"We're ready to open as soon as we have snow," Irene Jenks said the other day.

Irene and Al Jenks operate Windblown in southern New Hampshire. They are excited about the coming winter, and thrilled to be in shape to operate.

Windblown, like much of the Central New England region, was hammered by an ice storm that hit on Dec. 11 of last year.

The entire trail system was closed by fallen trees, and it took many weeks of labor by volunteers and professional loggers to get half the trails open at all last winter.

Loggers finished the job over the summer.

"The trails are in better shape than they've ever been before," Irene said. "Part of that is because we put in more water culverts to direct water away from the trails, and part is because of grading work we did."

Windblown offers 25 miles, or 40 kilometers, of trails for skiers of all ability level.

A treat this year: Snowshoers will be able to sample the new trails that were cut for last season but never used because of the ice storm. The new trails connect a network of 8 kilometers of backcountry trails.

The Jenks have operated Windblown since 1972, offering cross country skiers and snowshoers a lovely network of trails through woods along the Wapack Trail.

A base lodge affords a place to warm up, rent gear, buy wax, mittens, and hats, and to sample Irene's homemade soups and baked goods.

Adult trail tickets are $16 weekends and holidays, $13 midweek; students age 8 to 17 are $10 weekends/holidays and $8 midweek.

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