A Long Winter Weekend Up North
Northern Vermont is home to Mount Mansfield, the state’s highest peak, which receives an annual average of almost 300 inches of snow. Because of the region’s geographic diversity and low winter temperatures, northern Vermont tends toward a deep snowpack, making it one of the best places to take a winter vacation. Its rural settings and historic downtowns make a great backdrop for your adventures.
Make your own tracks into northern Vermont this winter; here are some of the best ways to spend a winter weekend up north.
Whether you already ski and ride or you’ve never put boots to bindings, the northern region’s resorts can help you get out on the trails. Stowe Mountain Resort offers chances to make turns on the state’s highest peak and top-tier instruction for those who aren’t quite ready to tackle the double black diamonds (you’ll also find cross-country skiing at Stowe if downhill isn’t your thing.) Nearby, Smugglers Notch Resort has built its name on family fun; bring the kids to Ski and Ride School and later take an indoor break at the Family FunZone 2.0, offering laser tag, an arcade and more sure-to-please fun for all ages. Teen evening activities round out the resort’s offerings.
Jay Peak Resort is a winter vacationer’s paradise, going beyond skiing and riding with the Ice Haus Indoor Arena and Pump House Indoor Waterpark.
In Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, Burke Mountain Resort offers varied terrain for both alpine and Nordic skiing. Experience old-fashioned small-town skiing at Lyndonville’s Lyndon Outing Club, a community-run ski hill.
More into Nordic skiing? Craftsbury Outdoor Center’s 105 kilometers of meticulously groomed trails and a community centered around sustainability and education that will appeal to all ability levels. The Lamoille Valley Rail Trail offers opportunities to cross-country ski, snowshoe, and snowmobile through small historic downtowns downtowns and take in the region’s beautiful winter landscape.
For more on skiing and riding statewide, visit Ski Vermont.
Don’t forget your bike; opportunities to enjoy winter on two (fat) wheels abound regionwide. Burke’s Kingdom Trails, Waterbury’s Waterbury Area Trail Alliance and Stowe’s Cady Hill all offer winter mountain biking. A guide can help; give the sport a try at Lamoille Valley E Bike Tours.
Looking to get off the beaten path? Mush with the pack at Eden Dogsledding Adventures or experience Vermont’s woods on snowmobile with Snowmobile Vermont in Stowe.
Burlington’s Leddy Park and Stowe’s Spruce Peak offer public ice skating, as does Lyndonville’s Fenton Chester Ice Arena.
Indoor Winter Experiences
In Vermont, the end of the trail is just the beginning, and in northern Vermont, you can head right from the lift line to Main Street (or thereabouts.) Explore the cosmos at Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium, the state’s only public planetarium, in downtown St. Johnsbury and then get in the spirit of the season at St. J Distillers.
Stowe’s 200-year-old village is the perfect setting for apres adventure. Find Vermont craft beverages and dining there or in nearby Waterbury, lauded for its restaurant and craft brewing scene. A visit to Waterbury wouldn’t be complete without sampling at the Ben and Jerry’s factory – Vermonters know it’s never too cold for ice cream.
Rejuvenate with spa treatments at Stoweflake Mountain Resort and Spa or Montgomery’s Vermont Salt Cave.
Historic downtown Burlington, the state’s biggest city, is home to Church Street Marketplace, an outdoor mall. Sip some of the state’s finest craft pours at Zero Gravity, Citizen Cider, or Foam Brewery and sample Mediterranean cuisine at Honey Road. Explore all Burlington has to offer.
From first chair to last call, northern Vermont has something for every way you like to winter.
A LONG WINTER WEEKEND UP NORTH
When the snow flies in northern Vermont, here’s a map to help you get started. Where you go from here is up to you.