PO Box 540, Waterville Valley, NH 03215
The Nordic Center at Waterville Valley (603-236-4666, www.waterville.com) has 70 km of trails, which are groomed and tracked for skating and classic skiing through the White Mountain National Forest. This cross-country center is known for its wide trails, which are dependably well groomed for both classic and skate skiing. Waterville is nestled in a high valley within a ring of mountains in the White Mountain National Forest. The town is a planned community where everything is at a skier's fingertips. There's the great trails, a fitness center, indoor skating rink, and the Town Square (where the Nordic Center is located), which features a variety of restaurants and shops. But most significantly, Waterville Valley and its services and amenities make it great for families. Relax in the condo with video rentals and they can even help you find babysitters for an evening.
The yurt warming hut is a traditional Mongolian circled wall tent. Skiers and snowshoers can reach the yurt on Bob's Lookout Trail as a 10 km destination and take a break from the elements or enjoy a picnic lunch in comfort. On holiday weeks there will be hot drinks, soups and snacks at the yurt. In the springtime folks sit on the deck basking in the sunshine.
Waterville has two separate trail networks including the South End and the North End. The resort claims to have the least number of road crossings compared to other New England trail systems of its caliber. Snowshoers are welcome to trek along the skate-groomed lanes. Trails lead to easily accessible points of wonder including Greeley Ponds, Snow's Mountain, Cascade Brook, and the Big Pines. Ask for assistance at the Nordic Center to reach these destinations.
The North End trails are at a higher elevation and can be accessed off the Tripoli Road to a parking lot at Depot Camp. A National Forest parking pass for this lot is needed and it is included when you obtain the trail pass at the center. The trails in this area will remain open while many other trail systems are shut down. You can get there by shuttle or by car and if the lot is overcrowded you can use the alpine ski area lots (4 or 6) and ski down the Pipeline Trail.
You can bring your dog on the first half kilometer of the Livermore Trail in the North End but the Forest Service requires that the dog be leashed. Dogs are also allowed on the Village Trail from the Town Square, but Fido is not allowed on the other trails.
Rentals and lessons are available at the Nordic Center, as are guided cross-country and snowshoe tours for all levels and ages. Cross-country trail fees are included as part of the Winter Unlimited lodging package. Otherwise, daily tickets cost $19 for use on the weekend or holidays and $17 midweek, There are lower rates for teen (13-18), college students, and military $17 wkend and $15 midwk. Youth (6-12) and seniors (65+) are $15 wkend and $13 midwk. XC ski equipment rentals are also offered in a wkend/midwk format at a cost of $19 wkend for classic equipment, and $17 midwk. Lower rates apply to teen, youth, military and seniors. Snowshoes are $15 for the weekend day and $13 for midweek with lower rates for the other age categories.
The Nordic Snowsports School features a one and a half hour group lesson for $42 or the Starter Kit with lesson, trail fee and rental and $46 skate. Lower rates apply to the age categories. A group lesson is $22 for 1.5 hours and a private lesson is $35 for an hour. Kids can get a group 2-hour lesson for $43 with rental equipment or $33 without gear. Lessons are available at lower prices for youth and seniors.
Guided ski tours are $35 midwk ($50 with rentals) and $50 on weekends ($65 with gear); snowshoe tours are $25 ($35 with rentals) midwk and $30 ($40 with snowshoe rentals) on the weekend or holidays. Snowshoe Tours include options such as women's groups or moonlight treks. Call for more details.
Specials: Two fer Thursday offers 2 trail passes for the price of one on non-holiday Thursdays. After 2 Next Day offers skiing free after 2 PM if you pay for the next days trail pass. When the trail adventures are over, take a break in the Nordic Center by the fireplace or check out the clothing, equipment and accessory products in the retail area located in the center. Leading companies of XC ski equipment and clothing are represented and the center's knowledgeable staff can help you select the right items to fill your needs. There are also horse-drawn sleigh rides and ice skating at the indoor ice arena.
Waterville Valley is located on Route 49, 11 miles from Exit 28 on Route I-93. It is about 2 hours from Boston. Once in the area, follow the signs to the nordic center. CCSAA area.