Skiing and Snowshoeing
There are many back country skiing and snowshoeing opportunities within the MNRA--either on well-marked trail or bushwhacking your way through the woods. Equipment rentals area available at the Blueberry Hill Outdoor Center. All trails are ungroomed. Recommended trails are below and these trailheads are also regularly plowed through the winter:
Also nearby is Middlebury College's Rikert Nordic Center, located on VT Route 125, Ripton. Rikert boasts 55+ km of skate and classic skiing, snowshoeing and fat biking. Lessons and rentals are available. Trails are marked and groomed regularly during the ski season, some covered by snow making for a long season of skiing. If you're interested in downhill skiing, the Middlebury College Snow Bowl is nearby.
The Catamount Trail is a unique skiing and snowshoe trail that travels the length of Vermont, with a section traversing the MNRA. For more information on the trail, contact the Catamount Trail Association.
Both snowshoeing and skiing are more physically demanding than hiking. Unless you are already familiar with these activities, you should begin with shorter trips and build your way up to longer trips. Make sure you are fully prepared before you go, including: know the weather forecast, dress in layers, bring food and water, a map and compass. There is not reliable cell phone coverage in MNRA. Read the US Forest Service's guides on snowshoeing and cross-country skiing for more information.
There are more than 15 miles of snowmobile trails in the MNRA which are maintained through a US Forest Service partnership with the Vermont Association of Snow Travelers (VAST) as part of its state-wide system. Maps of the official system are available at their web site and some area retailers.
These trails provide connectivity from VT Route 53 north to Silver Lake via the Minnie Baker Connector, Minnie Baker, Ridge, and Goshen Trails. From the Goshen Trail, snowmobile riders may travel the Silver Lake and Goshen Dam Trails east to Sugar Hill Reservoir and the Chatfield parking lot near VT Route 125. Riders may also travel the Silver Lake Trail northwest to VT Route 53 near Lake Dunmore.