Hidden away in the hills, these three inns offer cross-country skiers quiet, groomed rails, stunning views and a taste of classic Vermont.
Landgrove, population 158, is tucked away in a quiet valley of hardscrabble fields just north of Londonderry. Fence posts literally outnumber people here. One of the oldest ski lodges in the state, the Landgrove Inn, has been welcoming guests since 1935 to its land, the site of an 1810 farmhouse and dairy farm. Today, Landgrove’s 15 kilometers of groomed trails snake through still-pristine meadows and protected woodland. And, at 1,400 feet of elevation, the valley holds snow far longer than many places in southern Vermont.
When you’re done skiing, innkeepers Tom and Maureen Chechia will fix you a hot chocolate by the fire or prepare a dinner of crispy roast duckling or grilled lamb chops with apricot salsa. After, you can retire to one of the 18 bedrooms, many furnished with four-poster beds and antiques.
On December 12, Landgrove Inn hosts Sankta Lucia, a Scandinavian feast with a choir and carols. Throughout the year the inn holds art classes and writing workshops. Rooms are $100 to $250 a night.
Just 11 miles west of Killington, the Mountain Top Inn and Resort feels like it’s a world apart. Set high on a hill on 350 acres, the inn looks out on Chittenden reservoir and the surrounding mountains with nary a sign of civilization in site. The more than 60 kilometers of groomed Nordic trails open on December 12. If you want to explore farther, the Catamount Trail (which runs the length of Vermont) crosses the property and accesses more backcountry terrain. The inn also offers tubing, horse-drawn sleigh rides, yoga and a spa and salon. The inn had a recent makeover and rooms, furnished in stylish country décor, start at $170.
Last, you can’t think of winter in Vermont without thinking of the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe. The hilltop lodge is still owned by descendants of the family that was the subject of “The Sound of Music.” A new generation is in charge, and the network of more than 37 miles of groomed trails is in pristine shape with snowmaking and regular grooming.
Ski 10 kilometers up to Trapp’s Slayton Pasture Cabin for a bowl of soup by the fire, or explore some of the backcountry terrain. For après-ski, head to the deli bakery where you can taste a flight of some of the award-winning beers Trapp’s new brewery is producing. At night, tuck under a down duvet and watch the stars come up over the mountains. Rooms are $195 to $470.