Published: November 2009
Wild Roads: Vermont's Northeast Passage
Wild Roads Vermont: A drive along Vermont's Route 100 is a trip through winter spots history - 13 skiable peaks and acres of cross-country glades included.
Text by Ryan Bradley

In a mere 150 miles Vermont’s Route 100 delivers 13 ski-ready peaks, hundreds of acres of XC glades, and a front-seat view of America’s long-standing obsession with winter sports. The first rope tow (predecessor to the ski lift) made its U.S. debut near the Green Mountains, and modern snowboarding was invented in Londonderry by a dude named Jake Carpenter, aka Jake Burton. Adventure in the land where winter legends were made? Now that’s a road trip.

Day 1

North of Wilmington is where the real peak country begins. VT 100 winds past 3,424-foot Haystack, then 3,583-foot Mount Snow, but park at Stratton, known throughout the Northeast for its classic glades—particularly Shredwood Forest and Kidderbrook Ravine, nicely thinned out for the winter. Nearby is the Red Fox Inn, a converted barn that sometimes hosts live bluegrass ($120; redfoxinn.com).

Day 2

XC-ers should book it to the Trapp Family Lodge, four hours away from the Red Fox, for its 62-mile network of world-renowned trails (trappfamily.com). Boarders should break for Killington and The Stash, a terrain park that Mr. Burton himself helped design (ridekillington.com).

Day 3

No VT 100 road trip would be complete without a stop at Stowe, a small town with a serious ski problem. Wedged in the shadow of Vermont’s highest peak (4,393-foot Mount Mansfield), Stowe’s got the longest runs in the East and has been undergoing a major face-lift, including the new Stowe Mountain Lodge: luxurious, ultra-green, and right on the slopes (doubles from $259; stowemountainlodge.com). A perfect Stowe day begins with the Hayride and Tres Amigos, and ends with tacos at Frida’s Taqueria and Grill (fridastaqueria.com).