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Health & Wellness + Sports

Explore Winter Trails

Skiing and snowshoeing a short drive away

Boston area downhill and cross country skiing

Take time to explore the trails this winter. Photo courtesy of Flickr contributor Bobcatnorth (Away)

Those new to Boston might be surprised to learn that skiing New England doesn’t require a four-hour car trip and the expense of overnight lodging. There are several snowshoeing, downhill, and cross-country skiing spots within a 30-minute drive of Boston. Here is a quick list of spots north, west, and south of the city. Add other favorites in the comment section below.

Bradley Palmer State Park

Managed by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), Bradley Palmer State Park is a former private estate in Topsfield, Mass., with more than 700 acres of trails for hiking, horseback riding, and biking in the summer and cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter. Entrance to the park is free, but bring your own equipment. Parking is also available.

Driving from Boston, take Route 1 north to Topsfield. Turn right onto Ipswich Road and follow it for one mile, then take a right on Asbury Street and follow it for several blocks to Bradley Palmer State Park, Road on the left.

Weston Ski Track

Weston’s Leo J. Martin Golf Course transforms into a cross-country ski and snowshoeing center in the winter and is a popular spot for stir-crazy Bostonians. There are just over nine miles of trails with natural snow and another 1.2-mile lighted loop with artificial snow.

Day trail passes are $15 for adults, $11 for children ages 13 to 16, $8 for children ages 6 to 12, and free for kids ages 2 to 5. Season passes are available. Visitors can rent skis, snowshoes, and pulks (child carriers) on site. Ski and snowshoe lessons are also available for a fee.

Driving from Boston, take the Mass Pike (I-90) west for about 10.5 miles, to exit 15, following I-95/MA-128 toward Weston. Stay left to continue onto Park Road. Weston Ski Track is at 200 Park Road.

Blue Hills Ski Area

A short trip south of Boston, the Blue Hills Reservation stretches over 7,000 acres from Quincy to Dedham and Milton to Randolph. The Blue Hills Ski Area lies within this DCR-owned property, offering 12 groomed trails for downhill and cross-country skiing. Half of the trails are lit at night, making after-work trips a possibility.

Adult weekday passes for skiers ages 13 and up are $22 for four hours, $29 for eight hours, and $18 for twilight hours. Weekend and holiday passes for the same time periods cost an additional $8 to $10.

Junior weekday passes are $20 for four hours, $27 for eight hours, and $16 for twilight hours. Weekend and holiday passes cost an additional $6 to $8. Buying adult and junior passes online knocks $2 off the cost. Ski equipment and group and private lessons are available for a fee.

Driving from Boston, take I-93 south for about 15 miles. At exit 2B, merge onto MA-138 North/Washington Street toward Milton. Blue Hills Ski Area, 4001 Washington St., is on the right.

Leslie Friday, BU Today, Boston University
Leslie Friday

Follow Leslie Friday on Twitter at @lesliefriday.

5 Comments on Explore Winter Trails

  • Amanda on 01.10.2012 at 11:59 am

    There’s a place called Windblown in New Ipswich, NH that’s really great for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing http://windblownxc.com/

  • Marc on 01.10.2012 at 1:04 pm

    About 1 hour from BU, there is Wachusett for downhill ski. The station is also open for night skiing and I used to go there when the BU Ski Club organized those sponsored night skiing trips in the middle of the week. Price was great and much less people were on the slopes. Wish it was still going on !!!

  • Emily Johnson on 01.10.2012 at 1:46 pm

    Now if it would actually snow…

    • Leslie on 01.10.2012 at 1:51 pm

      I think there was 1/8 of an inch dusting north of Boston last night. It’s a start…

  • lovetoski on 01.06.2013 at 12:15 pm

    Don’t forget http://www.greatbrookski.com in Carlisle, MA. Ski rental available. Tues. and Thurs. there’s a great 1 mile lit loop.

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