Northern Vermont: Rewards After The Drive -

Bolton Valley, Burke Mountain, Cochran’s Ski Area, Jay Peak, Smugglers’ Notch Resort, and Stowe make up northern Vermont’s ski offerings.

In snow sports as in real estate, it’s all about location and skiers and riders can expect to be rewarded for a long drive by finding some of the best snow around. Folks also are impressed by the sheer pastoral beauty of this part of Vermont, where large farms still dominate broad river valleys, and rural roads wind their way narrowly up to ski resorts perched on the side of rugged mountains.

The lights of Montreal are visible to the north and west from the summit of Jay Peak on clear nights, a strong reminder that this northernmost of the Green Mountains is but a few miles from the Canadian border.

Jay invites Canadians to take the short drive south to ski and ride, and honors their money at par with U.S. dollars, most years a good deal for our neighbors to the north. The mix of languages you'll hear in the Base Lodge and on the tram lend a pleasant international flavor to a trip to Jay.

Bolton Valley is nestled at the head of its own valley north of I-89 between Route 100 and Burlington. It is modest in size but not in flavor, offering excellent fall line.

Burke is a big, no-frills mountain that many believe is the best-kept secret in the Northeast. Its huge bulk dominates the landscape of its region, and the mountain offers great trails and an old-time feel.

Cochran’s Ski Area has molded generations of top racers, and Olympic medalists, including four members of the resort’s founding family. Cochran’s is the nation’s first 501 (c)(3) (charitable non-profit) ski area.

Smugglers’ Notch has a well-deserved reputation as a family skiing area with a special emphasis on kids. Smuggs offers skiing on three mountains, with two major base areas.

Stowe, "Ski Capital of the East," is the perfect combination of ski area and ski town. History’s roots go deep here. Charles "Minnie" Dole and friends founded the National Ski Patrol at Stowe in 1938. Dole went on to persuade the Army to create the 10th Mountain Division, the famed mountain troops of World War II, and these troopers, in turn, recreated American skiing when they returned from war.

The old Mt. Mansfield Base Lodge is a historic structure where ghosts of the past mingle happily with the skiers and riders of today.

Stowe Winter Carnival offers something for everything. The Stowe Derby, by contrast, appeals to the primal urge to be best at a difficult challenge as skiers race 10 miles from the summit of Mt. Mansfield to the center of Stowe Village on a single pair of skis.

Stowe’s owners have launched an ambitious set of development projects that are reshaping and upgrading the amenities at this quintessential New England resort.

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