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Herman Smith (Jackrabbit) Johannsen, 1875-1987 Cross-country skier - Biography
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Jackrabbit Johannsen

Jackrabbit Johannsen
The Canadian Ski Museum, Ottawa
© Frank E. Macintyre

Signature of Herman Smith Johannsen
Courtesy of Canadian Ski Museum, Ottawa

A legend on skis

The name of "Jackrabbit" Johannsen stands for a love of nature, freedom and physical health. Born in Norway, Johannsen was literally raised on skis. After
suffering bankruptcy during the Depression, he translated his hobby into a business
and way of life. In the 1930s - the Golden Age of Skiing - he spearheaded the development of ski hills and trails throughout the Laurentians and the northeastern United States. He developed new techniques, organized competitions and taught thousands of youngsters to love skiing. By the time of Canada's Centennial in 1967, the vigorous 92-year-old had become the living hero of cross-country skiing. His legacy remains in the trails he cut, the training he inspired and the unconditional love of winter sports he instilled in others.

quote You must feel the tug of your muscles as you near the top of a long grade, and know the joy of making your own track down an unbroken expanse of powder snow. [.] This is skiing. This is adventure! quote

Jackrabbit Johannsen, circa 1946.

Signature of Herman Smith Johannsen

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