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The Trapp Family Lodge is a one of a few of our favorite things. Credit: Trapp Family Lodge
The Trapp Family Lodge, near Stowe, VT,  is a one of a few of our favorite things.
Credit: Trapp Family Lodge

The Hills Are Alive With The Sound Of Senior Skiers.

In 1968 Johannes von Trapp opened the first commercial Nordic Center in the U.S. on his family’s farm overlooking the Worcester Range in Stowe, Vt. The Trapp Family Lodge continues as a diamond of Nordic skiing with 100 kilometers of trails on more than 2,500 acres in one of the most scenic spots in Vermont.

Snow and Terrain

Grooming and trail maintenance are impeccable, and it is wonderful to see beginners shuffling around wearing parkas and goggles versus lightly-fleeced skaters zooming by. Snowshoers are welcome off track.

The center’s high elevation captures snow, and it has recently added snowmaking in the stadium area to redistribute as needed. Good for seniors, the center has a lot of variety. Many like to visit the Slayton Pasture Cabin, a gradual three-mile climb, warm up by the open fire with hot chocolate, then shoot back down, about three hours round trip. A nice close-in loop is Sugar Road to the Telemark Trail, but the Haul Road, Slayton Pasture Trail, and Skater’s Waltz all provide varied journeys over rolling terrain, allowing the mind and skis to wander in equal measure.

You can get those four-pin bindings and leather boots out and wax up your wooden skis for the TFL's antique ski race. Credit: Trapp Family Lodge
You can get those four-pin bindings and leather boots out and wax up your wooden skis for the TFL’s antique ski race.
Credit: Trapp Family Lodge

The best backcountry skiing is accessed by climbing to the Slayton Pasture Cabin, then climbing the trail to “Round Top,” says Ryan Kukar of Trapp Family Lodge. “Bear right at the top and then drop in off the ridge towards Hare Line trail. Skiing through the woods this way is great and allows skiers to bisect some of the other Nordic ski trails.” Several backcountry zones have been trimmed to open up the lines for us seniors whose reactions may be slower. Rental backcountry gear available at the Nordic Shop include the Rossignol Soul 7 skis, with Dynafit boots and bindings, skins required.

Dining, Lodge and Culture

For many, the draw to the Trapp Family Lodge is the von Trapps’ compelling family history, brought to life in The Sound of Music. Pilgrimage would not be too strong a word.

The lodge has 96 rooms, guest houses, and villas. The food is outstanding. The lodge’s gardens, greenhouses, laying hens, and livestock, have long been providing fresh and tasty fare to guests (marked by a crown on the menu).

Pour syrup from the majestic sugar maples onto your breakfast French Toast. Add to the tasting list an Austrian style Trapp Lager made right on the premises and the new von Trapp Weiss Beer (a white beer made with coriander). The wine cellar isn’t bad either and available for regular wine tasting sessions.

The lodge is cozy; get a good night’s sleep under Tyrolean eaves and feather pillows, comforters, with a window view over the mountains. Classical music wafts out of the lobby.

As an overnight guest, you have access to the ski trails, the Fitness Center with indoor pool, massage therapy, sauna, and hot tub. Grandchildren will appreciate the daily Mountain Kids Club.

After a day on the trails, there’s nothing better than to head to the Lounge in the lodge, order a von Trapp ale and maybe a house-made Bratwurst and Tagessuppe, and watch the winter twilight set in.

Bottom Line

For seniors: Day pass, 65 and over: $20.

Trail Map Click Here

Edelweiss, edelweiss must be along here somewhere. Tracking along on groomed trails is another one of our favorite things. Credit: Trapp Family Lodge
Edelweiss, edelweiss must be along here somewhere.
Tracking along on groomed trails is another one of our favorite things.
Credit: Trapp Family Lodge

 

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