Want a guilt-free way to indulge yourself with food while exercising? Snowshoeing is one of the best forms of aerobic exercise and if you go on a “Gourmet Ski Tour” on your snowshoes or cross-country skis, you may very well eat your way to fitness at a number of trailside food stops. What a grand time so go ahead, eat, ski, and be merry—appetizers, wine, champagne, fondue, entrées, desserts, and more.
Here’s a cross-section of the culinary snowshoe and cross-country ski events that are planned this winter across the country with a varied menu of fun and fine cuisine.
Smugglers Notch in Vermont has “Sweets and Snowshoes” every Wednesday night, 7 to 9 p.m. for adults only. Hot cocoa, coffee, and three desserts await snowshoers after a 30-minute trek to a pavilion and campfire. A warming meal of hot soup, bread and beverage at a trailside cabin is a destination for the “Soup and Snowshoes” guided trek mid-day on Sundays, and Thursdays, and on Tuesday nights there’s a “Snowshoe Adventure Dinner” at the mountain summit.
Eastman Cross Country’s “Nordic Nibbles” in Grantham, N.H. on Jan. 18 has a Scandinavian theme with a visit to a fire pit at each stop for cheese from a local smokehouse, Lindt chocolate, gingerbread cake and pastries, local dairy milk for hot coco, soup, and the main meal from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m..
The “Valentine’s Destination S’Mores Station” at Bretton Woods Nordic on Feb. 14 with two self-guided tours for sweets from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The shorter tour will be less than 2 km on easy trails so it’s great for kids. Purchase s’mores kits at the center or at the station to make your own.
The “Chocolate Festival” at Mt. Washington Valley Ski & Snowshoe Center in Intervale, N.H. on Feb. 22 is an inn-to-inn affair at 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. stops to experience your chocolate fantasies including moose and fondue. Go on a tour of any length and actually gain calories, even if you ski as far as 20 km. A shuttle is also available for those that have overindulged at the event dubbed the “Sweetest Day on the Trails.”
The Upper Peninsula of Michigan in Ironwood features cuisine from local restaurants that can be purchased at a nominal fee along a designated route along the trails at the Taste of the Trails on the ABR trails on March 7 at 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Snow Mountain Ranch in Granby, Colo. hosts the Grand Huts.org “Progressive Dinner” on Feb. 28 with a multi-course meal at outposts along the trail in a fundraiser for the huts.
“Just Desserts Eat & Ski” in the Enchanted Forest in Red River, N.M. on Feb. 28 features goodies from 20 different local restaurants at three trailside stations with up to 100 desserts within a 4 km loop. Their motto is, “It’s not a race, just a gorge fest.”
Crested Butte Nordic Center has the Magic Meadows yurt reached by a 2 km ski or snowshoe tour where 10 gourmet dinners are offered during the winter including the Saturday Yurt Dinners each month and the special dinners on Winter Solstice on Dec. 20, New Year’s on Dec. 31 and Valentine’s Day on Feb. 14.
Look to the Galena Lodge in Ketchum, Idaho for the “Full Moon Dinners” on nights associated with the full moon (Dec. 6 and 7; Jan. 3 and 4; Feb. 3, 4 and 5; March 5, 6, and 7; April 3 and 4), whereby you can go snowshoe or cross-country ski ($5 snowshoe rentals offered) and then return to lodge for a four-course dinner at $40 or half price for kids under 12. There are also special wine dinners, holiday dinners, and a Valentine’s Day dinner.
Lone Mountain Ranch in Big Sky, Mont. has the “Glide & Gorge” event on March 8 from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. with trail luncheon stationed with appetizers, soups, entrées, desserts from the Ranch’s four-star kitchen, local brew, wine, music and shuttles.
Royal Gorge XC Ski Resort in Soda Springs, Calif. has the “Royal Fondo Tour” on Jan. 25 with skiing or snowshoeing to various huts along the trails for snacks and lunch at the resort deck.
Tahoe Donner Cross Country Center in Truckee, Calif. has the “Taste of Truckee” presenting food from local restaurants at stations along the trails on March 22.
Cypress Mountain outside of Vancouver, B.C. has the “Ladies Only Chocolate Fondue Snowshoe Tour” at 6:30 p.m. this winter. Warm up with a mug of steaming hot apple cider before you enjoy some appetizers then a chocolate fondue on Fridays, Jan. 9 and 23, Feb. 6 and 20, and March 6 at 6:30 p.m. These programs include rental equipment, trail access, guides/instructors, and an appetizer.