Road tripping to Vermont for a cross-country skiing trip? Want to ski, but don’t like alpine? With extensive networks of groomed, backcountry trails, silent escapes promising solitude and wintry contemplation, Vermont is a Nordic skier’s paradise. Here are just a few of our favorite places to break into the powder.
Catamount Outdoor Family Center
This privately-owned outdoor recreation center offers over 35 kilometers of groomed trails, classical and skate cross-country skiing. The landscape varies between flat stretches and hilly, wooded trails, which give way to fields with scenic vistas. With rentals, sledding, fat tire riding, and cocoa to warm you by the fire, seems there are more reasons to stay than leave.
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Smugglers’ Notch Resort
Winter outdoor junkies will find a trinity of downhill skiing, cross country and sledding just an hour outside Burlington. Smugglers’ Notch—routinely ranked among the east’s best resorts—offers a network of 30 kilometers of cross-country trails that wind their way through meadows and woods.
Smugglers’ Notch Resort, 4323 Vermont 108 South, Jeffersonville, VT, USA, + 1 802 370 3186
we drank the koolaid today #sippinonsomesizzurp like really – sickening time at @smugglersnotchvt new snow was excellent, terrain was radical, but the company was top notch (#smugglersnotch) #smuggslove #snowboarding #skiing #vermont The crew 👉🏾 @stokedonice @oleh_the_guide @kriegersaurus @12monthsofsnow pete @gfatigate @adabrowski90 @itillberg & the samoan – thanks to our guides & thanks so much for having us #smuggs we will be back (how’s tomorrow) #elevatedlocals #shredtilldead #sisterhoodofshred #lostgirlstribe #letmeride #hikingforit #earnyourturns #hersheylife
Stowe Mountain Resort
Overshadowed by the Trapp lodge just minutes away and the mountain’s alpine offerings, Stowe Mountain Resort is no underdog. With some 45 kilometers of groomed trails and 30 kilometers of backcountry terrain, it has something for everyone. While the more experienced trails ring the perimeter, beginners can rent gear and take to the family-friendly paths near the centre.
Stowe Mountain Resort, 7416 Mountain Rd., Stowe, VT, USA, + 1 802 253 3000
Mad River Valley
No longer just an entry on your alpine skiing bucket list, the Mad River Valley boasts two cross-country centers—Ole’s Cross Country Center and Blueberry Lake Cross Country—with an ample network of trails. Whether classic or skating trails, there’s dozens of kilometers of terrain for all ability levels, and guides will not only teach you the basics, but detail the region’s natural history. The well-maintained network of trails to traverse are just minutes away from Sugarbush Resort and Mad River Glen, popular downhill skiing resorts.
Ole’s Cross Country Center 2355 Airport Rd., Warren, VT, USA, + 1 802 496 3430
Blueberry Lake Cross Country 424 Plunkton Rd., Warren, VT, USA, + 1 802 496 6687
Burke Mountain Resort Dashney Nordic Center
Burke Mountain, 223 Sherburne Lodge Rd., East Burke, VT, USA, + 1 802 626 7300
Mountain Top Nordic Ski & Snowshoe Center
Stunning, with even better lake and mountain views, the Mountain Top Inn’s cross-country ski center offers some 60 kilometers of trails for beginners to intermediates alike. Classic and skating Nordic lanes are offered, while a snow-making machine allows great conditions independent of what the weather is doing. Afterward, a cup of hot chocolate wrapped in blankets in front of the fireplace is a must.
Mountain Top Inn & Resort, 195 Mountain Top Rd., Chittenden, VT, USA, + 1 802 483 2311
Bolton Valley Resort
Nestled high in the Green Mountains, Bolton Valley offers an astounding 100 kilometers of Nordic and backcountry ski trails spread over 1,200 acres. Some 15 kilometers of trails are groomed for skate and classic skiing, while the remainder is open for exploration on the fresh powder. You can ski into the lodgings, and after a long day on the slopes, unwind and warm up in the heated pool, Jacuzzi and sauna.
Bolton Valley Resort, 4302 Bolton Valley Access Rd., Richmond, VT, USA, + 1 877 926 5866
Jay Peak Nordic Skiing
A popular site for downhill skiers, Jay Peak also has more than 20 kilometers of Nordic trails (all of which return to the bar) that wind through a golf course. Novices can dip their toes into the powder, while the technical routes still provide experts with plenty to do. For those sick of the snow, the year-round (indoor) water park is a surreal experience.
Jay Peak Resort, 830 Jay Peak Rd., Jay, VT, USA, +1 802 988 2611
Trapp Family Lodge Nordic Center
Oh yes, that Trapp family. Memorialized and fictionalized in The Sound of Music, after fleeing Austria from the Nazis, Baron Georg von Trapp made Vermont his home in 1942. After building a massive lodge that looks like something elegant landed straight out of the Alps, the family has carved miles of cross-country skiing trails over the 2,500-acre grounds, which pass through silent spruce forests and open up to fields overlooking Stowe. Daily group lessons are offered, and there’s equipment and terrain for all skill levels. After, cozy up to the fire or pop down to the brewery, whose excellent lagers are quickly becoming an East Coast staple. Imbibe too much? There’s accommodations in the lodge for that.
Trapp Family Lodge, 700 Trapp Hill Rd, Stowe, VT, USA, + 1 800 826 7000