WOODFORD – The Prospect Mountain Nordic Trail Center is open for business.
The snow after Thanksgiving was an early Christmas present for the Center, with the 12 inches of snow allowing staff to prepare many of the 30 kilometers of trails for both classic and freestyle skiing. In addition to skiing, snowshoe trails are also available, as well as two old alpine trails for snow removal and elevation gain.
This season, children under 10 can ski for free when accompanied by an adult. Ski, shoe and snowshoe rentals are available. This year, the lodge and âNancy’s Nookâ will be fully open. Management requires masks to be worn in all buildings except when eating or drinking.
The center is located in Woodford, just 7 miles east of Bennington, and offers the highest base elevation of any downhill or cross-country ski area in the state. The trails offer cross-country skiing for all ages and skill levels in rural Vermont. When the snow falls, the trails are groomed for skating and classic cross-country skiing. Most trails have tracks on either side with a wide skating rink in the center. There are also special snowshoe trails and single track trails. The trails are available from beginner to expert. The Mountain Trail is popular with experts looking to climb over 400 feet to the top of the mountain.
According to the Center, the Prospect Mountain ski area originated in the late 1930s, when the first cable pulled skiers up the mountain. Operations were interrupted by World War II, but then resumed in the 1960s when two T-bar elevators were installed. The first cross-country ski trails were built in 1980, at the start of the Great Snowfall of the North-East. Eventually, the lack of natural snow in the northeastern United States caused downhill skiing activities to stop, while backcountry skiing in Prospect continued to increase and become more popular. From now on, the whole operation is devoted to cross-country skiing in winter.
The Nordic Center is open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or at sunset depending on conditions.
More information is available at www.prospectmountain.com. Prospect Hill (the name given to the route up Woodford VT-9 to Prospect) can be dangerous at times in extreme weather conditions. The VT National Roads Department keeps a camera of the current conditions on the road to vtrans.vermont.gov.