Nordic Skiing in Vermont: A Gateway to Physical Fitness
Nordic skiing has long been considered the most healthy and beneficial winter sport. It is an ultimate calorie burner and total body workout. Couple those benefits with clean air and a stunning winter landscape, and you have the perfect cure for the winter blues. It can be enjoyed by people of all ages and fitness levels, and can be purely recreational or highly competitive.
Vermont is home to some of the most well equipped Nordic resorts and stunning trails with sweeping views of the Green Mountains. Snowmaking and grooming also make it a top destination for Nordic enthusiasts and national competitions.
Trapp Family Lodge
Imagine effortlessly gliding through a spruce forest. The landscape rolls up and down under your feet as you kick up the hills and glide down the back side. Your heart rate rises and falls correspondingly. Each trip out allows you to go further and further. That is the beauty of Nordic skiing, you get exactly what you put into it. The more you ski the better your technique becomes in addition to raising your fitness level.
Aside from the physical benefits there are the mental and emotional remunerations. Nothing feels better than the freedom of afforded by the rhythmic kick and glide of Nordic skiing. A whole universe of exploration opens when you take to the snow and efficiently move across it. This, ultimately, is how the sport endears itself most to its participants. This is where the soul is nourished in nature. Those benefits that can’t be calculated but fill one with a sense of being.
Trapp Family Lodge offers daily group lessons, equipment rentals and terrain for all abilities. Whether you like to gently glide through the woods or shave seconds off your race pace, Trapp Family Lodge’s Nordic Ski School and Center has the equipment and program to take your interest and put it on the trail. They make it easy for you to enjoy the many benefits of Nordic skiing.
The Nordic Barn, located on property at Topnotch Resort is the perfect place to begin a winter adventure. A great resource for outfitting winter activities, the Nordic Barn can help everyone make the most of our mountain culture. Featuring rental equipment for any resort activity including downhill and cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, plus loads of tips, lessons and local intel, their expert staff is dedicated to making your stay the most fun and memorable experience possible. New to cross country skiing? Tours, lessons and equipment are available daily – as are private XC and backcountry ski tours, and snowshoe tours. For a relaxing and beautiful winter day, try skiing the award winning Stowe Recreation Path. This fun and interesting path begins right from this cozy barn and follows the beautiful West Branch River, 5 miles, to the village of Stowe.
Rikert Nordic Center
Enjoy the benefits of an exhilarating Nordic ski in the heart of the beautiful Green Mountains. Rikert’s growing snowmaking system will be in full swing as early as possible to allow all levels of ability to start skiing regardless of Mother Nature’s whims.
Rikert has developed programs to allow parents of young children to enjoy the outdoors in the middle of the winter and introduce their young children to the great sports of Nordic skiing and snowshoeing:
Mom’s Monday - This program is designed for moms who want to get out and ski with their young child behind them in a Pulk Sled. Join other like-minded moms for skiing, a 2 hour pulk rental and a bowl of soup for just $20
Toddler Tuesday - The Toddler Tuesday Program is designed to let mom or dad get an hour and fifteen minutes of adult time while we teach your toddler the basics of Nordic skiing. If we are not skiing we will be sledding, enjoying the woods or sitting by the wood stove. $20 includes child ski lesson & child rental. Child must be potty trained. Adult ticket and rentals are not included. Program starts in January.
The Mountain Top Inn & Resort
The Mountain Top Inn & Resort Nordic Ski and Snowshoe Center is celebrating its 50 year anniversary this season! We offer cross country skiing on 60km of trails with classic ski track and skating lanes and trails for all levels. Our 40km of groomed trails and our snowmaking system, which more than covers a 2.5km loop, both allow us to ensure great conditions no matter what the weather is doing. This year we bought ourselves an anniversary gift, upgrading to a new, more powerful, PistenBully groomer, and we can’t wait to get out on the trails and see what she can do. Don’t forget to visit our ski shop for all of your Nordic Ski or Snowshoe equipment rental needs or simply stop in for a quick lunch and cup of hot chocolate in-front of the fireplace. Our staff of accomplished skiers provide instruction for all skill levels and ages. Trails are open 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM daily in season. For more information call 802.483.6089 or visit www.mountaintopinn.com
The Woodstock Inn & Resort
The Woodstock Inn Nordic Center maintains 30km of well-groomed trails for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. The center provides skiers with an abundance of mapped trails that surround the picturesque village of Woodstock, VT. New this Year — The Woodstock Inn & Resort is delighted to announce a partnership with Tubbs Snowshoes, creating The Tubbs Adventure Center: a hub for testing, recreating and pairing world-class vacations with world-class gear. The premier snowshoe programming will feature expert lead tours and special moonlight events complete with a private chef experience at the resort’s cozy cabin in the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park.
Alpine resorts with Nordic options:
Bolton Valley offers up 100km of Nordic and backountry skiing. About 18km of trails are groomed for skate and classic skiing. The remainder of the terrain is open for exploration on skis or snowshoes. The backcontry terrain serves as a great introduction to backcountry skiing for those new to the backcountry and, with 100 kilometers of terrain to explore, there is ample terrain to keep even the most avid backcountry skier engaged all season long. See the website for more information: http://www.boltonvalley.com/the-mountain/nordic-and-backcountry
Burke Mountain Resort
The Northeast Kingdom Nordic Club, based at the Kingdom Trails Nordic Center, started a Bill Koch Youth Nordic League in 2010. The first season saw promising participation with over 40 kids ranging from 3 to 13 years old. In 2012, Kingdom Trails saw over 60 kids through this growing program. With surprisingly sufficient snow coverage all season long, the kids of the Bill Koch Youth Nordic League participated in games, instruction, and fun races. Several clinics were also held with help from the staff and students of the Burke Mountain Academy Nordic Program. Kingdom Trails has committed to constructing specific race and training trails just for this league and the organization is thrilled with the support and enthusiasm of the community to keep this League going strong. Although the Kingdom Trails Association is mostly known for mountain biking, the association is committed to maintaining a 60K Nordic Trail system in the winter.
The Hermitage Club
During the winter months, The Hermitage Club's fully marked and maintained 9-mile trail offers the perfect winter escape as you cross-country ski at your own, desired pace. Ski and boot rentals are available.
Jay Peak Resort
Twenty kilometers of Nordic trails wind up and around the forest that surrounds Jay Peak. And the best part is that they all lead back to the Nordic Center’s bar.
Mad River Glen / Sugarbush Resort
The Mad River Valley’s two cross-country centers, located in the rolling landscape of East Warren, offer an extensive network of classic and skating trails for all abilities. These well-maintained trails traverse both wooded and open terrain. The Catamount Trail also winds its way through the Mad River Valley. Learn more about cross country skiing at www.madrivervalley.com
Okemo Mountain Resort
For visitors in search of an outdoor alternative to alpine skiing, the Okemo Valley Nordic Center offers all the beauty of winter at a slightly slower pace. Extending across pristine snow-covered meadows and rolling hills, a hidden world of beauty and adventure invites everyone to discover the joys of cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. The well-marked trail network features 22 km of machine-tracked and skate-groomed lanes for skiers, and 13 km of trails exclusively for snowshoeing. Okemo’s Nordic Center trails are ideally suited to all ability levels and trails are groomed daily using state-of-the-art grooming machines.
Quechee Ski Area
Nordic ski lessons are available through the ski school and Quechee grooms approximately 12 km of double tracks on the golf course and a skate lane after each snow event. They also groom 15km of wilderness trails with single tracks and a packed lane for snow shoeing. There is no charge for these amenities.
Smugglers’ Notch Resort
Discover the beauty of the winter landscape on Smugglers’ Notch Resort’s network of 30 kilometers of cross-country skiing trails and 24 kilometers of snowshoe trails, which wind their way through woods and meadows. The full-service Nordic Ski and Snowshoe Adventure Center offers equipment rentals, lessons, snacks to purchase and a wood stove to warm up by. Cross-country lessons include 1.5 hour group lessons, one hour private lessons, and Mom & Me/Dad & Me lessons in which parents learn the sport with their children ages 6 and older. Incorporated into the level learning area is a Nordic terrain park that features a series of three gently rolling small hills for gaining confidence with balance, movement and speed control. Daily access to Smugglers’ Nordic network is part of the lift ticket inclusion on the resort’s three vacation packages. (www.smuggs.com/nordic)
Stowe Mountain Resort
Stowe Mountain Resort's Cross Country Ski Center offers 45 km of groomed trails and 30 km of backcountry terrain. A full menu of Nordic snowsports gear including snowshoes, touring gear, performance skate ski and classic ski packages, backcountry, telemark gear and kids gear is available on-site. Also available is a Pulk sled for parents with infants/toddlers. More info at http://www.stowe.com/ski-ride/xc/
- Beginner trails include: Timber Lane and Bruce Trail Loop / Round Trip, 6km.
- Intermediate trails: Peavy Trail, Bear Run and Burt Trail / Round Trip, 9km.
- Advanced trails (along outer perimeter of trail network): Peavy Trail, Double Bit, Bear Run, Ranch Valley Cruise, Stowe Derby Trail / Round Trip, 12km.
Stratton Mountain Resort
Skip the elliptical and hit the trails this winter for a workout that’s sure to warm you up on even the coldest days. Set at the Sun Bowl, the Stratton Nordic Center offers 12km of rolling trails winding over streams and through the woods. Trails are groomed for classic and skate skiing as well as snowshoeing. Cross-country skis, boots and snowshoes are available for rent on-site.
On select winter evenings, guided snowshoe tours hike to Stratton’s summit. From the historic fire tower, the view encompasses four states and mountain ranges. For the Nordic Center hours and snow report, see: http://www.stratton.com/snowreport.