Cross-country skiing is a fantastic way to stay fit and experience the natural beauty of our province. It’s easy to learn, anyone can do it, and many trails can be used free of charge. Creating your own tracks through untouched snow is magical – whether you’re skiing at snow-covered parks, or even in your own backyard. Interested in meeting fellow skiers? Consider joining a club to become part of the ski community, access expertly groomed trails, or take part in lessons. Many enjoy the cross-country skiing movement year-round, by participating in roller sking. Make it your year to learn this lifelong sport – many ski experiences await!

How do I start?

The easiest way to get started is to find a Club in your area that offers lessons for all ages and can assist you with equipment. Consider supplementing your training with Nordic Ski Lab, an online nordic ski school. No club where you live? Recreation departments offer ski loans or rentals, while sports stores can help you to buy skis. View our listing of Nova Scotia ski-related resources, “Directory: Trails, Equipment & Weather“.

Classic or Skate Skiing?

There are two styles of skiing. Each style uses a different kind of ski and length of pole.

Classic skiing is the stride-and-glide motion that many people think of when they picture cross-country skiing. You shift your skis forward one at a time. Classic skiing can be performed in a set ski track, or you can blaze your own trail in an ungroomed area – such as a park, forested area, or even your own backyard. This technique requires less balance, so you can slide along as you learn the technique and build your fitness level.

Skate skiing is highly aerobic and involves a motion similar to ice-skating. Many people skate ski on groomed paths, often next to the track set for classic skiers.

Which style of skiing is right for you? We recommend trying classic and skate skiing. Learning both disciplines will expand your ski season – you’ll be able to ski more types of terrain under a wider range of snow conditions. As you gain experience, you may want to add to your fleet of skis. Learn more about how to choose cross-country skis, view Mountain Equipment Co-op or REI Co-op.

Wax Basics

In both classic and skate skiing, the base, or bottom, of the ski is very important. The base gives you the grip to move forward. There are two types of bases: waxable and waxless. Most new skiers use waxless skis. These are skis designed to move forward without having to apply wax to the base of the ski. People who have been skiing for a long time often use waxable skis. Depending on the conditions, they will apply a different kind of wax to the base of their skis. Nordiq Canada offers an online waxing tutorial to provide the basics of waxing for skiers of all abilities, including those just getting started.

Where can I ski?

Discover skiing options in Nova Scotia, by visiting our Trails and Conditions page. Learn more about the different types of trails available, view Trail Classifications and Definitions.