GORP.com-adventure travel-hiking, national parks, travel destinations, gear, books, tours and more
Home Destinations Activities Parks Close To Home Gear Find Trips Community
United States Canada Europe Top Adventures Message Boards
Wallpapers Travel Screensavers Contests
   Search:   Go

online favorites
Article Menu
Introduction
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December

Related Features
A National Park for All Seasons
Top 10 Activity Lists
Seasonal Activity Guides


DESTINATIONS

January
Skate Wild in New England

skaters in new England
Wild skating the Connecticut River on the Vermont-New Hampshire border
Photo © Vince Rossano

They've been skimming the ice in Scandinavia and northern European countries for centuries, but the idea of long-distance—or wild—skating is a relatively new phenom in the U.S. After all, the longest groomed U.S. ice-skating trail, the two-mile loop on Vermont's Lake Morey, pales into insignificance compared to Ottawa's city-center five-mile Rideau Canal or the 12-mile circuit on Austria's Lake Weissensee. This January, it's time to get out of the circular rink mentality and go long the next time you strap on a pair of skates.

Jamie Hess, one of the founders of the Vermont-based Montshire Skating Club (802-649-3939, www.nordicskater.com), puts it this way: "Wild skaters consider it the closest you'll come to flying. Your arms are free, your legs are free, you can go anywhere." Wearing specially designed Nordic skates (at about $300 a pair), skaters glide over bumpy ice and explore frozen lakes otherwise hidden to most shore-bound onlookers. Like cross-country skiing, you get the burn of a full workout and can reach speeds of up to 25 mph—though most long-distance excursions take it at a leisurely 10 mph or so to soak in the surroundings and the thrill of a smooth glide.


advertisement


The best places to get into this new sport are lake-filled New England states like Vermont and New Hampshire, and further north into the chilly reaches of Quebec and Ontario. Lake Champlain, straddling the Vermont-New York line, is a 125-mile natural rink that's framed on either side by the beautiful Adirondacks. Wild-skating trips are obviously dependent on ice conditions, which vary in slickness and thickness as the season progresses from early December through March. It's not an unsafe undertaking, however. Hess has never had a skater go through the ice, and he notes that the worst injuries are usually bruises suffered by wobbly new skaters: "Compared to any sport on the road, like biking or inline skating, it's much, much safer," he says. "If you fall, you slide. There are no abrasions from road rash."

Hess' enthusiastic 150-member Montshire crew organizes a number of skate tours, weekend outings, and race meets all across New England, and they promise a fun new way to enjoy winter's big freeze. You can join a pre-announced day trip at no cost, organize a customized guided trip (with skates, boots, and safety gear included) for groups of up to four for $50 per hour, or join guided weekend trips that start from around $125, meals included. If you get the bug, Hess' affiliate NordicSkating.org can arrange tours to skate meccas like Sweden and Austria. Check out the Away Network's Nordic Skating Guide for more on this burgeoning new sport.

Move on to * February

Return to * Top

RELATED GORP LINKS
*Vermont Guide
*Guide to Wild Skating
*GORP Top 10s






RELATED TRIPS

[Vermont Trips]
  Road Biking
  Hiking/Trekking
  Canoeing
  Whitewater Kayaking
  Mountain Biking

[Snow Sports Trips]
  Alaska
  Wyoming
  Colorado
  Minnesota
  Montana

SKIING GUIDE 2004 - 05
Skiing Home // Alberta // British Columbia // California // Colorado // Idaho // Montana // New York // Pennsylvania // Utah // Vermont // Washington // Wyoming

HIKING NEAR YOU
Arizona // California // Colorado // Georgia // Idaho // Montana // New Mexico // New York // North Carolina // Oregon // Tennessee // Virginia // Washington // Wyoming // All Hiking Guides

OUTDOOR GEAR REVIEWS
[From Outside magazine]
Camping Tents // Sleeping Bags // Backpacks // Hiking Boots & Shoes // Hydration Systems // Camp Stoves // Road & Mountain Bikes // Kayaks // Running Shoes // Jackets // Sports Racks // Luggage // Sunglasses // Cameras // Binoculars

[from GORP.com]

  GORP's full gear guide

THE GEAR GUY
Any ideas for a versatile fixed-blade knife?
  Can you recommend a pair of ice-climbing boots? (Outside)
  Which jacket will cover me for winter cycling? (Outside)
SEARCH THE GEAR GUY
(Example: hiking boots, backpacks, tents, skis)
[+] Advanced Search

BUY GEAR FROM REI.com
Buy Hiking Gear
Buy Camping Gear
Buy Paddling Gear
Buy Snow Sports Gear
On Sale
All REI.com Gear






Contests & Free Stuff

 • Free Alaska Travel Guide
 • Free Nevada Vacation Planner
 • Win the Trip of Your Choice
 • US Adventure Travel
 • International Travel
 • Apparel & Footwear Info
 • Gear & Other Cool Stuff
 • Health & Fitness Info
 • Free Nevada Travel Guide


Buy Travel on the Web:

Travel Deals
Last Minute Travel
Airfare Deals
Discount Cruises
Hotel Deals
Winter Vacations
Ski Vacations
Hiking Vacations
Dude Ranches
Scuba Diving
Vacation Rentals
Beach Vacation
Island Vacation
Skiing Guide
2004-05

Alberta
British Columbia
California
Colorado
Idaho
Montana
New York
Pennsylvania
Utah
Vermont
Washington
Wyoming
Vacation Packages
Costa Rica Vacations
Maine Vacations
Alaska Vacations
California Vacations
France Vacations
Florida Vacations
Colorado Vacations
Mexico Vacations
Caribbean Vacations
Italy Vacations
Canada Vacations
Hawaii Vacations
Hotels Reservations
Orlando Hotels
Miami Hotels
London Hotels
Las Vegas Hotels
Chicago Hotels
San Francisco Hotels
Washington DC Hotels
Cancun Hotels
New York Hotels
Rome Hotels
New Orleans Hotels
Paris Hotels
Home | Destinations | Activities | National Parks | Weekend Getaways | Outdoor Gear
Vacation Packages | Subscribe to Outside magazine | Join/Log In
About GORP | Advertising | Writer's Guidelines | Feedback | Site Map

All original material and HTML coding GORP.com
All rights reserved. Privacy policy.
The Away Network

Away.com
Adventure Travel
Trip Planning
Travel Guides
Active Travel
Travel Ideas

OutsideOnline.com
Outdoor Adventure
Outside Magazine
Adventure Travel
Outdoor Gear
Health and Fitness

GORP.com
Hiking
Vacation Packages
National Parks
Camping Gear
Backpacking