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Bethlehem, New Hampshire, United States
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10 March 2014

Information Sharing: XC-Skiing and Snowshoeing at Milan Hill State Park


As to which format to use for future postings to my blog, that is still a bit indefinite.  However, what is definite is my belief that blogging can be an effective means to share information with others.

Knowledge gained from information-sharing can move us in new directions and sometimes at a quicker pace than if we're left to our own discovery process.  Just think!  The concept of the wheel might have caught on much earlier in the history of mankind if the youngster shown in the following cartoon could have shared his knowledge via a blog! :-)

For certain, it's a very farfetched notion to think that a Stone Age blog could have led to a more rapid advancement of "wheel knowledge".  However, I recently gained some "real knowledge", as a direct result of modern-era blogging!

A reader of my recent blog about Skiing on Groomed Cross-Country Trails posted a reply which recommended that I try the XC-ski trails at Milan Hill State Park.  And, just like the wheel was eventually invented, most likely I would have eventually discovered this XC-ski facility on my own.  However, this comment sped up my discovery process, and for that, I'm very grateful!

The XC-ski trails at Milan Hill State Park are maintained by the Nansen Ski Club (click HERE)It was established in 1872 in Berlin, NH by a group of Scandinavians, and it's said to be the oldest continuously operating ski club in America.  The club’s name was chosen to honor Fridtjof Nansen, a 19th century Norwegian Arctic explorer who was the first person to cross Greenland on skis.  And lastly, just as a further point of interest, the current trail system at Milan Hill was designed by Morton Trails, a firm with involvement in planning over a hundred trail projects across the United States and abroad.

My XC-Ski Trek at Milan Hill State Park:

All of the above is a very long way of arriving at the presentation of a few snapshots taken during a most delightful day of skiing at Milan Hill State Park. Since snowshoers are also welcome at this facility, the scenes that are shown in these photos can be experienced by those who enjoy this winter sport as well.

The Carters and Presidential Range
Highly zoomed view of Presidential Range
Pliny and Pilot Range
Slightly zoomed view of Percy Peaks and Victor Head
Milan Hill Fire Tower
Looking downward from one of the fire tower landings (I'm uncomfortable with climbing most towers, but this one doesn't seem to set off my acrophobia alarm!)
Trailhead parking lot and snow grooming machine.  (At lower left, note the donation box with the ski club's founding date of 1872.)
A typical segment of trail within the Milan Hill XC-ski trail system
Photo shows nothing in particular; just happened to like the beautiful birch against a brilliant blue sky, along with a half-moon high in the sky


Rita Wechter said...

Thanks for sharing the information about this ski area, John. With access for both cross-country skiers and snowshoers, it looks like my kind of place! I loved the last photo with the birches, the moon, and the blue, blue sky.

And also, I want to say that although you have said that your love of sharing information about these special places trumps your love of're a very talented writer, John! The cartoon you shared is brilliant, as was your analogy with modern-day technology and information sharing—a great tie-in.

Another fun post!

1HappyHiker said...

Hi Rita,

Wow! Mega thanks for your very generous praise of my writing skills. Unfortunately, my genes don’t include an innate talent for writing. Lacking this aptitude, it’s a struggle to produce what I produce! It’s sort of like trying to carry a tune without the talent for singing! :-)

I’m very appreciative of your dedicated support of my blogging efforts. Folks like you provide the encouragement that is needed to continue with this endeavor!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for following my suggestion. Regarding fire towers, I too am nervous about climbing the ones in rough shape. However it is worth it to get great views. Two fire towers that most hikers don't know about is the one on a sub peak of Whitcomb mtn and the one on Signal mtn near Errol. Though in rough shape, the Signal mtn fire tower has spectacular views even with the nearby windfarm. The Whitcomb fire tower is in similar shape with the Milan Hill one and has a unique view though, in my opinion, not as spectacular as from Signal mtn. Both of these can be accessed from snowmobile trails.

1HappyHiker said...

Thank you so much for sharing even more destinations for me to explore! If you are a frequent reader of my blog, then you know how much I enjoy visiting places that are new to me. :-)

Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

Great Trip Report. I have yet to go there. I am still pouting over losing the old Nansen Ski place, where the new Federal Prison is:{ I managed to convince my old "Nordic" father years ago to take up xc skiing again in his early 80's and we frequented the old Nansen ski area before the prison went in. He had amazing amounts of energy, going for hours and wearing me out!!! He is 92 now an hasn't skied since they moved Nansen to Milan HIll, since the terrain is kind of steep. He's too feeble for that now, but I truly enjoy the history of Nansen Ski Club. My father likes to talk about having ski jumped off the Nansen Ski Jump as a youngster with all his square head friends, with his wooden skis and leather boots. Pretty cool stuff. A lot of the old timers have died off now, but they keep the tradition alive to the best of their ability. Emma White who recently passed away at 92 was one who was very active in the Nansen Ski Club and used to walk from Sweden Street in Berlin up to Nansen to go skiing with her dog. Bear Notch XC ski in Bartlet is another gem of a place to go if you are ever looking for a groomed place to try. I love it there.

Hiking Lady

1HappyHiker said...

Hi Hiking Lady,

Thanks for stopping by to read my blog, and for taking time to post such an interesting and informative reply!

I’m sorry that I was unaware of the Nansen Ski facilities when they were located at what is now the site of the new Federal Prison. However, their new location at Milan Hill is nice and I like skiing there. But, I do agree with your comment about the terrain being sort of steep at this site. Some of their trails that are rated as “Easy” might be rated as “Moderate” at other XC-ski facilities.

Regarding the Bear Notch XC facility in Bartlett, I totally agree with you about it being a “gem of a place”. I go there often. Particularly appealing to me is the laidback, low-key, beyond rustic atmosphere of this place!


Nansen Ski Club said...

So glad to hear and thanks for sharing your experiences. The club has added several new easier trails and a couple backcountry/ungroomed trails to the system as well as improved the parking and initial trail access with a flatter start this season. New maps are out, trails have been renamed and completely re-signed ('Wight's Way' in honor of Emma Wight), difficulty levels now for each section, etc. Lots of improvements and new additions. Thank you and happy skiing this winter.

1HappyHiker said...

Thanks for reading my blog and taking time to post a reply!

I’m very much looking forward to skiing at Nansen this winter and experiencing the improvements and additions to your trail network.