Cross country skiing is a lifetime sport with a myriad of ways to stay involved whether recreationally or competitively or both. Below is a roadmap of options beyond the Bill Koch Youth Ski League.
There are numerous places one can cross country ski recreationally or backcountry ski including public parks and national forests. You can find groomed and maintained trail networks using the following search engine: https://xcski.org/find-a-ski-area/ and connect with other people in your area who ski using the Pastimes App: https://www.pastimes.io/. Some organizations, such as the Catamount Trail Association (CTA), hold touring events for cross country skiers. Check out CTA tour options here: https://catamounttrail.org/cta-tours/multi-day-tours/. And NENSA offers an annual instructional ski day for women for varying ages and skill levels. More information here: https://nensa.net/womens-day/. Read up on backcountry options in the East here: https://bestbackcountryskiing.com/.
Training Options for Racing
Clubs: Find a club near you using our NENSA search engine (https://nensa.net/nensa-club-directory/) and reach out to see if they offer a junior training program. You can also reach out to NENSA staff ([email protected]) to ask about clubs in your area. Most junior programs will provide support at the U16 and EHS Championship qualifying races as well as at Eastern Cup races (read about these races and events below).
Private Schools: The following schools have supported ski teams with integrated training programs.
- Gould Academy (ME): https://www.gouldacademy.org/
- Hebron Academy (ME): https://www.hebronacademy.org/
- Dublin School (NH): https://www.dublinschool.org/
- Holderness School (NH): https://www.holderness.org/
- St. Paul’s School (NH): https://www.sps.edu/
- Stratton Mountain School (VT): https://www.gosms.org/
- Vermont Academy (VT): https://www.vermontacademy.org/
- Green Mountain Valley School (VT): https://gmvs.org/
- Northfield-Mount Hermon (MA): https://www.nmhschool.org/
- Middlesex (MA): https://www.mxschool.edu/
- Phillips Andover (MA): https://www.andover.edu/
- Rivers (MA): https://www.rivers.org/
- Belmont Hill (MA): https://www.belmonthill.org/
Public Schools: Many public schools in the East have ski teams. Depending on state regulations, athletes can train with both their school and club teams. Read more under the state links provided below under Public Middle and High School Racing. Read more about your state below:
- MA: https://miaa.net/ski/
- ME: https://www.mainehighschoolskiing.com/
- NH: http://www.nhiaa.org/sports/winter/girls-nordic-skiing, http://www.nhiaa.org/sports/winter/boys-nordic-skiing
- NY: https://nysphsaa.org/sports/ski, http://nyssranordic.org/
- VT: https://vpaonline.org/athletics/winter-sports/nordic-skiing/
NENSA Popular/Citizen’s Racing: These community-based open events offer regional racing opportunities and season-long head-to-head competition for skiers of all ages and experience levels. More information here: https://nensa.net/popular/.
NENSA Eastern Cup Racing: The Eastern Cup Series is considered NENSA’s signature race series determining Junior Ranking List that serves as the qualification for the Junior National Championships (see below). More information here: https://nensa.net/eastern-cup/. Most club teams with a junior program and private schools with ski teams provide support for junior skiers at these races.
Public Middle and High School Racing: It differs state-to-state whether club or private school athletes can compete in public middle and high school racing.
Championship Ski Events:
- U16 Championships: Each New England state and New York can qualify their fastest 24 U16 (ages 14-15) boys and girls for this three-day Championship event. Most clubs, as well as public and private schools, support athletes at the qualifier event and all qualified athletes receive Championship event support from Championship event staff and coaches. More information about qualifiers and the Championship event here: https://nensa.net/u16-championships/.
- Eastern High School Championships: Each New England state and New York can qualify their fastest 24 high school boys and girls for this three-day Championship event. Most clubs, as well as public and private schools, support athletes at the qualifier event and all qualified athletes receive Championship event support from Championship event staff and coaches. More information about qualifiers and the Championship event here: https://nensa.net/eastern-hs-championships/
- Junior National (JN) Championships: U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s Junior National Championships are a showcase event for junior-aged athletes. New England athletes qualify through the Eastern Cup race series mentioned above. Full event details here: https://nensa.net/junior-national-team/.
If you have any questions, please direct them to [email protected].