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Old 12-15-2010, 06:16 PM   #1
fatlazyless
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Default No fee cross-country skiing: WV

"National Forest Public Access Area" is the White Mountain National Forest's description for two of the Waterville Valley cross country ski trails that depart from the Depot Camp parking lot, up at the north end of the Town of Waterville Valley. If you go to www.waterville.com, then to 'Nordic Center,' and then to 'conditions,' you should see a list of all the WV cross country trails, and notice that two trails: Livermore 3.5-km, and Tripoli 4-km both have small double asterisks which designate them to be National Forest Public Access Areas down in the fine print at the bottom.

What this means is that skiing these two trails is no fee, or free, as opposed to paying the WV Nordic day rate of $19/adult, or $14/youth 6-13, or senior 65+.

Parking a car at the White Mountain National Forest - Depot Camp parking lot requires a parking pass such as the $20/vehicle/year orange windshield sticker, or paying three dollars/day into the steel fee deposit tube located at the corner of the parking lot, and at the entrance to the Livermore Trail, which is a smooth graded dirt road. Parking without a pass leaves you subject to a $75 WMNF parking ticket, as far as I know. Public toilets are situated on the other side of the WMNF "Depot Camp" all-dirt parking lot. The parking lot can hold about 30 cars and that's a guess.

Best Bet: Head up the 3.5-km Livermore Trail to check out the conditions, and upon reaching the small wood bridge which crosses the brook, you will see a sign that says: Groomed Trail System-Trail Pass Required, and you can either purchase a $19 trail pass from a WV trails safety person who may or may not be there, or turn around and take the same trail back downhill for 3.5-km to your car.

Is the Livermore Trail groomed and double tracked? Last year in 2009-2010, the first 3/10 mile were not machine groomed, but were skier-user groomed with standard double tracks on the outside, and room for skating inside. The last 2.3 miles, heading uphill to the bridge, were machine groomed by a big expensive WV Piston Bully snow groomer with double tracks and skating perfection inside, up and down the very scenic Livermore Trail.

Do the no-fee trails get much use? Yes, they can at times get a lot of use by locals on both weekends and weekdays, who come from nearby Thornton, Campton & Plymouth, who know about its' no-fee status. Say hey; it can look like a 1970's cross-country revival trip complete with wood skis, wool knickers, & white-haired skiers! As the saying goes; there might be snow up on the roof, but there's still plenty fire down in the furnace, so just get out there and go for it.....something like old hippies on skis looking for a terrific freebie.....ho-ho-ho!

Quik quiz here: What costs less; paying nineteen dollars, or paying nothing?

This is your White Mountain National Forest: U.S. Forest Service, a division of the U.S. Dept of Agriculture; your federal government, and your tax money at work here, or something political like that, so what's not to like about it?

As of today, Wednesday, December 15, 2010, there is simply not enough natural snow on the very smooth Livermore or Tripoli xc trails to be usable for xc skiing, but this could be changing, hopefully, very soon. There's only maybe one inch or less of natural snow on the ground at this time, just enough to make it look white!
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Last edited by fatlazyless; 12-23-2010 at 08:31 AM.
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Old 12-23-2010, 12:54 AM   #2
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On Dec 29th The Mystic Meadows will go before the Laconia permitting board to seek a permit for x-country skiing and snow-shoeing on the Jade Trace Par 3 golf course. Should the permit be granted we intent to offer groomed trails for a daily usage fee of somewhere around $9 to $12. Each pass holder will also receive a voucher valid for $10 to $15 in Tavern 27. Can this be considered free or is this better than free?
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Old 12-23-2010, 08:00 AM   #3
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Default How long

How many miles (or km's) of trails will you have? Not wanting to hijack the WV thread, but I'm curious. Maybe start a new thread to keep us updated on your progress.

Back to channel WV
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Old 12-23-2010, 08:37 AM   #4
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Hey Baygo....that sounds like a real smart move because xc skiing and then restauranting go together real good.....here's hop'n you got a real wood burning fireplace or wood burn'n woodstove as opposed to one of those propane faux wood stoves to go along with the xc atmosphere......so it sounds like the xc ticket money just gets to be reused paying for the restaurant food..... what a smooth move.....just glide on in to the 'bull hill cabin!'

How can the city administrators in Laconia not approve the golf course for use as a xc ski trail considering that golf and cross country skiing go together just like tennis and downhill skiing! There's a number, like a big number, of public and maybe private golf courses that go xc ski in the winter. The Putterham Course in Brookline Mass. has been doing that for maybe 40-years.

At the WV combo XC & golf course, what they use for grooming is a super-duper Piston Bully groomer that must cost macho money, however, they also use a Skandic snowmobile, made by Skidoo, which is probably considered a utility style snowmobile. It tows a small groomer trailer around on the trails when there's not enough snow to support the heavy weight of the Piston Bully which has been the case a lot in the past few years.
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Old 01-14-2011, 12:38 PM   #5
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Livermore Rd xc trail, north end of town, Waterville Valley: Team Sununu, the new owners of WV, have gone and put up some informative signs announcing the NO-FEE 4.5km Livermore Rd and 3.?km Tripoli Rd Rd to be what they are; no-fee, White Mountain National Forest multiple use trails. That means hiking, snow showing, cross country skiing and even mountain biking although that would be at least a little difficult. The free trails are groomed and double-tracked by a great big snow-groomer.

People are showing up and using the freebie trails, too. Probably the Nordic Center sees it as a "Hey, try it & if you like it then purchase a $19.00 trail pass for the other 100-km of groomed trails!"

Smart move Team Sununu......did I really say that....oh well.....one big snow storm makes one big difference for WV cross country!
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