Few things in life taste better than a hot meal or hot chocolate after coming in from a cold day of skiing. Folks who also snowshoe, snowboard or hike at Notchview in Windsor, will now have a place where they can do just that.
The cross-country ski area controlled by The Trustees of Reservations has just added a cafeteria as part of newly completed renovations to its chalet for the winter season.
In addition, the updated two-floor lodge now includes a ski rental store for beginning skiers who are just learning the sport and want to cut down on expenses. A fireplace has also been installed.
"It's a very cozy place," Notchview spokesman Mark Wamsley said of the new chalet. "The thought behind a lot of the improvements is to encourage new people to come."
Another new facet of Notchview this year will be ski lessons, Wamsley said. Beginner Nordic ski lessons will take place in groups on Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. throughout the winter.
The skiing and hiking trails at Notchview extend about 25 miles across the Hoosac Range, which is part of the Green Mountains. Much of the reservation is above 2,000 feet, with Judge's Hill the highest point at 2,297 feet.
There are 16 kilometers of groomed skiing trails, 11 kilometers of ungroomed skate skiing trails and 11 kilometers of ungroomed trails. There is also two kilometers of a dog loop.
There are seven expert trails totaling 11 kilometers, 11 intermediate trails which are 18 kilometers in length and seven beginner trails totaling 11 kilometers.
Most of the reservation is covered with a red spruce and northern hardwood forest. Wild animals at the reservation include deer, moose, snowshoe hare, chickadees, barred owls, and pileated woodpeckers.
The trails have benefited from cold temperatures and rather consistent snowfalls the last couple weeks, although rainfall has dampened conditions at times.
Notchview doesn't make snow for its trails, so it relies on the elements for its success. "We are letting Mother Nature do the work for us," Wamsley said. "It's all natural. It's what make the area special."
The mountain is on conservation land that is protected by The Trustees of Reservations as a wildlife habitat. None of the property can be developed.
The property was formerly owned by Lt. Col. Arthur D. Budd, a WWI veteran, who donated the 3,000 acres of farmland to The Trustees of Reservation in 1965 to be protected. Additional property was donated to the reservation by F. Sydney and Rosamond Smithers in 1993.The lodge dates back to 1840, when it was used as a barn.
Nordic ski rental packages will include skis, poles and boots at a cost of $20 per day for adults and $15 for children. Beginner Nordic ski lessons will take place in groups on Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. throughout the winter. Group lesson rates are $25 person and $20 for Trustees members. Individual lessons will also be available for $50/person.
Notchview's daily winter trail access rates for Trustees members without a season's pass are $8 for adults and $3 for children (ages 6-12) on weekends and holidays, and free on weekdays. For non-Trustees members, weekend, weekday and holiday fees are $15 for adults and $6 for children (ages 6-12). With a current Trustees membership, plus a 2013-14 season pass, visitors can ski free all day, every day. This season's pass is $50 per adult. Children in a Trustees-member family who are under age 18 also ski free when accompanied by an adult pass holder.
To reach Nathan Mayberg:
or (413) 496-6243