Cross-country skiing just about always includes, encourages or fosters an environmental ethos. It's more natural than ski resorts that chopped down trees to make runs. It's a quieter experience that puts the natural world in winter on display.
It's also a business. And in the Northeast, it's a business that is coming to rely on that most unnatural creation, artificial snow. New England resorts have turned to snow guns to replace natural snow during this shockingly warm winter, creating artificial trails of snow on green ground to get the season started.
See the story at The New York Times.