Winter Fun at Trapp Family Lodge
February 6, 2014

According to our groundhog weather forecasters, and confirmed by Mother Nature with our most recent snowstorm, we can probably look forward to another six weeks of winter. A lovely spot to enjoy snowy pursuits is at the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont, which is just what I did with my daughter and a couple of friends recently.

We were all charmed by the European-style property, set on 2,500 acres, which offers stunning views, cozy rooms, and plenty to do. In fact, it can be hard to decide just what to do because the resort offers a daily packed schedule of events to choose from. There’s an indoor swimming pool, rock-climbing wall, baking classes, painting, music, yoga and, of course, skiing.

The von Trapps opened the country’s first cross country ski center and today the trail system includes 60 km of groomed trails and 100 km of back-country trails with terrain suitable for all levels. The Nordic center rents back country gear, snowshoes and skis and several guided tours are scheduled.

We all immensely enjoyed the von Trapp history tour, offered on a regular basis, which revealed what was true and false from the “Sound of Music” movie, inspired by the family. My daughter and her friend were astounded to find out that the von Trapps were real people!

In 1938, just before World War II, the Baron and the Baroness von Trapp left all their possessions and estate near Salzburg (they took a train and did not hike over the Alps!). With nine children (not seven) and one on the way, they fled Austria and were granted asylum in U.S. They arrived with just $4, settled in Philadelphia and performed all over as the Trapp Family Singers.

Eventually, they bought a small farmhouse in Stowe because the landscape reminded them of home. They rented out rooms at their farmhouse to skiers and ran a music camp. Maria wrote the autobiography that inspired the play and world-famous movie. Over the years, the property, to this day still-family owned, grew into what it is now, a 96-room lodge, with villas and guest houses. At the end of the tour, Johannes von Trapp, the youngest of the von Trapp children, made an appearance and held a Q & A. to the delight of the guests.

When we did get off the property, exploring Stowe, a quintessential New England town, was a lot of fun, with its numerous general stores, the Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum, and the nearby Ben & Jerry’s ice cream factory, which offers tours and samples.

One highlight of our Vermont weekend was a dog-sledding tour with Peace Pups. As we raced through the woods next to Lake Elmore (about 30 minutes from the resort) on a 5-mile trek, the snow was falling, the Siberian Huskies seemed thrilled to be running and we embraced winter with open arms.

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On your next visit to your favorite park or playground, bring gloves and a bag and pick up trash for a few minutes before playing. Or take a trash hike around the block or anywhere else you like.



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