The Bolton Valley Nordic Center is one of the closest touring centers to Burlington, with 15 kilometers of groomed trails and over 80 kilometers of backcountry trails. It has onsite rentals of Nordic skis, snowshoes, and fatbikes, and it serves as a gateway to the backcountry of the north-central Green Mountains. Unfortunately, trail passes are required.
The Nordic Center is located at the base of Bolton Valley's downhill skiing area, and it has direct access to groomed trails. Check in at the large silver Nordic and Sports Center at the bottom of the resort's main parking area to purchase a day pass, rent any gear you might need, and check on the trail conditions. The Picnic and Valley Loops (where they allow fatbiking) begin just south of the building, while the main Nordic trail system starts right outside the front door.
After following the groomed trail up a slight incline behind some condominiums, the trail hooks abruptly left and meets an intersection with several spurs. The black diamond World Cup Loop begins on the right, while the beginner trails Broadway and Pond Loop begin straight ahead and to the left, respectively. Broadway is wide and relatively flat to start, and it links to several other trails later on.
Perhaps the most popular loop at Bolton Valley is the Lower and Middle Maple Loop combo, which begins and ends on Broadway and offers many variations to lengthen or shorten the loop. Together Lower and Middle Maple Loop make a 4.25-kilometer loop with rolling terrain and occasionally sharp corners. The Nordic Center rates it "more difficult" with a blue square.
For the most part this loop meanders through dense forest with other trails spurring off periodically. Good views of the downhill slopes are occasionally visible. The Nordic Trails at Bolton also link to many other Nordic Centers via the Catamount Trail. These trails are for advanced Nordic, telemark, and backcountry skiers only, with steep descents and elevation gains exceeding 1,000 feet.
The Bolton Valley Nordic Center does not allow dogs and requires a trail use pass. Day passes are $17 for adults, and $13 for Juniors ages 7 through 17 and Seniors 65 and older. Children 6 and under ski free. Season passes are available; see Bolton Valley's website for details.
Winter backcountry adventures can be dangerous outdoor activities that pose significant risks as conditions affecting safety (i.e. weather, snowpack stability, avalanche hazard) are constantly changing. Prior to engaging in these activities each individual should get the proper training to make safe decisions and be equipped to use avalanche safety resources and tools. Please visit our Backcountry Skiing and Avalanche Safety post to learn more.