Eric Hanson, Craftsbury Groomer, shares some of the secrets from the Greensboro Trails – a great choice if you’re looking for a lower key experience than our core trails.
The Craftsbury Outdoor Center maintains 30 km of ski trails in Greensboro plus another 15 km connector trail to Craftsbury Village and the Grand Tour. We took on the grooming of the trails when Highland Lodge scaled down their operations a few years ago to lodging only (rooms available along with use of the kitchen by you or caterer – contact them by phone 802-533-2647 or learn more online).
The Outdoor Center will be bustling this coming weekend with Eastern Cup, Super Tour, and the Dartmouth College Ski Carnival (Feb. 6-8). The races are only using the 5 km Race Course, so skiing out on Ruthies and Duck Pond will be much quieter. But if you want a totally different experience, drive over to Highland Lodge in Greensboro and start your ski there (parking located along the main road). On weekends, a great crew of volunteers keep a fire going in the warming hut. As the photos show, the scenery of Barr Hill and the Great Circle trail cannot be beat with vistas to Mt. Mansfield to the west and Burke to the East. We maintain the trails with a snowmachine groomer and do bring the larger Pisten Bully over occasionally as time permits. The trails are best for classic as conditions tend to be a bit softer and trails narrower, and if there is a wind, the trail might have blown-in snow. We try to have the connector trail well-packed for skating on weekends (but not guaranteed). A large percentage of the trails are in fields, so dress warmly if its windy. When it is sunny and calm however, almost nothing can compare.
Barr Hill area– a 2-3 km gradual climb from Highland Lodge for some of the best vistas.
Patmos/Allys Ally – stays a little lower down in the valley – best short ski of 5 km or so.
Easy Rider/Town/Beachhaven – From the top of Barr Hill, 3 km of long downhill descent toward Greensboro Village. Ski to town and go to Willeys Store. Return on Beachhaven along paralleling the main road back to the Lodge (an 8-10 km ski)
Great Circle – by far, my favorite ski in Vermont. 16 km of ups and downs, through fields and woods, where the scene changes dramatically every few kms.
Craftsbury Connector – a 21 km ski to the Craftsbury Outdoor Center. Make it about 28 km by skiing the Great Circle counterclockwise first.
Eric Hanson, COC groomer