This is a sport that requires little in the way of athletic skills --- just a desire the get outdoors in the winter to enjoy nature with a beautiful snowy landscape, and for a healthy aerobic exercise.
In comparison to downhill skiing cross-country is safer and much less expensive. Lift tickets are not needed and the equipment is less expensive.
Compared to the few downhill ski resorts in New Jersey, cross-country skiing is readily available in your neighborhood or at least in one of your local county and state parks.
Ideal conditions for cross country skiing occur after a series snowfalls with an accumulated base of 12 inches or more when most rocks, logs and stumps are covered. Long periods of below freezing temperatures are ideal for freezing over of streams and lakes for easy and uninterrupted runs.
Dress in layers
Dress in several lighter layers which can be removed or added as needed. As you warm up, you will feel the need to shed some layers. On the outside, a parka, jacket, or windbreaker are for protection from the cold wind. Underneath, wear a layer or more of insulated clothing such as a wool sweater, fleece jacket, or a fleece vest.
How to Get Started
The best way to learn how to cross-country ski is to take a lesson from a qualified instructor and then practice your new skills on groomed trails. Many of the locations listed below have arrangements with on-site ski instructors. As you gain experience and confidence you can venture off to more challenging trails.