Six cross-country skiing sites with ski rentals

Updated: Jan 27


Cross country skiing is a great winter activity for the whole family and a full body workout. It helps to reveal the enchanting side of winter and enjoy the beauty of a forest.

One can basically go skiing in all bigger parks around Moscow. But if you need to rent your skiing gear choose one of these places. Two of them are inside Moscow, others are a few minutes drive away.

1. Izmaylovo

Location: inside Moscow, in the East.

Getting there: the rental is in a small red-roof building behind the Stadium Avangard at Entuziastov Highway 33 bld 4. It is 4 tram stops away from the nearest metro - Shosse Entuziastov. The rental's website.

A screen from Yandex.Map. ПРОКАТ is what you are looking for. Don't be confused with the fence put around the stadium. Прокат is still working, until March 2022.

Terrain: flat, with some long gentle elevations and descends.

You may like: inside Moscow, rental is for unlimited time, perfect terrain for beginners. If you have already bought your own skies, you can come to Izmaylovskaya metro which is literally in the forest.

You may like less: busy on weekends and not only with skiers, but also pedestrians.

Watch a video overview here

2. Elk Island

Location: inside Moscow, in the North-East

Getting there: the rental Kuti-Katay is on the turn of Prokhodchikov street, a wood faced building at the park entrance. Its address: Yaroslavskoe Highway 114 k1

Terrain: flat, ideal for beginners.

You may like: the biggest forest inside Moscow, not too crowded - you can find trails where you will be completely alone. Trails cross at 90 degrees angle - it is hard to loos your way (if you have a fully charged mobile with a navigator). A chance to see a moose!

You may like less: trails are not professionally groomed (however, most of them are in good condition). No infrastructure - no changing room, cafe or WC.

3. Meschyorsky

Location: outside Moscow, in the West.

Getting there: there are three parking lots - two on Novomeschyorsky proezd (one paid, one free) and one on the side of Skolkovo. The rentals are at the both of Novomeschyorsky parking lots.

Terrain: mostly flat. Western side, where the Setun river is, is more hilly.

You may like: Trails are getting groomed daily. It is easy to find your way in the park as the trails are straight and clearly signed in two languages. A cozy cafe with various kinds of tea (Tea House).

You may like less: the parking can become full on the weekend at around 12 pm. Classical tracks are sometimes damaged by skating skiers.

Watch a video overview of the track here

4. Odintsovo (Larisa Lazutina skiing complex)

Location: outside Moscow, in the West.

Getting there: write "Larisa Lazutina" in your Yandex Navigator and it will lead you to the parking. Address: Krasnogorskoe Highway 3, Odintsovo

Terrain: this site is more advanced than Meschyorsky and is used by serious athletes and Marathon runners for their training. The height of elevations is shown on the map. Choose one of three trails according to your descending skills.

You may like: It is the most professionally groomed system of tracks near Moscow. The descends are wide, with good visibility and pedestrians are not allowed to the 6 km "black", the more advanced, track, which makes skiing safer.

You may like less: same parking difficulties as in Meschyorsky.

Watch a video overview of the track here

5. Krasnogorsk

Location: outside Moscow, in the West

Getting there: the rental is on the Ski Stadium Zorky on Rechnaya street 37, Krasnogorsk. You can park next to the stadium.

Terrain: the skiing site consists of two parts: one is the stadium and the pond behind it, very well groomed, and another one is the forest. To get to the forest from the stadium you will have to climb a high slope, popularly known as Everest. In the forest you can find over 20 km of tracks. The terrain is mostly flat in the center of the forest and more advanced (with some high and steep descends and demanding elevations) at its borders, closer to the rivers.

You may like: well-prepared trails, both flat and more challenging terrain, over 20 km of tracks in total.

You may like less: challenging terrain, the stadium can be closed during competitions.

Watch a video overview here

6. Alfa-Bitza

Location: outside Moscow, South. Address: MKAD, 36 km

Getting there: on weekend and holidays their parking can accessed by turning to the right from MKAD, through the gates, and then about 500 meters through the forest to the big field (green on the map). On weekdays these gates are closed and one have to turn to the parking directly from MKAD, going down quite steep slope. Another oprion is leaving your car on the other side of MKAD and cross the road by a bridge.

Terrain: long graduated descends and elevations. Not a single flat place!

You may like: great physical training on long elevations. Pleasant long descends. Interchanging of field and forest parts. Never monotone!

You may like less: constantly going slightly uphill or downhills can be confusing for a beginner who is just learning the right movement pattern. A route may be not obvious for the first time.

Safety rules:

Please follow the same direction as other skiers: most trails in Alfa-Bitza, Odintsovo, Krasnogorsk are "one way roads". Don't stand at the end of a downhill section especially if you can't be seen by other skiers from the top.

Dress light! Skiing in the same clothes you wear in the city will be a way too hot.

Renting skies:

You will need skies, boots and poles. There are classical and skating style skies and boots. Choose classical ones if you are a beginner. The average price for a set of skiing gear is 600-700 rubles per hour. You will need to leave a deposit - an ID, driver's license or cash (about 3000 rub). You should know your shoe size in European system.

Look for a sign ПРОКАТ to find a rental. To make your life in Moscow easier and more fun start a proper individual Russian course today.

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