Photo: Courtesy of Mountain Top Inn.
The 14th annual Winter Trails (Saturday January 10) is the occasion to snowshoe and cross-country ski for free in some Vermont ski resorts! It is actually a North-American event (100 locations in the US and Canada), to encourage people to try the sports, but in some of the resorts, everyone gets the opportunity to ski or snowshoe for free.
Here is the list of participating ski resorts and their activities:
- Blueberry Hill Inn & Cross Country Ski Center, Goshen – January 10 – 10 am to 4 pm – Cross-country skiing is from 11 am to 1 pm and from 2 pm to 4 pm. First-time skiers can rent the equipment, take a group lesson and try the trails – all for free. Snowshoeing is from 10 am to noon and from 1 pm to 3 pm. People new to the sport can rent the equipment, have an introduction and hike in the woods for free.
More information at: Blueberry hill Inn Cross Country Ski Center
- Bolton Valley Nordic Center, Bolton Valley – January 11 – 10 am to 2 pm – First-time skiers get free rental and free ski pass.
Careful: it’s Sunday January 11 at Bolton, not January 10!
More information at: Bolton Valley Events
- Catamount Outdoor Family Center, Williston – January 10 – 10 am to 3 pm with a moon light snowshoe tour ($10, only adults) at 8 pm followed by hot chocolate and cookies! Free trail passes and sledding, free ski and snowshoe rentals for everyone all day… and raffle for Darn Tough socks.
More information at: Catamount Outdoor
Full schedule at: Catamount Outdoor Winter Trails schedule
- Craftsbury Outdoor Center, Craftsbury – January 10 – 9 am to 4 pm – Rentals and trail passes are free for everyone all day, both for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. There is an introductory cross-country group lesson at 1:30 pm.
More information on Craftsbury Outdoor Center at: Craftsbury Outdoor Center
- Highland Lodge Nordic Center, Greensboro – January 10 – 1 pm to closing - Free snowshoeing and skiing trail passes and rentals for first-timers. There is also a Full Moon Snowshoe Walk at 9 pm free, with free hot chocolate after the walk. Just call ahead to sign up. (802) 533-2647.
More information at: Highland Lodge Nordic Center Events
- Mountain Top Inn & Resort Nordic Ski & Snowshoe Center, Chittenden, Rutland County – January 10 – 10 am to 2 pm – Children and adults new to the sports of cross-country skiing and snowshoeing receive a complimentary trail pass and free rentals for the day. And if you’ve read our article on “the best ski resorts are in Vermont”, you know that Mountain Top Inn has been voted one of the Top 10 ski resorts for romantic cross-country skiers in North-America by MSNBC in 2006!
More information at: Mountain Top Inn Events
- Ole’s Cross Country Ski Center, Warren – January 10 – 1 pm to closing – Beginners who mention the Winter Trails event get a 1-hour trail pass, ski rental and ½ hour “try-it” lesson (at 2 pm) – all for free.
More information at: Ole’s Cross Country Ski Center Events
- Sleepy Hollow Inn, Ski & Bike Center, Huntington – January 10 – 9 am to 4 pm – People new to the sports of cross-country skiing and snowshoeing receive a free trail pass and free rental.
More on the Ski Center: Sleepy Hollow Inn
- Smugglers’ Notch Resort Nordic Ski and Snowshoe Adventure Center, Smugglers’ Notch – January 10 – Noon to 4 pm – Free rentals and short instructional sessions for first-time snowshoers and cross country skiers. Smugglers’ Adventure Center has 34 kilometers of cross-country trails and 24 kilometers of dedicated snowshoe trails!
More information at: Smugglers’ Notch winter events
- Woodstock Inn & Resort, Woodstock – January 10 – 1 pm to 3 pm – Free passes, free rentals and a 15-minute instructional session for first-time snowshoers and cross country skiers. More information at: Woodstock Inn & Resort Nordic Center, 802-457-6674
We hope you all get out and try! Snow should be great, with the new snow we are getting today.
Post-scriptum: Ski Vermont is also organizing an event for first-time skiers and riders this week (January 4-11). Free lessons, rentals and limited-beginner lift tickers are offered in over a dozen Vermont ski resorts. More information and to sign up: Ski Vermont learn to ski
Vermont is celebrating New Year’s Eve with First Night events, fireworks and torchlight parades throughout the state. We’ll gather here information on all towns and ski resorts’ celebrations.
First Night events happen throughout the US. They feature a number of artists in a number of venues. In Vermont, Burlington, Montpelier and St. Johnsbury have First Night’s celebrations planned for you. First Night Montpelier has even been voted a Top 10 Winter 2008-2009 Event by the Vermont Chamber of Commerce.
First Night Burlington – Downtown Burlington – Wednesday December 31, 2008 – Noon to midnight
The complete schedule of the indoor performances is at www.firstnightburlington.com. Outdoors, the annual parade will take place at 6 pm on Church Street. It is a special parade this year for the beginning of a year of celebrations for the 400-year anniversary of Lake Champlain, in commemoration of Samuel de Champlain’s exploration of the lake, to which he gave his name. The parade will be led by the Abenaki Community and will have the theme “400 years together – The Lake, the Land and the People”. Then, the official kick-off of the Quadricentennial Celebrations will take place in front of the City Hall at 7 pm. Fireworks will be 7:30 pm and midnight at Burlington Waterfront.
More information at: www.firstnightburlington.com
Live webcam on Church Street
First Night Montpelier – Montpelier – Wednesday December 31, 2008 – Noon to midnight
Like in Burlington, you can enjoy many artist performances, music, dance, theater, storytelling and magic, plus children’s activities, and more. From noon to 3 pm, you can cross-country ski at Morse Farm or ice skate at the Central Vermont Civic Center. There is a 5K race at 3 pm, and the performances are from 3 pm to 8 pm at various venues. Parade and fireworks are at 8 pm. Finally, starting at 9 pm, the Dance Party and Midnight Countdown is at the City Hall auditorium with The Chrome Cowboys.
For the full schedule, visit: First Night Montpelier
First Night St. Johnsbury – St. Johnsbury – Wednesday December 31, 2008 – 4 pm to midnight
Around 50 performances at various venues, music, dance, magic, children’s activities and more. Outdoors, fireworks are at midnight at the Academy gym, and they will raise a lighted ball!
More information at: First Night St. Johnsbury
And there are more fireworks at your various ski resorts as well.
Bolton Valley – Wednesday December 31, 2008 - 8:30 pm kick-off
There will be a torchlight parade followed by fireworks. New Year’s Eve fireworks will be against the backdrop of Bolton Valley. Both events can be best viewed from the base lodge.
See: New Year’s Eve fireworks
Jay Peak Resort – Wednesday December 31, 2008 – 9 pm
New Year’s Eve fireworks will be shot off on The Interstate Trail, which is on the Tramside of the resort at 9pm.
More information at: Jay Peak Resort Events
Smugglers’ Notch – Wednesday December 31, 2008 - 11:45 pm
Beginning at 11:45 pm, there will be a bonfire on the Village Green near the Gazebo and a fireworks display against the backdrop of Morse Mountain.
See: Smugglers’ Notch winter vacations
Stowe – Wednesday December 31, 2008 – 7 pm
New Year’s Eve fireworks start at 7pm at Spruce Peak. The best place to view them is from the new Spruce Camp base lodge.
See: New Year’s Eve fireworks
Stratton Mountain Resort – Wednesday December 31, 2008 – 8:45 pm
New Year’s Eve fireworks and torchlight parade are starting at 8:45 p.m. in the Main Base Area.
More information at: New Year’s Eve at Stratton
Sugarbush Resort – Wednesday December 31, 2008 – 6:45 pm
There are also fireworks and a torchlight parade at Sugarbush for New Year’s Eve.
See: New Year’s Eve fireworks and torchlight parade
There is fireworks and ice skating at midnight at the Hawk Mountain Resort in Plymouth, for New Year’s Eve.
See: Hawk Mountain Resort - Holiday Events
Foliage is absolutely beautiful right now… but ski lovers should already think “ski” because there are only a few days left to get a pre-season deal on ski season passes in most of Vermont ski resorts!
So, here at Travel-Vermont.net, we’d like to make your life really simple.
Below is the complete list of Vermont ski resorts, with link to their websites (season passes) and the deadline for the pre-season discounts. You can see where they are all located on this map of Vermont ski resorts.
- Ascutney Mountain Resort - Deadline: October 13
- Bear Creek - Private resort
- Bolton Valley - Cut-off date was September 22 - oups, sorry
- Bromley - Deadline: October 15
- Burke Mountain - Deadline: No date
- Jay Peak Resort - Deadline: October 13
- Killington - Deadline: October 15
- Mad River Glenn - Deadline: October 15
- Magic Mountain - Cut-off date was September 30 - oups, sorry
- Cochran’s Ski Area - Deadline: December 1
- Middlebury College Snow Bowl - Deadline: End of October
- Mount Snow - Deadline: October 13
- Okemon Mountain - Deadline: October 13
- Pico Mountain - Deadline: October 15
- Smugglers’ Notch Resort - Deadline: By Halloween!
- Stowe - Deadline: October 24
- Stratton - Deadline: October 13
- Sugarbush - Deadline: November 9 on college passes
- Suicide Six at Woodstock Inn - Deadline: No date
Don’t hesitate to send us your comments and come back to read our articles and watch the ski reports!