by Paul Crawford

Cross-country skiing has always been a favorite sport in Allegany State Park. It wasn’t until Dec. 22, 1972, that the first manmade trails were open for enthusiasts.

Later, in 1977, Ridge Run and Deer Loop were opened for public use. In 1978, an old Civilian Conservation Corps fire road from the 1930s was converted into the Leonard Run Loop. In 1980, Christian Hollow Loop was opened, followed by the Sweetwater Loop in 1984 and Snowsnake Run in 1987 for ski-skaters.

Art Roscoe, a park employee of 40 years, was a major contributor to winter sports at the park. A ceremony was held naming the cross-country ski trail area after him on Dec. 23, 1978. The Art Roscoe Ski Shelter by Summit Trail also bears his name. Roscoe retired in 1968 and passed away in 1980 at the age of 78.

The once 17 miles of ski trails in Art Roscoe’s day have since expanded to over 35. They are groomed and tracked, laying claim by experienced cross-country skiers to be some of the finest trails in the Eastern United States. Volunteers combined with park workers keep the trails groomed and free of debris.

During the season, you can go to the Art Roscoe Cross-Country Ski Hut to warm up and check trail conditions. Cross-country skis and snowshoes are available for rent, and snacks and hot drinks are available on weekends during the winter months (weather permitting).

The cross-country ski trails open Dec. 18. Safe skiing, everyone!

ASP X-C Trail Difficulty Levels

Ridge Run – more experienced
Deer Loop – less experienced
Leonard Run Loop – intermediate
Christian Hollow Loop – less experienced
Sweetwater Loop – less experienced
Snowsnake Run – for ski-skaters

(Photo and info courtesy of Paul Crawford.)