Welcome to the
Northeast Kingdom
Island Pond,

Gateway to the
Silvio O. Conte
National Fish and Wildlife
Nulhegan Basin.

Come and explore the
Northeast Kingdom.
Down Hill Skiing in the Northeast Kingdom, Island Pond, Vermont, Nulhegan Basin, Your Outdoor Vacation Destination in VT.
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Northeast Kingdom
Island Pond, Vermont

Skiing and Snowboarding

Down Hill Skiing and Snow Boarding in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom is 2nd to no other.

Just minutes away from us here in the Village of Island Pond VT. are two of the best ski and snowboarding mountains in New England and Eastern Canada.

Jay Peak Resort - Only 66 minutes via automobile from our quaint village of Island Pond, VT.

offers 2,153 feet (656 meters) vertical, 385+ acres, 78 - named trails, 385+ acres, 50 miles of trails maintained glades

Q Burke Mountain Resort – Only 29 minutes via automobile from our quaint village of Island Pond, VT.

Q Burke Mountain Resort offers 2011’ vertical, 270+ acres, 55 named trails, 100+ acres maintained glades

Winding, narrow trails. Acres and acres of glades. Genuine warmth at the base. True North. It’s all so obvious, to us at least, that it’s the right way to do things. But as the trails got wider and wider and the experience flatter and flatter, it seemed more and more people had forgotten what made Vermont skiing and riding great in the first place.

A history–a legacy, perhaps–that we think is worth preserving. So as the rest of the North followed trends and fads, tacking on amenity after amenity to accommodate the masses, we clung to the old ways. Refusing to widen trails or give up our glades. Preserving that legacy for the future. But, sadly, many now believe that treeless swaths of mountain are all that Vermont skiing and riding ever were. When we say True North, they have no context for what it means and how that affects the skier or rider, the mountain or even the trails themselves.

So, here, we present (as a reminder to some and introduction to others) a trail guide that gives a taste of what it’s like to ski and ride True North.

East Bowl - 1590’ VT, 2.16 mI

We’ll start with a bit of classic Vermont – and by a bit, we mean over two miles of winding, mountain-contour hugging, surrounded-by-woods perfection. Take a quick pause at the first bend of East Bowl and soak in the mountain’s best morning views. Look, kids. Mount Washington! Enough geography. This narrow trail–about 40’ at its widest–is a roller coaster of drop after drop that takes you far off the beaten path. Not that we have a beaten path, but East Bowl is long and fast. People tend to stretch out and you may not see anyone else the entire run. Another thing you may not see is a ton of corduroy. One reason for this is that the mountain decided that this was as good a place as any to put a drop our groomers couldn’t access. Another is that a lot of people like East Bowl natural and a little rough, so it’s not always high on the groomer’s list.

DIPPERS - 1.37 mi steepest pitch 45%

Made up of Upper and Big Dipper, this top to bottom straight shot starts out in the shadow of the 2011-installed Burke wind turbine*. One of the most consistent runs from a snowmaking/grooming/ conditions point of view, the Dippers are a series of steep drops that will have you questioning if you’re truly on a blue. Certified to hold FIS and USSA downhill races, the Dipper trails are great for speed lovers, and racers can often be found practicing for upcoming events.

LEDGES - .15mi avg pitch 49.1%

Ledges may not be the longest run in this guide, but it’s allowed to bump up all winter long so it may be one of the most fun. Combine that rawness with the steepest pitch on the mountain, and you may want to pause a second to find
your line before dropping in. But with bumps you could disappear behind, and the trail being between two tree lines, if it decides to humble you, the mountain will probably be your only witness.

Wayne’s world - .24 mi avg pitch 28%

True North means tree skiing – a fact forgotten or ignored by our friends to the south and east. So as part of our promise to preserve our way of skiing and riding, we’d like to introduce you to Wayne’s World–one of five new glades making the trail map for the 2012/13 season. Linking off either Birches or The Jungle, expert skiers can now enjoy over a half mile of picturesque Vermont hardwoods. Although covering some of the mountain’s steepest pitch, the scenery might not be what you enjoy the most.

WARREN’s WAY - 1120’ vt avg pitch 36%

Burke is the home mountain to 55+ Olympic racers–including some 2014 hopefuls–from the Burke Mountain Academy. And each one of those racers perfected their turns on Warren’s Way. With a nice steady pitch, it’s a great speed run. Heads up as you get to Lower Warren’s as the BMA students will almost surely be out practicing, and the fairly wide (by Burke standards) trail narrows by about half–sometimes even more so with spectators seeing how it’s done. Because of the students’ rigorous schedule and need for quality surfaces, you can count on Warren’s for the most consistent snowmaking and grooming on the mountain.

Dashney Mile - .9mi avg pitch 18.3%

With almost a full mile of jumps and jibs that rival the biggest mountains in the east, D-Block (as it’s known at local colleges) is a great place to either learn or show off your best tricks. As proof of that, two members of the Burke Freestyle Team* placed at the United States of America Snowboard Association (USASA) Nationals in Copper, CO, in 2012. A rare feat for a first-year team. Chalk it up to good students, a good teacher and a one of a kind classroom. Just want to see what people are landing? There’s a side trail for spectators. But, hey, you’re on the mile, may as well try to hit something.

JESTER - 4 sections 50’ bridge

Machine-made berms, flat-tops and hairpin turns make Jester about as unique a trail as you’ll find anywhere. Those obstacles wind through trees in the Enchanted Forest glade before dropping off the edge of a trail into what was once an out of bounds area. That’s what you get when you open a mountain biking trail in the winter. Somewhere between banking roller coaster on snow and terrain park in the woods, Jester is as challenging and as exciting as you want it to be. A must-try run for all but the absolute beginner.

Bunker Hill - 593’ vt .8 mi

The lower mountain (with the exception of Dashney Mile) is the domain of the green skier. A fact that makes it a perfect place to learn without the dangerous criss-crossing of higher level trails indicative of many mountains. When the new skier or rider is ready for a challenge, they take the Sherburne Express lift and head skierleft toward Bunker Hill. The mountain rolls gently down through a beginner terrain area (may as well try a fun box while you’re there) and the Enchanted Forest Glade before dropping at its namesake. With good pitch for a green, the drop is short enough to not be imposing but steep enough to get some speed and test control. The perfect last run before you
graduate up the mountain.

MaGill Fields - 1.8 mi (that’s 3 km to you free-heeling XC folks)

We love downhill, but there’s even more to explore when you strap on some XC skis and take to the 80 trails that make up our Nordic system. Suitable for skiers of all levels and ages, MaGill Fields provides amazing views of Burke Mountain and the Umpire Ridgeline. Beautifully maintained by the Kingdom Trails Nordic Center, the 3K loop is widely groomed to offer both skating and classic skiing. Which also makes it perfect as the start and finish lines of the annual Burke Sled Dog Dash, a uniquely Burke event that brings the best mushers in the region to race their teams.

So there you have it. We hope this short outline gives you a sense of what it once meant and still means on one mountain to ski and ride classic Vermont. But that spirit doesn’t end when the boots come off. You can see it in the faces of our guests and our staff. You can feel it in our lodges. Whether it’s the vibe at Mid Burke’s Bear Den Lounge (the polite term is rustic) or sitting by the fire at the Tamarack Grill–you’ll feel it. Even in town at the local inns, taverns or eateries it permeates the area. A genuine warmth that comes from being part of something that is sadly now unique. A place where everyone feels like a local, even on their first visit. A place that lets common sense dictate growth. That respects both its natural heritage and its racing traditions. And where the mountain, not the money, leads the way. A place that’s true.

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