Just Desserts: Eat, ski and snowshoe

By Cindy Brown
For the Taos News
Posted 2/19/20

For almost 35 years, Enchanted Forest Cross-Country Ski Area has been hosting a sweet celebration called Just Desserts. The tradition continues this Saturday (Feb. 22) from noon to 2 p.m. at the ski area located just outside of the town of Red River. Skiers and snowshoers can travel between stations set up along a five-kilometer course and enjoy locally made desserts as they go.

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Just Desserts: Eat, ski and snowshoe

Posted

For almost 35 years, Enchanted Forest Cross-Country Ski Area has been hosting a sweet celebration called Just Desserts. The tradition continues this Saturday (Feb. 22) from noon to 2 p.m. at the ski area located just outside of the town of Red River. Skiers and snowshoers can travel between stations set up along a five-kilometer course and enjoy locally made desserts as they go.

"Just Desserts has been one of our most enduring and popular events since just after the time we opened in 1985," says Ellen Miller-Goins, co-owner. "We often have more than 100 people turn out." She says that she and her parents, John and Judy Miller, went to a gathering on Nordic events and there were gourmet treats, so they got the idea to create a dessert event at Enchanted Forest.

Desserts are provided by both local restaurants and accomplished individual bakers as well. Skiers and snowshoers will taste desserts like apple-raisin bread pudding with Jack Daniels sauce, tiramisu, fudge cinnamon rolls, bourbon chocolate pecan pie, Key lime pie, coconut rum cake (dairy-free), chocolate chip pecan pie, banana pudding and more.

A recent addition to the event is the chance to vote for your favorite dessert with coins or dollars. The money that is raised goes to support the Red River Valley Charter School. Past winners include wild blueberry pie made by John Hoag of Sundance Mexican Restaurant; other favorites are made by Brett's Bistro and volunteer Martha Frank, who makes a multilayer chocolate buttercream torte.

Enchanted Forest

Enchanted Forest is located on Carson National Forest land. There are more than 35 kilometers (about 22 miles) of ski trails. Some of them are gentle slopes like Power Puff and others are more challenging like Face Flop Drop. In addition to cross-country skiing, the area offers snowshoe trails and a dog-friendly area as well.

Enchanted Forest founders John and Judy Miller originally were part owners of a resort near Red River known as Powderpuff, during the 1970s. After that time, John Miller took people into the forest for guided cross-country skiing, before starting Enchanted Forest in 1985. When the resort was begun, there were some old logging roads in place. The family added more trails over time, giving them fanciful names from Alice in Wonderland or names that commemorate a family event, such as Linda's Leg, which was named after the shape of daughter Linda Miller's leg after she broke it on a nearby giant slalom course.

How to get involved

Snow conditions are good at Enchanted Forest. The course has received new snow from the recent storms and has a base of over 90 inches. You can participate by coming out to ski or snowshoe on Saturday (Feb. 22) at noon or by providing a dessert.

Contact Ellen Miller-Goins to get involved. If you let her know you are bringing a dessert, she can give you credit on the program produced for the event. Call (575) 754-6112 or (575) 770-2430, or email info@enchantedforestxc.com. Get current conditions at enchantedforestxc.com or on Facebook.

Enchanted Forest Cross Country Ski Area is located at 29 Sangre de Cristo Drive, Red River.

Other upcoming events

Every Friday until March 20, Enchanted Forest will host snowshoeing with a U.S. Forest Service specialist/wildlife biologist. Bring snowshoes, poles, water, snacks and join Carson National Forest rangers on a snowshoe tour. Find out more on the website.

Future of Enchanted Forest

Looking into the future, the Miller family is working on a master plan that will guide the development of the area over the next 10 years and more. There will be a focus on creating a world-class year-round facility that brings economic opportunities to the community. The goal of the plan is to expand wilderness experiences and adventures in a safe environment and grow the area into the Enchanted Forest Outdoor Education and Adventure Center.

You can find out more and offer your thoughts at enchantedforestxc.com.

Directions

From Taos Plaza, go north four miles on Paseo del Pueblo to the intersection of State Road 150 and U.S. Highway 64. Continue north (Paseo del Pueblo becomes State Road 522) for 20 miles to Questa. Turn right at State Road 38 and go about 16 miles, passing through Red River. Turn right at Sangre de Cristo Drive and go down and then up the snowy hill to the Enchanted Forest sign on the right. Note: The last 2/10 mile from Highway 38 to the ski area passes through the Mountain Shadows subdivision and is accessible only with four-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive vehicles with good tires. All others park on the highway and call for a shuttle.

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