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Cold Weather Things to Do (October to April)

Snow, snow, snow: if there is not a lot here in the valley, then look in the mountains!

We can get up to 120 inches of snowfall annually and the average temperature is around 22 degrees Fahrenheit, making it a great place to ski, snowshoe, or snowboard. 

The Middlebury College Snow Bowl is an excellent location for great family skiing offering terrain for all skill levels. But if you want big mountain, Mad River Glen, Sugarbush, Okemo, Pico, or Killington are less than an hour’s drive away.

Snowshoeing & Cross Country Skiing

Vermont features many cross country ski areas. Twelve miles from Swift House Inn is Middlebury College’s Rikert Nordic Center. The Center provides a winter recreation area for enthusiasts wanting to cross country ski, fat bike, or snowshoe. Located adjacent to the Moosalamoo National Recreation Area and the Green Mountain National Forest, offering unspoiled natural beauty, the Nordic Center offers 55 kilometers of prepared trails, both picturesque and challenging, for every level of ability and several kilometers of snow making. A short distance from the Rikert Center is the Blueberry Hill Cross Country Center, which offers 50 kilometers of ungroomed trails. Both centers have a pro shop, rentals, and lessons. Even if you’ve never enjoyed the beauty and serenity of winter in Vermont, these centers are the perfect place to start.

Middlebury College’s Rikert Nordic Center

Groomed trails. Ski shop, rentals, lessons. Bread Loaf, VT. Information 802-443-2744.

Blueberry Hill Cross Country Ski Center

50 kilometers of ungroomed trails. Ski shop, rentals, and lessons. Goshen, VT. Information 802-247-6535.

Downhill Skiing

The mountains of the East Coast receive more than 300 inches of snow a year, so plan a Vermont ski vacation this winter. Swift House Inn offers an “off-the-mountain” Vermont village setting, which is close to many ski areas.

Just 13 miles from the Inn in the Green Mountain National Forest at the top of the Gap is Middlebury College’s Snow Bowl. This is a quiet, inexpensive, family-oriented ski area. If you don’t need a “big mountain” to challenge you, then this is an ideal spot, with well-groomed trails, glades, and slopes that are not crowded. Need a bigger challenge? Then head to Sugarbush or Mad River Glen, which are within 35 miles of Middlebury.

Some of the better-known ski areas like Killington and Stowe are within 50 miles.

Bolton Valley

Richmond, VT. Information 802-434-3444.

Bromley Mountain Resort

Peru, VT. Information 802-824-5522.

Burke Mountain

East Burke, VT. Information 802-626-7300.

Jay Peak

Jay Peak, VT. Information 800-451-4449.

Killington / Pico

Killington, VT. Information 800-621-MTNS.

Mad River Glen

Waitsfield, VT. Information 802-496-3551.

Middlebury College’s Snow Bowl

Hancock, VT. Ideal for novice and expert; provides two double and one triple chair lifts, and snowmaking. PSIA ski school, rentals, repair shop, snack bar. Information and Ski Reports 802-443-7669.

Mount Snow Resort

West Dover, VT. Information 800-245-SNOW.

Okemo Mountain Resort

Ludlow, VT. Information 802-228-1600.

Smuggler’s Notch Resort

Jeffersonville, VT. Information 800-419-4615.

Stowe Mountain Resort

Stowe, VT. Information 888-253-4849.

Stratton Mountain Resort

Stratton Mountain, VT. Information 800-STRATTON.

Sugarbush Resort

Warren, VT. Information 800-53-SUGAR.

Suicide Six

Pomfret, VT. Information 802-457-6661.

Photo by Patrick Palmer at Thornapple Farms

Sleigh Riding

There is something romantic about staying at a Vermont inn and taking a horse-drawn sleigh ride. Plan to spend the holidays or a winter getaway at Swift House Inn, and choose from the following providers for that special sleigh ride through a winter wonderland of snow-covered pastures or mountains.

Thornapple Farm

Middlebury,  Information 802-388-6232.

Mountain Valley Farm

Waitsfield, VT. Information 802-496-9255

Top of the Hollow Farm

Orwell, VT. Information 802-948-2174

Shelburne Farms

Shelburne, VT. Weekends only. Information 802-985-8442

snowmobile in the forest


Enjoy Vermont snowmobiling when you spend a winter vacation at Swift House Inn. Contact one of Snowmobile Vermont’s locations for more information on rentals and guided tours.

Ice Skating

When you spend a winter vacation at Swift House Inn, you may be interested in an ice skating facility:

Memorial Sports Center

Middlebury. Call for hours 802-388-1238.