This section of the Catamount Trail climbs 1,300 feet and descends 2,300 feet from Bolton Valley Nordic to Trapp Family Lodge. Despite the challenging terrain, it is one of the most popular day-use sections of the Catamount Trail. The trail is narrow through the high elevation spruce-fir forest at the top of the climb, but then opens up into hardwood forest for the descent toward Stowe. There are many views of the Little River and Cotton Brook Valleys and the surrounding mountains.
The trail passes through two groomed cross country centers - Bolton Valley and Trapp Family Lodge. Please stop in at each center to pay the associated trail fee. Dogs are not allowed on the trails at either center so plan accordingly. If snowshoeing, stay off the classic tracks (the deep grooves through the snow) at the centers.
This section features a lot of climbing that can be challenging in deep snow, especially if there have been no skiers ahead of you breaking trail. Heavier back-country gear and climbing skins are recommended for this section. The descent into the Moscow valley is thrilling, but can be tricky to negotiate in icy conditions. The Trail is narrow as it passes through spruce trees and then open hardwoods on the descent. Due to the large amount of snow this area receives, CT trail blazes can often be obscured or completely covered by snow. Ski with at least two companions and stay together.
The Catamount Trail Association provides detailed section-by-section route descriptions on their website.
Please note that the Catamount Trail is open only in the winter.
Groomed Ski Centers - When you enter the trail system of a cross-country ski center, please check in at the center. Skiing the Catamount Trail does not exempt you from paying a trail fee at the center. Each center has its own policy; some may allow you to ski free, others may charge a fee. Bring along your CTA membership card/coupon to get a discount if you have to pay a fee. Please adhere to each center’s policies. Also note that most touring centers do not allow dogs on their trails. Plan your trip accordingly if bringing a canine friend along.
Sharing the trail - The Catamount Trail is primarily managed for cross-country skiing, but snowshoes are welcome. When snowshoeing on the trail, travel in single file, stay on one side of the trail to allow skiers to use the other, avoid stepping on the ski track and if at a cross-country ski center, abide by the rules of the center.
Snowmobile Trails - The Catamount Trail uses many snowmobile trails through the generosity of the Vermont Association of Snow Travelers (VAST). Skiers should step off the trail to allow snowmobiles to pass. VAST membership dues pay for the maintenance of these trails. If you will be regularly skiing sections of the Catamount Trail that use parts of the VAST trails, please consider supporting the maintenance of these segments by joining VAST. Contact VAST at: 26 Vast Lane, Barre, VT 05641, 802.229.0005
Private Landowners - Much of the Catamount Trail passes over private land. Please respect the rights of landowners and stay on the blazed route. In addition, keep your dog on the trail (have a leash with you!) and carry out any trash that you make or see. If you run into any problems, please contact the Catamount Trail Association.
For more information and for detailed maps and descriptions, go to the Catamount Trail Association website or contact:
Bolton Valley Nordic Center - From US-2 in the village of Bolton go north on the Bolton Access Road approximately 4.5 miles to the Bolton Valley Resort. The Nordic Center is located on the west side of the resort's main parking lot. Check in to get a trail map and pay the trail-use fee.
Nebraska Valley Road - From I-89 exit 10 in Waterbury go north on VT-100 for 7.5 miles. Turn left (west) onto Moscow Road and go approximately 1.9 miles. After crossing a bridge, bear right on Nebraska Valley Road and continue west 3.5 miles to a roadside parking area on the left (large enough for about five cars). If this area is full, go 100 yards farther and turn right on Old County Rd. There is a large parking area 0.1 mile up this road on the left.
Trapp Family Lodge - From I-89 exit 10 in Waterbury go north on VT-100 for 7.5 miles. Turn left (west) onto Moscow Road. Go 1.4 miles and turn right (north) onto Barrows Road. Go to a stop sign and turn left on Luce Hill Road. Follow this steep, winding road, bearing left onto Trapp Hill Road. The ski center is the last building on the right just past the main lodge and just before a large parking lot. Check in to get a trail map and pay the trail-use fee.
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