Nordic Nation: The Ups and Downs of Trail Design with John Morton

Jason AlbertAugust 21, 2020

In this episode of Nordic Nation, we speak all things trail design with John Morton. Based in Vermont, and global in perspective, Morton provides insights into the literal ups and downs of trail design and how full-blown nordic centers and small scale trails can bring a modern vibe to an old-school sport. He runs Morton Trails locally but has a global reach with projects based in China.

John Morton, U.S. biathlete (Courtesy photo)

His most recent trail work at Paul Smith’s College in the Adirondacks earned rave reviews. As Morton describes site location we learn how he envisions a trail catered to simply sliding on snow through the woods for the recreational skier or imagines an entire competition complex able to host elite level events and challenge World Cup stars.

A vision for a nordic sport future – an aerial shot of a portion of Paul Smith’s campus.

Morton’s ski resume is lengthy. And true to form, Morton stuck to trail design during our conversation. He failed to mention he is a two-time Olympic biathlete, served a tour of duty in South Vietnam, coached collegiate skiing, and remains an all-around ski enthusiast. This is really just the tip of the iceberg.

You can find more about Morton at

John Morton. (Photo: Morton Trails)

Thanks for listening.

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Jason Albert

Jason lives in Bend, Ore., and can often be seen chasing his two boys around town. He’s a self-proclaimed audio geek. That all started back in the early 1990s when he convinced a naive public radio editor he should report a story from Alaska’s, Ruth Gorge. Now, Jason’s common companion is his field-recording gear.

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