- 615 Little Pond Road, Londonderry, VT 05148
One of the oldest xc ski centers in North America, Viking Nordic Center (802-824-3933, www.vikingnordic.com) in Londonderry, Vermont provides 35 km of groomed trails through winding trails, thick woods, past beaver ponds and open meadows.
Viking is one of the leading xc ski centers for families. While it is best suited for intermediates and has some longer advanced trails, there are no worries about ever meeting a killer downhill on Viking's trails. There is a kids' terrain park in a meadow with little hills and valleys and fun figures to ski around; all within view of parents on the sun deck. Cookie Cards are available to children aged 12 and under. A punch card comes with the trail pass and kids ski to all 5 cookies-card punch stations to stamp their cards. Then they glide back to the lodge cafe to claim their free cookie reward. It's a game that gives the kids an objective, specific destinations and a cookie.
Of course, Viking specializes in small rental equipment sized for kids and lessons geared to youngsters. They also have on-snow kid-sitting or babysitting so parents can ski on their own for a while (by reservation $25/hour or $15 for a half hour).. There are close-in ski trail loops that are easy and geared to kids and sheltered from the wind. Families are welcome to bring their own picnic lunch and eat at the warming hut, on the sun deck or at picnic tables that are available along the trails.
Viking Nordic has a warming hut with a full service ski shop. There is also a 4 bedroom guest house on the trails that is perfect for parties or for weekend getaways. It sleeps up to 9 people, has 3 baths, full kitchen, fireplace and is an original farmhouse built in the 1860's. In the summer the house can be rented for $850 per week. There is a Club House available for private parties for $60 per day.
Trail pass prices at Viking Nordic are $20 for adult and $17 for half day (1 PM). Trail fees for student 15-17 are $17 and $14 for half day; junior 6-14 are $12 and $10 for half day and seniors, aged 60+ are $17 and $14 for a half day. Kids that are 5 and under ski free. XC ski equipment rentals are $20 ($17 for a half day) with lower fees for children $15 for a day and $12 for half day. Snowshoes are $20 or $17 for half day. Pulk sleds (to pull the toddler kids behind) are available for rent for $25 or $15 for AM or PM. There are multi-day discounts on trail fees and rentals. A 5-day pass booklet is $80.
Group lessons (1-hour) are $20, a private individual lesson is $35 and semi private is $50 for two people in a one hour session. Lessons for children are $15 for a half hour. The Learn to Ski Package with trail fee, rentals, and a lesson is $55 or $49 in the PM. There is a family lesson by appointment for $75 (A GREAT & UNIQUE DEAL!). Night skiing on Saturdays and holidays features lighted trail loops, hot coco and special desserts.
Viking Nordic is about 1 hour from Albany, NY and 2 hours from Hartford, CT. From points south take Route 100 to Route 11 east to Londonderyy, VT. Go through the light at Route 100N intersection and take 2nd left on Little Pond Road. The area is at the top of the hill. Viking Nordic Center is in the south central region of VT and only 18 miles from Manchester, known for retail shops, outlets, and restaurants. Alpine skiing nearby includes Bromley, Stratton, and Okemo. CCSAA member.