Vermont

10 Beautiful Spots for Snowshoeing in Vermont

by Holly Riddle
Updated October 20, 2022

snowshoe in vermont
Views from Mount Mansfield. Photo: Bob Manley

Vermont may be most well known for its skiing, but that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck if the slopes aren’t your scene come winter.

Snowshoeing trails are plentiful in Vermont, both near and far from the slopes, at some of Vermont’s best resorts and even close to its bustling cities, like Burlington.

Many snowshoeing locations are also additionally good fits for cross-country skiing, making them an ideal spot for fun if you’re traveling with another outdoor adventurer who just prefers their ski boots.

So, where can you go for snowshoeing in Vermont? Here are 10 of our favorite spots.

1. Blueberry Hill Outdoor Center

Why you should go: Tons of amenities and lots to do.

  • Nearest Town: Goshen
  • Difficulty: Mostly moderate
  • Distance: More than 30 miles of trails total

Blueberry Hill Outdoor Center in northern Vermont is renowned for its multitude of all-seasons sports. You can hike, mountain bike, cross-country ski, snowshoe, snowmobile and more. The center offers a range of amenities, too, beyond just the terrain, including camping options and trail lunches. Snowshoe rentals are also available and all trails on the property are suitable for snowshoeing.

If you arrive and find that the snow’s not yet deep enough for snowshoes, you can rent micro spikes for a similar fee, or adult-sized skis, if that’s your preference. On top of all this goodness, trail entry is free, though donations are welcome.

Related read: 10 Best Hikes in Vermont for Woodsy Explorations

2. Colchester Causeway

 

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Why you should go: Views of the Adirondacks from Lake Champlain

  • Nearest Town: Colchester
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Distance: 10.9 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 111 feet

The Colchester Causeway trail is easy, even if it is nearly 11 miles long, because it’s primarily flat. The popular trail was once a railway track that extended into Lake Champlain, but now the small strip of land welcomes adventurers of all types with its magnificent views of the water on both sides, as well as views of the Adirondacks in adjacent New York State.

If the ice is thick enough during your visit (and if you’re experienced — don’t try this if you’re unsure at all), then you can snowshoe off the causeway trail and out onto the frozen lake. Keep your eyes peeled for the lake’s ice fishers and dress a little warmer than you might think is needed — the lake winds are particularly rough in the winter.

3. Sunset Ridge and Long Trail Loop

 

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Why you should go: If you’re looking for a challenge, you’ll find it

  • Nearest Town: Underhill Center
  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Distance: 5.9 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 2,687 feet

If you’ve already snowshoed your fair share of flat trails, have started getting into some snowshoeing with real elevation gain and are looking for a challenge, try this nearly six-mile loop trail with some admirable height. For all your hard work, you’ll get some amazing panoramic views and, if you visit on the right day during the winter, you might just have them all to yourself.

Hikers who’ve experienced the Sunset Ridge and Long Trail Loop in past winters do warn that, sometimes, the snow isn’t deep enough to warrant snowshoes, so bring along your micro spikes if you have your heart set on reaching the summit; additionally, winds at the top can be a little harsh, so dress accordingly.

Related read: These 8 Incredible Vermont Scenic Drives Are Beautiful Any Time of Year

4. Mountain Top Inn & Resort Nordic Center

Why you should go: Resort amenities aplenty

  • Nearest Town: Chittenden
  • Difficulty: Easy to hard
  • Distance: Nearly 40 miles of snowshoeing-specific trails

The Mountain Top Inn & Resort’s Nordic Center is known as Vermont’s longest-running cross-country ski center that’s also open to the public. As such, you’ll benefit from the center’s decades of experience and its many amenities, including gear rentals and classes, in case you’re new to this whole snowshoeing thing.

The facilities are top-notch and you don’t even need to be a guest at the resort to enjoy them. Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, sleigh rides and ice skating are all available to the public — though if you want to enjoy the sauna, hot tub and sledding hill, you can simply book an overnight stay!

Even if you don’t plan on a stay, consider popping into the resort’s pub or restaurant for a warming meal after an afternoon spent out in the snow.

5. Ethan Allen Homestead

 

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Why you should go: Snowshoeing in the city

  • Nearest Town: Burlington
  • Distance: 4 miles of trails
  • Difficulty: Easy

If you’re visiting Burlington and don’t have a ton of time to get away from the city, but still want to get in a little snowshoeing, head to the Ethan Allen Homestead, which not only offers a range of landscapes over four miles of trails, but also a historic farmhouse.

The 1787 Ethan Allen home also includes a museum, which is worth a visit as well if you’d like to explore some area history. The trails are also suitable for cross-country skiing.

Related read: 11 Best Places to Snowshoe in New Hampshire

6. Bolton Valley Resort

 

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Why you should go: Near-endless room to explore

  • Nearest Town: Bolton Valley
  • Difficulty: Easy to hard
  • Distance: More than 62 miles of trails, including nearly 10 miles of groomed trails

Yes, Bolton Valley Resort is a typical ski destination first, but the resort also offers snowshoeing, split boarding, back country skiing, cross-country skiing, winter fat biking and an indoor bike and skate park, too.

Explore the nearly 10 miles of groomed trails or, if you want to get off the beaten path, try the larger full Nordic trail system, or even get out into the Bolton Backcountry, which stretches across 1,500 acres and is next door to Mount Mansfield State Forest, as part of one of the largest wilderness areas in the state.

You can rent snowshoes on-site and also take a lesson, if needed.

7. Camel’s Hump Loop via Burrow Trail

 

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Why you should go: One of Vermont’s most iconic mountains

  • Nearest Town: Huntington
  • Distance: 5.5 miles
  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Elevation Gain: 2,414 feet

You can see the Camel’s Hump of Vermont from all up and down Lake Champlain, across the lake in New York and in a large area of northern Vermont. While this mountain is most well known as a hiking destination in the summer, it can also be summited via snowshoes in the winter if you take the right trail, such as Camel’s Hump Loop via the Burrow Trail.

As is the case when summiting many mountains in the winter months, it’s advised you bring not just your snowshoes, but also micro spikes as well, just in case the trail is more icy than snowy, or in case other foot traffic has packed down the snow to a substantial degree.

Related read: 10 Autumn Activities in Vermont for a Full Fall Experience

8. Catamount Trail

Why you should go: A unique trail that runs the length of the entire state

  • Distance: 300 miles
  • Difficulty: Hard

Vermont’s Catamount Trail was created as a Nordic ski trail over the span of more than two decades before finally being completed in 2008.

It runs 300 miles, from the north to the south of Vermont, and it welcomes thousands of outdoor enthusiasts each winter. While you might not be able to take on the full 300 miles, you can still try to snowshoe or cross-country ski your way through one of the trail’s more than 30 individual sections.

Need a little guidance? You can book multi-day tours of the trail, as well as single-day tours, and the Catamount Trail Association hosts a range of wintertime festivities and events each year.

9. Trapp Family Lodge

Why you should go: An alpine-inspired setting with musical flair

  • Nearest Town: Stowe
  • Distance: More than 60 miles of trails

The Trapp Family Lodge — yes, owned and still overseen by The Sound of Music’s very own — is an experience in of itself. However, beyond just taking in the alpine-inspired setting, the lodge also offers a range of activities for visitors and guests alike.

The lodge’s cross-country ski center was the very first in the entire country and remains the largest such center in Stowe. Beyond the cross-country skiing, though, the center also offers snowshoeing.

You can purchase either a single-day pass to the center or a season pass. Rentals are also available, as are group snowshoeing tours. More than 60 miles of trails stretch out across 2,500 acres.

Related read: 10 Supremely Secluded Cabin Rentals in Vermont

10. Smugglers’ Notch Nordic Ski & Snowshoe Adventure Center

Why you should go: Wintertime fun for beginners and experts

  • Nearest Town: Jeffersonville
  • Difficulty: Easy to hard
  • Distance: Nearly 20 miles of dedicated trails

If you’re looking for a snowshoeing destination that will appeal to both the brand-new beginners in your crew, as well as the experts, you’re going to want to try Smugglers’ Notch Nordic Ski & Snowshoe Adventure Center.

The center offers snowshoeing programming from December to April, with trails for every skill level (and if you’re not into snowshoeing, there’s also cross-country skiing and ice skating available on site).

While the experts in your group will be left to explore off the beaten path on their own, the beginners will get special attention, with gear rentals, group lessons, private lessons and more. The center also participates in the annual Winter Trails Day, during which the team provides free clinics and rentals to newbies.

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