I’ve already touched on winter sports destinations in New England and now I would like to zoom in on both the great winter sport that is snowshoeing and the state of Vermont.
This post features some , some of them I’ve already done, other I’m dying to explore.
Eight Vermont Snowshoe Trails
The Faulkner Trail starts just outside of the town center of Woodstock. It leads up to the summit of Mount Tom (1,240 feet) via a series of switchbacks. This 3.2-mile roundtrip offers views of picturesque Woodstock, incidentally one of Vermont’s prettiest towns, and the Upper Valley all the way into New Hampshire. This may be one of finest short Vermont snowshoe trails.
Mount Philo State Park Trail
This short and pleasant hike takes you up to the summit of Mount Philo in the oldest state park in Vermont. There is a road for driving to the summit as well, and even a parking lot, but snowshoeing up the mountain on the summit trail is definitely recommended. After all, having to work for some excellent views is always most rewarding.
This is actually a combination of three separate Vermont snowshoe trails in Mount Mansfield State Forest. It leads up to the ridge right underneath Mount Mansfield, Vermont’s highest mountain peak, on the Nebraska Notch Trail, the Long Trail and the Overland X-C Trail. It is a rather difficult 4.3-mile loop, but the views are nothing less than spectacular.
The Burrows Trail ascends Camel’s Hump, one of the state’s greatest mountains. Because of potentially rapidly changing weather conditions, a trip up this mountain should be planned. This is a trail for experienced snowshoers only, as the exposed ridges can be icy and slippery and wind gusts can be perilous. Phenomenal views though!
Old Railroad Bed / West River Trail
A scenic 2.3-mile-one-way trail through Jamaica State Park, the Old Railroad Bed / West River Trail runs alongside the river and past huge boulders and pine forests. The trail is flat and easy; a major highlight is the 1.2-mile side trip to Hamilton Falls, a spectacular waterfall that drops 125 feet and completely freezes up in winter.
Mount Olga Trail
The Mount Olga Trails can’t be left out in a list about great Vermont snowshoe trails. The 2.3-mile climb to a fire tower at the 2,415-foot summit of Mount Olga allows views of three states: Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.
Stowe Recreation Path
Although small, Stowe is one of the finest winter sports towns in the Northeast. It is home to miles and miles of ski slopes, cross-country ski trails and Vermont snowshoe trails. The Stowe Recreation Path is an easy and flat snowshoe trail, a nice option when you’re looking for an outdoor activity but don’t feel like hitting the slopes. It’s 5.3 miles one way and runs through fields and woods and past inns, B&Bs and farms. The views of Mount Mansfield are fantastic.
Osmore Pond Loop
Rather remote, the Osmore Pond Loop lies in the far north of the state in Groton State Forest. This 3.3-mile loop encircles beautiful Osmore Pond and is well-used by hikers, naturalists, cross-country skiers and snowshoers. The area is filled with wildlife as well. It’s a downright stunning nature hike with views of the pond and surrounding hills and mountains.