller, a baby carrier with skis. But if you can’t introduce your children to the sport when they are little (between 3 and 4 years old), any age is a good age to start skiing!
2.Rinput equipment to start
It’s cheaper to rent. Once you have an eager little skier on your hands, you can purchase the equipment at a ski swap/sale. They are usually held early in the season. And they are a good way to go, because you want to get the best equipment possible at an affordable price.
At Ontario Parks, rentals are available in Arrowhead, Pinery, Wasaga Beach, and Windy Lake.
3. Dress for the cold
What you wear can make the difference between having an incredible winter adventure or a disappointing and even dangerous one. Layers are important because your kids will warm up quickly once they start moving around. Don’t forget warm hats, socks and gloves!
4. Use groomed trails
It is easier for children to learn on a trail where tracks have been laid because they can control their skis better. To prepare them for the trail, make a circuit in your backyard and let them practice.
5. Don’t overdo it
Cross-country skiing is physically demanding, so don’t tire your kids out by staying out too long. Go when snow conditions are good (not too icy) and choose a trail that is appropriate for your skill level. That way, they’ll be eager to go on another ski trip.
6. Let them bring their friends.
Activities are always more fun when you’re with friends and cross-country skiing is no exception. If you find a hill off the trail, let the kids go up and down it themselves a few times. And don’t worry if they fall off. It’s a necessary part of learning!
7. Bring lots of tasty snacks
Even if you’re only going out for a short time, cross-country skiing works up an appetite, so be sure to bring plenty of snacks. Don’t forget a thermos of hot chocolate!
Now that the snow has finally arrived, go out and enjoy it with your family
Find a park near you, check the snow report, and hit the trail.