Archive - Vermont RSS Feed

Cross-Country Skiing in Vermont with VBT

HX 2014 Secondary for web

Welcome to week four in our five-part series about the great cross-country skiing vacations that VBT is offering this winter. Last week we told you about the fascinating geothermal features, amazing skiing and unreal wildlife viewing you’ll find on our new Yellowstone in the Winter: Skiing America’s First National Park cross-country skiing vacation—make sure to check out the answer to the trivia question at the end of this blog if you tuned in last week. But first, let’s discuss another new vacation we’re offering this winter: A New England Winter: Cross-Country Skiing in Vermont. With four departures throughout January and February of 2014, there are plenty of chances to take this fantastic winter vacation into the heart of the Green Mountains.

VT_LeadOne of the great things about a Vermont ski tour is the state’s close proximity to many locations on the East Coast, offering the opportunity to try a VBT ski vacation without having to travel by plane.  Plus the Green Mountains are a fantastic place to ski, steeped in a rich history of winter culture—which we’ll learn about when the tour visits the Vermont Ski Museum in Stowe. The new tour begins in the idyllic New England town of Middlebury, with the first skiing locale being the Rikert Ski Touring Center at Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf campus a few miles outside of town. The campus got its name from Bread Loaf Mountain, the iconic peak that overlooks the meadows below, a virtual skier’s paradise in winter. During your day, you may opt for a lesson or choose to ski on your own with trail recommendations provided by our Trip Leaders. One Picture10highlight is a trail through the woods to the famous Robert Frost Cabin, where the acclaimed poet wrote many of his most famous works—including “The Road Not Taken,” “Mending Wall” and “A Cabin in the Clearing.” Frost spent his summers from 1939 to 1963 living at the farm and lecturing at the Bread Loaf School of English and its annual writers’ conferences.

Trapp Family Lodge

Later in the trip we’ll head to the town of Stowe which offers much more than just an alpine resort on Vermont’s largest peak. Here, we’ll stay and ski at the historic Trapp Family Lodge, which offers snowmaking on their cross country trails as to insure excellent conditions even in a marginal snow winter. The Von Trapp family—whose lives were the inspiration for The Sound of Music—purchased the lodge after emigrating from Austria during World War II, and opened its Cross-Country Ski Center in 1968. Today the Trapp Family Lodge is one of the country’s leading Nordic ski areas with more than 37 miles (60 km) of groomed ski trails and an extensive network of snowshoe trails.  The lodge itself has all the amenities you’d expect on a VBT vacation as well as including an indoor pool, outdoor hot tub, and wireless internet. We’ll also visit the Trapp Lager Brewery where we’ll sample some of the Austrian-style lagers that are brewed right on-site. If we’re lucky, Sam Von Trapp—Maria’s grandson—will be on hand to talk with us about Austria, skiing and his family’s legacy here in Vermont. We’ll follow our beer-tasting with a delicious dinner at the brewery.

Lincoln Peak Vineyard cropVermont is quickly becoming famous for its wineries and microbrews.  And this vacation also features a tasting and tour of the Lincoln Peak Winery, which produces their wine with grapes grown right here in Vermont.  We’ll taste their northern varietals and learn about what makes this wine so unique.  At the Otter Creek Brewery, we’ll have the opportunity to sample Long Trail, Shed, and Otter Creek beers.  If wine and beer isn’t your thing, then your taste buds will be excited to know that we’ll stop at the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream factory for another special taste from Vermont.

Another great cultural activity you’ll experience on this vacation is a maple sugaring demonstration as Vermont is the sap bucket2largest producer of maple syrup in the U.S.  We’ll work up an appetite for dinner on our final night with a sunset maple-sugaring tour at the Trapp Lodge’s sugarhouse. You’ll learn how sap is collected in buckets, and then boiled down in a wood-fired evaporator to create the maple syrup. Even if the sap’s not running, this will be a great introduction to maple sugaring and its production process.

Thanks for reading this week and we hope to see you out on the trails with us this winter in some of the world’s most fascinating winter destinations. Remember, on a VBT vacation you’ll enjoy world-class cross-country skiing combined with expert local Trip Leaders, comfortable accommodations and plenty of wonderful interactions with the locals. For more information on the A New England Winter: Cross-Country Skiing in Vermont​ ​vacation you can visit us online or request a catalog here. See you next week as the series concludes with a blog about another fun-filled winter vacation.

Additional Links:
Ski Middlebury Article:  http://www.addisonindependent.com/201304could-middlebury-become-ski-destination

Trapp Family Lodge: http://www.trappfamily.com/

Cross-Country Skiing in Vermont with VBT: A Conversation with Garrott Kuzzy, VBT’s Ski Product Manager

HX 2014 Secondary for web

After such a successful first year of cross-country ski vacations abroad, VBT is excited to be introducing two new domestic ski trips in 2014. One of which is located in our home state of Vermont. We’ve been offering biking vacations in Vermont for over forty years so we are delighted to finally share our home state with travelers during the months that Vermont is a virtual winter wonderland. We recently sat down with VBT’s Skiing Product Manager, Garrott Kuzzy, who isgarrott a world-class skier in his own right, seriously. Garrott was a member of the US Ski team and competed in the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. Here’s what he had to say about VBT’s new A New England Winter: Cross Country Skiing in Vermont vacation.

After a successful first season of ski vacations abroad, what made you decide to design a vacation in VBT’s home state?

From the beginning, we really wanted to launch a ski tour in our backyard that showcases the skiing and winter activities in Vermont.  A Vermont ski tour is within driving distance from many locations on the East Coast, offering the opportunity to try a VBT ski vacation without having to travel by plane.  Both of our ski centers on tour, the Rikert Nordic Center in Ripton and the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, offer snowmaking on their cross country trails which insures excellent conditions even in a marginal snow winter.  We strategically chose these destinations as they will offer the best experience for our guests.

Let’s say I have never cross-country skied before but love the idea of visiting Vermont in the winter.  Why would I choose to go on this vacation with VBT?

The Green Mountains are a fantastic place to ski, steeped in a rich history of winter culture.  We’ll learn about this history when we visit the Vermont Ski Museum in Stowe.  Also, we’ve always wanted to offer a maple sugaring demonstration on tour, as Vermont is the largest producer of maple syrup in the U.S.  While that’s not possible in the summer or fall, we’ve got a great snowshoe and maple sugaring tour planned at the Trapp Family Lodge.  There’s much more to a VBT winter vacation than just skiing.

100_0221Although you’re a World-class skier, how do the trails on this vacation apply to skiers of all abilities – will experts and novices both have a good experience?

All of our ski Trip Leaders are certified ski instructors and can teach beginners to ski or help experienced skiers improve.  Our beginner departures (on all of our ski tours) are a great opportunity for someone who has never skied to enjoy our winter tours without prior ski experience.  We’ve got a variety of routes planned for this vacation, from flat trails along the Little River in Stowe, to more challenging trails at Blueberry Hill in Ripton.  We offer snowshoes for guests on the Vermont tour who might prefer to snowshoe instead of ski.  Experienced skiers will find more than enough kilometers of skiing on the vast, well-marked trail networks on the tour.

What about Middlebury and Stowe drew you to include those towns in the itinerary?

Our ski tours are as much about experiencing winter culture as they are about skiing.  Middlebury is internationally renowned for its college and language schools.  This influence has brought many outstanding restaurants to this quintessential New England village.  Middlebury’s Swift House Inn offers comfortable accommodations at the end of a day on the trails and is within short walking distance of the village center.

Stowe is perhaps the best known winter community in Vermont—and for good reason.  Stowe attracts winter enthusiasts from around the world.  You may choose to take time off from cross-country skiing to enjoy a day of chairlift assisted garrott trying to catch a liftalpine skiing at Stowe Mountain Resort.  Of course, the Trapp Family Lodge has a special Austrian charm that comes alive in the winter.  These characteristics of Middlebury and Stowe made them easy choices to feature the best of what Vermont has to offer.

What aspect of the vacation, other than the skiing, would you say you are most excited for travelers to experience?

Vermont is quickly becoming famous for its wineries and microbrews.  This vacation features tastings and tours at three of them and I’m looking forward to guests raising a glass.  Lincoln Peak Winery produces their wine with grapes grown right here in Vermont.  We’ll enjoy one of their northern varietals and learn about what makes this wine unique.  At Otter Creek Brewery, we’ll have the opportunity to sample Long Trail, Shed, and Otter Creek beers.  Trapp Family Lodge recently added a brewery, Trapp Lager, to their facility.  We’ll raise a Trapp Lager with Sam Von Trapp, Maria Von Trapp’s grandson, or brew master JP Williams, before a delicious dinner at the brewery.  If wine and beer aren’t your thing, you’ll be sure to enjoy a stop at the Ben and Jerry’s ice cream factory, where we’ll savor another special taste from Vermont.

For more information on the A New England Winter: Cross Country Skiing in Vermont vacation and our four other ski vacations click here: http://www.vbt.com/Skiing

Page 1 of 41234»