The Ultimate Guide to Cross Country Skiing in the Finger Lakes

New York’s Finger Lakes are known for year-round fun. In the summer visitors enjoy hiking all around the wilderness but after the first snow of the year, cross country skiers take over the woods. There are dozens of wonderful spots to nordic ski, but here are a couple of our favorites that you should visit this winter. 


Bristol Mountain Nordic Center

One of the most well-known nordic centers in the state, Bristol Mountain is a great place to get outdoors in the heart of winter. With 3 kilometers of trails in the woods, this is the perfect spot for beginners looking to try the sport. You can also take frequent hot cocoa breaks in the lodge between laps. 


Cumming Nature Center

Right behind Bristol Mountain lies the Cumming Nature Center. This educational center offers ski rentals so you can explore their massive network of trails.15 miles of groomed trails and 900 acres of terrain, you’ll find that you can have an entire day to yourself without any crowds. 

The Ultimate Guide to Cross Country Skiing in the Finger Lakes

Harriet Hollister Spencer State Recreation Area 

Just south of Honeoye Lake lies one of the best kept nordic secrets of the Finger Lakes. You’ll find a wide selection of trails from flat and easy paths to more difficult climbs that reward you with great views. There are also snowmobile trails that are kept separate from the skiing trails so you can enjoy the peace and quiet of the forest. 


Letchworth State Park 

Most of Letchworth’s visitors arrive only for the Middle and Lower Falls and neglect to find all of the hidden gems across the park. During the winter the ‘Grand Canyon of the East’ turns into a great cross-country skiing area. Most of the trails are ungroomed so plan for a fresh snow day to visit. 


Ganondagan State Historic Site

Snowshoes, called Ga-Weh-Ga-A by the native Seneca people, have been a common sight at the Ganondagan Historic Site for centuries. All of the trails that people love in the summer are accessible by snowshoe and nordic skiing in the winter. The Trail of Peace is one of the best cross-country trails and leads you to the hilltop near the bark longhouse. 

The Ultimate Guide to Cross Country Skiing in the Finger Lakes

Black Diamond Trail

Named after the luxury passenger line that used to service the area, the Black Diamond Trail takes you along the banks of Cayuga Lake. This rail-to-trail path is a favorite for runners and bikers in the summer but after the first snowfall of the year, this is a cross country skier’s paradise. The path stretches 8.5 miles long and boasts lake views and gentle terrain perfect for both beginners and experienced skiers. 


Get outside this winter and go cross country skiing in the Finger Lakes! Whether it’s a fresh snow day or a sunny afternoon, you’ll love the peace and quiet that the Finger Lakes wilderness has to offer. 


Ready to get outdoors this winter? There’s nothing quite as comforting as returning to your cozy rooms at Sutherland House B&B in Canandaigua, NY. Warm-up by the fireplace with a steamy cup of tea or hot chocolate and melt away your worries. 

Sutherland House Victorian Bed & Breakfast

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