The Art of Snow
Such sublime winter scenes are complimented by the hushed silence as the snows fall and drift through the forests making a trek there on snowshoes simply enchanting. And as exhilarating and purist as snowshoeing may be there are many other ways to experience and enjoy the winter in the Green Mountains. There are plenty of options for snowmobiling the trails and backcountry, ice boating on Vermont’s smaller lakes or even Lake Champlain while rink ice skating is a great family activity. Amazingly there are over a dozen outfitters throughout the Vermont for old-fashioned sleigh rides. Lastly the always popular sport of cross-country skiing is venerated by many – you can even book multiple Bed and Breakfasts and ski from one to the next – now that’s truly getting away from it all!
With the land enshrouded in the white blanket of snow both the gentle arts of relaxation and the invigorating pursuits of snow sports call us out of doors. But, let’s not be shy, Alpine Skiing, of course, tops the list. And Vermont reigns supreme with almost 50 Nordic and Alpine resorts to choose from and enjoy – more ski areas than any other state in New England. And its for good reason – many ski resorts average over 30 feet of snow per season. Vermont has always been a leader in snow sports – since the 1930’s the Green Mountains have scored several firsts in America such as the first alpine ski tow, the first chairlift and the first Nordic crosscountry center. But Vermont’s ski culture has never rested on its past accomplishments, today it employs state of the art snowmaking methods – when nature might not be cooperating – and its lift systems (including heated six-person bubble lifts at some resorts) and ski resort amenities will bring warm smiles to the whole family.
In the Green Mountains, skiing, and its accompanying activities, are so abundant, varied and textured that choosing where to start will likely be the biggest challenge, so start by perusing our ski resorts. The resorts almost uniformly offer beginner to expert slopes, terrain parks for free skiers and snowboarders, but the variety is almost endless so plan some repeat visits. Every resort offers amenities, which again vary greatly, so be sure to pack for the indoor to outdoor swimming pools and hot tubs, sauna and steam baths, relaxation and destination spas. Children will love the recreation centers with ice skating, obstacle courses, games and much more to burn up those chocolate pancakes from breakfast.
Getting back to the adult in all of us – the après-ski and nightlife scene at most resorts rivals the bustling downtown hubs of many cities. Culinary delights are a unique Vermont specialty – with many esteemed chefs having migrated to our slower pace of life from New York and beyond.
So, not to shamelessly name-drop, but whether you choose Jay Peak, Killington, Mount Snow, Okemo, Smugglers’ Notch, Stowe, Stratton or any one of the additional dozen resorts in Vermont your winter escape experience will be happily recounted for years to come.
Top Winter Activities
Simply put, winter is when the Green Mountains are aglow in snow and sports. Enjoy the best of Alpine skiing, cross-country and snowboarding from the very top to the bottom of this splendid mountain range. And if speeding down some of our 6,000 acres of outstanding terrain is a bit much, try a quiet walk in an evergreen forest, ice skate a frozen pond or show-shoe to your cozy cabin for a steaming cup of hot chocolate by a roaring fire.
Winter takes on a magical allure for families and friends in the Green Mountains. Our sleigh rides, winter hikes and town-center skating will draw you into a dream-land of times past. At night, star gazing the milky-way, open-sky hot tubs and bonfires are sure to relax you for the warm dreams of a yesteryear.
When it comes to tradition look no further than the Green Mountains for the joys of celebrating the winter holidays. The down-home pastoral settings and comfort of a Vermont winter holiday are only exceeded by the elaborately festive events that ring-in the New Year!