By Ciara Wolfe BSCO Executive Director

Chapel Loop and Moose Alley are the perfect Nordic ski trails to dust off your cross-country skis and skills. Both are beginner trails located on the Big Sky Golf Course found in the Meadow Village.

Chapel Loop is a 1-kilometer loop that starts on Black Otter Road directly across from the Meadow Village Center. After looping behind the Big Sky Chapel, the trail heads west between the homes and condos found on both sides of the golf course.

Moose Alley, a 2.5-kilometer trail, provides beginner terrain and forks off Chapel Loop just past the chapel. Moose Alley meanders along the south side of the South Fork of the West Fork between the Silverbow and Little Coyote ponds and ends at Crail Trail. With willows engulfing the streambank and the solitude found on the golf course, this is a common wintering area for local moose—so common that the trail was named after them. Be wildlife aware and keep an eye out for these massive ungulates at all times.

Visitors or residents unable to access the Nordic trail system from their house or lodging can park in Meadow Village Center, the commercial shopping area located along Little Coyote. Several excellent local restaurants and shops are nestled in Meadow Village Center including Lone Peak Brewery, known for its après ski scene. Public parking and restrooms are available at Big Sky Community Park, which connects directly to the golf course trail system.

Please respect the no dog policy on these trails and make sure to pick up your annual season pass or day pass from Lone Mountain Ranch at one of the following locations: Lone Mountain Ranch, Grizzly Outfitters, The Hungry Moose, Gallatin Alpine Sports or East Slope Outdoors. All proceeds from pass sales go toward the cost of grooming our winter Nordic trail system.

Visit lonemountainranch.com/winter-things-to-do/nordic-skiing for a complete map of Big Sky’s 85 kilometers of groomed Nordic trails.

For more information about Big Sky’s parks, trails and recreation programs, visit bscomt.org. The Big Sky Community Organization is a local nonprofit that connects people to recreational opportunities by acquiring, promoting and preserving sustainable places and programs for all.

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Trail stats

Distance: Chapel Loop is 1 km, Moose Alley is 2.5 km
Difficulty: easy
Elevation gain: 0 feet
Surface: classic track includes both skate and classic groomed trails
Uses: cross-country skiing, wildlife viewing
Directions from Gallatin Canyon: Take Lone Mountain Trail west from Highway 191. Drive approximately 2.5 miles and turn right on to Little Coyote Road. Parking is located within the commercial Meadow Village Center—your first right off Little Coyote—or 1 mile farther at the Big Sky Community Park.