Here at the Catamount Trail Association (CTA) we are frequently asked similar questions about how to approach skiing the Catamount Trail. See below for answers to the most common ones. If you do not find what you are looking for, feel free to email us!
May I use the Catamount Trail in seasons other than winter for activities such as hiking or biking?
Generally, non-ski and snowshoeing activity is prohibited on the Catamount Trail (CT) year-round. The Catamount Trail Association (CTA) works to honor and maintain written permission agreements with landowners and land managers who have chosen to allow trail access for backcountry skiing and snowshoeing. These landowners and land managers may be willing to host other non-motorized activities, but must be consulted by the interested party to confirm permission for their intended use (hiking, mountain biking, fat biking, etc.).
There are segments of the CT that are shared with other trail organizations and in some instances maintained for pedestrian and mountain bike traffic in the summer and/or winter months. If an individual is interested in hiking or mountain biking on a shared section of the CT, please contact the CTA and the local trail organization (VAST chapter, VMBA chapter, Mad River Path Association, etc.) to confirm that the trail segment is open to those activities.
- The CT is not groomed.
- Fat bikers and hikers utilizing shared trail segments in the winter months should stay to the side of the trail and avoid riding or stepping on ski tracks.
- When using the CT within a nordic ski center, check in at the center and pay any required fee.
I would like to ski inn-to-inn on the Catamount Trail, do you have any suggestions?
There are several options for inn-to-inn ski trips along the Catamount Trail. We have five Self-Guided Tours (3-4 days) outlined on our website which include daily tour options, lodging accommodations, distances and shuttle options (if available). These tours are spread out across the state and offer a variety of terrain for varied skiing abilities.
Can you ski the Catamount Trail all at once? How long will it take?
The Catamount Trail used to be skied by CTA members and enthusiasts as a month-long tour each winter. These tours were completed as 31 day-trips, with participants staying off the trail each night. Recently two people completed the entire trail in roughly twenty days, towing sleds behind them, camping along the trail or staying with generous volunteers and at nearby inns. This approach to skiing the Catamount Trail is rather rare, and most people ski the trail in day-length sections (there are 31 sections), and become Catamount Trail End-to-Enders over the course of several winters. The CTA provides volunteer-lead Multi-Day Tours (4-8 days) throughout the winter to help skiers complete each section of the trail in just a few seasons.
Is there hut-to-hut skiing along the Catamount Trail?
There are no huts along the Catamount Trail. There are a few select areas where the Catamount Trail does travel near the Long Trail and there are ways to connect to Long Trail shelters. Sections with the best options to connect to Long Trail shelters are Sections 22, 30 and 31. Our Winter Camping Guide outlines winter camping and shelter options for each section of the Catamount Trail and is the best resource for further information.
How do I winter camp while skiing on the Catamount Trail?
Please read through our Winter Camping Guide for the most detailed descriptions of winter camping rules and options along the Catamount Trail.
What are the weather and conditions like on the Catamount Trail?
There is no correct answer to this question. The temperature and weather varies greatly throughout the winter here in Vermont. Generally speaking, there is skiing somewhere on the Catamount Trail between late December and late March, although the coverage may be very different throughout the state. We recommend checking weather and condition reports often and before heading out on the trail. The most current condition reports can be found on our blog, Twitter and Facebook pages.
Does the Catamount Trail Association offer shuttles for skiers?
The CTA does not offer shuttle rides for skiers. Some inns along the Trail offer this service, but you must call and check, as many do not advertise this online. Inns that sponsor the Catamount Trail are listed on each section page. Available shuttle options are also listed for all of our Self-Guided Tours. You can always post a request on our Facebook page with your shuttle needs.
Is there a full map of the Catamount Trail?
There are maps of all 31 sections of the trail, including section descriptions, elevation profiles and parking options on individual the trail section pages of our website. The Catamount Trail Guidebook can also be purchased online and contains all of the 31 maps and very detailed section descriptions.