While some Eastman residents head south for the winter, others find the New Hampshire winter beautiful and invigorating. In Finland, winter is known as the “lively season,” and our Eastman Winter Sports Subcommittee is committed to livening up the winters right here.
Since the weather gods are capricious in their delivery of the white stuff, we’ve begun to offer “pop-up events” when snow arrives. These events are scheduled on short notice to take advantage of snow when conditions are best. Last season we offered eight pop-up events at the yurt in John’s Glen for cross country skiers and snowshoers. What did these involve? Snacks and socializing! Generally food was provided by subcommittee members—bagels, cookies, cheese and crackers and quick breads were on offer—and participants brought their own beverages. Maintenance staff or committee volunteers lit a fire in the yurt’s wood stove. We were warmed by the fire as well as by the laughter and camaraderie of the group.
To stay informed on upcoming events, check out the Winter Recreation Guide, look for sign boards, or stop into the cross-country center or south cove front desk to gather more information.
Our cross-country ski center is open whenever conditions permit to rent skis, snowshoes, ice-skates and sleds to Eastman Members, guests and the general public. There’s nothing like skiing the Balsam Loops in John’s Glen, sledding with children and grandchildren, or snowshoeing in our beautiful Eastman forest.
Last winter we offered a new activity called the “Heath Forest Challenge.” At the beginning of the winter, skis were tied to trees at five locations along the Heath Forest Trails. Attached to each ski was a plastic bag containing instructions and a unique hole punch. Throughout the season, hikers and snowshoers picked up punch cards and maps at the ski center at any time, hiked the trails to the skis, punched their cards with all five punches, and turned them in to be eligible for a drawing to win new snowshoes. (The entry for the drawing for children under 12 required only three of the five punches.) Multiple entries were permitted over the course of the winter, with more than 40 adults and five children participating. Last year’s winners will receive their new snowshoes at the beginning of this season. Don’t miss your opportunity to win new snowshoes in this year’s Heath Forest Challenge.
Please remember to check in at or call the ski center each time you use the trail system. Eastman’s maintenance department works hard, at no small expense, to groom our trails with the PistenBully and snow machines. Our dedicated crew begins the work before dawn so we can all enjoy this winter wonderland in which we live. Keeping a count of how many people are using the trails is important information for our community. And remember, no walking or biking is permitted on the trails in the winter. It only takes one person walking a trail in boots to undo hours of grooming work, spoiling the trails for skiers. And if you snowshoe the groomed trails, please keep to the side of the tracks and the groomed skate-ski lanes.
Anne and her husband Phil moved to Eastman from Delaware in 2011. She enjoys cross country skiing, snowshoeing and ice skating, and currently serves as chair of the Winter Sports Subcommittee of Eastman’s Recreation Committee.