The Suburban Mountaineer
April 10, 2010

First, turn off the cell phone and don’t bother with the free Wi-Fi. The real pleasure in staying at the Trapp Family Lodge is the escape from the connections of the grind. For folks like you and I that carry a blackberry daily but would prefer to carry a compass, the combination of the trails on the grounds (including access to Vermont’s Long Trail along Mount Mansfield) and the luxuries of the Lodge can satisfy your outdoor cravings and your family’s creature comforts.

My wife and I and her family visit the von Trapp’s resort about twice a year, usually in the summer and again in the winter. The destination is known for cross country skiing in the winter, and for good reason. It is well groomed, provides a well-stocked and serviced cabin with hot soup up Roundtop on the far side of the grounds, and it has a very knowledgeable and approachable staff in their Outdoors Center. Having grown up cross country skiing in the backcountry, and now preferring to snowshoe, there are trails for both that I thoroughly enjoy. For the New Year’s holiday, my wife and I snowshoed up the cabin, enjoyed some hot beef barley and returned in time for tea at the lodge (I actually had coffee and a chocolate chip cookie). We even enjoyed watching some winter birds foraging along the way.

Last year, in the summer we did a little biking on Trapp’s mountain biking trails, hiked on nearby Mount Mansfield, Vermont’s highest peak, and we also took a tour on the Trapp grounds with naturalist Jan Axtell of Fin and Feather. Jan is a knowledgeable and gifted teacher. I plan to hire him for some winter tracking in the hills in the future.

A nice added benefit – and something I am truly excited about – is that Trapp Family Lodge is about to open its own brewery right on the grounds. I am looking forward to my next visit and sampling a few pints of Trapp Lager and the rest of the wide selection of craft brews. The lodge is having a special weekend celebration from April 16-18. Check it all out at www.trappfamily.com Prost!

One more thing: For a little more appreciation of the place and the family, I suggest reading Maria Augusta Trapp’s book, The Story of the Trapp Family Singers. It is also better than the movie it inspired.  

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