Logo   Ski Resorts in Central Vermont
Central Vermont has a surprising variety of ski resorts—one for every style of skier from college kid to nostalgia-seeker.



Killington Ski Resort

Killington VT 05751
Vermont's largest and tallest, with 3050 ft (930 m) vertical drop, 200 downhill trails, 31 lifts (including a gondola), extensive snowmaking, terrain parks, and many off-slope dining and entertainment options.Killington Ski Resort, 15 miles (24 km) east of Rutland VT (map), is big!

From the summit of Killington Peak (4241 feet, 1293 meters), the vertical drop is over 3050 feet (957 meters)—the longest among New England ski resorts. Six other peaks—Skye, Ramshead, Snowdon, Bear Mountain, Sunrise Mountain and Pico Mountain—add to the fun. (Bear Mountain and Ranshead have terrain parks and halfpipes.)

There are 212 ski trails (92 miles/148 km), 250 inches (635 cm) of natural snow annually, and 1850 snow guns to generate more snow if nature disappoints.

To get you up the mountain there are 11 quad lifts (seven of them high-speed express), five triple lifts, three double lifts, seven surface lifts including three Magic Carpets, and three high-speed, heated express gondolas, all with a total capacity of more than 52,000 skiers per hour.

If that sounds like a mob scene, I must admit that it does get crowded, but also that it's a big mountain, well managed, and there does seem to be room for everyone.

Dozens of hotels and inns are available for lodging. More...

If you don't choose a ski package plan which includes room, meals, and lift tickets, Killington Resort has various packages just for the slopes, including special rates on lifts for two to seven days, or plans with which you get lifts and lessons for two to seven days at reduced rates, or all three—lifts, lessons, and equipment rentals—for one price.

At nearby Pico Mountain (pronounced "pie-ko"), the emphasis is on family skiing fun, with a 1967-foot vertical drop, 50 ski trails, and a variety of lifts. More...

Here's info on transportation to major ski resorts.

Killington Ski Resort
Tel 800-734-9435, 802-422-6200
4763 Killington Road
Killington VT 05751

Pico Mountain

Killington VT 05751
Once an independent peak, now part of the vast Killington Ski Resort, it offers a somewhat quieter, more easily comprehensible skiing experience.Pico Peak (3967 feet, 1209 meters), nine miles east of Rutland VT on US 4 (map), was opened to skiing in 1937.

Now a part of the huge Killington resort, Pico Mountain has a 1967-foot vertical drop, 50 ski trails, and six lifts (including two fast quads).

All trails end at the single large base lodge, making it an easy mountain to find your way around. As for lodging, here it is:


Pico Mountain Ski Resort
4763 Killington Road (map)
Killington VT 05751
Tel: 802-422-6200
Lodging: 866-667-7426
Snow Report: 802-422-1200

Mad River Glen

Waitsfield VT 05673
Preservationist co-op keeps this area traditional, uncrowded, "free of snowboarding," with 2037 ft (621 m) vertical drop, 45 trails, 5 lifts, "where skiing is a sport, not an industry."Mad River Glen, near Waitsfield VT (map), is for ardent, purist skiers, and is proud of it.

Big-time development changed most other ski resorts, but Mad River sees its role in life as being to maintain a 1950s ski resort spirit and challenge well into the 21st century.

Mad River Glen is owned by a skiers' cooperative of nearly 2000 members dedicated to preserving the ski area's uniqueness, and the natural beauty of the mountain.

"Ski it if you can" is the slogan here, and the challenge is accentuated by the annual Mad River Glen Triple Crown: an Unconventional Terrain competition (rocks, small jumps, steep slopes, even cliffs), the Vertical Challenge (only on the steepest, straightest trails), and the knee-punishing Mogul Challenge.

Telemark is big at Mad River Glen, and the annual North American Telemark Festival is held here each March.

You get a special feeling of accomplishment after a day on the slopes here, but it's not just for hard-bitten skiers: there are good kids' programs and lessons as well.

Where else can you find a single-chair ski lift? Mad River Glen had one of the first ski lifts in the USA (1947), and it's still in operation—the only single chair lift in the Lower 48 states.

Mad River skiers like it.

They like the contemplative 10-minute ride to the top of the mountain, and the fact that a single chair lift keeps the volume of skiers lower—more like the old days.

There are several other lifts (including two double chairs), and some snowmaking capability (50%), but the point is this: General Stark Mountain (3662 feet/1116 meters) is a challenging mountain (good mostly for experienced intermediate and expert skiers, but with some slopes for the less experienced), and it's kept that way for the joy of those who love the challenge.

Services such as trail grooming and patrols are minimal, the base lodge facilities are "primitive" by the current standards of the more highly-developed Vermont ski resorts, but all this only adds to the old-time atmosphere.

Though Mad River Glen has a terrain park, it's for skiers only. The facilities are not well adapted to snowboarding, and to keep the ski spirit intact, snowboarding is not allowed. If you want that, they suggest nearby Sugarbush. In fact, dedicated skiers can purchase ski packages that include lift tickets for both Sugarbush and Mad River Glen.

The vertical drop is 2,075 feet (632 meters), with 45 ski trails (8 green, 16 blue, 21 black), and four ski lifts (three double chairs and the famous old single-chair).

The preponderance of trails (4/5 of them) are for moderately well-trained or expert skiers, although the Birdland area is for novice and beginning-intermediate skiers.

Not up for skiing? Try snowshoeing on the miles of marked trails around General Stark Mountain.

Mad River Glen is west of VT Route 100, an easy drive along Route 17 from Waitsfield VT (map):

Bolton Valley Ski Resort: 45 miles (72 km) N, 1 hour

Boston MA: 180 miles (290 km) SE, 3.5 hours

Hartford CT: 196 miles (315 km) S, 3.75 hours

Montpelier VT: 32 miles (52 km) E, 50 minutes

New York City: 295 miles (475 km) S, 6 hours

Sugarbush Ski Resort: 10 miles (16 km) S, 20 minutes

Stowe Mountain Ski Resort: 40 miles (64 km) N, 1 hour

GMTA (Green Mountain Transit Agency) operates shuttle buses between Mad River Glen and the Lincoln Peak and Mount Ellen ski areas of Sugarbush Mountain Resort. More...

Mad River Glen has a ski shop, rental shop, a ski school, and a nursery.

Mad River Glen Ski Area
Mad River Resort Road, off Vt Route 17 (map)
Waitsfield VT 05673
Tel 802-496-3551

Middlebury College Snow Bowl

Middlebury VT 05753
Small, friendly college ski team area with 1050 ft (320 m) vertical drop, 15 trails, 3 lifts, and good affordable food.Maintained by nearby Middlebury College, the Middlebury College Snow Bowl (map) is open to the public, who mix easily with the college's Panthers ski team.

No condos, no commercialization! Only mountain scenery and friendly people, and only a 15-minute drive up into the Green Mountains from scenic Middlebury VT.

Despite its small scope, this is a satisfying, family-friendly ski area. Ski racing is a popular activity, and numerous champion skiers have honed their edges here since the first skiers came to these slopes in 1934 (when you had to hike to the top of the slope if you wanted to ski down).

The summit of Worth Mountain is 2750 feet (838 meters), the vertical drop is 1050 feet (320 meters). The 15 trails and three glades are served by three lifts: a triple and two doubles. Snowmaking covers 40% of the trails and glades.

Here are the nearest hotels, motels and inns:


Middlebury College Snow Bowl
Middlebury, VT 05753
Tel: 802-388-4356

Sugarbush Ski Resort

Warren VT 05674-9993
Varied resort with six interconnected 4000-ft peaks, 2600 ft (792 m) vertical drop, 115 downhill trails, 16 lifts, two snowparks, half-pipe.At Sugarbush Ski Resort in Warren VT (map), the slopes and trails come down 2600 feet (792 meters) from top to bottom—the third-longest vertical drop among New England ski resorts— and they're laid out so that close to half of them are rated as suitable for expert skiers, but the majority are for beginners and intermediates.

The southern Lincoln Peak (3975 feet/1212 meters) is the traditional center of downhill ski activity. From Lincoln Peak Base Lodge with its lodgings, a general store, casual and fine-dining restaurants, ski schools and equipment rentals, nine lifts wisk you around the rolling ridges, as well as to adjoining and Castlerock Peak just to the north (3812 feet/1162 meters)

Nearby Mad River Glen also participates with Sugarbush on some special lift-ticket packages that allow skiing at both resorts.

The Lincoln Limo is a 12-passenger "snow cat" tracked vehicle that can take you up the mountain for a sunset dinner at the summit restaurant, a chance to watch grooming operations, or for first-tracks at sunrise.

Mount Ellen's trails and slopes descend 2,600 feet (792 meters) from the summit to the Mount Ellen Base Area, and about half the runs are classed as good for the median-level skier. But a look at the mountain trail plan will show you that taking the 4-person chair lift to the top of Mount Ellen (elevation 4083 feet/1245 meters)—the highest lift in Vermont—will start you on some very long and pretty tricky runs. This is where the ski bums and wanna-be bums go for more adventurous skiing and riding.

Sugarbush Ski Resort Trail Map
Lincoln Peak to the left (south) and Mount Ellen to the right (north), with Castlerock Peak in between.

Lincoln Peak has 36 trails and slopes in all, and its altitude and northerly location usually a good amount of cover for a long season. Gadd Peak (3150 feet/960 meters) and Inverness Peak (2750 feet/838 meters) round out the skiing and snowboarding possibilities.

Lifts include five high-speed quads, five fixed-grip quads, two triples, one double, and three surface lifts—sixteen lifts in all, with an uphill capacity of 25,225. Rentals, instruction, and cross-country ski trails are all part of the establishment.

The ski school offers a ski-week "saturation skiing workshop," which claims to instruct students in centeredness and energy awareness as well as techniques on the slopes.

Getting There

GMTA (Green Mountain Transit Agency) operates shuttle buses between Lincoln Peak and Mount Ellen ski areas, and to Mad River Glen Ski Area. More...

Hotels & Inns

It's easy to find hotels and inns near Sugarbush. Here they are.


The air currents around Sugarbush make it good for soaring or gliding, and the Sugarbush Soaring Association can fill you in on getting airborne. Just so you'll know: you can qualify for solo glider flight in less than two weeks of good, full daily lessons and flights.

Sugarbush Ski Resort
1840 Sugarbush Access Road (map)
Warren VT 05674
Tel: 800-537-8427 or 802-583-6300
Fax: 802-583-6532

Saskadena Six Ski Resort

Woodstock VT 05091
Woodstock Inn's own small ski area, founded in 1937 as Suicide Six, has a 650 ft (198 m) vertical drop, 23 downhill trails, 3 lifts, half-pipe.As part of the Rockefeller-owned Woodstock Inn & Resort, Saskadena Six (formerly Suicide Six) has solid financial support, which is probably why it's been able to survive as a small, simple ski area in an age of mammoth resorts and wholesale condo-ization.

The ski area's name was changed to Saskadena in 2022.

Located in South Pomfret, Vermont (map), the town of Woodstock VT is only 3 miles away, and so everybody in town skis here: li'l kids, big kids, college students, couples, families and grandparents.

The vertical drop of 650 feet (198 meters) is not enormous, but the mountain's 23 trails served by three lifts hold a lot more fun that its modest height might seem to indicate.

No long treks through enormous parking lots, no complicated trail maps with multiple mountains—get out of your car, walk a few minutes, step onto your skis and go!

To find the ski area, follow signs in the town, which will lead you on a 10-minute drive north on Elm Street (VT Route 12), bearing right onto Pomfret Road, then left onto Stage Road to Saskadena Six (map).

Package plans are available through the Woodstock Inn; lessons and equipment can be had on the spot in the base lodge which also houses a ski rental shop, restaurant, and lounge (tel 802-457-1666).

In addition, the Woodstock Ski Touring Center, at the Woodstock Country Club, VT Route 106, Woodstock, VT 05091 (tel 802-457-2114), has nearly 50 miles of marked trails for skating and classic technique, plus equipment rental, cross-country ski shop, restaurant and lounge, lessons, ski tours, and midweek ski-free plans with the Woodstock Inn.

An indoor sports center is located a mile away and connects to X-C trails.

Saskadena Six Ski Area (map)
Woodstock Inn & Resort
14 The Green
Woodstock VT 05091-1298
Tel: 802-457-6661

—by Tom Brosnahan

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  Paris Girls Secret Society, the new novel by Tom Brosnahan


Ski school, Sugarbush Ski Resort, Vermont

Ski & Ride School in Warren VT
at Sugarbush Ski Resort.




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