Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Cross-Country Skiing at the VASA Trail

To follow up last week’s adventure downhill skiing, I thought I’d share one of the best place to cross-country ski for this week’s post: the VASA Trail. The VASA is no secret in this town, or the country. If you’re an avid XC-skier, you’re probably familiar with the North American VASA race that takes place in Traverse City every February. It’s quite a sight to see so many skiers in one place, and they come from all over the world to compete on this course. Pretty sweet!

When it isn’t being used as a racecourse for nearly 800 people (which is essentially every day except the day of the Great American VASA race), it is one of the best places to cross-country ski. They have groomed courses for both skate and classic style, and dedicated volunteers maintain both tracks.

My favorite thing about the VASA is its versatility. There are hills if you like hills and flat meadows if that’s more your style. You can also choose from either a shorter 3K or 5K route, or really work it out on the 10K or 25K loops. The farthest we’ve skied with our classic-style skis is the 10K loop, but maybe some day we’ll really bust it and brave all 25Ks. There’s still a lot of winter left to try it out!

We love XC-skiing because it’s a great workout in winter, but it’s also a fantastic way to see all the beauty this time of year offers. The woods and meadows at the VASA are quiet, serene, and truly breathtaking if you make it out after a heavy snow. It is rarely crowded on the longer loops, so it’s a great way to see how peaceful and soothing the woods are when buried in snow.  I’m always blown away by how mentally relaxed and stress-free I am after a ski.

I encourage you to check out the VASA trail yourself this winter if you’re in TC! It’s on the east side of town and easy to access. There’s a big parking lot, and even when it fills up on the weekends you’re still not likely to run into too many other skiers so it’s a great way to escape the world. Pick a day after some snow to get up and start your morning in the woods as the sun rises on a clear day…it’s incredible, and I believe everyone should experience it at least once every winter. Get out there and see it!

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