Each year, we send out a survey to find the best in Vermont’s outdoors. The best ski areas, shops, bars, brews and restaurants and more. To see all the 2019 Black Diamond Award winners click here:
For the first time, Mad River Glen moved into the top three in the rankings, displacing perennial favorite Stowe. Another change: for many, backcountry skiing is now almost as popular as alpine skiing, with half of our respondents claiming it as their second favorite sport.
Bolton Valley’s backcountry clinics and rentals (as well as its phenomenal terrain and two huts) earned it top honors for sidecountry.
Brandon Gap and the trails put in place by the Rochester/Randolph Area Sports Trails Alliance (RASTA) beat out both Camel’s Hump and Mt. Mansfield as the best backcountry destination.
In cross country skiing, high scores went to areas that have snowmaking—Trapp Family Lodge, Craftsbury and Rikert Nordic Center—with Prospect Mountain, now under new ownership, winning for southern Vermont.
Best Alpine Areas 1. Sugarbush 2. Jay Peak 3. Mad River Glen 4. Stowe 5. Smugglers’ Notch
Best Ski Area Events: 1. Killington World Cup, Killington, 2. Vermont Open, Stratton, 3. Castlerock Extreme, Sugarbush, 4. Triple Crown at Mad River Glen 5. Harris Hill Ski Jump,Brattleboro
Best Nordic Areas, North: 1. Trapp Family Lodge, Stowe, 2. Craftsbury Outdoor Center, Craftsbury 3. Jay Peak, Jay
Best Nordic Areas, Central: 1. Rikert Nordic Center, Ripton, 2. Woodstock Inn, Woodstock, 3. Blueberry Lake, Warren
Best Nordic Areas South: 1. Prospect Mountain, Woodford, 2. Wild Wings, Peru. 3. Mountain Top Inn, Chittenden
Best Nordic Events: 1. Craftsbury Marathon, 2. Stowe Derby, 3. Camel’s Hump Challenge
Best Sidecountry: 1. Bolton Valley, 2. Smugglers’ Notch, 3. Jay Peak, 4. Stowe, 5. Sugarbush
Best Backcountry: 1. Brandon Gap & RASTA Trails, 2. Camel’s Hump, 3. Mt. Mansfield