Snowshoeing – Vermont
Head to Stowe Mountain Lodge's in-house spa and treat yourself to a fifty-minute therapeutic sports massage ($145).
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Adventure Rating: 2
There’s a bit of an art to snowshoeing: leaning back when walking downhill, digging in with your front spikes when walking uphill, and using your poles to balance you. Newcomers should wait for a fresh snow and put their faith in Stowe Mountain Lodge’s Adventure Team, which will get you suited up and patiently train you. To find the Adventure Team—or anything else in the resort or the city of Stowe — visit the lodge’s ever-helpful concierge, Peter Mix, who is typically perched near the lobby entrance. (You’ll know him by his trademark Fair Isle sweater.)
Before you head out, pack a few granola bars, because even a half-hour excursion makes for a solid workout. Even though you’ll have a guide at hand, you can choose your own path, so if you decide to take it easy, you could bring the kids along. If you’re lucky, you may even see a few bear tracks as you make your way through the small gorges and over a nearby stream. Whatever your path, you’ll be treated to magnificent views of Mount Mansfield, the highest mountain in Vermont. And that’s the real payoff with snowshoeing in Stowe: it lets you enjoy those idyllic winter scenes that would be otherwise inaccessible unless you want to trudge through waist-high drifts in just your Timberlands. Stowe Mountain Lodge will arrange. $45 per person, scheduled tours. Private tours start at $60 per person.
Where to Stay
Every good workout needs a reward. Head to Stowe Mountain Lodge’s in-house spa and treat yourself to a fifty-minute therapeutic sports massage ($145). For dinner, don’t miss the farm-to-plate offerings at Solstice, the lodge’s main restaurant. The wait staff will be able to tell you the name of the farm your steak came from and can offer you sound advice when choosing between the local brews. Be sure to try an Hourglass Ale, a light-bodied concoction brewed specifically for the resort. You may want to take one with you to the lobby and find a seat in front of one of the massive fireplaces. It’s the perfect spot to take in the resort’s perfect balance of earthy, green design — lots of wood and natural stone — and high-end luxury. Rooms from $259-$309 per night, stowemountainlodge.com
Need More Adventure?
Skiing: If you never got past the bunny slope, stick to the trails on Spruce Peak. Seasoned vets take the gondola up to Mount Mansfield. Adult day pass, $57-$89.
Ice Climbing: Scaling giant hanging masses of ice floe may look like a pros-only challenge, but courses are available for even the novice. Starting at $285, Petra Cliffs. (Reservations can be booked through the Alpine Concierge at the Stowe Mountain Resort.)
MUST HAVE GEAR Oakley Radar Pitch sport sunglasses. These lightweight shades with 100 percent UV filter can keep the snow glare from ruining the view. Available at oakley.com for $155-$205.