The Capital City is home to three groomed cross-country ski trails at White Farm, Carter Hill Orchard and Beaver Meadow Golf Course. All are free to the public.

White Farm and Carter Hill are groomed by volunteers who use equipment owned by the Capital Ski and Outing Club.

For those without skis, the club provides low-cost rentals at Carter Hill. The ski track at Beaver Meadow Golf Course, which is owned by the city, is maintained by municipal workers.

The trails are groomed for both skate and classic skiing. The major difference between the two forms is that classic skiers move their legs forward in a straight line, while skate skiers push their skis side-to-side. While classic generally requires a parallel, indented track, skate requires a wide, smooth surface.

While the volunteers spend hours of unpaid time driving Ski-doos around the trails at 4 a.m., the effort doesn’t come without cost. The Capital Ski and Skate Club purchases and maintains the equipment through donations. A mailbox sticks out of the snow at the start of the White Farm trail and includes donation slips. The club is famous for hosting the annual ski and skate sale, their largest fundraiser, which was canceled this year due to COVID-19.

Trail information

White Farm is at 144 Clinton St. Skiers can park there and link up with the trails, located behind the complex. Skiers can also park at Memorial Field, off South Fruit Street, and connect with the trails there. The trails loop through the cornfield, go under Langley Parkway, pass by the White Farm complex and circle through a field off Clinton Street. The terrain is mostly flat, with some small hills, and is definitely good for beginners.

Carter Hill Orchard is at 73 Carter Hill Road. Skiers can park in the orchard’s lot and ski rentals are available in the barn. The trails begin at the parking lot and pass through the rows of apple trees, up and down steep hills.

Beaver Meadow Golf Course is at 1 Beaver Meadow Drive and includes mostly flat terrain. u