Winter Sports

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Additional Winter Sports & Activities


Backcountry Skiing and Snowboarding

A smiling woman kicks up white snow and she barrels down a hill on skis

The Green Mountain National Forest currently hosts two recreation areas, Brandon Gap and Dutch Hill that are managed for backcountry winter sports.

The Brandon Gap Winter Recreation Area, located on the Rochester District, was created to enhance opportunities for backcountry skiing and snowboarding. Representing a new approach to backcountry management, this area was created to address the lack of managed opportunities for alpine-oriented backcountry recreation while aiding in the restoration of natural forest conditions.

The decision to manage the National Forest for backcountry recreation coincided with the organization of the backcountry skiing and riding community in Vermont. This area has been planned and managed through the collaborative efforts of the USDA Forest Service, Rochester/Randolph Area Sports Trail Alliance, Catamount Trail Association, Vermont Backcountry Alliance, Sustainable Trailworks LLC, and Dartmouth College

Dutch Hill, located on the Manchester District, was managed as a downhill ski area from the 1940s to 1980s. In partnership with the USDA Forest Service, Dutch Hill Alliance of Skiers and Hikers (DHASH), a chapter of the Catamount Trail Association, began reopening runs and establishing glades for backcountry skiing in 2017. Dutch Hill provides a unique setting for backcountry and cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and sledding in a landscape that is co-managed for wildlife habitat and healthy and productive forests.

Maps and Guides

Fat Biking

A bike with knobby tires rides along a snowy late fall trail

Photo by John Atkinson of Mad River Riders.

In the right conditions, a fat bike can be the ultimate winter backcountry travel tool. Frozen conditions and minimal snow coverage (1-5 inches) means these off-road bikes with oversize tires can access areas that are impassible during the warmer months.

Just because you can ride somewhere doesn't mean you always should. Be aware and be prepared.

Maps and Guides

Areas on the Green Mountain Great for Fat Bikes