Central Oregonians are fortunate to have one of the premier Nordic ski areas in the Pacific Northwest in our backyard. With snow coming down, it's time! Within a 20-minute drive of Bend, there are 40 kilometers of groomed Nordic trails available for all levels of cross-country skiers. The trails are located 14 miles west of Bend just off Century Drive at Meissner Nordic, named after Virginia Meissner, who helped blaze Central Oregon's ski culture and helped establish Bend as a destination ski area. Trails at Meissner are groomed four days each week Dec. 1-March 31 by a team of volunteers. Be sure to have your SnowPark Pass displayed on the dash of your front windshield. A trail map can be picked up at the trailhead kiosk. If you need rental equipment, contact Sunnyside Sports, Webskis, or Pine Mountain Sports. Sunriver's Village Bike and Ski also provides rental equipment.
Outdoor Skills & Classes
With the snow season here, Central Oregon Community College and REI are offering several classes to those who want to improve their snowshoeing and navigational skills. Save the dates for these upcoming classes.
Snowshoeing Basics Class. REI staffers will lead this class, which covers the selection of gear and basics on what you need and where to go to get started. 5:30 pm, Jan. 6, REI. Free.
GPS Navigation Basics Class. This class is designed to teach the basics of hand-held GPS navigation units, including pinpointing your location, marking waypoints, and navigating to distant points. If you own a GPS unit, you are asked to bring it to the class. 5:30 pm, Jan. 12, REI. $30 members, $50 non-members.
Snowshoeing Field Sessions. COCC offers snowshoeing field sessions with a focus on an appreciation for safety, gear, and low environmental impact. Field sessions will cover a distance of approximately 4-6 miles. Participants will need to be in moderate shape, but no experience is required. Sessions are scheduled Jan. 6-27 and Feb. 3-24. Cost per session is $89. Register at cocc.edu/continuinged, or by phone at 541-383-7270.
GPS Navigation. Learn basic operating features of hand-held GPS receivers through classroom exercises and field practice. Bring your GPS and owner's manual to class. 9 am-3 pm, Jan. 9. Register at cocc.edu/continuinged, or by phone at 541-383-7270.