Central Vermont Places

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Waitsfield and Warren

Ski Areas

Blueberry Lake Cross Country and Snowshoeing Center. This ski area has 18 miles of trails through thickly wooded glades. 424 Plunkton Rd., East Warren, VT, 05673. 802/496–6687. www.blueberrylakeskivt.com.

Ole's. Ole's runs a popular cross-country center out of the tiny Warren Airport. It has 30 miles of groomed trails that fan out into the surrounding woods from the landing strip. 2355 Airport Rd., Warren, VT, 05674. 802/496–3430. olesxc.com.

Mad River Glen. A pristine alpine experience, Mad River attracts rugged individualists looking for less-polished terrain. The area was developed in the late 1940s and has changed relatively little since then. It remains one of only three resorts in the country that ban snowboarding. Mad River is steep, with natural slopes that follow the mountain's fall lines. The terrain changes constantly on the 45 interconnected trails, of which 33% are beginner, 27% are intermediate, and 41% are expert. Five lifts—including one of two surviving single chairlifts in the country—service the mountain's 2,037-foot vertical drop. Most of Mad River's trails are covered only by natural snow. The kids' ski school runs classes for little ones ages 4 to 12.

Known as the capital of free-heel skiing, Mad River Glen sponsors Telemark programs throughout the season. Every March, the North America Telemark Organization Festival attracts up to 1,400 visitors. Snowshoeing is also an option. There is a $5 fee to use the snowshoe trails, and rentals are available. Rte. 17, Waitsfield, VT, 05673. 802/496–3551; 802/496–2001 snow conditions. www.madriverglen.com.

Sugarbush. Sugarbush has remade itself as a true skier's mountain, with steep, natural snow glades and fall-line drops. Not as rough around the edges as Mad River Glen, Sugarbush also has well-groomed intermediate and beginner terrain. A computer-controlled system for snowmaking has increased coverage to 70%. At the base of the mountain are condominiums, restaurants, shops, bars, and a sports center.

Sugarbush is two distinct, connected mountain complexes connected by the Slide Brook Express quad. Lincoln Peak, with a vertical drop of 2,400 feet, is known for formidable steeps, especially on Castlerock. Mount Ellen has more beginner runs near the bottom, with steep fall-line pitches on the upper half of the 2,650 vertical feet. There are 111 trails in all: 22% beginner, 46% intermediate, 32% expert. The resort has 18 lifts: seven quads (including four high-speed versions), three triples, four doubles, and four surface lifts. There's half- and full-day instruction available for children ages 4 to 12 and supervised ski-and-ride programs for teens. Sugarbear Forest, a terrain garden, has fun bumps and jumps. 1840 Sugarbush Access Rd., accessible from Rte. 100 or 17, Warren, VT, 05674. 802/583–6300; 802/583–7669 snow conditions. www.sugarbush.com.

Sugarbush Health and Racquet Club. Open year-round, the Sugarbush Health and Racquet Club has cardio equipment and free weights; tennis, squash, and racquetball courts; a whirlpool, a sauna, and coed steam room; massage therapy; indoor and outdoor pools; a rock gym; and indoor golf lessons. Sugarbush, 1840 Sugarbush Access Rd., 05674. 802/583–6700.

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