Balsams Grand Resort Hotel is launching the Great North Woods 30k Classic, a new cross country race event, after a hiatus of several years in racing at this prime Nordic venue.

"We have not hosted a cross country race in several years," said Balsams' David Donohue, "but this year we are going to have 5k, 10k, and 30k tracks, with tasting stations."

Those who know the Balsams understand the possibilities in those tasting stations. The resort is well-known for its exquisite kitchen, and many people go there year after year for meals alone.

The resort has 90k of cross country trails that are groomed nightly, and that allows skiers to glide over fields, through woods, up and down hills, and alongside lakes, ponds, and streams.

It is truly a lovely northern New England setting.

The event encompasses three races, of 5k, 10k, and 30k, designed for novice, intermediate, and expert skiers. Food stations along the race courses will offer gourmet treats from Balsams chefs.

An apres-race reception also offers gourmet foot and prizes. Racing begins at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 27. Registration fee is $60. Hotel guests get to participate at no cost.

More information. Or call 800-255-0600.