Ask any snowshoer or Nordic skier at Bogus Basin what they like most about the Nordic trail system and the main answer is location. Its a mere 17 miles from the valley floor to the groomed trails, which makes it a quick, fun-filled snow outing close to home.
But if you probe a little deeper, you find the trail system provides a variety of terrain, from beginner ski and snowshoe routes to hardcore skating lanes that rise 1,000 feet in elevation.
For Rebecka Seward of Boise, the trails provide a good workout.
Im a downhiller, and I grew up at Bogus Basin, she said.
But she also likes to take a break from the chairlifts and slopes and skate ski on the Nordic trails.
For Dave Benjamin of Meridian, its a chance to strap on the backcountry skis and trek to Shafer Butte Campground or Mores Mountain.
I like going to the campground and skiing the top of the ski area, he said.
Its more than 3 miles from Frontier Lodge to Mores Mountain and theres a lot of backcountry terrain in between.
For Steve Oliphant of Eagle, the Bogus trails are a good way to keep his 4-year-old daughter happy.
While another daughter takes downhill ski lessons around the corner, Oliphant gets a workout by towing his daughter behind him on the skating lanes.
Elsewhere on the trails, beginners are getting the feel of skate or classic-stride Nordic skiing.
The number of lessons and other programs are as varied as the trail system.
We try to touch on something for everyone, from kids to adults, said Peg Havlovick, director of the Nordic Center.
The centers learn-to-Nordic-ski Passport Program introduces a lot of beginners to the sport until they come back as regulars each ski season, said Havlovick.
The lessons and programs at the Nordic Center are reflective of the community aspect of what Bogus Basin wants to be, said Havlovick.
You dont even have to ski to participate in programs at the Nordic Center.
Bogus Basins Snow School, which is based at the Frontier Point Lodge, provides a science-based field trip and introduction to the mountain through snowshoeing.
Often, its the first time the student has ever seen the snow-covered mountains at Bogus Basin, and it introduces them to winter sports.
Afterward, the Nordic Center makes it easy for them to continue snowshoeing, or get involved in Nordic skiing. The center has what is needed, from rentals to lessons to flat trails such as the Nordic Highway.
The mountain also offers a variety of kids, racing and fitness programs throughout the season.
Then theres the solar-lighted trails for a quick outing after work on Tuesday through Thursday nights until 8:30 p.m.
The lighted areas on the flat, beginner Nordic Highway and around the lodge make it easy for beginners to take lessons.
The Frontier Point Lodge also is a fun place to hang out. The second floor of the lodge offers incredible views of the surrounding mountains and trails.
Theres comfortable seating for relaxing and eating lunch. The gas fireplace is cozy, too.
Most skiers and snowshoers pack their own lunch. Some vending machine snacks and drinks are available at the lodge.
With Bogus Nordic trails so close, and with additional lighting for night skiing and snowshoeing, theres no reason not to hit the trails.
Pete Zimowsky: 377-6445, Twitter: @Zimosoutdoors