Snowshoe Southern Vermont

Snowshoeing in Southern Vermont

by Lauren Harkawik

 

Southern Vermont is famous for its wintertime offerings. Beautiful views taken in from cozy fireside spots, snowcapped mountains, downhill skiing and festive ski lodges are just some of the iconic images we associate with Vermont in the winter.

 

Although skiing is one of the most popular wintertime activities in the Deerfield Valley, if downhill isn’t your thing or if you just want a break from adrenaline, southern Vermont has a lot to offer by way of quiet outdoor winter retreats, too. One of the best ways to shake hands with nature in the winter is snowshoeing, and The Deerfield Valley is full of opportunities to explore winter by foot.

 

Timber Creek Cross Country Ski Center:

If your visit to the Deerfield Valley is rooted in Mount Snow, there are plenty of snowshoeing options just a hop and a skip from the slopes. Across from the Mount Snow Resort, you can visit Timber Creek Cross Country Ski Center, which has a system of trails for cross country skiers and snowshoers to explore. Timber Creek Cross Country Ski Center’s trails loop through the woods for a peaceful and exciting adventure. Snowshoe rentals are available for full day, half day, and overnight rentals. In addition to rental fees, a small trail maintenance fee is required as well.

 

Mount Snow:

Mount Snow, one of the most popular winter destinations in Southern Vermont, offers a ton of activities beyond downhill skiing, including guided snowshoe tours. The guided tour lasts about an hour and a half and is $45 per person. Guided tours can even be paired with a massage at the resort’s spa, if you’d like to give yourself a full day of peaceful retreats and relaxation. If a guided tour isn’t your speed, you can also venture onto the resort’s snowshoe trails on your own by purchasing trail passes at Mount Snow Sports at the Grand Summit Resort Hotel. Rentals are also available.

 

Mount Olga:

Mount Olga Trail in Molly Stark State Park is a great snowshoeing destination just east of Wilmington. Molly Stark State Park is one of southern Vermont’s most beautiful parks, with hiking and camping opportunities in the summer and of course, peaceful moments to offer in the winter. Mount Olga Trail has a moderate-to-steep incline with plenty of twists and turns. The trail leads up to the top of a 2,400 foot summit, where you can kick off the snowshoes and climb a fire tower to take in breathtaking views of the valley. The road into Molly Stark State Park is flat, but it’s unplowed in the winter.

 

Catamount Trail:

If you’re looking for a remote retreat, Section 3 of the Catamount Trail, which is nestled in the Deerfield Valley and goes from Route 9 to the Somerset Reservoir, may be your answer. The section is just under 8 miles long and provides a moderately difficult adventure. Though a large portion of the trail is flat, it is ungroomed and has some steep ups and downs as well as some small streams to cross. Access points are limited and can be found to the north and south of the trail. For more information on how to access the trail, visit its website <http://catamounttrail.org/ski-the-ct/trail-sections/section-3/>

 

Grout Pond Loop Trail:

Grout Pond Loop Trail at the Grout Pond Recreation Area in West Wardsboro is a 2.6 mile trail that takes about an hour to an hour and a half to hike. Snowshoeing and cross country skiing are permitted in the winter months, but the trail is ungroomed and the road leading to it is unplowed. The Grout Pond area offers other trails as well, varying in difficulty from easy to moderate.

 

Marlboro College Trails

Marlboro, which is right between Wilmington and Brattleboro, is home to Marlboro College, which shares its trails with the public. In the winter, take advantage of the beautiful views on the campus by exploring the six mile trail that runs from the center of Marlboro town to the campus.

 

If you find yourself in need of winter gear, Zoar Adventure Center in downtown Wilmington offers snowshoe rentals by the day for ages 7 and up. They also have plenty of socks, gloves, and fleece jackets to keep you warm. Snowshoe rentals are also available at Mount Snow for the Mount Snow Trails and at Timber Creek Cross Country Ski Center for the Timber Creek trails.

 

Every season in the Deerfield Valley has its own wonders to share, and winter is no different. However you decide to explore it, enjoy the beautiful solitude of southern Vermont this winter!