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Cross-country ski tour at Stowe Mountain Resort Nordic center

Brookside cross-country skiing at Stowe Mountain Resort

Brookside cross-country skiing at Stowe Mountain Resort.

Ranch Brook at Stowe

Ranch Brook.

Bear Run cross-country trail at Stowe Mountain Resort

Skiing Stowe's Bear Run trail.

Nordic map at Stowe Mountain Resort

Map and sign post.

A peek up the Bruce Trail at Stowe's cross-country center

A peek up the Bruce Trail. More snow is needed.

I got a good workout today in a lovely setting. I enjoyed a cross-country ski at the Stowe Mountain Resort / Mt. Mansfield Nordic center in Stowe, Vt.

With warm temperatures on tap, I dressed in layers and found myself skiing in a light fleece on for the uphill portion of my ski. I carried a small backpack with water, dry gloves, ski scraper (in case I skied through a wet spot and it froze up on my skis), a can of glide wax and an extra jacket. I just needed my extra layer for the downhill part of the tour.

I started out on the Burt Trail, which follows the picturesque Ranch Brook. I love this part of the Nordic network because of the half-frozen brook. Then, after a quick stop at the warming tent (which was not stocked with water or hot chocolate!), I continued on the Bear Run trail. I climbed and crossed just a few icy spots before descending to a bridge and following the trail on the other side of the river.

I arrived at midday and the snow was mostly packed down by skier traffic. There were about three inches of fresh snow on the sides of the trail. I selected my waxless skis because the temperature was warm and the “fish scales” of my waxless skis would best handle warm, soft snow or well-trodden snow.

I noticed plenty of deer tracks crossing the ski trails, and only heard the wind when I stopped here and there on the trail. This cross-country trail network allows you to get out in the woods and feel far away from the bustling “real world.” If you've only skied at Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, you should also try these trails. In fact, you can ski on a trail that connects the two centers, if you're ambitious.

Now I'm pleasantly tired and ready for a nice dinner. I've earned it, after all ;)

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