Imagine gliding through the woods, the snow is falling and the trees are coated in ice. You propel yourself with two poles, and some long skis strapped to your feet. That’s cross country skiing.
“Cross country skiing is different than downhill skiing,” explains Danielle Mauter, the Chief of Marketing and Communications at Huron Clinton Metroparks. “It does tend to be more scenic. It’s a little quieter than downhill skiing because you are out there in the woods by yourself. It is a flat trail so the hill doesn’t propel you down.”
There are several local trails you can ski on. Huron Clinton Metroparks has miles upon miles of trails and offers ski rentals at Kensington, Huron Meadows, and Stony Creek Metro Park.
Most of their trails require snow from mother nature in order to be used, but the Buck’s Run trail at Huron Meadows is different. They will make snow for that trail all winter long and keep it groomed for easy use. It’s about 1.5 miles long and is even lit up most nights until 7p.m.. A day pass for Buck’s Run costs $5 or you can get a season pass for $125.
Buck’s Run is the same kind of trail they use in the Olympics, allowing for both classic and skate-style skiing. What’s the difference? Skate-style skiing requires slightly thinner skis which you push out and back to propel yourself forward, kind of like ice skating. In the Olympics, this is called the freestyle technique. The traditional cross country skis require two parallel tracks for the skis to glide on in a forward and backward motion. You’ll see this called classic technique in the Olympics.
While this may be a course professionals can use, you don’t need to be a professional to enjoy it! Anyone can learn how to ski, and the Metroparks even have a video on how to get started on their YouTube page. The people at the ski center can give you lots of pointers and get you set up for success. To rent skis, boots, and poles, it costs $15. They even have a sit ski, for those who are wheelchair-bound, that they rent for $6.
For the full story, watch the video above. Huron Meadows Metropark is located at 8765 Hammel Rd, Brighton, MI 48116.