Stowe Nordic’s Top 5 Cross Country Ski Trails in Stowe Vermont
November 12, 2018
Here at Stowe Nordic all this fresh snow coming down in the Green Mountains of Vermont has got us talking about skiing. More specifically, we have been talking about our FAVORITE cross country ski trails – you know, the ones we just can’t get off our minds. Everyone has a favorite x country ski trail, and so here are some of ours. Oh, and by the way, in case you are wondering where a particular trail is, check out our brand new interactive cross country ski trail map of Stowe!
Our Favorite Nordic Ski Trails in Stowe
Morrison Trail at the Trapp Family Lodge:
The Morrison Trail was reopened a couple of years ago after a property changed hands to a new owner who is more “skier friendly”. A big thank you to the new owner and to Trapps for bringing back this gorgeous trail which runs from the top of Telemark Trail, through the middle of the cross country touring center connecting with the County Road Trail. If you have not skied it, check it out as an alternative route on your way up to the cabin…then take Chris’s Run back down (in our opinion, the most scenic and fun descent back down from the upper trails at Trapps). Note that neither of these trails are suitable for beginner skiers, but you don’t need to be an expert either.
Trapp Family Lodge
Ranch Valley Cruise at Stowe Mountain Resort Cross-Country Center:
Ranch Valley Cruise is one of the most iconic and fun of the old school cross country ski trails at the SMR-XC Center. Ski it downhill from where it turns off Ranch Camp Trail (otherwise known as “the connector”) for a fun, but not too hairy rollercoaster ride all the way down to the Stowe Derby Trail, just above the bridge over Ranch Brook that will take you back to the Nordic Touring Center.
Stowe Cross Country Center
The Stowe Recreation Path from town to Mountain Ops:
A top 5 list of cross country trails in Stowe just wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the Recreation Path. Stowe’s rec path is one of the main attractions in the summertime, and thanks to the grooming capabilities of Stowe Nordic, it is now easily enjoyed in the wintertime as well. Starting at the iconic white steeple church in the center of Stowe, cross country skiers can follow the rec path up a gentle grade for 5 miles. The trail ends at Mountain Ops where you can then turn around and enjoy the gentle cruise back into town. This is a family friendly nordic skiing trip that goes right past a bunch of different Stowe restaurants, so you can take your time and eat and drink along the way!
Rec path skate with view of Mt. Mansfield
8 Bridges Trail in Sterling Valley:
Sterling Forest is home to some amazing and amazingly diverse backcountry skiing terrain, from awesome powder descents off the ridge to gorgeous and peaceful cruises through the woods. The 8 Bridges XC Trail falls into the latter category. Yes, it crosses 8 bridges as it winds and gently rolls through the lower part of the valley. It’s a little over an hour round trip (or make a loop by going one way on Maple Run, the very lightly traveled VAST trail that runs a bit below 8 Bridges). It’s an all abilities, any kind of equipment, dog friendly outing.
Getting Rad out in Sterling Valley
The “Stowe Traverse” from Edson Hill Manor to the Von Trapp Bierhall (sections 23 & 24 of the Catamount Trail):
The Stowe Traverse is a long-ish backcountry ski day tour that follows most of Stowe’s portion of the Catamount Trail. It runs mostly through rolling, peaceful forest, but does have a number pretty good climbs and descents so it is not suitable for beginners, but is easily managed by fit lower-intermediate and better skiers. Since it is a point to point ski it is best to do it with friends and spot cars at either end. Either direction is good, but we have a preference for starting either in Sterling Valley (for a pretty darn long day tour) or at Edson Hill Manor (to take a few miles off) or at Wiessner Woods (to make it very manageable) and ending at the Von Trapp Bierhall (a Trapp lager and some of chef Jack Pickett’s great food round out a fabulous day of skiing).