Northeast Ohio may have gotten an advance this year on snowy weather, but if you look on the bright side it just means more opportunities for outdoor winter fun.
One activity I’m really looking forward to doing again this year is cross-country skiing. I tried this classic winter sport for the first time last year and had much more fun than I anticipated. Never having been particularly coordinated, I expected cross-country skiing to be more difficult to get the hang of than it actually is.
I ventured out to Cleveland Metroparks Big Met Golf Course where cross-country skis are available for rent and got a quick explanation on how to step in and out of the boots and skis, how to maneuver and how to walk. After that it was right out to the course, where with a four-inch base of snow or better, you can ski on the fairways and rough areas of the course.
Once you figure out the rhythm of gliding along, which is actually a lot like using an elliptical machine at the gym, cross-country skiing can be quite peaceful and relaxing for an activity that takes a fair amount of physical work.
If you already have your own equipment, cross-country skiing is permitted on all Park District hiking and bridle trails, but skiers must yield to hikers and horses. Skiing is also permitted at several other golf courses including Little Met, Mastick Woods, Shawnee Hills, Seneca and Sleepy Hollow. But if you’re like me, and you’re trying it out for the first time before you head out to purchase equipment, Big Met is the only place in Cleveland Metroparks that does rentals. Skis are $10 for the first hour and $5 for each additional hour for adults, and junior skis (12 and younger) are $7 for the first hour and $3 for each additional hour. If skiing still sounds too intimidating, Big Met also rents snowshoes, another fun way to explore the great outdoors during the winter months. If the snow levels look questionable, call 216-635-3270 for updates on conditions. For more information about cross-country skiing in the Park District, visit clevelandmetroparks.com/main/recreation.