Travel Agent

Catamount in summer.     Photo: Barb and Dean Russ and Williams

Q:

Cross-Country Skiing: Catamount Outdoor Family Center, Vermont

Where are your favorite places to cross-country ski in the Northeast?

A:Unless you’re a local, you’ve probably never heard of the Catamount Outdoor Center. In winter, families will pull into the parking lot early on weekends to spend the day, bringing lunch and taking warm-up breaks in the old farmhouse that serves as a casual lodge and rental center. Fitness freaks will often come before sunrise on weekdays to get in a workout on one of the two main loops before heading to work, and retirees and the self-employed of Burlington filter in throughout the day. Regardless of when you go to Catamount, though, you can be assured that its trails, which vary from beginner to extremely hilly and challenging, will be well-maintained and never boring.

STAY: The welcoming Willard Street Inn is an old Victorian house in the heart of downtown Burlington and a favorite among visitors to town who want to avoid chain hotels. Starts at $145 a night.

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