Although these might not be the most dangerous runs around, they certainly are among the most unique, fun, and picturesque.
Earlier this winter we outlined some of the hardest trails in the state – 76 knee-pounding, teeth-rattling trails for those looking to challenge themselves. And that got us thinking about the wealth of other trails around the state that are just as worthy of attention.
Whether you’re a beginner looking to build up confidence for more advanced runs or an advanced skier looking to take it easy, here are 50-plus of the sweetest runs from around the state. Click in your bindings, or strap on the board and get ready to cruise.
Mount Snow: The southernmost ski resort in the state features plenty of sweet runs. Frontside favorites include the classic Snowdance, accessed by the Canyon Quad, and Ridge and South Bowl, which descend from the summit. South Bowl has a narrow entrance from the summit, which then opens to a wider bowl-like formation. When the coverage is great, this trail truly shines. For one more, check out Thanks Walt, named for founder Walter Schoenknecht, near the Sunbrook base area.
Stratton: At Stratton, look to the Sun Bowl area for sunshine and great runs. Myra Foster, Marketing Manager for Stratton, says the Sunriser Supertrail is a terrific example – it is a wide, rolling intermediate trail that gets lots of sun in the morning.
Bromley: On Vermont’s Sun Mountain check out Upper Throughway, which connects to the wide-open Plaza. For a solid, top-to-bottom blue run, connect Upper Twister, Route 100 and Lower Twister.
Magic Mountain: At Magic Mountain, skiers and riders head to the Upper and Lower Wizard, a winding intermediate trail that rolls from top to bottom. For shorter runs, check out Show Off orMystery.
Okemo: Home to some of the best intermediate terrain in the state, Okemo Mountain’s faces are covered in accessible and spacious trails for skiers of all levels. On the front side of Okemo Mounain Peak, try the Jolly Green Giant or show off on Timberline under the Green Ridge Triple and Saphire, located just next door.
Killington: Killington’s extensive trail network features skiing and riding for all ability levels, including many sweet intermediate trails, some of which are so long you might need to stop and take a break before reaching the bottom. Great Eastern and Great Northern are two fun trails, with the former stretching over 5 miles to the Skyeship Gondola base at Route 4, and the latter traversing the North Ride of Killington Peak and Snowdon Mountain toward Ramshead Mountain. Rime and Reason on North Ridge are the first two trails open each season at Killington and Snowdon’s Bunny Buster is a true intermediate test. Snowdon’s lift line trail Chute and Ramshead’s lift line trail Header are also fun sustained steeps with their own quirks and challenges.
Middlebury College Snow Bowl: Tucked in the very center of the state, just 25 miles from either Killington to the south or Sugarbush resort to the north, the Snow Bowl is nestled in a sweet spot in a remote section of the Long Trail. While a small ski area, it has rich racing tradition as home to the Middlebury College racing program, along with an active racing club. Two trails reign supreme: theAllen and the Ross, which are well known for giant slalom and slalom races, respectfully. The Allen is steeper on the top half (officially a black diamond slope), but the lower half is a solid intermediate. As a giant slalom run, it’s one of the most challenging in the state for its variety, consistent pitch at the top with two dramatic rolls that launch racers into high speeds. The Ross starts off with a steep drop, but levels out to a beautiful, wide intermediate trail that makes a last dive right down a longish steep to the bottom. Both are among the more challenging intermediate trails in this grouping, but certainly count as two of the top 50 sweetest trails in the state. For less intimidating intermediate trails at the Snow Bowl, try the undulating Youngman trail off the back side and ride the triple chair back to the top.
Sugarbush: Lincoln peak’s Spring Fling is great for season-long enjoyment and is best enjoyed in the spring afternoon. Its vista down onto Sugarbush resort is stunning in late afternoon light. From the top of the mountain, take Jester’s zig-zag cruiser to mid-mountain (the resort’s first run is an old logging road), then cruise over to Spring Fling or Lower Snowball to Racer’s Edge. This makes a quintessential cruiser top-to-bottom for 2,400 vertical feet. Over at North Lynx lift, head for Sleeper, a gentle intermediate run through wide open glades, or for something a little steeper, hit Birch Run from the top of North Lynx. Over at Mount Ellen, you can link intermediate cruisers from top to bottom on trails like the upper and lower portions of Rim Run and Elbow and then connect with Cruiser or Which Way.
Mad River Glen: While known for some of the most advanced terrain, bar none, Mad River is home to some great intermediate trails that are a ton of fun for those looking for a classic Mad River experience. Quacky from the top of the Sunnyside Chairlift is an all time Mad River favorite leading toPorcupine and a number of other exciting trails. Off the Single Chair, Antelope is the ultimate intermediate experience with two miles of challenge. Sorry – skiers only!
Stowe: On Stowe’s main face, take the Four runner Quad to access trails like Upper and Lower Lordor Sunrise, which enjoy great views of the surrounding area as you travel to even more intermediate terrain. With the Mountain Tripple as your lift, you can enjoy some of Stowe’s best intermediate trails like Gulch, T-Line and North Slope. Off of the Stowe Gondola, you can enjoy trails like Perry Merrilland the classic Gondolier, while at Spruce Peak check out Sterling, a classic, top-to-bottom run.
Bolton Valley: For a classic cruiser go with Cobrass. This trail is far left off of Vista Peak and features stunning views of Camel’s Hump, Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks. It’s a classic cruiser with amazing views facing west, and is particularly great for winter sunsets over Lake Champlain. The trail itself is typically groomed wall to wall from the top to the middle. Mid-way down the grooming is more focused on the center and left of the trail, leaving the right side un-groomed and slightly bumped up with some fun, small drops, which add an element of challenge for advanced skiers and riders.
Smugglers’ Notch: Drifter, Chilcoot and Rumrunner are quintessential Smugglers’ trails and are all nice long cruiser with great views – definitely runs that you don’t want to rush. Both Drifter and Chilcootcome off the top of Madonna – enjoy the Madonna 1 lift ride up and then savor the 360-degree views at the summit. For new intermediates, Rumrunner on Sterling is a great trail to graduate to when ready to make the move to the upper mountains. To add some spice, duck into the intermediate gladesPoacher’s Woods, which reconnect to Rumrunner a bit further down.
Q Burke: In Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, the upper mountain of Q Burke has plenty of intermediate terrain to explore. Be sure to try Upper and Lower Willoughby, as well as Upper Dipper, Big Dipper and the lower connector, Dipper Doodle. All of these trails wind up at the same mid-station lift, so you don’t have to worry about winding somewhere else if you want to try them again (which you will).
Jay Peak: The northernmost mountain in Vermont is home to scenic and fun terrain like Vermonter, which travels down the ridge from the summit with views north into Canada. Be sure not to miss Jay’s longest run, Ullr’s Dream, which stretches three miles from the top to the bottom. Then you can hop on Vermont’s only aerial tram for a six-minute ride back to the top.