It was the last day of winter of 2017. The winter had had it's up and down in terms of snow fall, limiting how often we were able get out and enjoy winter activities. With a recent blizzard providing us with well over a foot of snow, I wanted to get out and enjoy what could possible be the last snow of the season. We have done a lot of repeat activities this winter, skiing the same places and hiking the same trails so I wanted to try a different area in New England. This is always the difficult part as I never want to spend too much time in the car. After various google searches I decided to take the family cross country skiing to Grafton Outdoors Center In Grafton, Vermont.
Grafton is located about an hour and a half away from Peterborough, NH. Grafton is a typical Vermont town, with a local inn, general store, cheese shop and restaurants with fresh local food. Upon arrival to the outdoors center, you observe a beautiful view as it is nestled among various mountains, a mountain stream and some fields. There is a small lodge where you can rent cross country skis, snowshoes, fat bikes and tubes for sledding. They sell some food and drinks or you can bring your own lunch to enjoy in front of the roaring fireplace. In the summer, they have other activities such as swimming, disc golf, hiking and mountain biking.
We spent a couple hours exploring their trails. They had a great set up for beginners or children just getting into cross country skiing as most of the trails were relatively flat. The blue trails which are moderate we found very manageable for our seven year old. We explored the forest, some fun hills, a couple fields, a covered bridge, a mountain stream and a cheese factory. Yes, you can ski to a cheese factory. Unfortunately, the factory was not open the day we visited, but the general store a couple miles away sold the cheese from the factory.
After exploring the trails, my daughter wanted to test out the tubing hill. We rented a tube and headed towards the hill. This was the only negative of the trip. You have to walk the tube up the hill and after a couple hours of skiing and walking up the hill our legs got tired. I know other tubing facilities have some sort of tow or magic carpet, which would have been nice here. My husband and I took turns going up and down the hill and getting our steps in for the day. The first run I was a little nervous watching my daughter go down as it was FAST, but she LOVED IT. She did about 10 runs before leaving.
Overall, we spent about three to four hours at the facility and would go back. If you are looking for some place different to ski, but is not too far away this is a great place to check out for people of all ages and abilities.