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Blog :: 10-2010

When is Opening Day at Mount Snow?

I wish we had the answer for you, but in all the years we've been waiting for the lifts to start turning for the season, we've learned that it depends on three factors: snow, temperature and passion. And we usually don't find out an exact opening date until a week before it happens.

Looking at the past 5 years, though, it's safe to say that Mount Snow will open as soon as weather allows. Count on the lifts spinning by Thanksgiving weekend, unless ridiculously unseasonable weather inhibits snowmaking (This happened in 2009. The mountain did not officially open until early December).

Here's what really matters when it comes to answering the question "when is opening day at Mount Snow?"

Opening Day at Mount Snow?Snow No surprise here. If we get early snowfall in the Deerfield Valley (and hopefully lots of it), it's an easy decision for Mount Snow's management to drop the ropes. The top of the mountain already received 4" of fresh on October 15, 2010 (see photo, right) -- if that's any indication we could be looking at an early to mid-November opening.

Temperature Thanks to some of the best snowmaking infrastructure in North America, Mount Snow is not necessarily reliant on natural snowfall. They can make their own snow. Of course, this depends on temperatures cold enough to turn that spray of water into ice crystals, which float down to the trail as snow. Keep in mind, just because it's 31 degrees out doesn't mean the snow guns can be turned on. Sustained temperatures in the mid-20s with low humidity are typically the minimum requirement to make quality snow.

Passion The past few years, we've seen Mount Snow open for a day or two in October with a small terrain park on Launchpad, a beginner's trail near the bottom of the mountain. Management wouldn't put in the effort to open a small patch of snow without the people, though. Passionate skiers and riders come out of the woodwork, and that gets everyone excited. In 2008, Launchpad opened for a single day on October 20, with nearly 100 diehard skiers and riders showing up (see video below for proof). If the enthusiasm carries through November, management is more likely to get a top-to-bottom run open early.

So keep your fingers crossed that all the three factors combine and Mount Snow gets an early opening. And as always, if you're looking for a weekend house rental near Mount Snow, you can check out our listings at Chimney Hill -- we're just 15 minutes from the mountain.

Posted on 2010-10-04 17:59:55

House for Sale, Wilmington, VT in Chimney HillFamily & friends can spread out with plenty of room in this well-kept 4 BR, 3 bath home. This bright and sunny home features lots of light, a living room fireplace, wood stove in family room, and is sold mostly furnished. Property includes direct access to VAST snowmobile trails with a common land border to the south.


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Top 3 Fall Foliage Trips in Southern Vermont

Vermont foliage attracts thousands and thousands of tourists each year on leaf tours. And that's no coincidence. The yellows, oranges, reds and browns that paint the rolling mountains of Southern Vermont are worth the drive up - as attested by the legions of out-of-state plates that cruise its roadways every year.

Looking for the best fall foliage trips in southern Vermont? You've come to the right place. Throw out that GPS and let the maples, birch, oak, beech and elm trees be your guide. Here are our Top 3 Vermont Foliage Tours in and around the area.

1. The Quickie (Rte. 9, Rte. 8, Rte. 100 loop)

Approximate Drive Time: 50 Minutes

Start in the center of Wilmington, Vermont, heading west on Rte. 9. If it's early, grab yourself a cup of fresh roasted coffee at Bean Head's - best coffee in town. After about 7 miles, turn left onto Rte. 8. By now, you're well into the Green Mountain National Forest -- prime Fall foliage trips territory. This stretch is arguably the most colorful so keep your eyes peeled (if you're driving, please be careful, of course). Residences and commercial buildings are all but nonexistent - it's just you and the road. Turn left onto Rte. 100 North (if it feels like you're actually going south, that's because you are. Don't worry, the road curves northward in a bit). You'll have a fabulous view of Lake Whitingham on your left and Sadawga Lake to your right at one point - stay alert. Continue on 100 until you come back out onto Rte. 9. Take a left and you'll be back in Wilmington, just in time for a bite to eat at Maple Leaf Brewing.

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2. The Moose Hunter

Approximate Drive Time: 3 hours (small portion of route is unpaved).

Beebe Pond, Stratton, Vermont This Vermont foliage tour passes Beebe Pond on Kelley Stand Rd.

"The Moose Hunter" will take you down historic state roads, through quaint Vermont villages, over breathtaking mountain ridges and past ponds and streams teeming with wildlife. From Wilmington, head east on Rte. 9. In Brattleboro (a stop at Amy's Bakery on Main St. is highly recommended for fresh baked desserts, a sandwich, soup or hot drinks), head North on Rte. 30. After about 20 minutes, you'll pass through Newfane, VT, a quintessential New England village that seems straight out of a "Fall Foliage in Vermont" postcard. With a centuries-old courthouse, church, inn and general store, this hamlet is pretty much MADE for fall foliage pictures. Continue on 30, soaking in the view of Stratton and Bromley's colorful slopes along the way, to Manchester, a great place to stop and score some deals at various shopping outlets. In the center of town, turn left onto Rte. 7A. In Arlington, you'll need to make a few turns (see map for turn-by-turn directions) before getting to the main attraction: Kelley Stand Rd. Closed to traffic during the harsh winter months, this dirt and gravel road is a true nature lover's paradise. Don't be surprised if you spot a moose tramping through Beebe Pond [pictured above] on your right. Residencies are all but nonexistent on this 9-mile stretch, with only a few cabin-like camps here and there. The road eventually turns to asphalt again when it turns to Stratton-Arlington Rd. Follow this until you reach Rte. 100. Take a right and you'll cruise the remaining Vermont foliage tour miles in style, past Mount Snow and back to Wilmington.

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3. The Mass(achusetts) Attack

Approximate Drive Time: 1 hour 45 minutes

We'll depart slightly from a strict regiment of Vermont foliage tours, taking you briefly into Massachusetts. But we promise it will be worth it for the bright colors, winding roads and pit stop at one of Greenfield, MA's best food stops. Start by getting south on Rte. 100 out of Wilmington. In 15 minutes, you'll arrive in Jacksonville, VT, where you'll jump onto Rte. 112. Here to Greenfield is probably the best stretch of the ride for picture-perfect Vermont foliage, so keep your camera at hand. Once you've reached the thriving metropolis of Greenfield (it will feel like a metropolis after the peaceful solitude of Rte. 112), get yourself to People's Pint, a brewery and restaurant that serves its own fresh-brewed ales and locally-sourced dishes (try the pulled pork sandwich). When you're good and full, head north on Rte. 5 to Brattleboro. You can jump onto I-91 if you want to speed things up.

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Drive safely and enjoy Vermont's foliage and natural surroundings. If you're visiting the area for an extended stay, we'd love to host you in one of our short-term rental houses in Wilmington, Vermont.

Grout Pond, Stratton, Vermont Grout Pond near Stratton, Vermont


  1. Patty Killion on

    [...] Don’t worry if you take a wrong turn or lose cell phone service while searching out covered bridges – asking locals for recommendations on which bridges to visit is perhaps the best way to do a covered bridge tour. Vermonters are very proud of the bridges, so you’re sure to get lots of advice and probably learn a bit of local history. If touring in spring and summer, you’ll see the Green Mountains in their glory, while the fall provides a backdrop of fantastic Vermont fall foliage. [...]
    • P.O. BOX 415, 9 Haystack Road, Wilmington VT 05363