The Winter Park area is home to multiple, great cross country trails which are “off the beaten path”. If you enjoy spending time outdoors but are looking for solitude that can’t be found at any resort, look no further than the Rendezvous trails. The trails at Rendezvous are not only very accessible, but also offer a wide range of difficulty. From Hwy 40, take a right at the first stoplight in Fraser (next to Safeway) and follow the road up the hill and to the right. Turn right on Cranmer and then another right onto CR 853. Follow CR 853 to where it ends at CR 850 and take a right. Park and the trailhead will be on your left (see picture below). Once on the trail, head strait until you come to an intersection at Cross trails. For a nice easy loop, taking Cross Trails to Winter Woods. Turn left on to Idelwild Trial and then another left onto South Fork Loop. This trail will meet back up Cross Trails. Add on Ditch Tail for more miles. Click here to view a map of the area
If you are looking to get even further away, check out the experimental forest in Fraser. This beautiful trail system takes a little longer to get to, but is well worth the drive. This 23,000 acre forest has been a site for studies in alpine and subalpine environments since 1937. For a nice easy ski, park at St. Luis Campground and ski the loop which includes Creek Side and Flume trails. If you are looking for a challenge, add on Chainsaw and Zoom, but be prepared for some big climbs. Click here to view a map of this area (look for the blue box stating 1st St. Louis Campground).
Please be sure to bring a map on either of these trails, along with sun screen, a light snack and plenty of water. Maps are available at the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, located in the heart of Winter Park. These trails are also great bike trails in the summer.
Chris December 29th, 2011