If there’s one thing that the Northeast Kingdom is famous for it’s winter events and activities.
Winter often lingers around a bit longer in the northern regions of Vermont, to the delight of winter sports enthusiasts. Island Pond is well known as the “snowmobiling capital of the northeast” for very good reasons. Discover just a few of the activities and things you can do to enjoy winter in the Northeast Kingdom.
Adult Sports & Programs
Newport Parks & Recreation believes in healthy and active lifestyles for all ages. Adult programs are hosted in partnership with community organizations and volunteers who have a passion to share. Check out this page for more information and the programs offered.
The Northeast Kingdom offers some fantastic opportunities for sledding with VAST trails and clubs in just about every town. You can purchase trail passes online, take part in VAST events and safety courses and much more.
Downhill ski and snowboard deals
Affordable family skiing, just 40 minutes from Newport. Budget priced Tuesdays and Wednesdays are only $25 instead of $58.
Burke Mountain has some great 2019 lift ticket deals
2019 Ski/Ride Club Appreciation Weekends. Are you a member of a ski or snowboard club? Awesome! Burke Mountain has some special weekends set aside for you where you can purchase cheap lift tickets. More great lift ticket discounts available here.
Cross Country Skiing and Fat Biking in the Northeast Kingdom
Memphremagog Ski Touring Foundation grooms about 40 km (24 miles) of cross-country ski trails at the southeast end of Lake Memphremagog. All the trails are groomed for skating, including 20 km that are groomed for both classic and skating. The trail system is composed of 20 km loop connecting the Beebe Spur Rail Trail (bike path) along the lake shore, the Primeau Loops and the Quarry Loops. The Derby Connector is an additional 15 km (out and back) option. Check out trail maps for the Bluff Farm Trail, Eastern and Western trail maps.
For cross country skiing south of the Newport area, check out Kingdom Trails
Lyndonville’s Darling Hill, said to be the “prettiest mile in Vermont”, has 15 kilometers of skating and classic trails that wind through field and forest. You can’t beat the vista from these trails, looking out at Willoughby Gap as you tour next to historic barns, quaint inns and majestic Victorian houses. The Nordic Adventure Center is located at 2059 Darling Hill Road and the building is a yurt- a round tent originating in the middle east.
The Craftsbury Outdoor Center also offers some spectacular cross country skiing as well. Check out their nordic skiing and fat biking trails.
Winter Fat Biking/Snowshoe Trails can also be found at Kingdom Trails
Encouraged by the growing popularity of winter biking you will find a selection of trails to get out there and pedal a fat bike in the snow. This year, they are snowmobile and snowshoe packing the entire network of single track mountain biking trails on the East Side of Darling Hill as well as a portion of the West Side. Summertime favorites such as Pines, Ridge to Rim, and Riverwood can be enjoyed on your bike all winter long now too!!!
2019 Ice Skating, Pond Hockey and Winter swims
Kingdom Games in Newport, VT has a full slate of Winter events planned, including the Memphremagog Women’s Pond Hockey Tournament on February 9th and 10th. Followed by the Memphremagog Winter Swim Festival on February 22 to 24. Enjoy the Memphremagog Ice Skating Festival on March 2-3, 2019.
Newport’s Gardner Park offers access to Winter ice rinks. From December to March, locals and visitors flock to Gardner Park and the “Skate Shack” to enjoy beautiful ice rinks, free skate rentals, hot cocoa and restrooms. The park features 3 separate ice surfaces connected by frozen skating paths. The contained Hockey Rink is open for casual stick and puck while the Rec Rink on the south end offers public skating. Weather permitting, open areas and trails on the lake are also maintained for natural skating in the bay. During the winter, the rinks are open Monday-Friday 3:00 – 9:00PM, and weekends Noon-9:00PM.
Some really unique Winter activities…
Dog Sledding Adventures
For a unique experience, check out dog sledding. Kids of all ages will get a thrill leading a team of sled dogs through the beautiful white landscape of a Northeast Kingdom winter. Montgomery Adventures by Mountain Haven Sled Dogs offers sled dog tours for all ages and price ranges. You can even try your hand at being a musher with the help of a pro or enjoy a Moonlit Tour. Of course, there’s hot cocoa and biscuits (for the pups) afterwards.
Ice Climbing at Lake Willoughby
For the more adventurous in spirit, check out ice climbing on the cliffs of Mt Pisgah at Lake Willoughby. Get instruction in rock and ice climbing, mountaineering and much more. You can checkout rates for learning to ice climb and more at Kingdom Adventures Mountain Guides.