Enjoying Winter Activities in Vermont
If you’re looking for new challenges this winter, or just want to spend some relaxing time outside, here's a list of fun winter activities in Vermont, including information about our annual Snow Days event.
If you're somebody who plans on enjoying the outdoors this winter, or need a little incentive to brave the weather, here's a list of a few activities for you.
Snow Days Are Coming
Connect with nature, spend time outdoors with family and friends, and rejuvenate your spirit during our annual Snow Days event. Snow Days is our way of helping you shake off the winter blues while enjoying a variety of fun outdoor winter activities.
For 2023, there are three ways you can participate:
- Register to win a Snow Days pass from January 9 to January 15 for a free day at a participating Vermont resort.
- Join us to go snowshoeing, sledding, and cross-country skiing at one of three in-person events we’re holding on February 4, 11, and 12.
- Give back by taking photos of yourself, family, and friends on your winter outings and sharing them on our Facebook or Instagram pages using the hashtag #snowdaysvt from January 28 to February 12. For each photo shared, we’ll donate $5 to Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sport.
Check out our Snow Days webpage for all the details.
Winter Hiking and Walking
Winter hiking is enchanting, from the invigorating air to the serenity of the snow-covered landscape. Winter conditions are also unpredictable and sometimes challenging, which is why being prepared is essential before heading out on any winter hike. To help make your experience the best possible, use these planning guidelines.
Proper layering can make or break your day during any cold weather activity. Start with a synthetic wicking base layer that will stay dry on both your top and bottom. Add one or two insulating middle layers and top it all off with a water and wind-proof outer shell layer. Wear rain or snow pants on snowy days and use wool socks instead of cotton. A winter hat and gloves or mittens are essential.
Wear warm winter boots or hiking shoes suited for snow and ice. To ensure your footwear has extra traction, there are a variety of boot attachments that will give you the most grip on winter surfaces.
It gets dark very early in the winter, so if you’re headed out in the afternoon, take along a flashlight or headlamp to make your return easier and safer past sunset.
Taking a Furry Friend
When hiking with your dog, consider what they need to stay comfortable if their breed is not suited for the cold and snow. Dogs with shorter hair may need a jacket to insulate them from the chill. Use a paw wax or booties to protect their feet. For dogs that aren’t fit enough to trek through deep snow, find a packed-down, well-traveled trail.
Where to Go
Use a trail finder to plan your next hike and point you to important information like trail closures, difficulty level, and nearby services. The Green Mountain Club has recommended winter hikes on its website and publishes a winter hiking guidebook.
For a more casual outing, take a walk in a local park, your town forest, or on a rail trail. You can make a loop around your community on plowed sidewalks, if you’re not fond of trudging through snow, and along the way check out what local stores are offering by doing some window shopping.
Snowshoeing is one of the most accessible ways to enjoy the beauty and peace of a Vermont winter. Follow the same layering guidelines from above and strap on a pair of snowshoes. Whether you choose self-guided trails or a guided tour, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views, fresh air, and invigorating exercise.
Snowshoe trails can be found throughout the state, but a few centers and resorts specialize in the sport. Here are some suggestions for beautifully maintained snowshoeing trails and scenery. These centers have snowshoe rentals as well:
- Ole's Cross Country Center in Warren, VT
- Viking Nordic Center in Londonderry, VT
- Craftsbury Outdoor Center in Craftsbury Common, VT
- Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, VT
- Blueberry Hill Outdoor Center in Goshen, VT
Fat Tire Biking
In Vermont, we don’t allow the snow and cold to stop us from riding our bikes. The fat tire bike has become common throughout our winter recreational landscape. A “fat bike” is an off-road bicycle with oversized tires, designed for low ground pressure to allow riding on soft, unstable terrain, such as snow, sand, and mud.
While the earliest versions of fat-tired bikes go back as far as early 1900s, the first modern versions were not developed until the late 1980s. If you don’t own one of these fun machines, there are plenty of places in the state where you can rent one and go for a ride. Here are a few suggestions:
- Catamount Outdoor Center in Williston, VT
- Kingdom Trails in East Burke, VT
- Ranch Camp in Stowe, VT
- Stratton Mountain Resort in Stratton, VT
- Woodstock Inn in Woodstock, VT
Stay Active This Winter
Whether you’re into the thrill of rushing downhill, the challenge of ascending a snowy peak, or just prefer taking quiet walks in the woods, we hope you’ll stay active this winter. It’s the best way to stay healthy and keep your spirits up. It also makes the winter months go by more quickly!