The term freestyle skiing takes on a whole new meaning at Nickel Plate Nordic Centre Sunday.
That’s because lessons and rentals in both cross country skiing and snowshoeing are free of charge at the annual Welcome Day.
“We’re super excited,” said Nickel Plate general manager Murray Farbridge Saturday as preparations got underway. “We’re also going to have snowshoe tours on all our five snowshoe trails and there’ll be a barbecue going on on the deck so it’s going to be a pretty festive atmosphere.”
Membership at the centre has grown by a couple hundred over the past year due in part to the special half-price fee which is still in effect.
Those wanting to get a look at the latest in gear will have an opportunity to do that Sunday as well with a number of suppliers also scheduled to attend.
According to Farbridge both cross country skiing and snowshoeing are great family recreation pursuits.
“It’s a sport for ages two to 85, it’s really for everybody,” he said. “Obviously the physical health is important, it’s a great cardio sport.”
The site boasts 56 km of groomed trails for both classic and skate skiing and 16 km of marked snowshoe trails. At 6000 feet elevation, it has one of the longest ski season in the western hemisphere, with trails for all abilities.
Nickel Plate also has a 4,000-square-foot day lodge with kitchen, eating and lounge areas, and separate heated washrooms and shower.