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It’s Snow Time!
The new year is barely underway, but some parts of the country have already gotten plenty of snow, which means it’s time to pack up the RV and head out to enjoy some snowmobiling, snowshoeing and cross country skiing.
There are many campgrounds that are open year round, and our Find a Park feature can help you zero in on campgrounds located near areas that offer cross country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling trails . As you’re planning your trip, be sure to check out each park’s dates of operation, as they may vary during the winter months.
Here are some great destinations across the country that offer a full range of wintertime fun:
CALIFORNIA | Mammoth Lakes
Located along the crest of the Sierra Nevada range and 32 miles south of Yosemite National Park’s eastern entrance, Mammoth Lakes is a winter playground that earns its name because of its incredible mountains, crystal-clear lakes and expansive valleys. The opportunities to enjoy winter activities here are pretty mammoth themselves, as the area is reporting “epic amounts of fresh power this month.” For Nordic skiers, there’s Tamarack Cross Country Ski Center and the public Mammoth Lakes Nordic Trail System, which together offer miles of trails. Tamarack also offers special nighttime cross country skiing and snowshoeing tours when there is a full moon. The area, which is surrounded by more than three million acres of wilderness and public lands, also has two ski resorts, Mammoth Mountain and June Mountain.
COLORADO | Steamboat Springs
Located about three hours northwest of Denver, Steamboat Springs is well known as a prime winter sports destination. Just look at the list of activities there is to choose from: snowmobiling on an extensive trail system, snowmobiling dinner tours, snow tubing, cross country skiing and snowshoeing. There’s also winter horseback riding and photography tours offered on foot (via snowshoes) or on a driving tour where a professional photographer offers tips on how to capture the area’s stunning mountain beauty. There’s also daytime and nighttime skiing, horse-drawn sleigh ride dinner tours and scenic gondola rides. With so much to do, it’s no wonder that visitors love to head to the area’s natural mineral hot springs to relax after an action packed day.
MICHIGAN | Traverse City
Set in the northern region of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, Traverse City overlooks Grand Traverse Bay and offers extensive opportunities to enjoy the snow in the city’s beautiful natural setting. Those who love to snowshoe can head to the Grand Traverse County Natural Education Reserve, the Grand Traverse Commons Natural Area or Hickory Meadows, which are all located within the city limits, and there are even more trails to be found to the north and east of the city. The area also offers more than 200 miles of snowmobiling trails as well as skiing, snowboarding and tubing. Another popular destination for snowshoers and cross country skiers is the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore which is set on bluffs that tower 450′ above Lake Michigan.
WISCONSIN | American Birkebeiner Trail
There are hundreds of kilometers of groomed cross country ski trails in northern Wisconsin, and the most famous of them is the American Birkebeiner Ski Trail, simply known as the “Birkie Trail.” It’s a groomed trail spanning 50 kilometers in length that is the site of North America’s largest cross country ski race, the American Birkebeiner, which draws over 10,000 skiers on the last Saturday in February to take on this trail’s challenges. The Birkie has been called a “superhighway of ski trails.” It uniformly measures at least 30 feet wide and it is groomed throughout the season with separate tracks for skating and diagonal stride-style skiing. There are several entry points along the way that allow skiers to decide which portion of the trail they would like to ski. The Birkie Trail is considered to be moderately difficult to difficult, with the hilliest sections located in the north
PENNSYLVANIA | Allegheny National Forest
Set in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in northwestern Pennsylvania, the Allegheny National Forest (ANF) is the only national forest in the state. It covers approximately 517,000 acres and includes plateaus at elevations up to 2,300 feet and valleys down to about 1,000 feet above sea level. The ANF contains about 365 miles of snowmobile trails designed in interconnected loops. The forest also contains miles of trails designated for cross country skiing that are clearly marked as Easiest (for warmups and new skiers), More Difficult (for advanced beginners and intermediate skiers) and Most Difficult (for experienced skiers).