By Leandro Lutz
The tradition of Nordic skiing began thousands of years ago in Scandinavia, basically as a way to transport things, and only in the 19th century it began to develop as a sport. With the arrival of Norwegian, Swedish and Finnish immigrants to the USA, the Nordic tradition was carried over as they brought along their skis and the passion for skiing.
Over time, the cross-country skiing kept developing, and the USA hit its first Nordic skiing boom in the 70s when Bill Koch won the first Olympic medal (silver, 30 km) in the history of American Nordic skiing at the 1976 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria. Koch was also a major influencer of the Nordic skiing culture in the US and one of the forerunners of the skating technique.
More than 40 years later, the second Nordic boom took place, now at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. Team USA won the first cross-country ski gold medal in history with Kikkan Randall and Jessica Diggins in the Team Relay race.
Meanwhile throughout the country and in the States with more snow on the East Coast, West Coast and Central region, several Nordic skiing centers and trail systems were created, some of the most famous ones being:
- Trapp Family Lodge:
Situated in Stowe/VT and idealized in the 50's by the world-famous singers Von Trapp Family. It was the first American Nordic center and currently boasts more than 100km of cross country ski trails, snowshoe and back country ski tracks on over 1000 acres.
- The Birkie Trail:
Located in Hayward-Cable/WI, it has one of the largest trail systems in the USA, with over 100km of trails and is home to American Birkebeiner, the largest long distance race in the United States since 1973.
- Soldier Hollow Cross Country Skiing Resort:
Located in Midway/UT and created for the 2002 Winter Olympics, it has 31km of trails scattered over 54 acres.
- Rendezvous Ski Trails:
Located in West Yellowstone/MT and has over 35km of groomed tracks.
- Whiteface Resort:
Another site that hosted the Winter Olympics of 1932 and 1980, it is located in Lake Placid/NY and has 50km of world-class groomed tracks.
- Royal Gorge Cross Country Ski Resort:
Located in Soda Springs/CA and considered the largest Nordic ski area in North America with over 140km of groomed trails.
There are various other locations and cross-country ski centers across the country as there are also many local ski races and events. In case you are interested in racing North America and taking advantage of everything the USA can provide, we have listed below the most important long distance races on the American calendar for the 2018/2019 winter season.
As an overview, there are 18 events from East to West, passing through Central region of the USA with long distance races for all tastes, lots of snow, beautiful landscapes and great infrastructure for Nordic skiing. Go ahead and pick the one that suits you, and we can guarantee that American hospitality will meet your every need.
US XC SKIING EVENTS:
- Seeley Hills Classic (Seeley/WI): 42km CL - 12/01/2019
- Ski Rennet (Bloomington/MN): 26km FT - 19/01/2019
- Ski to the Sun Marathon (Methow Valley/WA): 42km - 26/01/2019
- Noquemanon Ski Marathon (Marquette/MI): 50km CL/FT, 24km CL/FT - 26/01/2019
- Craftsbury Marathon (Craftsbury/VT): 50km CL, 25km CL - 27/01/2019
- City of Lakes Loppet (Minneapolis/MN): 42km CL / FT, 21km CL / FT - 02-03/02/2019
- Alley Loop Nordic Marathon (Crested Butt/CO): 42km - 02/02/2019
- Boulder Mountain Tour (Sun Valley/ID): 34km - 02/02/2019
- Mora Vasaloppet (Mora/MN): 52km FT, 35km FT, 42km CL - 09/02/2019