cross country skiing, xc skiing, Rikert Nordic Center, Vermont, Middlebury, snowmaking
- Route 125, Breadloaf Campus, Middlebury College, Ripton, VT
Rikert Nordic Center (802-443-2744; Rikert Nordic Center) is in the heart of the Green Mountains in Ripton, Vermont only 13 miles east of Middlebury, Vermont. There are 50 km of groomed trails for classic and skate skiing, 5 km for snowshoeing, and the largest snowmaking system in the US. The area is open 8:30 - 4:30.
Located at the Breadloaf Campus of Middlebury College, Rikert Nordic Center was the recipient of an alumni donation to install 5 km of snowmaking, which makes it the largest trail system of its type among cross country ski areas in America. There are 20 snowguns, which provide 250 gallons of water per minute so that 5 km of trails can be covered in about 200 hours. The trails that are covered are a designed "homologated" race course, which means that it meets FIS standards of climb levels and total elevation. Rikert hosted the NCAA Championships in March 2013. Trails covered with machine-made snow allow skiers to get out in the early part of the season or when other areas are impacted by warm weather that causes them to be unskiable.
Rikert Nordic Center has a ski shop with retail products for sale, snacks, and a waxing room. The trails interconnect with the Catamount Trail, which runs north-south from border to border in Vermont. Another destination along the Rikert trails is the Robert Frost Cabin.
The trail fee is $17 for an adult and $10 for students. A child under age 5 is $5. Rental xc skis are $18 for an adult and $16 for a student of child. Skate skis are $20 for an adult and $18 for a student or child. Pulks can be rented for $7 per hour and a sit ski is available to rent for $20. Snowshoes are $12 for an adult and $8 for a child.
Ski lessons are $45 for a private and $30 for a group lesson. A lesson and rental package is $55 for a private and $35 per person in a group. Special programming includes Mom Monday to ski with a small child in pulk; Toddler Tuesday for kids aged 3-5 lets parent ski for free while the little one is in a program from 12:30 -1:30. The Toddler gets a rental, lesson, snack break, and the parent gets a break. "Snowflakes" is a program on Saturday morning for 3-5 year olds.
Rikert brings a world class cross country ski area to Addison County and nearby Middlebury, which has quaint lodging, restaurants, nightlife, and arts/culture. Click Addison County for more info or lodging at Middlebury Inn, Chipman Inn, Waybury Inn, Swift House Inn.The Middlebury College Snow Bowl is a couple of miles away from Rikert on Route 125.
Directions: From east - Route 100 to Route 125 for 11 miles. Look for the yellow buildings of the Middlebury College Breadloaf Campus. Enter the building around the back on the right side. From west - Route 7 to Route 125 east for 8 miles. CCSAA member