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Winter Fun

Winter Recreation On and Around Lake Champlain
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Sure, Lake Champlain’s heavenly in the summertime. During a Basin Harbor Club stay, you can go kayaking on its vast waters, take a swim, hike or bike our woodsy trails, embrace your inner Roger Federer or Serena Williams on the tennis courts, or melt your cares away with a lakeside spa treatment. Doesn’t sound too bad, does it?

Winter, though, comes with its own charms and pleasures. Indeed, for anyone with an outdoors bent, the wintertime recreation in the Champlain Valley is truly hard to beat.

Downhill skiers and snowboarders, of course, have easy access to the world-class ski resorts of Vermont’s Green Mountains. We certainly spend time with our friends at Sugarbush and Bolton Valley this time of year.

Cross-country skiers and snowshoers have endless miles of forest trails to cruise through, reveling in the crisp silence of snowbound groves and the plentiful track-ways of squirrels, hares, grouse, foxes, and other critters crisscrossing the trail. Although it’s not looking promising this winter, Lake Champlain typically offers additional miles to explore by cross-country ski or snowshoe as it tends to freeze over.

If you’re of the angling persuasion, meanwhile, Lake Champlain’s a fabulous place to indulge in the venerable pastime of ice-fishing. One of the harbingers of the deep-winter season are the ice-fishing shanties that spring up out on the lake this time of year, the temporary shelters of fishers casting after rainbow smelt, yellow perch, lake trout, Atlantic salmon, northern pike, walleye, and other species.

And speaking of ice, how about a little skating to truly embrace the seasonal spirit? You can do the same with a ride on a horse-drawn sleigh, or an invigorating afternoon of dogsledding—both popular pursuits this time of year in the Champlain Valley.

Birdwatchers have plenty of seasonal highlights to seek out: the big flocks of waterfowl on Lake Champlain, the northern songbirds and raptors wintering in Vermont’s fields and forests, the breathtaking beauty of a dazzling blue jay or cardinal against the white snowpack. See our recent blog to learn more about what birds to look for in our area.

All of this outdoor fun, of course, takes place against some gorgeous wintertime scenery: sunset over the snowy summits of the high Adirondacks, white pines looming in leafless shoreline woods along the icy blank of the big lake. Photographers, eat your hearts out! (And don’t forget your winterwear.)

So get out there and enjoy the unique atmosphere of the wintry Champlain Valley: There are countless ways to get your heart rate up as you appreciate the splendor. And while you’re at it, plan your next summer stay with us at Basin Harbor Club—visions of summertime bliss aren’t far away!