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Posted by Paul Jahnige, guest blogger of Massachusetts Office of Outdoor Recreation

Here’s hoping for lots of snow this winter! And whenever it comes, a great way to take advantage of a snowy day is to visit one of Western Massachusetts’ amazing cross-country ski locations. You can always find the most updated information and conditions. Learn more about the Massachusetts Office of Outdoor Recreation, and check out all of the things to do outdoors in Massachusetts!

At the Roof of the Highlands (Windsor)

Notchview Reservation in Windsor, Massachusetts, owned and managed by the Trustees of Reservations, offers something for everyone. At over 2,000-feet in elevation, Windsor often has snow when the valleys are bare, and Notchview boasts over 80 days of great skiing on average, some years even into April. Notchview grooms 17 kilometers of trails for classic skiing and 10 kilometers for skate skiing. There is even a separate area that allows owners to bring and ski with their four-legged friends!

Skiing, Skating, Snowshoeing, and More (Becket)

With a northern exposure, 22 kilometers of groomed trails, a farm ice pond, rentals, and lessons, Canterbury Farms in Becket has it all. Ski alongside beautiful brooks, beaver ponds, and stone walls or make the trip to the lookout for views to Mt. Greylock. On some trails you’ll find solitude and wildness, others are wider and groomed for ski skating. Separate snowshoe trails are maintained for those who want that experience.

Guest Lodge, Fat Biking, Hiking, and Skiing, but No Trail Fee! (Hawley)

Hand-built, family-owned, and home-grown, a trip to Stump Sprouts in Hawley feels a little like visiting family. With mix of gently rolling trails to more challenging backcountry, Stump Sprouts’ 25 kilometers of trails are designed for varied experience levels of classic skiing. They welcome winter bikers when conditions are right. While powder days are reserved for skiing, riding the groomed twisty trails can be a blast when the snow firms up.

Play at the Corner of Maple and Fun (Granville)

Located in the foothills of the southern Berkshires, Maple Corner Farm combines a working farm with a winter ski center. There are 20 kilometers of marked ski trails from beginner to expert, machine groomed for traditional and skating styles, and 10 kilometers of natural woods snowshoe trails. They have ample rentals, lessons, a cozy lodge and snack bar. In sugaring season (mid-February to mid-April), come visit the sugar house and enjoy a weekend pancake breakfast.

Down in the Valley, but Up on the Mountain (Northfield)

Just north of Route 2, the Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environmental Center boasts 40 kilometers of trails designed specifically for cross country skiing and groomed for both classical and freestyle. From beginner trails to the demanding 800-foot vertical climb of Tenth Mountain Trail, Northfield Mountain caters to all. Open Wednesdays to Sundays, when conditions allow, the mountain also offers fat biking and show shoeing, rentals, and lessons.

A Little More on the Wild Side (Goshen)

The D.A.R. State Forest in Goshen, one of our great Massachusetts Parks, offers a slightly more rustic trail experience. No grooming, no rentals, no trail pass, but loads of fun. D.A.R. combines a mix of packed snowmobile trails, with forest roads, with winding single-track. Ski along the shores of Upper Highland Lake, up to the fire tower, or explore Moose Run. Exploring D.A.R. can feel a little like getting lost in the woods, so make sure you print out a trail map before you come.

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