Story and Images by Chadwick Estey


Even though I was born and raised in Vermont, as a kid I spent very little time in the mountains skiing or snowboarding. I know what you're thinking, "a Vermonter who doesn't ski or snowboard? Is that allowed?" Well it's rare but it does happen!

Here are just a few of my favorite winter activities that are alternatives to skiing or snowboarding. I hope you can find joy and excitement through trying something new!


Walk the 10 miles of trails at Shelburne Farms and catch the colors of sunset melt into Camels Hump.


Winter sunsets have a special feel to them. Hike up your favorite vista and watch the sunset fade to darkness. Just don't forget your headlamp!


One of my simple pleasures during the winter months is exploring familiar (or new) back roads after a snowstorm. Just don't forget the essentials: snow tires, fully charged cell phone, and snacks.


Search for private or local snowshoeing trails in your area. With there are many amazing public recreation centers and trails throughout the state, some personal favorites are the Bolton Valley, Sleepy Hollow, Blueberry Hill Outdoor Center.


Watching sunset along Lake Champlain over the Adirondack Mountains is something you will never regret. Just be sure to bundle up as the wind coming off from the lake can be a bit chilling.