Snow Shoeing and XC Skiing in SW Vermont

Over President’s Day weekend we had several nice excursions that more than made up for our lousy time at Lake Shaftsbury last Thursday.

For starters we trekked up the Prospect Rock trail in Manchester. Located at Rootville Road, where route 11/30 takes a curve–near Bistroy Henry and the Manchester Bar & Grill. The trail is a one-mile, straight shot up to one of the prettiest views around–especially when compared to the amount of effort involved.

Though some have skied this trail, more folks have snow shoed up the constant incline. Snow mobiles also use the trail, which is a bonus since their trail association maintains the upper parts that become wind-blown. One drift was taller than us and had a 6 foot by 6 foot patch of rocky ice at the bottom. Thank heavens for the snow mobile association.

Since the trail was broken we found the hike to be challenging, but not completely exhausting. The wind doesn’t blow through for the majority of the hike, so even on a cold day it’s not a bad hike. I personally recommend snow shoeing this trail unless you are very, very competent on XC skis.

On Monday we hit the old Glastenbury Road and found that it suited us quite nicely for skiing. The trail was also broken by snow mobiles, but we didn’t see anyone all day long.

The trail steadily inclines up, so it’s always a slight challenge to keep moving. Of course the benefit is on the way back. I had to keep moving my legs, which kept me warm, but the slight incline also added some much-appreciated speed. This was one of the nicer skis we’ve had and the best part is that it’s free!

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