Trail History Project: Share what you know. I have skied at Bolton Nordic Center since High School- when Gardner Lane ran the place out of that great little cabin near the top of Broadway. But it was not until I started working here a few years ago and spent time with the Old Goats that I began to wonder about the history of the trails. When were they built? Who built them? What were they named after? These are all questions I would like to answer with the Trail History Project.
The goal is to begin to collect this information and see where it takes us. I would like to hear from anyone | everyone who knows about the trails at Bolton Valley. Give us a call, send an email, write a note on the back of a photograph and put it in the mail. And you can also comment on this blog. We would love to hear what you know and remember about this great natural resource. I’ve got to get back to clearing trails. Liz
Trails and Routes
Note: Times are rough estimates; dependent upon weather conditions and skiing ability. Trail Pass required for skiing on Bolton Valley Trails– also please do not ski or snowshoe with dogs on our trails.
No dogs on our trails. Please leave your dogs at home. If you are looking for a place to take you dogs in winter we recommend Little River State Park, Waterbury or Honey Hollow, Duxbury Rd, Waterbury
Picnic and Valley Loop : This is a gentle, rolling loop with some winding curves involving elevation change total of 200 feet. These dynamic loops are great for everyone from advanced beginners to advanced skiers. (3.5 km-1/2 hr.)
Pond Loop: A gentle loop with a short descent on Broadway and a gradual ascent as you circle the pond-can be done in reverse as well. (.3km-10 minutes)
World Cup: A fun loop full of switch backs and mini hills involving elevation change total of 250 feet. World Cup is one of our race loops and it’s also the beginning of the Bryant Trail (backcountry artery). (2.1 km-15 minutes)
Broadway: A wide, steady descent from the center on this main trail involves elevation change of 500 feet. There are great views of Camel’s Hump and the Green Mountains south of Bolton. (2.7km-3/4 hr.)
Maple Loop: a super fun undulating trail with varying twists and turns involves elevation change of 350 feet. This is great advanced beginner and intermediate terrain. (2.3km – 25 minutes)
Beaver Pond/Deer Run: As an out-and-back on Beaver Pond, or a loop with Deer Run, this is beautiful intermediate terrain offering a unique portal window into life in the mountains around an old Beaver pond. (4.6 km-1hour)
Cliff Hanger: A steep and narrow trail which cuts through the woods in a wild way bringing you close to rocky outcroppings and a new perspective on the mountain. (.9 km-3/4 hour)
Goat Path: (1.4 km)
George’s Gorge: A steep trail, most often a descent from the bottom of Raven’s Wind. (1.1 km)
Devil’s Drop: A steep drop off of the Catamount Trail, ironically landing you on Heavenly Highway. (.3km)
Coyote: A less steep and less-traveled alternative to part of Bryant Trail. (.5 km)
Raven’s Wind: A long, rolling loop at the top of Bolton’s Terrain. (1.4 km)
Tubbs SNOWSHOE trail: a short and rolling trail through woods near the center, crossing Picnic Loop ski trail a couple of times, with a neat view into the Joiner Brook Valley. This trail is marked in a clockwise loop with Tubbs Snowshoe trail markers. (1km-15min)
Other Snowshoe Options: snowshoers can journey onto any of our trails groomed and backcountry as long as they stay to the side of the machine groomed ski tracks. Great loop options are listed below. 1. Bryant to Birch Loop 2. Bryant to Cliff Hanger to Brook Run 3. Broadway to Maple Loop and back on Bryant.
A great resource for these trips is the AMC Backcountry Skiing Adventures- Vermont and New York by David Goodman
Woodward Trail: This trail goes from the top of the Vista Quad and ends at Little River State Park in Waterbury. It’s a great trail with views of Camel’s Hump along the way.
Catamount Trail: The Catamount trail is a a 300 mile long back country ski trail that runs the entire length of Vermont;at Bolton it shares Broadway, first part of World Cup, and Bryant with Bolton Nordic Center.
Bolton To Trapps Trail: a 19km trail from Bolton to Trapps– is part of the Catamount Trail. This is a great point to point ski for intermediate to advanced skiers. From the Bolton Nordic Center the trail goes on some groomed trails, then hits the Bryant Trail and goes into the remote backcountry by Bolton Mtn. This trail involves some steep ascents and descends with tight turns and switchbacks. Once over the peak the terrain opens up as you descend from the boreal to the hardwood zone through birch glades and a fun, extended run out along a beautiful rivulet of Miller Brook.
The Nordic Trails provide some great lookouts and views of the mountains and valleys around Bolton. Take time while on the trails to look up and notice the view.
Camel’s Hump View: from Broadway/Bottom of Maple Loop
Harrington’s View: looks out to South/East-view of the Mountains and Resort
Stowe View: From Stowe View Trail in the backcountry there is a great lookout to the northeast. The view includes Hunger Mtn, Waterbury Center, Mt. Mansfield. This lookout also gives nice perspective to Bolton Mtn and the Catamount Trail (to the west at the lookout).
INTRODUCTION TO CROSS COUNTRY
Cross Country Loop (45 minutes)Maple Loop to Spruce Run
From the Nordic Center, head toward Broadway. Take a right onto Maple Loop (also a junction with Telemark and Brook Run). Maple Loop is a beautiful, rolling trail that you will follow for about 1 km. There are two entrances to Spruce Run on the left. The first one you come to is a little bit steeper and narrower, and in early or late season has a higher chance of being wet. Follow Spruce Run to Broadway (about halfway down, there is an unmarked shortcut to the left that connects back up with Spruce Run). Take a left onto Broadway back to the Nordic Center.
Cross Country Loop (1 hour 30 minutes)Broadway to Maple Loop
From the Nordic Center, head toward Broadway. Take a right onto Maple Loop (also a junction with Telemark and Brook Run). Maple Loop is a beautiful, rolling trail that you will ski to the end at Broadway. There are several trails that cross Maple Loop along the way – Spruce Run and Telemark.. Cut straight across these intersections and continue on Maple Loop. You can always return to these intersections and head off in different trails on another tour. Follow Maple Loop until it connects back with Broadway. Take a left onto Broadway back to the Nordic Center. This is a long uphill with a couple flat sections, so take your time and have a leisurely ski back to the Nordic Center.
INTRODUCTION TO BACKCOUNTRY
Easiest Introduction to Backcountry Loop (45 minutes)
Telemark/Bobcat From the Nordic Center, head toward Broadway. Take a right onto Telemark (also a junction with Maple Loop and Brook Run). Climb Telemark. At an unmarked Y junction, bear right, uphill. At the junction with a sign for Cliffhanger, take the lower trail straight ahead. At the junction with Bob Cat, take a left onto Bob Cat. Descend on Bob Cat until you reach Maple Loop and go left. When you reach Broadway, go left back to the Nordic Center.
Easier Introduction to Backcountry Loop (1 hour)
This loop is a wonderful introduction to backcountry skiing, and there are a few different options for your descent depending on how long you want to be out for (see description for Telemark/Bob Cat Loop or extend your trip by going on Fox Hollow)
From the Nordic Center, head toward Broadway. Take a right onto Telemark (also a junction with Maple Loop and Brook Run). Climb Telemark. At an unmarked Y junction, bear right, uphill. At the junction with a sign for Cliffhanger, take the lower trail straight ahead. At the junction with Bob Cat, continue toward the right where you will cross a brook; be careful unless there is deep snow. Take a left at the next junction onto the downhill portion of Telemark. Descend to Maple Loop. You can either take a left onto Maple Loop or continue on Telemark. Either way, when you get to Broadway, take a left back to the Nordic Center.
Introduction to Backcountry Loop(1 1/2 hours, estimated distance 5.5km) Bryant/Birch Loop/Gardiner’s Lane
On this loop, you will enjoy the beauty of being up a little bit higher which might mean deeper snow, and Birch Loop is a gorgeous trail.
From the Nordic Center, head toward Broadway. Take a right onto World Cup near the big green sign. Go right onto Bryant, uphill. Climb steadily until you reach Bryant Camp. Bear left onto Birch Loop and follow this trail until the junction with Gardiner’s Lane (named for Gardiner Lane, the founder of the Bolton Nordic Center) just above Bryant Camp. Bryant is the oldest building still standing on the Bolton property- it was built in the early 1920s by Edward Bryant. Note: you can also go straight ahead at Bryant Camp to follow Birch Loop in the other direction—going this way means you will have some steep climbs at the beginning and a long, gradual downhill at the end of the loop. Go straight ahead onto Gardiner’s Lane. Gardiner’s lane has a relatively gradual descent with several steeper sections. Snow Hole will come in from the left, and this is a popular trail for people coming from the alpine area, so the trail is usually fast since it is more heavily traveled. Follow Snow Hole to the junction with World Cup, and go left onto World Cup. To get back to the Nordic Center, go left onto Bryant for a quick descent onto Broadway, or continue straight ahead on World Cup for a gentler descent to Broadway. Go left onto Broadway back to the Nordic Center.
**Thanks to Kate, Grizz and Jessica for contributing to this page.