Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the Foundation?
- What is the Club?
- What is the Jackson Ski Touring Center and Hours open?
- A list of the Board of Directors
- How do I get there by car from the south (NYC, Boston, Hartford etc)?
- Directions from Manchester Airport (MHT)
- Directions from Portland, ME Airport (PWM)
- Directions from the North or West
- What hours are you open?
- Inn-to-Inn Skiing
- How are the roads?
- Can I bring my dog?
- Do you have snowshoe trails?
- Do you have rentals?
- Do you rent Pulks?
- What kind of clothes should I wear?
- Can I ski after dark?
- When does the season start?
- When is the best snow?
- When are there no kids around?
- Are there packages?
- How do I put on my ticket?
- What is the earliest my child can learn to ski?
- NH Skier Responsibility Code
What is the Foundation?
The Jackson Ski Touring Foundation (known locally as the "Foundation" or "JSTF" is a nonprofit organization chartered to provide for and maintain cross-country ski trails in and about the village of Jackson New Hampshire and to provide an educational and recreational experience for the folks of the Northeastern United States. More info here
What is the Club?
The Jackson Ski Touring Club is the membership wing of the Foundation. Skiers using the trails must be members of the Jackson Ski Touring Club. Daily and annual memberships are available and provide skiers with access to the facilities and trails. Friendly advice about trails is available at the Jackson Ski Touring Center.
What is the Jackson Ski Touring Center?
It is both the building (the base lodge) which houses the Jackson Ski Touring Foundation and the Gorham Bike and Ski nordic shop and the entire network of ski trails in Jackson. The Baselodge is open from 8 am - 5 pm Daily during the season. The rental shop is open from 8:30 am - 4:00 pm.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS 2013/14
The Jackson Ski Touring Foundation is committed to provide accessible recreation. In fact we specialize in it. Our building is fully accessible including showers. We have a sit-ski for loan at no charge for skiers in chairs. We have special parking spaces which allow direct access to certain trails (and continue to work on getting more). We held the 5th World Disabled Nordic Ski Championships in 1990, we are the eastern training site for the U.S. Disabled Ski Team. We work closely with Northeast Passage and hold annual events with them. For more information please contact the staff at 800-927-6697.
How do I get there by car from the south (NYC, Boston, Hartford etc)?
From NYC travel on I-84 through Hartford to the Mass Pike. Go 1 exit on Mass Pike to Exit 10 (I-290) through Worchester to I-495 and follow North/East to I-95 towards Portsmouth, NH. Take Exit 4 (Spaulding Turnpike Northbound). Spaulding Turnpike turns into NH Rte 16 – continue through North Conway to Glen. Turning north staying on Rte 16 in the village of Glen (Storybook Motor Inn on the right just before the turn) travel 2.5 miles north to Jackson. Continue past the covered bridge entrance to the village and take the second Rte 16A entrance across from the Wildcat Service Station (Sunoco gas). The Jackson Ski Touring Center will be on your right 1/3 mile from the gas station. Take a look at the DETAIL MAP.
Directions from Manchester Airport
Start going towards the AIRPORT EXIT on AMMON DR
Continue on PERIMETER RD
Continue on AIRPORT RD
Bear Right on AIRPORT ACCESS RD
Turn Right on BROWN AVE
Bear Right to take the I-293 S ramp
Merge on I-293 S
Take the I-93 N exit
Merge on I-93 N
Take Exit 23 Rte 104 E bearing right at end of exit
Left at traffic light onto Rte 25 E to Whittier
Left onto Rte 16 N in Whittier
Follow Rte 16 N to Jackson -- See directions from the south above.
Directions from Portland, ME Airport
Upon leaving airport parking areas,
Turn Right onto Payne Rd - RT 9 E
At TL take Left onto Rte 22 W (Congress Ave West)
Follow Rte 22 West
At TL Turn Right onto Rte 114 to Gorham, ME
Left onto Rte 25 in center of Gorham, ME
Follow Rte 25 through Standish ME
After Standish, ME Bear Right onto Rte 113 N
Follow Rte 113 to Fryeburg, ME
Left onto Rte 302 W in center of Fryeburg, ME
Follow Rte 302 W through North Conway, NH to Glen, NH (well signed)
Turn Right staying on Rte 16 N in Glen, NH to Jackson, NH Jackson is 2.5 miles north of Glen, NH -- See directions from the south above.
Directions from the North or West
follow I-91 to Woodsville. Take Rte 302 to Glen. In Glen, turn left onto Rte 16 N to Jackson. -- See directions from the south above. Or if coming down Rte 16 from the north - Follow Rte 16 to the village of Jackson. Take a left on Rte 16A at the Exxon gas station. The Jackson Ski Touring Center is 1/3 mile on the right.
Learn more about the Jackson Ski Touring Foundation
What hours are you open?
Our office is open 7 days/week from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. during the ski season. In the fall, the office is open generally 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mon - Fri. In the summer, the office is open occasionally. The rental shop opens at 8:30 a.m. and closes around 4 p.m. The Retail Shop opens 8:30 on weekends and 9:00 on weekdays.
There are many places to stay. Our Preferred Lodging list
Are there packages?
Yes. Each inn has a different package so it’s best to ask the specific property that you are interested in what they have to offer. The Foundation has a Trail Pass/Rental/Lesson super saver package available. Check out our Preferred Lodging page.
How are the roads?
While the nothing is predictable about the weather, the road crews in New Hampshire are very efficient and professional. After a snowstorm, the roads are very drivable, frequently with dry pavement within hours of the end of a storm. However, it is always a good idea to use snow tires.
Can I bring my dog?
We have a designated dog exercise loop accessed from the base lodge. There are about 3 km of trails that are available for exercising your pet. The trails include the Covered Bridge Trail, Gray's Inn Cut-off, Kissing Bridge Trail, and the Nestlenook Farm Trail area. We also have some lovely pet friendly trails in Prospect Farm (Quail Trail, Dana Place Trail and UST).
Do you have snowshoe trails?
Yes, we do. Not only do we have snowshoe trails leading directly from the Touring Center, a special snowshoe only trail was cut accessed directly out to our warming/hot chocolate cabin on the Ellis River Trail. We have trails specifically for snowshoeing. There are about 10 - 15 km of trails immediately available, a system of snowshoe trails around Tin Mountain and many, many km of trails in our Prospect Farm network. Snowshoes are available in our rental shop.
Do you have rentals?
We rent Fischer and Salomon waxless skis, Salomon boots and Swix/Exel poles in the Touring Center Rental Shop. We also rent top-end performance skis by Atomic and Salomon for those skiers who wish waxable classical or skating equipment.
More info here
Do you rent Pulks?
Pulk rentals for towing young children while you ski are available in the Touring Center. We have 7 pulks for rent. Unlike skis, pulks may be reserved by calling ahead 603-383-9355
More info here
What kind of clothes should I wear?
Do not over dress. Alpine ski gear or snowmobile suits are usually way-too warm. You will be comfortable in cold weather jogging gear. Layering works well. Polypro long underwear has proven to be very effective as a starting layer. Thin gloves will usually prove more than adequate. Obviously, the colder the air temps, the more you will want on.
Can I ski after dark?
Yes. There are no services however, and the trails are not lit. Many people ski moonlit nights or ski with a headlamp. The southern entrance to the Ellis River Trail is not open during the overnight timeperiod.
When does the season start?
Every year is different. Some years mid-November; other years as late as the beginning of January. Usually there is skiing for all abilities on our higher elevation plateau trails by mid-December.
When is the best snow?
Again, every year is different. Skiers are pretty much assured of finding prime snow from mid-January until the last third of March. March weather is warmer and the snow is frequently wonderful. December snow is usually good quality but sections of our vast trail system may not be fully open.
More info here
When are there no kids around?
Mid-week in January is a great time to get away from the crowds and there are fewer junior skiers on the trails.
How do I put on my ticket?
The staff will be happy to show you the best method of attaching tickets.
What is the earliest my child can learn to ski?
Usually by two to three years old children can stand on skis, some younger. But don’t expect too much. A couple of hundred feet is a long way for a little ankle-biter. But over time, they keep going farther and farther. By six they become capable of a few kilometers and picnics. By ten you will have trouble keeping up with them.
Some advice from PSIA Demo/Education Team members
(thanks to Cross Country Ski Areas Association for allowing us to reproduce this information here)
"The general consensus is for parents to put kids on skis as soon as they can walk, keep it fun and play ski games. We all know as soon as they can walk, kids can shuffle on skis. According to [a CCSAA] survey, the earliest age to offer structured lessons for children is 5 or 6 years of age. Nordic centers may ... offer programs that have supervision for kids playing games on skis —no instruction.
Mickey Stone a PSIA certified Instructor and member of PSIA Demo/Education Team who has 30 years of skiing experience, recommends starting kids skiing at any age they are comfortable in the outdoor winter environment. Kids need to enjoy the environment first. Start children sliding and rolling in the outdoors. Then put them on nordic skis first. This way they will learn balance with their body instead of relying on equipment and big boots. So when to put kids on skis? This is usually 3 years old, although it depends on the child. Age five is recommended to start with a lesson that has structure.
Deb (Ackerman)Willets, a PSIA certified instructor and member of the PSIA Demo/Education Team recommends kids start xc skiing before alpine skiing because xc skiing is so close to walking. Deb says it’s a waste of time to put kids in all of the alpine equipment at ages 3 and 4. Her children were on xc skis the first winter after they could walk. When they are young, taking them out in a pulk or backpack and bringing along their skis, works great. Take children skiing in good weather with no particular time frame or structure. At age 6 and older is a good time to start structured lessons.
Steve Hindman, a PSIA certified instructor and member of the PSIA Demo/Education Team, says you can’t go wrong putting kids on skis at a young age as long as you take off the skis as soon as they are done. He suggest parents leave ski equipment around home available for kids to play with. This approach works great. Steve recommends starting kids in a alpine lesson with other kids at age 6. It is up to the parents whether they start with xc or alpine, some parents have never heard of xc. Steve’s opinion is that xc is a better first choice for a more successful experience on skis because it’s more fun and teaches proper movements allowing a child to find his own balance."