15 January, 2024

Cross-Country Skiing for Beginners

Person cross-country skiing on a trail in the winter. Personne faisant du ski de fond sur une piste en hiver.

The snow will soon be here, or maybe you’ve already welcomed some winter weather in your area.

With 28,000 kilometres of trails across the country, the Trans Canada Trail offers tons of opportunities for you to get, and stay, active. 

A fun way to explore through the winter months is by cross-country skiing. If you’re new to the activity here are some tips to get you started!


Person cross-country skiing on a trail in the winter. Personne faisant du ski de fond sur une piste en hiver.

Find the local spots that meet your needs

When starting out it’s a good idea to look for groomed trails that are relatively flat. You don’t want to have to worry about navigating hills and speed while you’re learning! To find spots near you that may fit the bill enter your location on this map of the Trans Canada Trail.


Woman holding cross country skiis and poles. Femme tenant des skis de fond et des bâtons.

Gear up with the right equipment

Before you head out you’ll need to equip yourself with a pair of skis and poles at a minimum. Both are typically available for rental as well as purchase, so you can decide what works best for you. Sizing for both is key for manoeuvrability, comfort and safety. Check in with a local ski shop or group for assistance in making your choices.


Two children cross-country skiing on a trail in the winter. Deux enfants font du ski de fond sur une piste en hiver.

Clothing

It may be cold outside but you’ll probably work up a sweat while you’re cross-country skiing. Dress in layers that are suitable for outdoor activity. Think moisture-wicking, wind resistant layers so you can add and remove clothing as needed. Don’t forget about your feet, hands and head! Options that are waterproof may come in handy on certain days or in particular types of weather conditions as well. 


 

Group of people cross-country skiing on a Trail in the winter. Groupe de personnes faisant du ski de fond sur une piste en hiver.

Connect with local groups and people who know the ropes

Wherever you find cross-country skiing, you’ll find cross-country skiing enthusiasts. These people can be a great source of information and inspiration as you glide your way into the sport they love. Check in with local groups – in person or online – and consider their tips and tricks to be sure you get started on the right foot.


Two people cross-country skiing on a Trail in the winter, with the sun shining on them. Deux personnes font du ski de fond sur une piste en hiver, sous le soleil.

Practice, practice, practice

They say practice makes progress and that’s certainly true when trying a new sport. Be patient with yourself, take a lesson or two, ask experienced skiers for tips, make sure you’re being safe, and most of all – HAVE FUN!


Thank you