cross country skiing and snowshoeing in Northern New Hampshire

The Franconia Inn and Franconia Village XC Ski Center (800/473-5299, www.franconiainn.com) is located on Route 116 in Franconia. There are 105 km of trails with 65 km groomed for classic skiing. Trails are on national forest land with some following Coppermine Brook to Bridal Veil Falls. Single track trails offer intimate feeling with the forest. Lessons, xc ski and snowshoe equipment rentals are available. Ice skating with a lighted rink, horse-drawn sleigh rides, sledding and an outdoor jacuzzi. Two Night Cross Country Escape and Romantic Interlude are gourmet packages with dinners, lodging, breakfasts and more starting at $155 ppdo. For a full page click Franconia Inn.

The Balsams Wilderness (603-255-3400, www.thebalsams.com) is located in on Route 26 in Dixville Notch. This resort has been closed and it is not certain when it will reopen. This is a traditional New England grand resort hotel that offers both alpine skiing and xc skiing in a remote and beautiful setting.

International Mountain Climbing School (603-356-7064, www.ime-usa.com) provides a qualified staff to help find the right gear and plan climbing and mountaineering experiences in the White Mountains and beyond. The International Mountain Equipment retail store has technical climbing gear and clothing. There is also winter equipment for alpine tourers and telemark skiers.

Mountain View Grand Resort & Spa in Whitefield, NH was built in 1865 as one of the grand old hotel genre. There are 400 acres of wilderness and 15 km of groomed trails. Both xc ski and snowshoe rental equipment and lessons are available. The spa and fitness center include a full slate of services with an indoor pool, waterfall, weight room, body work classes, yoga and cardio machines. The Jumpin' Jack Frost Activity Center features winter action on xc skis, snowshoes, dog sleds, ice skates, sno-tubes and a horse-drawn sleigh ride. The Northern Lights Childrens Program is available on weekends and it keeps the kids busy with clinics, lessons, decoration activities and more. CCSAA member

Sunset Hill House is in Sugar Hill, NH. There are 20 km of groomed trails, 5 km for skating and another 25 km of backcountry trails. Lessons, xc ski and snowshoe equipment rentals are available. The trails are on a 65-acre park and there is a historic trail to the Franconia Iron Mines. Views of 6 mountain ranges and 40 named peaks! Wildlife includes bear, moose, deer and turkey through the maple tree sugar groves. Stargazing "guided tour" through one of the largest privately owned telescopes on the east coast. Fine dining on site named New Hampshire's Best Spectacular Meal and one of New England's best restaurants and owners call themselves the World's Happiest Innkeepers!.

Loon Mountain Adventure Center (603-745-8111, ext. 5562; www.loonmtn.com) on Route 112 in Lincoln, NH is staged in an 18th century post and beam barn at the Loon Mountain alpine ski area. There are 35 km of groomed trails including 20 km of trails for skate skiing. XC ski and snowshoe rental equipment is available and guided tours are offered. The facility has an indoor climbing wall and a small lighted outdoor ice skating area. Retail products and snacks (including homemade smores to melt on an open fire) are also available. The Woodstock-Lincoln region has plenty of restaurants, retail outlets and accommodations for visitors. CCSAA member