Vivian's Corner
Adventure & Sports
Golf & Tennis
Hiking and Running
Horseback Riding
About Us
Yearly Index
Contact Us

Skiing in the NorthEast

Killington, the largest skiing and snowboarding area in the Northeast, has 200 trails spread across 1,182 skiable acres on seven mountains. The highest peak is over 4000 feet. Killington's 31 lifts, which include 12 four-person chairlifts and two heated express gondolas, have the capacity to carry over 50,000 skiers per hour.

Killington receives an average of 250 inches of snowfall per year. A significant outlay was invested in snowmaking capacity to ensure that the slopes are well-covered for as much of the year as possible. Almost 2,000 snowmaking guns cover 70% of the trails, making it possible to keep some trails open as late in the season as May or June.

A view of Killington's peak from midway up.

The size of the area enables it to cater to a range of skills. Approximately one-third of the trails are easy, one-third are intermediate and one-third are advanced in their levels of difficulty. Families or other groups who include skiers and snowboarders of varying degrees of ability will find this a perfect destination.

Each of the seven mountains offers a different type of skiing and snowboarding experience. More beginners have trained at Snowshed, a self-contained novice area, than any other slope in the United States. Those seeking more challenging terrain, including a few very steep double-black diamond runs, will find it in other sections like Snowden Mountain or the Glades. The ultimate skiing challenge can be found on Outer Limits, a double-black diamond run that is the steepest lift-serviced run in New England.

In addition to the excellent skiing and snowboarding conditions, a wide range of of activities and services are available in the environs making the area a major vacation destination.

Killington Resort, 4763 Killington Road, Killington, VT 05751, Tel. 1-800-621-MTNS, Web: www.killington.com


The town of Killington and its immediate outlying areas have over 100 places to stay including hotels, country inns, condominiums and motels.

The largest and most popular destination is the $20 million, 200-room Killington Grand Resort Hotel, conveniently located at the base of the mountain. The hotel, which opened in 1998 has a health club, spa, children's arcade and restaurant. The rooms are clean and comfortable and the restaurant serves decent fare. For more upscale lodging or dining there are many options in the locale.

Killington Resort, 4763 Killington Road, Killington, VT 05751, Tel. 1-800-621-MTNS, Web: http://www.killington.com

The Birch Ridge Inn

The small and charming Birch Ridge Inn, described by its owners as "refined, not rustic," is situated less than a mile from the slopes and offers 10 individually furnished rooms and suites. Six of the rooms have fireplaces; four of those rooms have whirlpool tubs for two.

Proprietors Bill Vines and Mary Furlong, who were previously longtime visitors to the area, left their fast-paced corporate jobs in Boston six years ago to move to Killington. They acquired the two A-frame buildings in which the inn is housed from a company that had been using it for corporate retreats. They renovated the buildings, added 5,000 square feet and used slate mined from nearby quarries to decorate the interior. The Inn has an excellent restaurant (reviewed below) and a large comfortable bar area perfect for relaxing after a long day on the slopes.

Room rates range from $80 to $235 depending on the room and the time of year.

Birch Ridge Inn, 37 Butler Road, Killington, Vermont, 05851; Tel. 800-435-8566, Web: http://www.birchridge.com


A snowboarder riding down an expert slope at Killington

Hemingway's is indisputably the area's finest restaurant. Among the honors Hemingway's has been given in the more 20 years it has been serving meals include a Four-Star Award from "Mobil Travel Guide" and being named one of the Top 25 Restaurants in America in "Food & Wine Magazine" in 1992.

Diners at Hemingway's are offered a choice of one of several menus, such as a tasting menu, a vegetable menu or a feasting menu. The chef designed the menus with several courses that complement each other. Among the dishes I tried at Hemingway's were the seared tuna with crispy sushi rice cake, and the tenderloin of pork with butternut squash pudding. As one would expect at an establishment that had garnered so much praise, I found each dish I sampled to be perfectly prepared.

The atmosphere at Hemingway's is as elegant and attractive as the food. The main dining room has traditional decor, dominated by a large portrait of chef and co-owner Ted Fondulas, which was commissioned when he was awarded Robert Mondavi's Culinary Award of Excellence in 1991. The restaurant also offers seating in a brick-walled garden room with a brick floor and climbing ivies in the windows and in an intimate stone wine cellar downstairs.

Hemingway's, Route 4, Killington, VT 05751, Tel. 802-422-3886, Web: http://www.hemingwaysrestaurant.com

The restaurant at the Birch Ridge Inn is open to the public and features an a la carte menu and a prix fixe four-course gourmet selection of dishes with appropriate wines.

During my stay the menu included Vermont brie en croute with sliced bosc pear and blackberry coulis, which was rich, delicate and eminently satisfying and grilled filet mignon wrapped with applewood smoked bacon served over sauteed mushrooms with sauce bordelaise. The filet was tender and delicious.

Contact information for the Birce Ridge Inn is listed above


Those who wish to take a break from skiing during a visit to Killington might want to visit nearby Rutland. Originally built around a major railroad switching station in the mid-19th century, Rutland also became known for its marble quarries, which operate to this day. Over 100 of the town's buildings are listed in the National Register.

Residents are most proud of the recently restored Paramount Theater. Originally built for live performances in 1913, the Paramount later became a movie theater, remaining one until it was closed in the 1980s. Fifteen years later a local non-profit acquired and renovated it. Since reopening in March, 2000 the Paramount has returned to its original mission of providing live entertainment. Performances range from productions of plays such as "A Streetcar Named Desire," and musicals like "Cabaret" to personal appearances by Comedian Joe Piscopo, formerly of "Saturday Night Live".

Paramount Theatre, 30 Center St., Rutland, VT 05701, Tel. 802-775-0903, Web: http://www.paramountvt.org


One of the challenges for the region in attracting visitors from metropolitan areas on the East Coast is the long drive. Fortunately, those who, like me, would rather avoid the seven-hour car ride from New York City can take the Amtrak train to Rutland and then rent a car in Rutland or take a bus to Killington. The train ride takes approximately six hours and the trip from Rutland to Killington is under an hour. While the total travel time ends up being about the same as driving, many people find it much more relaxing to read, catch up with work, or nap on the train.

Amtrak, Tel. 1-800-USA-RAIL, Web: http://www.amtrak.com.

It is easy to get to the slopes and most of the town's hotels and restaurants via a shuttle bus, which runs along several different routes according to a set schedule.

The Bus, 802-773-3244x62

Bruce Fancher

Winter 2002-03