The Trapp Family Lodge and Cross Country Ski Center is found just a few winding uphill miles form the center of Stowe Village. During a winter storm of mixed precipitation, my 22 year-old Honda had a hard time climbing the curves that take us to the wooded glory of the 2,400 acres that make up the Trapp estate.
This beautiful corner of the Vermont woods offers a Nordic paradise of gently sloping hills and dense high spruce. The broad trails that traverse the scenic terrain are meticulously groomed and tracked by the diligent competence of the wizards of the snow staff. The base is deep and the slick surface of mixed precipitation makes the travel a smooth and fast surface. Nordic Guru Charlie Yerrick at the Outdoor Center describes the snow quality of mixed precip as miniature ball bearings that makes you feel like you’re rolling rather than skiing.
A careful study of the trail map makes your journey on the Trapp trails a much more pleasant affair and a comprehensive consultation with the experts at the Outdoor Center is highly advised.
I am a Nordic novice with a pair of waxless Rossignols, but my more experienced ski partner prepped her skis with the purple wax that makes wet snow a gliding pleasure. The Outdoor Center has a convenient prep table complete with all the tools the experts relish.
A full complement of rentals ares available, inclusive of high performance skate skis and the traditional less athletic shussers -- your choice is comprehensive. A trail pass for $22 opens up the 100 kilometers of groomed and back country trails traversing wide open meadows as well as the more challenging steeps of the upper sections of the Cabin area and the peak of Round Top which climbs to 2400 feet. An excursion to the Cabin takes a full hour of aggressive skiing or 90 minutes at a more human pace.
The Cabin is a welcome rest stop of rustic comfort with a huge cookstove serving hearty soups, coffee, cocoa and teas. Sandwiches, fresh fruits and the fabulous cookies and baked goods that are the pride of the Trapp kitchen offer a welcomed repast. A relaxing interlude and dry out from your Nordic exertion is fully appreciated as you warm your toes in front of the cabin’s stoked fireside picnic tables.
Appetites are stoked by a Trapp Nordic adventure and gastronomic delight is where the Trapp Lodge excels. Austrian hospitality and gourmet exuberance is the hallmark of the sumptuous breakfasts as well as exquisite preparation of the dinner entrees. Food is a Trapp art that is highly prized and memorable. The more exotic entrees include venison and rabbit but less adventurous cuts of beef are prepared to perfection -- they slice like butter. The dessert menu features the Austrian delights of Black Forest Cake, the fabulous Linzertorte -- a scintillating concoction of raspberries and walnuts, and the favorite of after-dinner coffee drinkers -- Apfelstrudel.
An after-dinner steam and sauna at the Fitness Center (a few steps from the Lodge) and a dip in the outdoor heated pool will help get your legs ready for another day in the trails. I, personally, enjoyed the pool under the night sky and a light drizzel.
The heritage of the famous von Trapp Family and their love of music is celebrated in every corner of the Lodge. The Library, the Music rooms, and the inn rooms are all gracefully appointed and speak to the unique charm of this old world family that found the northern forest of Vermont such a wonderful second home."