Vermont: Birthplace of Nordic Skiing in the United States
Vermont is home to some of the most well equipped Nordic resorts in the Americas and offers stunning trails with sweeping views of the Green Mountains. It’s also the birthplace of Nordic skiing in the United States, with both Trapp Family Lodge and Mountain Top Inn opening for cross country skiing in the 1960’s. Snowmaking and grooming upgrades continue to improve the already great experience, making Vermont a top destination for Nordic enthusiasts and national competitions.
The Mountain Top Inn & Resort
The Mountain Top Inn & Resort Nordic Ski and Snowshoe Center offers 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
Rikert Nordic Center
Rikert Nordic Center’s state of the art snow making system and the FIS certified Tormondsen Race Trail, installed in 2011, has opened the doors to early season skiing and world class racing events, while still maintaining its wonderful original feel and mission. Snow making has allowed Rikert to be open early and remain open for 140+ days of the year.
Rikert Nordic celebrates its 40th season in 2015. Here are some fun facts:
- 1975: Nordic skiing began at Bread Loaf with head-quarters in the cow barn
- 4 groomed trails in 1975
- 30 groomed trails in 2015
- 55 kilometers of trails
- 5 kilometers of snowmaking
- 3 seasons of fat biking
- 13 Middlebury Nordic skiers have competed at the Olympics, including three who competed in multiple Olympics
Improvements continue at Rikert with new intersection signs, a new snowmobile groomer and trail mower, new trails for snowshoeing and fat biking, and soon to be developed dog-friendly trails.
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 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.
Woodstock Inn & Resort
The Woodstock Inn Nordic Center maintains 30km of well-groomed trails for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. The center provides guests with an abundance of mapped trails that surround the picturesque village of Woodstock, VT. This year they have made extensive improvements to the trail network on Mt Peg. The Woodstock Inn & Resort has also partnered with Tubbs Snowshoes & Fischer Skis, creating an Adventure Center that pairs world-class vacations with world class gear. The programming features expert lead tours and special moonlight events at the resort’s cozy cabin in the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park.
Alpine resorts with Nordic options:
Bolton Valley offers up 100km, and over 1200 acres, of Nordic and backcountry skiing. About 15km of trails are groomed for skate and classic skiing. The remainder of the terrain is open for exploration on skis, snowshoes or splitboards. The backcountry 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 traveler engaged all season long. See the website for more information: http://www.boltonvalley.com/the-mountain/nordic-and-backcountry.
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
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
Beyond the village of Ludlow, past the road to Okemo’s Clock Tower base area, a different sort of skiing is taking place…one that moves at a slower pace. Okemo Valley Nordic Center offers alternatives for enjoying the outdoors in winter. Extending across pristine snow-covered meadows and rolling hills, a hidden world of beauty and adventure invites people of all ages and abilities 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 dedicated to snowshoeing. Okemo’s Nordic Center trails are ideally suited to all ability levels and are groomed daily using state-of-the-art grooming machines.
Q Burke Mountain
Step into snowshoes or cross-country skis and trek through a quilted landscape of old logging lanes, forgotten country roads, and rolling Vermont farmland. For those that can’t get enough of two wheel transportation, hop on a fat bike to explore the beauty of the Northeast Kingdom. Nearly 10 miles of groomed Nordic skate lane and classic track connect with neighbors at Kingdom Trails which encompasses over 100 miles of networked, non-motorized trails for all level of abilities. This little nook of Vermont incorporates a network of paths highlighting some of the best local scenery and natural diversity.
The Quechee Club
The Quechee Club is a Nordic skier’s paradise with over 10 miles of groomed trails that meander along a Vermont wooded landscape. Nordic ski is complimentary for all. Guests must check in at Membership services to pick up a guest pass before taking to the trails.
Smugglers’ Notch Resort
The beauty of Vermont’s winter landscape is readily apparent 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 Polk 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
There may be no better way to work up a sweat than on 12km of rolling, scenic, snowy trails at the Stratton Nordic Center. Nordic trails wind through tall fir trees in the Sun Bowl and are groomed daily for classic and skate skiing. New to the sport? Group lessons, classic, skate and snowshoe rentals are available on site and are a great way to stay active. Put a spin on the sport with a guided snowshoe tour and full moon hikes through the Nordic center with a group of like-minded athletes. Visit stratton.com for details.