Giving cross country skiing a try

VARYSBURG, N.Y. (WIVB) – A lot of us watching the Olympics are wishing we could pick up a new sport. You don’t have to go to South Korea to try some of them out. You can learn to cross country ski, for example, right here in Western New York.

Byrncliff Golf Resort and Banquets in Varysburg offers 12 miles of professionally-groomed trails, with a variety of terrains for all ability levels. All of the trails are lit up, too, for a great experience day or night.

“I just love the exhilaration you feel. It’s kind of like the runner’s high, when you get on cross country skis, and you can just get out and enjoy a relaxing day,” explained Lindsay Eddy, the director of sales and marketing for Byrncliff. “And it’s a good work out, and that’s the best part.”

You don’t have to be in shape like an Olympic athlete to enjoy a day on the trails, though. The staff at Byrncliff says it’s a good activity for all ages and abilities. “You can go as a whole family. You can make it a day outing,” said Karen Kuehner, a skiing instructor at Byrncliff.  “It’s just nice to be out in the winter and enjoying nature and getting exercise.”

Kuehner works with a lot of first-timers who come to Byrncliff’s trails to give cross country skiing a try.

News 4’s Katie Alexander tried cross country skiing for the first time on Wake Up Thursday morning. Watch the videos below to see our full coverage.

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“You can start at the beginning stages or we have more advanced lessons,” Eddy said. “There’s classic skiing and there’s skate skiing, which you’ll see on the Olympics, skaters going really fast.”

Byrncliff offers one-hour skiing lessons for individuals or groups, by appointment. The lesson fee includes the trail-fee, which allows you to use the trails for a full day.

MORE | Click here to learn more about opportunities to use the trails and learn to cross country ski.

Kuehner says lessons for beginners start with the basics of learning just to stand on skis first. “You just get comfortable, you get used to it, and once you’re getting comfortable, you can try the next thing, try to go a little bit faster, try to get a little more glide,” she said.

Kuehner also teaches beginners how to get back up if they fall, which sometimes happens as you’re getting used to moving around on cross country skis. “That’s normal, yeah. You just have to know how to get back up, and try again.”

If you’d like to try cross country skiing for yourself or any of the other winter activities at Byrncliff Golf Resort and Banquets, visit Byrncliff’s website or Facebook page.

Winter trail hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

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