Mount Ascutney holds a deep historical significance to the town of West Windsor. For over 80 years, the mountain served as a place of recreation until the closure of the old ski area. To prevent its permanent closing, citizens rallied together to create a larger range of outdoor activities with mountain biking and hiking at Ascutney Outdoors Center.
In addition, the community formed events and educational programs regarding the gorgeous nearby ecosystem. The revival story of the Ascutney Outdoors institution is one full of vision and tireless passion for the outdoors.
Where is The Ascutney Outdoors Center?
The center is located a mere 15 minutes away from Interstate 91 and is close to nearby cities. Springfield and Rockingham are 30 minutes south from the Ascutney Outdoors. On the other hand, the town of Hartford is 30 minutes north.
The capital of Vermont, Montpelier is farther away being a 1 hour and 30 minute drive to the Ascutney Outdoors Center. Concord in New Hampshire is also the same distance being a 1 hour and 30 minute drive. As the hub for all recreational activities, the new Ascutney Outdoors Center sits in the village of Brownsville in the town of West Windsor.
What is The Ascutney Outdoors Center?
The Ascutney Outdoors is a recreation center in West Windsor, Vermont next to the gorgeous Mount Ascutney. It offers a four-season venue for both outdoor activities and nature lovers. For the cold winters, tourists can go Alpine skiing, snow tubing, and backcountry skiing.
“The community of the Ascutney Outdoors Center is made to bring people together united by a love of the outdoors and nature.”
During the warmer summers, the nearby ecosystem of Mount Ascutney presents some of the most amazing trails to explore in all of Vermont. Mountain biking on 35 miles of trails is possible through the stewardship of the Ascutney Trails Organization. The community of the Ascutney Outdoors Center is made to bring people together united by a love of the outdoors and nature.
Highlights of The Ascutney Outdoors Center
The Ascutney Outdoors Center contains many adventures for tourists to explore including:
- 26 acres of skiable terrain from beginners to masters.
- The longest run of 3,100 feet with their Alpine skiing.
- Family-friendly snow tubing.
- A 450-foot vertical drop for skiing off their 1,800’ Doppelmayr T-bar.
Does The Ascutney Outdoors Center Have Lodging?
While The Ascutney Outdoors Center does not have lodging, there are multiple resorts that travelers can book to stay in the nearby area. The Windsor Mansion Inn is a 15 minute drive from the recreation center. For those wanting to stay a little farther, the Royal Inn is a 20 minute drive from Mount Ascutney.
In the Cavendish/Baltimore area, options such as The Point at Castle Hill and the Timber Inn Hotel are approximately 30 minutes away.
Does The Ascutney Have Night Skiing?
The Ascutney Outdoors Center does not have night skiing as an option, however, there is an alternative that skiers could enjoy. Thursday Classic Races occur when there is enough snow during the ski season on Thursday evenings with eight weeks of racing.
Six of the races count towards end of year points and prizes that a person can get. The races are open to everyone with teams being able to consist of any combination of gender, age, skiers, and snowboarders.
The Best Time to Go to Ascutney to Ski or Snowboard?
For Alpine skiing, tourists have the option of purchasing a Season Supporter Pass which guarantees a pass each day you choose to ski. This is a great option to support the Ascutney Outdoors as it helps them cover their overhead and be sustainable.
Does The Ascutney Have a Ski Shop?
The center does not have a dedicated ski shop to rent out equipment. Be prepared to bring your own outdoor recreational equipment depending on the type of activity you wish to do. However, Ascutney has a multi-purpose Outdoors Center which is available to rent out for small weddings, private meetings, and educational groups.
Terrain Parks: What to Know
There are no terrain parks at the Ascutney Outdoors Center for skiers and snowboarders. However, there are 26 acres of skiable terrain for all ability levels at the outdoors center totaling 8 trails. It is also possible to go backcountry skiing and snow shoeing in the upper slopes of the former Mount Ascutney Ski Area.
Is The Ascutney Outdoors Center Good for Beginners?
With 26 acres of skiable terrain for all ability levels, the Ascutney Outdoors Center is perfect for beginners who have never skied or snowboarded before. Individuals of more advanced ability can try other trails and if they are daring enough, they can attempt to go backcountry skiing and snow shoeing. Never go ski alone, always have a buddy with you!
“With 26 acres of skiable terrain for all ability levels, the Ascutney Outdoors Center is perfect for beginners who have never skied or snowboarded before.”
Does The Ski Area Blow Their Own Snow?
The Ascutney Outdoors does not blow their own snow. Volunteers conduct maintenance and other activities that contribute to the longevity of the recreation center.
The Trails – Things to Know
Skiers of all levels can look forward to having an adventure at The Ascutney Outdoors. There are different locations that one can try from the easy going slopes to the rustic upper slopes of the Ascutney Mountain.
While skiing mainly takes place during the day, Thursday Night Classic allows skiers to have fun on Thursday nights during the ski season. If the T-Bar cannot open, the rope tow may open to the public to no charge.
What Can I Do at Ascutney Aside from Alpine Skiing and Snowboarding?
Other activities will vary depending on the season, time of year, and meteorological conditions. During the winter season, family-friendly tubing is available with a 500-foot tubing lift allowing people to zoom down on well-groomed hillsides.
During the summer season, one can go on hikes and trail running since the Ascutney Outdoors Center is the gateway to some of the best hiking trails in Vermont. Mountain biking is also available on 35 miles of mapped and marked mountain bike trails. Equestrians can also go on other paths that are shared with mountain bikers, runners, and hikers.
Is There Summer Mountain Biking at The Ascutney?
Yes, there are 35 miles of marked mountain bike trails within the former ski area and nearby West Windsor Town Forest. These trails were carefully maintained by the Ascutney Trails Organization and offer beautiful views of New England. Three trailheads in particular stand out with the Ski Tow Road/Ascutney Outdoors Center rated from beginner to advanced.
The Town Forest/Coaching Lane is better suited for intermediate to advanced riders. Finally, the State Park Trailhead is a 3.5-mile trail network meant for novice riders and is also kid-friendly.
The Ascutney Outdoors Center is a fabulous place to visit for tourists regardless of the season. The winter season presents numerous opportunities for both skiers and snowboarders to gain more experience. In addition, the summer season holds a lot of promise with beautiful hiking paths to mountain biking. Do not forget that The Ascutney Outdoors also hosts a lot of events for community outreach throughout the year as well.