Notchview — cross-country skiing
November 26 @ 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
An event every day that begins at 8:30 am, repeating until March 20, 2022
Notchview, a part of the Hoosac Range in the Berkshire Hills, holds more than 3,000 acres of gentle slopes and miles trails. The Trustees of Reservations, a statewide land trust, grooms the trails in winter for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
All of the trails, whether groomed with tracks or smoothed for skating, are open to classical skiers. Skate Skiers have trails designated for them, and snowshoers can keep to the sides of any of the ski trails. Skiing with dogs, skijoring, is allowed only in the area south of Route 9.
Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing run daily from November through March 28, from dawn to dusk, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., as long as the weather allows. Learn to Ski Program: Notchview offers cross-country skiing lessons on weekends and holidays at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. If you want to rent skis, they ask you to arrive an hour before your lesson.
Much of Notchview sits above 2,000 feet — Judge’s Hill, the highest point, is at 2,297 feet — and most of the reservation is covered with a red spruce and northern hardwood forest. Notchview gets more snow than the valley towns, the Trustees say — an average 45″ more snow each year than neighboring Dalton. The average temperature is 10 degrees colder than the valleys, and temperatures tend to drop quickly after sunset. So they advise dressing appropriately.
“The key is to wear just enough to avoid getting cold without winding up overheating on the first hill,” The Trustees say. “Unless you’re doing a lot of standing around, you likely don’t need more than two layers each on your top and bottom.”
The Trustees suggest a moisture-wicking base layer that covers all skin, a cross-country jacket, lightweight, stretchy, slightly wind blocking and moisture resistant, with pockets for snacks, pants that are light and breathable- typically made of a stretchy soft-shell material so that they’ll wick moisture and move with you, a neck gaiter, hat and gloves, and lightweight socks that rise above your ankles to keep out snow. They also suggest a soft day pack to carry a lunch, water and extra clothing while keeping your hands free.
In the coronavirus pandemic, the Trustees say they are making safety a high priority during these challenging times. For visitor safety, the Budd Visitor Center will be closed to the public on weekends — it may open on slower weekdays may be open. Visitors will need to wear masks indoors. Snacks are available for purchase at walk-up windows, and there are porta Potties. Equipment Rentals are available, and they often run out on weekends, the Trustees say, so it can help to come early.
In skiing season, Notchview does have a daily admission, to help meet the cost of caring for the trails.
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