The Best Nordic Skiing Near Boston

Get moving this winter on the 5 best groomed cross-country skiing trails in the MetroWest region.

Nordic (aka cross-country) skiing is one of the best ways to experience winter. It’s incredible exercise, which means it’ll keep you warm in about the lowest temperatures you can imagine. It’s also pretty straightforward to learn, not to mention less gear-intensive than other winter sports. And there’s no deeper peace to be found than in the quiet snowscape of a trail system at sunset. 

For most folks, the biggest hurdle to cross-country skiing is finding a place to do it. Groomed trails—the best option for beginner classic skiers and a necessity for skate skiers—can be hard to come by. But if you live near the Public Lands in Framingham, Mass., you’re in luck: There are three parks with groomed trails within city limits, two of which allow Nordic skiers. And if you don’t mind venturing farther, you’ll find a handful of other great cross-country ski centers and groomed trail systems within about an hour’s drive of town. Just grab the right gear and go.

1) Cushing Memorial Park 

Once the site of a World War II military hospital, Cushing Memorial Park is located just south of town and encompasses 67 acres of open fields and walking trails. Each winter, the City of Framingham grooms more than a mile of trail for passive recreation, including cross-country skiing. The terrain here is relatively flat, which makes it a great spot for new skiers. Skiing is free and parking is accessible from Winter Street (on the west side of the park).
 

 

2) Farm Pond Park 

Located just east of Cushing Memorial Park, Farm Pond Park includes about 2 miles of trails that duck in and out of wooded groves and that trace the quiet western shore of Farm Pond. The area is also maintained by the City of Framingham, which grooms the park’s trails during the winter for cross-country skiers and snowshoers alike. There are no permits or fees required to ski here, and you can find easy parking in the lot off Dudley Road.  
 

 

3) Weston Ski Track 

Located about 25 minutes east of Framingham, the Weston Ski Track produces its own snow, which makes it one of the most reliable places for Nordic skiing early in the season. And because it’s located on a golf course, the terrain is gentle and rolling—perfect for new skiers. The area boasts more than 10 miles of groomed trails when the weather’s good, and the organization offers lessons and on-site gear rentals. It’s not free, but season and family pass options make it an affordable option for frequent skiers. 
 

 

4) Great Brook Ski Touring Center 

Night skiing, on-site rentals, and more than 10 miles of groomed trails make the Great Brook Ski Touring Center one of the most all-inclusive ski touring spots in the MetroWest. It’s also one of the most scenic: Located on the grounds of Great Brook Farm State Park (about 45 minutes north of Framingham), the center’s 1,000 acres encompass open meadows, snow-draped forest, and silver-iced ponds. The trails suit skiers of all experience levels, and its $75 season pass is a steal. 
 

 

5) Elm Park-Newton Hill Nordic Ski Park 

One of the MetroWest’s newer Nordic ski centers, the Elm Park-Newton Hill Nordic Ski Park offers beginner, intermediate, and advanced ski trails that wind through a network of ponds and up and around its central summit: the challenging, 800-foot Newton Hill. The park is free to use (though there’s a suggested donation of $2 to $5), and at just 45 minutes from Framingham, it’s within striking distance for spur-of-the-moment weekend jaunts. 

All articles are for general informational purposes.  Each individual’s needs, preferences, goals and abilities may vary.  Be sure to obtain all appropriate training, expert supervision and/or medical advice before engaging in strenuous or potentially hazardous activity.