Mountain Resort – Stowe, Vermont, U.S.A.

Where the Hills Are Alive

Beginning at the Massachusetts border and continuing north for 200 scenic miles along the rugged spine of the Green Mountains, the winding two- lane Route 100 is Vermont’s country road and main street.

During wintry months it’s also called the skier’s highway, connecting some nine major alpine ski destinations. At the road’s northernmost reach, toward the Canadian border, lies Stowe Mountain Resort, the queen of Northeast ski resorts and one of the oldest in the United States, created in the 1930s.

Killington and Okemo may have surpassed Stowe in slickness, technology, and size, but the resort’s challenging slopes and authentic 200-year- old Vermont town setting – with the prerequisite white-steepled church and old- fashioned general store – retain their popularity as one of the country’s most romantic and beautiful ski getaways.

There’s much here to keep beginners and intermediate skiers occupied, but it is Stowe’s mythically steep Front Four trails on the face of Mount Mansfield – Starr, Goat, National, Liftline – that are the highlights of the show, for expert skiers only.

Four interconnected cross-country ski areas provide 93 miles of groomed trails and another 62 miles of backcountry terrain, the most extensive of the four crisscrossing the 2,700-acre resort of the Trapp Family Lodge, the country’s first-ever cross-country ski center, created in 1968.

This is where the Austrian family of Sound of Music fame settled in 1942 after crossing over the Alps to escape the Nazis. The quality of Tyrolean coziness, old-world service, and the promise of a mean wiener schnitzel and spaetzle in the lodge’s noted restaurant make this chalet style lodge one of the loveliest around.

Maria Von Trapp, who died here in 1987, has left her legacy in the hands of her youngest son, the ever-youthful Johannes, and daughter Rosmarie, who leads Tuesday and Friday evening singalongs.

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