When people ask me about good mountains for alpine skiing, I’ll often suggest places like Jay Peak, Sugarbush, Stowe or Bromley. For Nordic skiing, I’ll tell them to visit Trapp Family Lodge, Wild Wings or Ole’s Cross Country Ski Center. All good, right? Yes, except that my list has been missing two outstanding places.
Located on the Bread Loaf Campus of Middlebury College and bordering the Green Mountain National Forest and the Robert Frost Homestead, the Rikert Nordic Center in Ripton offers 42 kilometers of trails for cross-country skiers and snowshoers. A few miles to the east, the Middlebury College Snow Bowl has 17 trails, designated glades, and state-of-the-art snowmaking.
Both ski areas are owned and operated by Middlebury College, and the Snow Bowl has one of the only collegiate ski patrols in the country.
Middlebury Gap — Route 125 — is where you can access the Breadloaf Wilderness Area. The area was established by the Vermont Legislature in 1984, and it’s the largest protected wilderness area in the Green Mountain National Forest.
If you’re looking to ski alpine or Nordic and value a style that’s timeless, laid-back and pristine, get off the beaten path and head up to Route 125.