Bill Bryson once said “A year in Vermont, according to an old saw, is nine months of winter followed by three months of very poor sledding.” Every Vermonter knows the accuracy of this. Because we’re so used to very long winters we’ve come to look forward to a variety of activities and we are sharing our favorite activities to do in Vermont in the winter. You can enjoy cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, fat biking and tons of other outside activities or enjoy the pretty much limitless activities that take place inside. At the time that we’re writing this article some of these activities have passed but there is always next year!
Vermont is the perfect location for skiing on the east coast. We have a ton of amazing resorts and there is something for everyone. Late winter is a great time for skiing, especially in March. March tends to get some serious snowfall as well as still packing snow from the previous winter months and the longer days provide more time in the day for skiing. It's a lesser known time for skiing to non-locals and so lines are a lot shorter especially during the weekdays.
When looking for activities to do in Vermont in the winter skiing is definitely a great option. Some of the great resorts you can check out are Stowe Mountain Resort, Mad River Glen, Bolton Valley Resort, Middlebury Snow Bowl, the Trapp Family Lodge Outdoor Center, and Smugglers’ Notch Resort. Our agents Krista and Katie love skiing and know some of the best spots!
White Water Kayaking
With over 700 lakes and ponds and more than 5000 miles of rivers and streams Vermont is the perfect place to enjoy water sports. If you’re game enough and well prepared, white water kayaking in the winter can be loads of fun.
One of the best ways to take advantage of Vermont’s winter scenery is by going snowshoeing. Warm clothes, a well-prepared daypack and snowshoes are all you really need to enjoy the winter trails. One of the great things about snowshoeing is the abundance of trails. You don’t have to be near a ski resort to enjoy this particular winter activity in Vermont.
If you’re visiting or new to Central Vermont and you don’t have snowshoes, you can always rent them from Onion River Outdoors. In Central Vermont we have a couple of local trails including Hubbard Park and North Branch River Park that are great for snowshoeing. Remember that preparation is your best friend and checking the weather and trail conditions before heading out will ensure a great time.
There is no shortage of sledding spots in Vermont. You can pretty much sled down any hill during the winter time. If you’re in Central Vermont check out Hubbard Park. It boasts a variety of hills for every level and age of sledder. One place that’s popular with Green Light’s Ray Mikus is Northfield mountain. He loves taking his family hiking up the mountain and sledding down the trail. At the bottom of the trail you’ll find some fire pits where you can roast some marshmallows and enjoy a breathtaking view. Additional popular sledding areas include Smugglers Notch in South Cambridge, Landry Park in Winooski and, Calahan Park in Burlington.Montpelier Winter Farmers Market
Every first and third Saturday from 10 AM -1 PM Central Vermonters enjoy the Capital City’s Winter Farmers Market in Montpelier. It’s great time to get those fresh winter fruits and veggies as well as enjoy a variety of products from local vendors. Don’t worry about it being too cold to go out, in the winter the Farmers Market is held at Barr Hill Distillery! So you can enjoy Saturday morning browsing while keeping warm.
Sugar on Snow
One thing Vermont and many New England states are famous for is maple syrup. In late winter sugar houses start to tap groves of maple trees as temperatures start to rise above freezing during the day. If you’ve lived in Vermont long enough you already know a lot about this fun tradition! If you’re new to Vermont or visiting this time of year Sugar on Snow might be a foreign concept for you, but once you’ve tried it, you’ll have another awesome moment to look forward to every year. During this time of year you can tour the various sugar houses like Morris Farm and Brad Farm East and enjoy some sugar on snow. Sugar on snow or maple taffy is created by heating the maple syrup up to 235 degrees and drizzling it on clean freshly packed snow where it will turn into a taffy-like texture that you can swirl around on a fork or popsicle stick and enjoy. It is often enjoyed with a dill pickle, plain donut and cheddar cheese.
These are just a few of the many activities that take place in Vermont in the winter. You can go ice fishing at Joe’s Pond or take a polar plunge in Lake Champlain or the Craftsbury Outdoor Center in Greensboro. Catch the work of the Valentine Day Bandit and participate in your local municipalities Town Meeting Day on the first Tuesday in March. If you’re not really a cold weather person there is nothing like keeping a warm wood stove going and enjoying a jigsaw puzzle and all the fun winter holiday activities with your family. Our agents are local Vermonters and can offer personal recommendations if you’re looking for something fun to do this winter! Give us a call at 802-225-6425