History of Cross Country Skiing

Skiing is a common sport and recreational activity today, but it started out as a way to survive during the winter. Most historians believe the use of skis originates from Scandinavia over 4000 years ago. In that area of the world, snow covered the ground for a majority of the year, so the people who lived there needed a way to get from place to place more efficiently. The earliest skis were not designed for speed but simply as a way to prevent the wearer's feet from sinking into the deep snow, a principle we now see in modern snowshoes. Caption: Palmquist family relative skiing at The Farm.

Development of cross country ski designs

As time went on, ski designs departed from the basic wood planks, and in the last 200 years, people designed Alpine skis for downhill speed, cross country skis for gliding across flatter terrain (also known as Nordic skiing), and most recently skis designed for skate-skiing.

Cross country ski resorts

Palmquist Farm in northern Wisconsin has witnessed this transition of skiing from necessity to pastime. When Jim Palmquist's ancestors founded The Farm over 100 years ago, cross country skiing was still an important way to get around during the winter. Palmquist Farm has many pictures of family members and neighbors traveling to and from The Farm on long, wide wooden skis, the predecessor to the modern cross-country ski. Some of these pictures date back to the 1930s and earlier. Inside The Farm's Pickaroon lodge, visitors and guests can see actual antique skis from that time period on display on the walls. Caption: Guest skies lined up at The Farm in the 70’s

Visit Palmquist Farm

Today, Palmquist Farm offers over 20 miles of cross-country ski trails for people to enjoy. The trails are rated from beginner to intermediate in difficulty, making them perfect for families with mixed skiing experience. Skis, ski boots, and snowshoes are available for rent, so guests don’t even need their own equipment. Visit the rest of the Palmquist Farm website for more information about scheduling your next visit to The Farm. Caption: Jim Palmquist (left: owner of Palmquist Farm) and his brother David (right).

"Thanks for introducing us to skiing!"
-Susanna & Scott, Ann Arbor, MI