BNC front of lodge

Breckenridge Nordic Center – photo courtesy BNC

Gliding over the snow on a cozy forest trail, warming up by a crackling fire, this is what you think of when you imagine a cross-country ski experience. Breckenridge’s Nordic Centers deliver all that and more, so much more, like snowshoe tours, ice skating, horse-drawn sleigh rides, snow coach rides, fat bike riding, bonfires, skiing with your dog and kids programs, too.

Father Dyer image in church

Father Dyer preached and delivered the mail on “Norwegian Snowshoes” – photo courtesy Summit Weddings and Father Dyer UMC Church, Breckenridge

Cross country skiing, or Nordic, is thousands of years old, enabling early humans to inhabit wintry northern environments. In Breckenridge’s earliest mining days, prospectors used “Norwegian snowshoes” to traverse the snow-covered hillsides in search of gold. These old wooden skis were 10 feet long and hard to turn. Miners used one pole, much like a rudder on a boat, to maneuver the heavy, stiff skis through the snow.

Today’s modern Nordic Centers celebrate this ancient sport. People love cross country skiing as a way to get away from the hustle and bustle of the ski resort, enjoy peaceful time in the woods, stay warm in winter, and, if you are so inclined, to get a really good work out. And today’s Nordic Centers offer something for everyone in your group.

 

BNC skate skiing

Skate Ski Technique – photo courtesy BNC

With skiing being the main focus, it’s good to know the difference between classic and skate technique.  Classic skiing is, well, the classic way to do it. One foot follows the other, much like walking on skis, but with the added propulsion of glide that only comes from ski base on slippery snow. Classic skiing is easiest to learn and more versatile as you don’t even need a groomed trail to explore the wintry world. Skate skiing looks similar to ice skating, with the inside edge of each ski digging into the snow (like a skate blade) to propel the skier forward. A wide groomed trail is required for skate skiing and this method is the preferred technique for a solid aerobic workout and a faster race time. Lessons in skate and classic technique are available at both centers.

Ready to check out our local Nordic centers in the Breckenridge area?

Breckenridge Nordic Center

BNC fireplace

Inside the Oh Be Joyful Lodge at the Breckenridge Nordic Center – photo courtesy BNC

BNC Hallelujah Hut

Warm up in the Hallelujah Hut in the New Nordic World at the Breckenridge Nordic Center – photo courtesy BNC

The log lodge building at BNC is so gorgeous you may never want to don your skis or snowshoes, but don’t just hang out by the large stone fireplace all day; there are 30 km of groomed ski trails and 16 km of packed snowshoe trails waiting for you to explore. Located between town and the base of Peak 8, BNC is also accessible at the mid-way station on the free BreckConnect Gondola.

 

BNC snowshoeing

Snowshoe trails and tours are available at both local Nordic Centers – photo courtesy BNC

Equipment rentals, lessons, snack bar, and professional staff are on hand to get you on your way.  Ski and snowshoe trails vary from intimate woods, to open meadows, to the get-away-from-it-all feel of the New Nordic World area with breath-taking mountain views and a chance to warm up in the snug Hallelujah Hut.  Dogs are allowed on the trails in this section as well.  Ask about the snowcat adventure tours planned for the coming season.

For more information on rates, hours, events, and lesson times, please visit their web site.

Located at 9 Grandview Drive, just off Ski Hill Road. Phone: 970-453-6855.

Gold Run Nordic Center

GNC Bonfire by Dan Gibbs

Ullr Bonfire at Gold Run Nordic Center – photo courtesy Dan Gibbs

Golf course in summer, Nordic Center in winter – what better way to make use of those beautiful fairways and greens when snow covers the landscape most of the year?  The Breckenridge Golf Course transforms in winter with 30 km of groomed ski and skate tracks and 13 km of snowshoe trails. The open meadows of the golf course make for stunning views of the Ten Mile Range and plenty of sunshine.

GRNC offers everything you want in a Nordic center including kids programs, lessons, equipment rentals, and a comfortable lodge building with a handsome stone fireplace.  Other offerings include guided snowshoe tours, ice skating, fat bike rentals, bonfires for special events, and horse drawn sleigh rides with the option to add dinner. Ski enthusiasts can wax their own skis in the newly remodeled wax room.  Dogs are permitted on several of the trails at GRNC.

Family skate and classic ski outing at GRNC – photo courtesy Breck Rec Dept.

For more information on rates, hours, events, and lesson times, please visit their web site.

Located at 200 Clubhouse Drive just off Tiger Road, four miles north of downtown Breckenridge. Phone: 970-547-7889.

Happy kids participating in the Kids' Program at Gold Run Nordic Center - photo courtesy Breck Rec Department

Happy kids participating in the Kids’ Program at Gold Run Nordic Center – photo courtesy Breck Rec Department

 

Comments

About The Author

Miners and hippies mixed in Breckenridge when Leigh Girvin arrived as a girl with her family in the early 1970’s. She grew up here and has seen Breckenridge blossom from a dusty town with wooden sidewalks to a world-ranked resort community with a burgeoning year-round renown. A long-time non-profit professional in Breckenridge and Summit County, Leigh has interests and background in the environment, education, land use and conservation, history, mining, and the arts. She serves on the Breckenridge Liquor and Marijuana Licensing Authority, and volunteers with Colorado Mountain College, Breckenridge Creative Arts, and the Summit Nordic Ski Club. Poking around the backcountry near Breckenridge is one of her favorite things to do, whether on foot, on skis, or on wheels. She lives in the incorporated boundaries of the Town of Breckenridge with her sweetheart, dog, two cats and a garden.

Related Posts