MODERATE 6.3 mile ski (3 to 5 hours) — 30 minutes from Hanover
The Skyline Trail travels a scenic route through rural central Vermont, crossing numerous farms and pasture lands. The official Skyline Trail begins in East Barnard with a two-mile climb which most skiers avoid. Details are available in the Skyline Trail pamphlet, from the Woodstock Touring Center.
How To Get There:
From Hanover take I-89 north to the Woodstock exit and follow the signs to Woodstock. From the town of Woodstock, take Route 12 north, bearing right after 0.7 miles and following the signs to the Suicide Six Ski Area. Leave one car at Suicide Six, turn right out of the parking lot and drive mile to South Pomfret, where you turn left (north) on the County Road. Drive five miles to Hewitt’s Corner and turn left at a sign for Sharon. Go 0.2 miles, then turn left again on a dirt road. Go straight on this road about two miles until it bends to the right and ascends a hill. Park at the top of the hill in the plowed parking pullout on the east side of the road (if you begin descending the hill, you have gone too far). There are blue trail markers and signs for a NATURAL AREA on the west side of the road which may be partly obscured by the snowbank. This is the start of the Skyline Trail.
This trail is not a pure wilderness tour, as it crosses numerous farms and pasture lands and makes several road crossings. Part of the trail is shared with snow machines. It is, however, a beautiful ski through the heart of the kind of countryside many people think of as the essence of Vermont. The trail is ungroomed, but maintained by the Woodstock Ski Touring Center, where you may obtain a pamphlet with a sketch map and route description. The route is not included on the USGS map of the area.
The trail takes off from the road where you park for the Amity Pond Natural Area. Follow blue markers to the Amity Pond lean-to, which is just in from the road, and continue past it where the trail opens onto a hill in a wide clearing. The trail continues through wide pastures and past stone walls and farmhouses. It follows close by the 17,000 foot, intermittent ridge line, repeatedly climbing up and then dropping off. From the Webster Hill Road crossing, the trail continues 1.7 miles to an old jeep road which is also used by snowmobilers. This is a fast two-mile descent. Use caution and courtesy. The trail drops more than 700 feet in the final two miles until it crosses a field and ends at Suicide Six Ski Area.