Steep Competition

By Sascha Zuger | |

Lots of ski resorts bill themselves as "four-season" retreats. SASCHA ZUGER checks out three peakside lodges to see how they measure up in summer.

SMUGGLERS’ NOTCH RESORT
4323 Rte. 108 S., Smugglers’ Notch, 802-644-8851, smuggs.com.

ALPINE HIGHS
Guided hikes are included in every stay. City slickers can borrow llamas to carry picnic lunches. Really.

WATERWAYS
The Lamoille River "Water & Wine" kayak tour stops at a vineyard post-paddle.

CHILD’S PLAY
At Summer Fun University, kids who hate bugs but love to jitter-bug can "minor" in Sound and Stage; outdoorsy tykes can choose Adventure and Games.

THE LOOK

(see photo at right)


STRATTON MOUNTAIN SKI RESORT
5 Village Lodge Rd., Stratton Mountain, 802-297-4100, stratton.com.

ALPINE HIGHS
The three-mile mountaintop Firetower hike has unparalleled views. The out-of-shape can ride the chairlift up.

WATERWAYS
The calm waters of West River are ideal for fly-fishing lessons or a group canoe.

CHILD’S PLAY
A teen grunge-style warehouse, the Wreck Center has an indoor skate park, air hockey, and a pool table.

THE LOOK

(see photo at right)

 

 

OKEMO MOUNTAIN RESORT
77 Okemo Ridge Rd., Ludlow, 802-228-1600, okemo.com.

ALPINE HIGHS
Resort trails are only so-so; it’s better to hike off-site. (Don’t worry, the staff will hand you area trail maps.)

WATERWAYS
Paddler-anglers dig the nearby Black River and its six-mile-long stretch of "trophy trout" fishing.

CHILD’S PLAY
Old-school Slip ‘n’ Slides still rule at Okemo, as do family-versus-family water balloon fights.

THE LOOK

(see photo at right)

THE VERDICT
It’s all about family fun at Smugglers’ Notch, so don’t go there expecting quiet romance. Okemo is the better bet for a bit of peace, while Stratton has the best village and ample nightlife.