The Stowe Mountain Resort Cross-country Center sits on the southern shoulder of Mount Mansfield and links its 45 kilometers of groomed and 30 kilometers of ungroomed backcountry trails directly to those of the Trapp Family Lodge and other Nordic trails. Located directly outside of the village of Stowe and with spectacular views of Mount Mansfield, it's a popular destination for beginners and experts alike.
Rentals and trail passes can be purchased right at the parking area from a large brown building. A yurt stands right next door for guests to put gear on or to warm up at the end of their tour. A large flat practice loop is the first trail that is visible, but continuing west will lead to the rest of the network.
The 6-kilometer Timber Lane/ Bruce Trail Loop is perfect for beginners because it has gentle climbs on a wide groomed track. The trail crosses Ranch Brook at its upper reaches and descends along its banks as winter sun filters through the trees. Spurs such as Peavey and Classic lead to more advanced terrain.
Houston, which comes in from the right about halfway up the Timber Lane Trail, leads to the highest point in the groomed terrain and has several steep pitches to ascend or descend. Backcountry trails like the Dewey Trail or the upper Burt Trail provide access for backcountry skiers and snowboarders to the heart of the northern Green Mountains. The Stowe Derby Trail and Old Camp Road link directly to the Trapp Family Lodge Nordic Ski Trails.
The cross country center also features 8 miles of snowshoe only terrain with trail names like Lefty's Lane, Logger's Loop, and the Deer Trail. These trails are ungroomed and weave through the woods between the ski trails.
The Stowe Mountain Cross Country Center does not allow dogs, and it requires a hefty trail use fee of $27 for an adult full day pass. Children 6 through 12 and Seniors 65 and over can purchase a full day pass for $16. For more pricing info visit the website.
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.