Vermont's Gateway To Backcountry Skiing And Riding

Trail Etiquette


Ski Touring Center Trails – Please read! Very important!
When you enter the trail system of a cross-country ski center, please check in at the center. Skiing the Catamount Trail does not exempt you from paying a trail fee at the center. Each center has its own policy; some may allow you to ski free, others may charge a fee. Bring along your CTA membership card/coupon to get a discount if you have to pay a fee. Please adhere to each center’s policies. Also note that most touring centers do not allow dogs on their trails. Plan your trip accordingly if bringing a canine friend along.

Landowners Along the Trail 
Currently 60% of the Catamount Trail crosses private land. The CTA has permission to cross these privately owned lands thanks to the cooperation of these landowners. Continued access depends upon continued good relations between skiers and landowners.  The remaining 40% of the Trail crosses various types of public land. Owned by and accessible to all of us, these lands provide a wide range of exciting landscapes to explore. The Catamount Trail passes through 13 different parcels owned by municipal governments, land owned by the state of Vermont and managed by the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation, as well as thousands of acres of Green Mountain National Forest. We are sincerely grateful to these landowners and managers for their generosity in providing permission for the Trail.

Please respect the rights of landowners and stay on the blazed route. In addition, keep your dog on the trail (have a leash with you!) and carry out any trash that you make or see. If you run into any problems, please let us know.

Snowshoe Etiquette on the Catamount Trail
The Catamount Trail Association recognizes the popularity and importance of snowshoeing in Vermont and welcomes snowshoeing on the Catamount Trail. Snowshoers should be aware that their tracks can be very difficult for people to ski through and should take the following precautions to ensure a positive experience for all that use the trail.

  • Snowshoers should travel in single file — creating only one snowshoe track.
  • Snowshoers should keep to one side of the trail, allowing the other side the trail for ski travel. This is especially important on hills where folks skiing downhill need sufficient space to make turns, slow down, or stop.
  • Whenever possible, snowshoers should avoid stepping on ski tracks.
  • Where the CT crosses cross-country ski center trails, all users of the trail are asked to abide by the rules and customs of the center.

Snowmobile Trails
The Catamount Trail uses many snowmobile trails through the generosity of the Vermont Association of Snow Travelers (VAST). Skiers should step off the trail to allow snowmobiles to pass. VAST membership dues pay for the maintenance of these trails. If you will be regularly skiing sections of the Catamount Trail that use parts of the VAST trails, please consider supporting the maintenance of these segments by joining VAST. Contact VAST at: 26 Vast Lane, Barre, VT 05641, 802.229.0005

Following these simple guidelines will ensure that everyone has the best possible experience on the Catamount Trail… ENJOY!



The Vermont Backcountry Ethic
In 2015, the Vermont Backcountry Alliance, a program of the CTA, finalized a new set of Leave No Trace guidelines for backcountry users in Vermont. Close partnerships with the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation, Green Mountain Club, Green Mountain National Forest, Winter Wildlands Alliance, and the Leave no Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, made this publication possible. 

The Vermont Backcountry Ethics are a winter adaptation of the seven core principles of outdoor travel developed by the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics. Signs with the Vermont Backcountry Ethics will be displayed at trailheads, ski areas, and other recreation areas throughout the state.

Vermont is a special place for outdoor recreation activities; the trail ethic is one way to help keep our backcountry areas in good condition and available for future generations of recreation opportunities. Please keep these Backcountry Ethics in mind while you explore Vermont during the winter!


Click on the image above to link to a printable “long” version of the Vermont Backcountry Ethics.