Where it All Began: Cross Country Skiing in Vermont
There is something to be said about taking the time to slow down and soak up the scenery of Vermont. The original way to traverse our beautiful state in the winter began back in the 1960’s with the birth of Nordic skiing. Back then skiers would strap on a pair of cross country skis and set out into the wilderness. Now, outdoor enthusiasts have many options when it comes to winter activities, but as Vermont remains true to its roots, the Green Mountain State continues to offer up well over 300 miles of maintained cross country trails for visitors to explore at their leisure.
Mountain Top Inn and 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. The 40km of groomed trails and their snowmaking system, which covers a 2.5km loop, ensures great conditions no matter what the weather is doing. The cross-country trails also allow easy access to the Catamount Trail and Mountain Top is proud to participate in the cross-country season pass reciprocal program. Trails are open 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM daily in season.
Rikert Nordic Center
Rikert Nordic Center’s state-of-the-art snowmaking 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. Snowmaking has allowed Rikert to be open early and remain open for 140+ days of the year. Two years ago, improvements included new intersection signs, a new snowmobile groomer and trail mower, new trails for snowshoeing and fat biking, and dog-friendly trails.
Trapp Family Lodge
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 Cross-Country 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 cross-country skiing.
The Woodstock Inn and Resort
The Woodstock Inn and Resort’s Nordic Center grooms 45km of trails for cross-country skiing in hills surrounding the picturesque village of Woodstock, Vermont. Nearly half of the groomed trails are located in the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Park providing a truly unique skiing experience. In addition to the ski trails, the Center maintains an additional network of dedicated snowshoe trails that provide several stunning vistas of the village below. The Center’s retail, service and rental shop are located in the Woodstock Inn’s Country-Club, providing out-the-door access to the Mt Peg trail network. Guests can also try fatbiking on the groomed ski trails or for those seeking a greater challenge, on the single-track bike trails.
The Quechee Club
The Quechee Club is a cross country skier’s paradise with over 10 miles of groomed trails that meander along a Vermont wooded landscape. Access to Nordic skiing is complimentary for all. Guests must check in at Membership services to pick up a guest pass before taking to the trails.
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.
Sugarbush Resort and Mad River Glen
The Mad River Valley’s two cross-country centers, Ole’s Cross Country Center and Blueberry Lake Cross Country and Snowshoeing Center, offer an extensive network of classic and skating trails for all abilities. These well-maintained trails traverse both wooded and open terrain just minutes away from Sugarbush Resort and Mad River Glen. The Catamount Trail also winds its way through the Mad River Valley.
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.
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.
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 dedicated snowshoe trails that 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 vacation packages.
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.
Jay Peak Resort
Twelve miles of trails leave right from Jay Peak’s Clubhouse restaurant. Winding through the resort’s golf course as well as the wilderness of the West Bowl, the trails are groomed for classic and skate skiing for novices and experts alike.
Stratton Mountain Resort
Explore Stratton’s 12km of rolling, scenic, snowy Nordic trails at the Stratton Nordic Center. The trails wind through tall fir trees in the Sun Bowl and are groomed daily for classic and skate skiing. Group lessons, classic, skate and snowshoe rentals are available. Nordic Center activities include guided snowshoe tours and full moon hikes. Offering mellow groomers and challenging hills, it’s on Stratton’s trails that Olympian and World Cup champion Sophie Caldwell calls home and where future Olympic skiers from Stratton Mountain School train year-round.
Mount Snow Resort
Nordic and snowshoeing offerings can be found just across the street from the resort at Timber Creek where trails are specially laid out to allow skiers and snowshoers to link up trails for as long, or as short, of an adventure as their heart desires.