Pinkham Notch, NH—Cross country skiing in New England has a proud history. Unfortunately, many of the ski facilities are still trapped in the past, and tired buildings and crumbling barns are all too common. This is not the case at Great Glen Trails. Surrounded by the Presidential Mountains, the 20,000 square foot facility is the ideal jumping off point for winter recreation.
The heart and soul of Great Glen Trails is the trail system. Forty kilometers of trails specifically designed for cross country skiing—the trail system is world class. With monikers including Great Grumpy Grade, Hairball Passage and Fuzzbuttom Brake, the trail names alone are worth the visit.
Surrounded by the dynamic beauty of the Northern Presidential range, guests are treated to stunning views of the highest peak in the Northeast, Mt. Washington, and the surrounding peaks of Mounts Adams, Jefferson, Madison and the Carter-Moriah Range. Great Glen Trails provides the setting for a unique outdoor experience, with each visit offering a new opportunity for exploration whatever the ability level.
For beginners, Clementine Wash, Fuzzbottom Brake and Bellows Loop provide a terrific loop to learn the ropes while experiencing some of the best views on the entire system. Once they’ve honed their skills, intermediate skiers often pack a lunch, including chocolate chip cookies from the Glen View Café, and head up Libby Trace to the cabin at Great Angel Station. The descent down Dragon Corridor is the best way to complete the loop. Expert skiers will find plenty of challenge on the appropriately named Thumper, or they can tackle the toughest climb at Great Glen Trails by heading up Great Grumpy Grade to Wilding Loop then over Dugway Trace.
The SnowCoach is a one-of-a-kind experience. The SnowCoach travels up the Mt. Washington Auto Road to treeline on the slopes of Mt. Washington. Winter brings a whole new set of sights and sounds to the Mount Washington Auto Road: the crisp mountain air, the crystal blue skies, the soft crunch of new snow. And, the SnowCoach is the best way to experience them all. A specially constructed all-wheel drive and unique 4-track system allows the 9-passenger SnowCoach to go further into winter than most ever dare.
Remember the old family toboggan? Those were fun winter days. What wasn’t so fun was the bumpy ride and the bruises on your backside. Tubing at Great Glen Trails is all of the fun and none of the bumps.
For the 2008/2009 winter season, Great Glen Trails has expanded the tubing hill. The new snow tubing hill at Great Glen Trails will be approximately three times wider than the old hill and feature a much longer runout. The new snow tubing hill will offer more options for runs and accommodate nearly twice as many snow tubers. In keeping with the overall fitness theme of Great Glen Trails, the snow tubing hill will not feature a lift and will remain the traditional walk up/slide down style hill that families have been enjoying for years.
The best way to experience the quiet of the Northern forest is on snowshoes. There is no better way to truly slip away from civilization and feel at one with nature. And, snowshoeing is so easy. If you can walk, you can snowshoe.
Even if you’ve never snowshoed before you can drop deep into the woods just a few steps from the Great Glen Trails lodge. For those in search of a longer adventure, the Aqueduct Loop, named for the aqueduct that provided water for the historic Glen House hotel in the 1800’s, provides a deep excursion into the forest above the Great Glen Trails lodge.
Great Glen Outfitters
From skis and boots to sunglasses and lip balm, Great Glen Outfitters has everything guests need to enjoy the outdoors. But the quality found in the Great Glen Outfitters is not just on the shelves as the knowledge of the staff is unsurpassed because they have tested every piece of gear and stitch of clothing in the shop. So when you ask a question, you know they have more than just a layperson’s knowledge—they are experts.
Great Glen Outfitters also lists most of the inventory online. Additionally, the experts will work with you to find the item that exactly suits your needs. If it’s not in stock, they can order it.
Great Glen Outfitters is open daily throughout the winter season.
Great Glen Trails also has a 25-foot climbing wall with routes for first timers and experienced climbers alike. The view of the White Mountains from the top of the wall is a fine reward.
Located inside our base lodge, the climbing wall has two primary routes, each with a separate auto-belay stations. The Great Glen Trails staff is available to provide instruction and safety tips and to help each climber.
Glen View Café
The views from the Glen View Café are absolutely breathtaking, and a table by the windows may be the best seat in the White Mountains. As either a break in the day or if you’re just passing through, the Café is the perfect space to hang out and enjoy breakfast or lunch.
The Glen View Café features homemade soups, sandwiches, fabulous chili, grilled cheese, fruit, yogurt and more. The cranberry chocolate chip cookies can’t be beat.
Great Glen Trails