Winter is always welcome at the Woodstock Inn & Resort. That’s because the Saskadena Six Ski Area, with its family-friendly terrain (beginners need not worry), means the inn’s guests can enjoy a classic winter ski day in the mountains, then return to the inn to relax in their spacious room or suite, enjoy a farm-fresh meal at the Red Rooster restaurant, book a massage at the on-site spa or head to the Athletic Club to unwind in the pool, sauna or steam room. Or, grab a bowl of soup or a local brew at Pearly’s Pourhouse, the inn’s seasonal restaurant and lounge, perfect for apres-ski gatherings with family and friends. There’s also cross-country skiing on 45 kilometers of trails at the inn’s Woodstock Nordic Center.
Okemo Mountain Resort
77 Okemo Ridge RoadLudlow, VTPhone: 802-228-5222
121 trails and glades; 46 miles of trails; 667 acres of terrain; 2,200-foot vertical drop; 20 lifts, including quads, chairs, and surface lifts; annual snowfall 200 inches; 98% snowmaking
Skiing & Snowboarding– Located in southern Vermont, Okemo Mountain Resort is a family-operated, four-season, playground. Owners Tim and Diane Mueller also operate Crested Butte Mountain Resort, in Colorado, and Mount Sunapee Resort in N.H. Winter sports enthusiasts love southern Vermont's highest vertical drop and vast trail network over five alpine areas. Terrain features include Okemo Superpipe, The Zone, Tomahawk Park, Hot Dog Hill Terrain Park, OMS Crazy Train Progression Park, Robbins' Nest, Bounder Park, Broken Arrow, and NASTAR Race Arena. There also is Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, a mountain coaster attraction and snow tubing.
Everything Else– Accommodations include slope-side condos, the Jackson Gore Inn, Adams House, Bixby House and other area lodging. The mountain has six places to dine. There is a Ski + Ride School and racing programs.
Skiing & Snowboarding -- This sweetheart of a ski area has many fans. Its centerpiece is Lincoln Peak, with many trails leading to Lincoln Peak Village. The village has a hotel and other residences aside the slopes, a store, various restaurants, children’s day programs, and a ski and snowboard school.
Sugarbush is known for its great woods and back country with natural snow in the Slide Brook Wilderness Area. Terrain is rated 20 percent beginner, 45 percent intermediate, and 35 percent advanced. Sugarbush also includes Mount Ellen, a more casual site with an excellent terrain Park. Everything Else--The large day lodge has a food court, the Castlerock Pub, an outdoor patio and barbeque area. Timbers serves upscale food year-round. Also: ski shops, rentals, lessons, child care, pool and hot tub, spa, ice and rock climbing.
Skiing & Snowboarding -- Killington’s nickname in parts of the skiing world is The Beast of the East. It is the biggest ski resort in New England, and it encompasses seven peaks, 200 trails, and five terrain parks. Vertical drop is 3,050 feet. Natural snow averages 250 inches a year, and artificial snowmaking covers 600 acres of skiable area. Naturally, with such vast spaces and resources, Killington offers a big variety of ski trails, from easy learning areas to steep gladed trails and everything in between. Everything Else -- Killington can be expensive. The resort has a village with skiing and boarding lessons and rentals; shops and a post office. Ice skating, sleigh rides, pool and hot tub, child care, dog sledding, spa, snow tubing. Full day care is available. The Killington area has scores of restaurants and bars, live entertainment at night, snowmobile tours and other winter fun.
Mad River Glen Ski Area
57 Schuss PassWaitsfield, VTPhone: 802-496-3551
46 trails; glades; no snowboards allowed on lifts; annual snowfall 25 feet
Skiing -- Mad River Glen, opened in 1948, prides itself on its old-fashioned values: the sport of skiing is king, and all other activities (like spas and parties and slope side condos) are secondary or just not to be found here. (Mad River has the last in-use single chair lift in the country.) The ski area’s famous motto is, "Mad River Glen Ski It If You Can." Despite this motto, the mountain’s 46 trails include beginning and intermediate trails. Nonetheless, Mad River Glen is home to some of the most difficult skiing in the East, with natural snow, plenty of bumps, and narrow gladed trails. Snowboarders are banned from lift, but they may hike up to slopes if they wish.
Everything Else -- Base lodging covers basic needs, but the Mad River Valley generally has plenty of lodging and dining; ski area has lessons for all levels, child care; nature programs, rental shop, and a retail store. The ski area is a cooperative; people can own a share for an initial payment of $2,000
The Middlebury College Snow Bowl is conveniently located on the newly rebuilt Route 125 midway between Route 7 to the west and Route 100 to the east. The Snow Bowl offers skiing and snowboarding to all ability levels in a friendly, family atmosphere. Although owned and operated by Middlebury College and home to the nationally competitive Panther ski team, the Bowl is open on a daily basis [except Christmas day] to the general public.