Skiing through the trees at Stowe, Vermont. Photo Credit: Zach Walbridge.
Skiing through the trees at Stowe, Vermont. Photo Credit: Zach Walbridge.
Snowshoeing is an easy way to get outside and enjoy nature. Photo Credit: Atlas Snowshoes.
Snowshoeing is an easy way to get outside and enjoy nature. Photo Credit: Atlas Snowshoes.

With COVID-19 safety guidelines and travel restrictions, winter is looking very different this year in Vermont. Since not many people can travel and are staying home, there's been a huge uptick in people venturing outside and discovering what their backyard has to offer. Outdoor activity is a great way to get exercise, de-stress and spend time with your household. More people getting outside is great news! However, the influx is a concern because of the strain on natural resources. Services such as ski resorts and search and rescue will also be effected. With this resource guide, our goal is to provide some ideas to getting you outside in a new way, while offering other options for people to check out, in order to spread people out in any given area.


Since we already know that ski resort offerings such as lodging and chair capacity will be limited this season, it might not be the year to hit the resorts every weekend like you are used to (click here to read up on the guidelines). It will, however be a great opportunity to try a new winter activity such as cross country skiing, backcountry touring, snowshoeing and winter hiking.


We encourage you to use this guide to find new ways of getting outside. Get educated, especially if you are going to venture into the backcountry; know before you go and share your knowledge with others. Nature is for everyone and we all share the job of making it comfortable and welcoming to others, as well as sustaining its natural habitats and beauty. As a reminder, please support the organizations (many are listed below) that maintain areas and trails in Vermont and provide educational resources.


Cross country skiing with your kids can be fun! Photo Credit: Zach Walbridge.
Cross country skiing with your kids can be fun! Photo Credit: Zach Walbridge.

1. General Vermont Guides

  • VT SKI + RIDE: your guide to Vermont’s mountain sports and life. VT SKI + RIDE report on the latest news in Vermont’s mountain towns and resorts, cover the amazing adventures our state offers, and share the beauty of our mountains in every season.They also provide expert advice on everything from great places to stay, local brews and bars and fun family fun, to expert tips on skiing and riding and epic backcountry adventures. Skirack's own Doug Stewart is a columnist for VT SKI + RIDE.

    New this year, in addition to their website, e-newsletter and social media platforms,VT SKI + RIDE publishes a glossy, four-color print magazine four times a year with special editions for Fall (Sept. 15 –Nov. 15), Holiday (Nov. 15-Jan. 15), Winter Adventures (Jan. 15-Mar. 15) and Mountain Summer (Mar. 15-Sept. 15).

  • Vermont Sports Magazine: Vermont is New England’s playground and Vermont Sports is the largest outdoor magazine in the Northeast. Like a regional Outside Magazine, Vermont Sports covers everything from running and cycling to backcountry skiing and ice climbing. Their issues have regular columns on gear, health and fitness, news, travel and the most extensive calendar of outdoor activities and sporting events in the state. They’ve been around for more than 30 years and our content is now available on print, digital, e-newsletter and social media platforms

  • Seven Day’s Staytripper: this free newspaper has created a great resource guide for rediscovering Vermont this summer into winter called Staytripper. The guide has something for everyone. Grab a new issue every Wednesday or check online for regular updates.

  • Vermont Tourism: plan your Vermont vacation, find travel ideas, trip inspiration and additional outdoor recreation resources.

  • Vermont.com: a privately-owned web portal, promoting businesses, recreation and events in the State of Vermont.


Cross country skiing at Craftsbury Outdoor Center, Vermont. Photo Credit: Zach Walbridge.
Cross country skiing at Craftsbury Outdoor Center, Vermont. Photo Credit: Zach Walbridge.

2. Kid / Family Resources

  • KidsVT.com: Vermont's only parenting magazine, a reliable resource for family-friendly events, activities, camps and classes since 1994. Find tips on health, fitness, food, shopping, books, crafts and more. This free, monthly magazine is available at more than 600 locations in northern and central Vermont.



3. Cross Country Skiing / Snowshoeing


  • XCountrySki.com: more than a decade of cross country ski reporting in Vermont


4. Hiking / Walking / Trail Running / Snowshoeing


  • FindAndGoSeek.com: is a fun and easy way to search, discover and talk about what's great to do in Vermont.

  • AllTrails.com: provides trail info, maps, detailed reviews, and photos curated by millions of hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you.


Snowshoeing is a great way to get outside this winter. Photo Credit: Louis Garneau.
Exploring the woods on snowshoes after snowfall. Photo Credit: Louis Garneau.

5. Skirack Favorites: Cross Country Skiing / Snowshoeing / Walking / Trail Running (and more)


6. Downhill Skiing / Snowboarding


  • OnTheSnow.com: find the latest snow reports for Vermont mountains, updated daily throughout the winter season with new snow totals for the last day or three days.


Skiing through the woods at Stowe, Vermont. Photo Credit: Zach Walbridge.
Skiing through the woods at Stowe, Vermont. Photo Credit: Zach Walbridge.

7. Backcountry: Alpine Touring / Splitboarding

  • Catamount Trail Association: works to expand access to Vermont’s backcountry through stewarding the Catamount Trail and a growing network of world-class backcountry terrain, protect access to the mountain lands that support backcountry recreation through conservation easements and the acquisition of public land and pioneer programs to expand equitable access to skiing so that everyone can enjoy our sport, regardless of their income or background. Click here to become a member.

  • Skivermont.com: some Vermont ski resorts offer uphill travel, which is a great way to get out and earn some turns, especially if you are a beginner. When making plans to skin up at a resort, make sure you read over their uphill travel policies and follow them.

  • Bolton Valley Backcountry Guiding and Instruction: hands-on skill-based clinics designed to familiarize skiers and riders with backcountry-specific touring equipment and provide a general overview of safe and practical wilderness travel techniques specific to Vermont winters.


8. Backcountry: Safety and Avalanche Preparedness: you can't talk about the backcountry without talking about safety and avalanche preparedness. Since many resorts will have limited capacity and lodge accommodations this year, more people will be seeking to earn their turns instead. As mentioned previously, this is a concern because it puts a stress on Vermont Search and Rescue Operations as well as natural resources. We at Skirack have seen a sharp increase in backcountry gear sales already, which is great for us. However, our job is not just to make a sale - we need to also help educate our customers and community before they venture out. Keep an eye out for future blog and social posts on this topic.

Alpine touring at Stowe, Vermont. Photo Credit: Zach Walbridge.
Alpine touring at Stowe, Vermont. Photo Credit: Zach Walbridge.


  • Backcountry Magazine: each issue of Backcountry is packed with high-definition photography and stories, trusted avalanche safety skills and reliable, unbiased gear reviews. This magazine covers many areas, but they are based in Jeffersonville, VT. We highly recommend supporting them and subscribing to their informative magazine.

  • Petra Cliffs: focuses on climbing and mountain-related education and recreation, accessible to all ages and abilities.


Biking after a fresh snow. Photo Credit: Zach Walbridge.
Biking after a fresh snow. Photo Credit: Zach Walbridge.

9. Biking

  • Local Motion: currently based in Burlington, Local Motion’s mission is to bring walking and biking within reach for all Vermonters. You can find biking (and walking) routes around Vermont on their website and printed maps at their physical location.



Adaptive skiing in Vermont. Photo Credit: Vermont Adaptive.
Adaptive skiing in Vermont. Photo Credit: Vermont Adaptive.

10. Adaptive Sports


  • Kelly Brush Foundation: mission is to inspire and empower people with spinal cord injuries to lead active and engaged lives.



11. The Seven Days Vermont Restaurant / Local Business Guides

We are including restaurants and local businesses to this guide because as you travel to new Vermont areas to recreate, please make an effort to dine or shop with them. Spending locally keeps the dollars in the state and helps the economy. This could be a simple ice cream or souvenir; and if you prefer to not go inside - get some takeout or shop using curbside pickup, online (if available) or purchase a gift card. Word of mouth is very important - so tell your friends, share on social media and write a Google review.


  • The Register Local Business Guide: searchable by region, cuisine and type of business. The focus of this guide is locally owned businesses, but some larger chains are mixed in.