What are the basic techniques for cross-country skiing?
If you learn the balanced stance, how to shift weight properly, and how to coordinate arm and leg movements, you’ll have the fundamentals to get started.
The Balanced Stance
- Get into a Basic Athletic Body Position. Stand with feet at shoulder width. Bend slightly at the hips, knees and ankles; hands should be held comfortably out in front of you. Shift weight to one foot, keeping your head, hip, knees and toes aligned above that foot. Shift your weight atop the other foot, maintaining the same body alignment. Practice going back and forth like this until you feel steady on each leg.
Moving with Skis On
- Do the Cross-Country Shuffle … Get into the ski tracks. Begin a slow shuffle down the tracks (like a slow walk). After two shuffles, shift and center your weight on the front ski, gliding for a short distance. Continue ahead, using a shuffle, shuffle, glide cadence. This is the basic kick-and-glide motion of cross-country skiing.
- Poles add some zip to your stride and makes the sport a total body workout. Starting out in your balanced stance, hold your hands, with poles dangling straight down, at shoulder width out in front of you. The tops of your hands should be roughly level with your mouth, and your elbows should be bent at about 90 degrees. Lift your poles back up to the original position and repeat. This is the basic poling motion of cross-country skiing.
- Poles are not for braking: Never stick your poles out ahead of you to slow down because that can cause injury or break your poles. To slow down when skiing on flat terrain (where you should start out as a beginner), simply coast to a stop.
- Fall softly: Even expert skiers take the occasional tumble. If possible, though, avoid sticking out your poles or wrists when you fall because that increases the chances of injury or damage to gear. Rolling sideways is generally a good tactic, though that assumes you have enough control to do so, and that you don’t roll into a tree or other hazard.
Snowsport safety is your responsibility. Be sure to use proper technique and take steps to minimize risk whenever you go.
Please follow COVID guidelines, and it is advisable to confirm that restrooms and parking lots will be open (or suggest nearby alternatives.) Remember that indoor facilities for changing boots/clothes, water fountains, nature or education centers may be closed, and getting food/beverages may be limited to drive-up/carry out or possibly from a gas station. Please always carry an ID and you should have an emergency contact. (Road ID bracelet or necklace is good; also you can register with your driver’s license or state ID with IL Sec of State office.) Leaders may want to limit size of group or split into smaller groups. Try to choose locations and times that will be easier for social distancing, remember that popular trails get heavy use.
FVBSC has partnered with the Four Winds Ski Club (www.fourwindsski.org) who own a lodge in northern Michigan in the Boyne Falls area. The Lodge is across the street from the entrance to Boyne Mountain or a 30-minute drive to Boyne Highlands or Nub’s Nob. There is also an abundance of cross-country skiing in the area. The Lodge is available for rental ($45 per person per night) year-round pending availability. Interested parties should contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to make reservations. ALL GUESTS MUST SIGN LODGE WAIVER.
Oak Park Lodge
3050 State Street
Boyne Falls, MI
XC-SKI RESOURCE LIST
DuPage Forest Preserves
For trail updates for DuPage forest preserves, visit https://www.facebook.com/DuPageForest
This replaces the old phone line for trail conditions. OR you can talk to a real person M-F 8-4 at 630-933-7200 at DuPage Forest Preserve hdqrs.
Preserves are open -- social distancing required! Masks required if unable to social distance. Preserves open 1 hour after sunrise until 1 hour after sunset. For more info on what's open/closed due to COVID-19 please visit dupageforest.org/coronavirus
For maps/descriptions of the forest preserves, visit https://www.dupageforest.org/places-to-go/forest-preserves
Recommended for cross country skiing: Herrick, Blackwell, Danada (all Wheaton area), Greene Valley (Naperville), Waterfall Glen (Darien)--all get high priority for grooming
Note--Herrick and Arrowhead are next to each other with a little connector path. Herrick has a heated restroom bldg with electric hand dryers . (For Herrick, use the north entrance off Butterfield Rd, take left fork into parking lot. Restroom bldg is adjacent to pkg/boathouse area.)
https://www.dupageforest.org/things-to-do/get-outdoors/winter-in-preserves –describes available activities, rental info (tubes, snowshoes) and priority for grooming trails. Rangers groom 80 miles of trails. (Clearing parking lots comes first!!) Snowshoe rentals and tube rentals are available at Blackwell Forest Preserve (for on-site use.) Snowshoe rentals also at district hdqrs & at Fullersburg Woods
26W151 Butterfield Rd, Wheaton IL 60189
https://arrowheadgolfclub.org/about-cross-country-skiing (No lessons, no trail fee)
6” base required, groomed for classic and skate skiing, snowshoeing not allowed on golf course!
Open 9am-dusk M-Fri, 8am-dusk Sat/Sun
(click “Current Status”-it goes to the rainout line which gives trail conditions and date/time of update)
The usual Arrowhead ski shop 630-653-5800 x4 phone is just a recording this season, you cannot leave a message.
Arrowhead Golf -Ski Rentals: Ski Shop is located at the back of the building. Rates are 2hrs: adults $25, kids $15. Security deposit: credit card, license, student ID or car keys (classic no wax skis, a few skate skis).
NOTE-THIS SEASON ARROWHEAD RENTALS ARE BY RESERVATION ONLY
Ski rental is available in the pro shop. Please call 630-510-5075 between 9AM and 5PM for ski conditions and reservations. (or you can click current conditions on Arrowhead website for latest update)
Those with their own equipment may bypass the pro shop and head directly to the trails when the green flag is flying.
Restrooms are open, but please limit time in building; recommended to put your ski boots on in your car.
Restaurant (upstairs)--open 12-7 daily Call to confirm!
For map, click the top of the page for Hours and Location OR see https://arrowheadgolfclub.org/about-hours-location
Bartlett Nature Center/James Pate Phillip State Park
2054 W Stearns Rd, Bartlett, 847-608-3100 x2
4 miles limestone trails on prairie. Good for snowshoeing, and beginner xc ski (no trees!). Nature center open M-F 9-4, closed Sat/Sun, pkg lot/trails open 1hr after dawn to dusk with heated restroom bldg. Call to confirm that buildings are open!
Bartlett Nature Center snowshoes rentals available for on-site use (adult size alum frame, kids size plastic).
Kane County Forest Preserves
https://kaneforest.com/locations for maps/descriptions
No grooming! Best skiing at LeRoy Oakes (St Charles) or Burnidge (Elgin). Creekbend Nature Center
(at Le Roy Oakes) open 10-4 M-Th, noon-4 Sa/Su, closed Fri., indoor restrooms and water fountain.
Call to confirm bldg open.
Snowshoeing and cross country skiing are allowed at all Kane County forest preserves, however, the activities are not permitted in areas closed due to restoration work. Please stay on trails.
For winter activities brochure, click https://kaneforest.com/upload/winterActivities.pdf
Caution note-snowmobiling is allowed on Great Western Trail west of Burlington Rd.
Bowes Creek Country Club
1250 Bowes Creek Blvd, Elgin 60124
Golf course trails open/groomed (classic only) if 4” snow, check for flag at entrance green=go, red=no.
Call or check website to be sure trails are open
Must sign seasonal waiver at pro shop, trail map available. 847-214-5880 M-F 9-4
Cross country skiing and snowshoeing allowed starting Jan 8, 2021 (after “Illumination” exhibit.)
Rentals Jan 8-Mar 12, 2021-call to confirm availability 630-968-0074.
NOTE-see website for admission guidelines (must reserve timed entry due to COVID restrictions)
or click: mortonarb.org/admission
Cook County Forest Preserves
Not groomed except Sagawau
Deer Grove Forest Preserve--Barrington area, 15 miles trails
Sagawau Nordic (Sagawau Environmental Learning Center)- Lemont, 630-257-2045
lessons, rentals, nature center, 2.6 miles trails groomed for classic only (no skate skiing)
McHenry County Conservation District
selected preserves trails packed and groomed after 4” snow (see website for locations). Recommend:
Prairieview Education Center- Crystal Lake, 4 miles beginner/intermediate
Hickory Grove, Cary-4.5 mi, beginner
Glacial Park, Ringwood—4 mi beginner, 2 mi advanced
MCCD winter activities brochure
Seize the Day Events—Dec, Jan, Feb—MCCD staff will offer program/event with fresh snow—message invitation will be sent 24 hrs in advance—to get on the list-call 815-479-5779 OR
Candlelight Cross Country Ski/Hikes: Fri & Sat 5-9pm, campfire, groomed trail if 4” snow, hike if not enough snow to ski, BYO equip, FREE. Event may be cancelled if trails are icy or hazardous, wind chill below -20, or staff emergency. Check before you go: Site Advisories at MCCDistrict.org.
2021 dates: Dec 18 &19 Harrison Benwell, Wonder Lake, Jan 15 &16 Marengo Ridge, Marengo,
Feb 12 & 13-Prairieview, Crystal Lake