Itineraries: Thrills

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VERMONT

SOUTHERN VERMONT

Hogback Mountain

The 100-mile view from Hogback’s scenic overlook is the ultimate autumn reward, offering colorful vistas. But you can stop by during any season—the gift shop is open year-round and the view is always spectacular. Rte. 9, Marlboro, 802-464-5494.

Stratton Mountain Resort

Stratton is a wintry haven, boasting nearly 600 acres of terrain for skiers and snowboard enthusiasts. Snowboarding was, in fact, invented here, and the U.S. Snowboard Open is still held at the resort every March. Skiers can choose from plenty of slopes accessible from the high-speed gondola or 13 other lifts stationed around the mountain. Stratton Mountain Rd., Bondville, 800-787-2886, stratton.com.

SOUTH CENTRAL VERMONT

Killington Resort

Anyone who has ever shredded the slopes knows that there are a few key necessities to any good ski mountain: a variety of skill levels, terrain parks, places to chow, and speedy chairlifts. Killington’s got it covered—1,215 skiable acres, a 430-foot Superpipe, three heated gondolas, and plenty of dining options makes the Northeast’s largest resort worthy of its title. During summer months, alpine and water slides, golf, biking, and hiking allow you to pass the time until the snow falls again. 4763 Killington Rd., Killington, 802-422-6200, killington.com.

Mud Pond Loop

The trails circling Randolph were home to the first New England Mountain Biking Festival. The 12-mile Mud Pond Loop is one sweet chunk of bucolic trail riding, lined with endless acres of rich farmland. Trail maps are available at the local Three Stallion Inn. 665 Stock Farm Rd., Randolph, 802-728-5575, 3stallioninn.com.

Quechee Gorge

Conjuring images of Colorado or the Alps, the plunging 165-foot-deep gorge cut by the Ottauquechee River is as unexpected as it is inspiring. A hiking trail leads the intrepid down the sides of the 13,000-year-old natural feature; alternatively, take it in from the pedestrian walkway that flies to dizzying heights along the highway. Rte. 4, Quechee

NORTHWESTERN VERMONT

Burlington Bike Path

Burlington has always had a funky, outdoorsy vibe, nowhere more so than the eight-mile network of paths that runs along Lake Champlain. Located on the route, Local Motion rents bikes and offers maps to this and several hundred more miles of bike trails around the lake. One Steele St., Ste. 103, Burlington, 802-652-2453, localmotionvt.org.

 

NORTHEAST KINGDOM VERMONT

Kingdom Trails

Created by a group of local mountain bikers who secured the permission of 42 landowners, the 100-mile network of Kingdom Trails winds through unspoiled fields, farms, streambeds, and woodlands for the ultimate off-road biking experience. Rte. 114, East Burke, 802-626-0737, kingdomtrails.org.

Jay Peak  

Up in the Northeast Kingdom, just shy of Canada, Jay rewards those willing to make the trek with some of the best skiing in New England. Buried in fresh powder every year, the mountain is kept virtually deserted by virtue of the four-hour drive from Boston. The 60 runs, two peaks, and a ski-anything-in-bounds policy (read: stellar glade skiing) attract telemark and alpine skiers.
4850 Rte. 242, Jay, 802-988-2611, jaypeakresort.com.