Winter Recreation on Nature’s Highways
For over thirty years a group of like-minded and very dedicated landowners and community volunteers have developed and maintained Camel’s Hump Nordic Ski Area (CHNSA), a unique and expansive trail network that offers some of the best Nordic skiing and snowshoeing in New England. CHNSA is a 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing outstanding recreational and educational opportunities for the public.
Approximately 25 kilometers of CHNSA trails are groomed to a high standard permitting both classical” and skating techniques. Much of this network has now matured into trails that are well drained, contoured and graded in a manner that allows skiers to balance speed with control on the downhill, while gliding through the remarkable diversity of the surrounding woodlands and meadows on more gentle terrain. Another 10 kilometers are backcountry trails that climb to the high mountain areas above the farm and adjacent to Camel's Hump.
Each winter, in mid-February, a memorable wilderness ski event takes place at CHNSA. Hearty, experienced backcountry skiers make the epic, 25-kilometer, high-country traverse around Camel’s Hump’s and return to festive camaraderie, a warming fire and a gourmet feast of locally grown foods. Conceived as a fundraiser for the Vermont Alzheimer’s Association, by Dr. Warren Beeken, the Camel’s Hump Challenge (CHC) circumnavigates Camel’s Hump at an elevation of 2000-3000 feet and takes skiers 5-8 hours to complete. Skiers pass through some rugged terrain and a variety of forest types including: northern hardwoods, glades of spruce-fir and some the most beautiful, park-like stands of paper birch in New England.
For advanced skiers, the lure of combining the CHC with a cozy stay at Windekind is an opportunity not to be missed.
The Catamount Trail, sponsored by the Catamount Trail Association (CTA), is a 300 miles north-south trail that runs more or less parallel to the spine of the Green Mountains. At the Farm, it comes within 400 yards of the homestead. Many guests have used the Catamount Trail to ski north, through the Honey Hollow drainage basin on the west side of Camel’s Hump, to the Winooski River in Bolton, where we can arrange for transportation back to the Farm. At the moment we are exploring developing an inn-to-inn ski package with the CTA and other inns in the vicinity.
Windekind is also just 8 miles from the Sleepy Hollow Bike & Ski Center across the valley in Huntington. Sleepy Hollow is a day-use cross-country ski and mountain bike facility that offers over 30 km of well-groomed skating and classic skiing trails in the winter. In the summer their 20 kilometers of intermediate and expert single-track biking trails are an exceptional opportunity for mountain bikers. (There are also many other mountain bike trails in the area) Guests at Windekind can also rent Nordic skis at Sleepy Hollow for use at Windekind.
Catamount Outdoor Family Center. Created in 1978, this facility is an ongoing experiment in outdoor stewardship and recreation. Originally a cross-country ski center, the resource has evolved into a mountain bike center, a bed & breakfast, and a host for many special outdoor events. Located in nearby Williston, VT (about 15 miles from Windekind) on 500 beautiful acres, the center has over 20 miles of professionally designed and maintained trails for both winter ski and summer bike use.
In the heart of Vermont's unspoiled Northeast Kingdom, you'll find our other favorite Nordic area: The Craftsbury Outdoor Center. The Center, established in 1976 when Russell Spring and his family cut a Nordic trail network on their land. The well-known Craftsbury Nordic trails, long supplemented by sculling and running camps has evolved into one of the nation’s most unique recreation centers and is about an hour and half drive from Windekind. While your up in the “Kingdom,” you will find many other interesting and unique attractions in this part of Vermont.
Windekind is only a half-hour drive from Mad River Glen, Vermont’s most unique downhill ski area. Mad River Glen is the only cooperatively owned ski area in America. It stands tall as a unique area and ski experience in an age when the ski industry is consolidating and becoming more and more homogenized. If you ski there you, too, can become a shareholder.
Bolton Valley Resort is a family resort with an excellent teaching program and a network of intermediate and advanced trails located about 30 minutes north of Windekind Farm. Guests have found the resort very friendly and less crowded than the Stowe and Sugarbush areas.