This past weekend Larry and I ventured to the Breckenridge Nordic Center for the first time. Last winter, we had skied at the Gold Run Nordic Center twice (also in Breckenridge), and thoroughly enjoyed our experiences there, some of which will linger in our memories. Recently, we came across an individual who encouraged us to try out the Breckenridge Nordic Center, so we gave it a go! Did we enjoy it as much as the Gold Run Nordic Center? No. But that does not mean that there is anything wrong with the Breckenridge Nordic Center either. Every nordic skier has their favorite places to ski, and ours thus far are the Gold Run Nordic Center and Devil’s Thumb Ranch.
The trails at the Breckenridge Nordic Center are spread throughout forested areas, weave between magnificent homes, and up onto Peak 7. The trails were maintained and well groomed (considering the lack of snow), and the lodge is amazing! They have rental gear for snowshoeing and skiing, offer lessons, have a well-equipped retail store, offer delicious home-made food, and have ample outdoor seating with fire pits. And, the staff is very friendly.
But it is the trail system at Breckenridge Nordic Center that is not what we are accustomed to. The trails are very short (in length) and curvy, which makes it difficult to obtain an efficient and consistent ‘stride and glide’ going for miles, which is what I (Stella) love to do. At other places we have skied, the trails extend for very long stretches, which allow you to ski at a steady pace, thus gaining more mileage for the day. Breckenridge Nordic Center has approximately 30K of groomed trails, similar to the Gold Run Nordic Center, but because of the layout of the trails, we ended up skiing half of what we usually do. Plus, the wind had picked up later in the afternoon, so it was cold!
The reason why the person who we had talked with enjoys Breckenridge Nordic Center so much is for the very reason that we did not. She likes winding in between the forested areas and houses, and is not concerned about keeping a steady pace or going several miles. Conversely, many of the trails at the Gold Run Nordic Center are in a wide, open space on a golf course, and it is that form of terrain that allows for the type of skiing that I particularly enjoy. So this is simply a matter of preference. At the Gold Run Nordic Center, there are trails in forested areas, but those are difficult due to the incline. We have skied on those too, and really enjoyed them, although I suspect the person that we had spoken with would not venture onto those.
Overall, it was a great day at the Breckenridge Nordic Center, and a busy one! There were many people snowshoeing, in addition to many first-time skiers, for both classic and skate. It always overjoys me to see people getting exercise in the fresh air, and trying out a new winter sport, which I hope they will keep up with. Cross-country skiing is a fantastic, low-impact activity that provides an exceptional cardiovascular workout. And, it is something that people of all ages and fitness levels can enjoy.
NOTE: The parking lot at BNC is pretty tight and fills up quickly, so get there early. 2020/2021 Trail Pass $25.