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Winter Trails Celebrates Free Winter Family Fun - Learn a Snow Sport. The Winter Trails consortium offers children and adults who are new to snow sports a chance to try snowshoeing and/or cross-country skiing for free at venues throughout North America.Cross Country Skiing in South Dakota
Here’s the scoop. January is officially Learn to Ski & Board Month but that is not the only thing going on for families. Add to that cross-country skiing and snow shoeing. Basically it is about celebrating winter with snow. I love this idea because it has so many benefits at so many levels and best of all it is pure family fun. (From my words you may conclude I was born in a snow state.) Bonus Points: During the month look for Winter Trails Day which involves almost 100 resorts and Nordic Centers nationwide, and gets more than 11,000 kids and adults on the snow each year.

Here's the deal.
We have been announcing this program for more than a decade. It  spans the country and each season offers super deals and plenty of ways to share screen-free fun with your  kids. During January there is no charge for the use of equipment or trails and many locations offer snowshoeing and cross-country skiing lessons.Cross Country Skiing in Vermont
During January all ages and family combinations are invited to enjoy the fu. Alpine skiers and/or snowboarders are always encouraged to try an alternative snow sport. Organizers have made registration easy with an online service that allows participants to sign up for their preferred location before arriving at a selected event. Those who register online have the chance to win prizes from sponsors. Bonus Points: In addition to all the free stuff, remember cross-country skiing and snow shoeing burn calories so you can eat all the chocolate or pasta you want.

Winter Trails locations, hours and offerings include popular alpine resorts such as Sugar Mountain Resort near Boone, North Carolina, YMCA of the Rockies, Lapland Lake Resort in the Adirondacks, and Vail Rosrts Nordic Center plus state parks, National Park Service, and U.S. Forest Service land. Details accompany each event’s listing on the Winter Trails website.  

Locations on the planet.
 The locations vary by year but usually include Alaska, California,  Colorado, Idaho, New York, North Carolina, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan,  Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Utah, Washington State, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Vermont. 

Make it happen. The Winter Trails initiative is part of Learn a Snow Sport Month, celebrated during the entire month of January. Information about other snow sports learning programs will be listed at 
SnowSports Industries America (SIA), a national, non-profit trade association for snow sports suppliers, manages Winter Trails in partnership with the American Hiking Society (AHS) and the Cross Country Ski Areas Association (CCSAA). Comments by Nancy Nelson-Duac, Editor  and Curator of the Good Stuff for the Family Travel Files. Images courtesy South Dakota Tourism and Vermont Ski Association. Copyright updated 2017.
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