Want a guilt-free way to indulge yourself with food while exercising? Cross country (XC) skiing and snowshoeing are some of the best forms of aerobic exercise, but if you go on a "Gourmet Ski Tour" on your XC skis or snowshoes, you may very well eat your way to fitness at a number of trailside food stops. What a grand time so go ahead, eat, ski, and be merry - appetizers, wine, champagne, fondue, entrees, desserts, and more.

Here's a cross section of the culinary XC ski events that are planned this winter across the country with a varied menu of fun and fine cuisine.

EAST

Rikert Nordic Center in Ripton, VT has the Nordic Rendezvous and Back to the Barn Tour on its trails through the Green Mountain forests with feed stations along the trail on Saturday, Feb 4, 2017. Enjoy hot blueberry soup and other treats and ski, snowshoe or go fat biking to the cabin where Robert Frost once lived and wrote. The day is followed by a dance in the barn.

Smugglers Notch in VT has the S'mores and Snowshoe Trek every Wednesday night 5:30-7:00 PM. S'Mores await snowshoers after a short trek to a bonfire. For hardier snowshoers there's the Notch Night Snowshoe Tour on Saturday night, and on Tuesday nights there's a Snowshoe Adventure Dinner at the mountain summit. The Maple Experience is on Tuesdays on a tour to learn about maple sugaring and get to take home a sample.

The Chocolate Festival at Mt. Washington Valley Ski & Snowshoe Center in Intervale, NH on Sunday, February 26 is an inn-to-inn affair at 10-12 stops to experience your chocolate fantasies including moose and fondue. Go on a tour of any length and actually gain calories, even if you ski as far as 20 kilometers. A shuttle is also available for those that have overindulged at the event dubbed the "Sweetest Day on the Trails."

CENTRAL

Treetops Resort in Gaylord, MI has the Skiable Feast Getaway Package that features a winter gourmet adventure with 5 buffet food stations along 6 km of trails. It is offered on 7 dates during January-March.

On Feb 4, Cross Country Ski Headquarters in Roscommon, MI the "Ski the Beer Trail" is a new event sponsored by Paddle Hard Brewing with XC skiing, craft beer tasting, and a rustic BBQ lunch along the trails.

The Upper Peninsula of Michigan in Ironwood features cuisine from local restaurants that can be purchased at a nominal fee along a designated route along the trails at the Taste of the Trails on the ABR trails on March 4 at 11 AM - 2 PM.

MOUNTAINS

At Devil's Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa in Tabernash, CO,  the Stagecoach Classic Race & Tour is on January 21 with a 15 km tour (also a race for competitors starting earlier), which starts at Devil's Thumb follows the Fraser River and ends at Hideaway Park in Winter Park followed by a BBQ and beer garden with live music.

Just Desserts Eat & Ski in the Enchanted Forest in Red River, NM on February 25 features goodies from 20 different local restaurants at three trailside stations with up to 100 desserts within a 4 kilometer loop. Their motto is, “It’s not a race, just a gorge fest.”

The Rendezvous Trails in West Yellowstone, MT features cuisine from local restaurants that can be purchased at a nominal fee along a designated route along the trails at the Taste of the Trails on February 25.

Look to the Galena Lodge in Ketchum, ID for the Full Moon Dinners on nights with the full moon, whereby you can go ski or snowshoe ($5 snowshoe rental offered) and then return to lodge for a 4-course dinner at $40 or half price for kids under 12. There are also special Wine Dinners, Holiday Dinners, Valentine's Day Dinner and Twilight Ski Dinners scheduled from mid-December to mid-March.

Lone Mountain Ranch in Big Sky, MT has the Glide & Gorge event on March 4 from 11:00 AM- 3:00 PM with trail luncheon stationed with delicious foods paired with wine and spirits from the Ranch's four-star kitchen.

WEST

Royal Gorge XC Ski Resort in Soda Springs, CA has the Royal Grand Fondo Tour on January 28 with skiing or snowshoeing to various huts along the trails for snacks and lunch at the resort's Summit Station.

Tahoe XC in Tahoe City, CA has the New Year's Day On Trail Breakfast at 10-11:30 AM with skiing or snowshoeing to the unique trailside "lunch truck" (pictured above) for a hot meal made to order right along the trail and remember to sign up in advance.

Cypress Mountain outside of Vancouver, BC has Fondue Dinner Snowshoe Tour, Girls' Night Tours, and Music Night all scheduled to start in January. These programs include rental equipment, trail access, and guides/instructors.