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Cross-country Skiing in Vermont's insider take:

Ah, gliding over the snow, lungs filling with crisp oxygen, the smell of wood smoke in the air, and blue skies overhead—the best parts of Nordic skiing. Vermont has 36 dedicated cross-country ski areas, and many of the alpine resorts have attached Nordic centers (see the full list at In northern Vermont, Craftsbury Outdoor Center has more than 80 miles of trails that wend through winter-hushed woods, skirt ice-clogged rivers, and cut through farmers' fields (535 Lost Nation Rd., Craftsbury Common; 802-586-7767; The area has lodging and meals, and in the summer converts to a sculling and trail-running destination. If you're looking to escape the alpine chaos at Killington, make for Mountain Top Nordic Ski & Snowshoe Center, a 15-minute drive away from the base area (802-483-6089; It offers a pristine 50-mile network of trails and 29 post-and-beam rooms at the Mountain Top inn. It also has a summertime alter ego as a top horseback-riding retreat. And for a true cross-country skiing adventure, the Catamount Trail is the winter equivalent of the famous Long Trail (802-864-5794; Beginning at the Massachusetts line and ending at the Canadian border, it stretches the 300-mile length of Vermont, connecting backcountry routes and groomed trails.

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