Hiking and Biking at Vermont Ski Resorts
Sarah Wojcik, firstname.lastname@example.org
While the base of Bromley Mountain is packed with summer fun, the 3,284 ft summit can be reached by hiking a portion of the Appalachian Trail/Long Trail, and offers 360 degree views of southern Vermont and beyond. The main trailhead for this hike is located approximately 6 miles east of Manchester, VT along Route 11/30. The Ski Patrol shack is actually a trail shelter, and there’s a pretty cute little outhouse up there, too!
At Killington Resort mountain biking and hiking on Vermont’s tallest lift-serviced mountain returns on Friday, June 27, 2014. Killington’s K-1 Express Gondola will turn daily, and the Snowshed Express Quad will turn on weekends to accommodate two new mountain biking trails designed for beginner progression. In total, 36 mountain biking trails spanning 46 miles will be accessible by two lifts as Killington provides one of the best experiences on two wheels in the east. Hiking will be available on 10 designated trails for a total of 13 miles of signed mountaineering. The Peak Lodge will be open daily providing food and beverage service for hikers, bikers, disc golf fanatics and scenery buffs alike. Closing day for lift-serviced mountain biking and hiking will be Columbus Day, October 13, 2014.
Mad River Glen recently signed an agreement with the Green Mountain Club to designate a hiking trail along their work road as an official blue blazed side trail of the Long Trail. It will be included in all subsequent LT guides and publications. Trails signs and a formal trailhead at the base will be added along with the blue blazes this spring in prep for the summer hiking season. Once activity commences, stop by General Stark’s Pub, recognized as one of the World’s Top Après Ski Bars by Men’s Journal Magazine. It will be open this summer for hikers and mountain revelers.
Mount Snow was one of the first mountain resorts to open its lifts to downhill mountain biking dating back to the mid-80’s, and has since earned a reputation as one of the top MTB destinations in New England. Recent trail additions include the East’s only introductory downhill trail, as well as the acclaimed freeride trail, Trail 9. Learn-to clinics and guide services are available. Mount Snow Bike Park was voted #2 Bike Park in the East in the 2013 MTBParks.com readers poll.
Mount Snow also offers scenic chairlift rides on weekends starting Memorial Day Weekend so guests can take a chair ride up to the summit and hike down, or the more adventurous folks can hike from the base on one of the mountain’s many marked trails.
At Okemo Mountain Resort cyclists of all ability levels can find a satisfying route around the Okemo Valley, and most can be lengthened or intensified with a turn onto a dirt road for a different perspective. Well-suited hybrid bikes are available for rent at Okemo’s Spring House Pool & Fitness Center. The Spring House is also a good source for hiking trail maps. The resort offers a network of short walks around the Jackson Gore base area. More adventurous walkers may consider a hike to the summit along a series of ski trails or Mountain Road. There’s also the Healdville trail, a moderate climb up the western slope of Okemo. A fire tower at the summit offers spectacular 360-degree views.
The Q Burke Bike Park at Q Burke Mountain Resort is scheduled to open June 6, 2014. This summer the park will continue its partnership with Norco Bicycles and will feature the Norco Demo Center, carrying a variety of downhill mountain bikes for adults and children. The Norco Demo Center is also a full service repair shop, capable of handling all your repair needs. In addition to 5 lift served trails, the mountain will also be maintaining three trails off the summit of the mountain, with shuttle service available to access those trails. These three summit trails will provide high intermediate and expert riders with access to some of the most challenging and technical trails in the region. The mountain will also feature the Gravity School, offering Learn to Ride packages for those looking to get into the sport.
Mountain bike rentals are available for guests at Smugglers’ Notch Resort to enjoy a network of nature trails on property or biking trails in the area. The resort’s programs for children have expanded to include a 3-day mountain bike camp this summer that will accommodate children with biking skills who are new to mountain biking and young intermediate level bikers who are looking for additional challenges. This new full-day camp is for ages 9-17 and will be held Tuesday-Thursday.
Smugglers’ Notch Resort’s Green Mountain setting creates many opportunities for guided and self-guided hiking for all ages. The resort hosts guided outings designed for families with young children, with a gentle pace and fun learning opportunities. Other guided outings entice new hikers and experienced hikers with the opportunities to learn more about the history of the surrounding area and the local flora and fauna, and to summit some of the area’s most challenging peaks. Guided hiking is included in the resort’s vacation packages. The resort provides informational sheets on self-guided outings nearby. www.smuggs.com/skivts; 855-581-5906.
At Stowe Mountain Resort the Auto Toll Road provides access to the summit ridge of Mount Mansfield, Vermont’s highest peak, and spectacular mountaintop hiking in New England. The 4.5-mile Auto Toll Road is over 150 years old and climbs to an elevation of 3,850 feet. The road’s upper terminus presents hiking options which include; To the North, the Cliff Trail, Long Trail and Canyon Trail - all about 1.5 miles long and climbing an additional 550 feet – all offer routes to Mansfield’s ‘Chin’ summit. Southerly trail options include the Lakeview Trail, Forehead Bypass, and Long Trail to the Forehead. Hiking maps and audio CD’s to play in the car are distributed upon arrival.
Stratton Mountain Resort is both the birthplace of the Long Trail and the Appalachian Trail and the point where the two historic paths intersect. After reaching the summit via hiking trail or iconic gondola, climb the fire tower for unrivaled panoramic views. The gondola is open daily for rides to the summit June 19-22, July 4-6 and September 29-October 14, and on weekends from August 30 – September 28.
For mountain bikers, explore the winding trails in the Nordic Center or join a mountain bike tour following the scenic West River Trail. Bicycle rentals are available through First Run Ski Shop.
This season Sugarbush Resort is working on expanding beginner mountain bike terrain and improving the learning area. For the more experienced the top of Super Bravo Express Quad offers over twenty miles of lift-served downhill, cross-country and freestyle mountain biking terrain leading to the base of Lincoln Peak. In addition, the Vermont Mountain Bike Association has connected nearly sixty miles of mapped trails to Sugarbush's. Combined, that’s over 3,000’ of vertical descending into the towns and villages of Warren, Waitsfield, Fayston and Moretown. For less technical terrain, check out the Green Mountain National Forest trails across the valley at Blueberry Lake. Hiking, walking and Nature Tours are also popular at Sugarbush Resort. Visitors can try one of the many diverse hikes, explore scenic country roads and covered bridges that scatter the Valley, or meander along the nature paths of the Mad River. Group and private guided naturalist hikes available.
Woodstock Inn & Resort is pleased to announce they have more biking opportunities in and throughout the Woodstock community this summer. Start at the Racquet & Fitness Club and mountain bike along nordic trails on Mt. Peg, pick up a cruiser bike at the Inn and journey through the quaint village or revel in a scenic bike route along back roads through Silver Lake State Park, South Pomfret and Suicide Six Ski Area. Enjoy the many miles of hiking paths and carriage roads through the National Historic Park and the Town Forest. For those a bit more adventurous, head to the nearby Appalachian Trail for a day hike. www.woodstockinn.com
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