If Vermont during the winter only means skiing for you, it’s time to discover that there are equally fun winter sports to try in the state, like ice fishing, curling and Nordic skating. Attend Ice Sports University (ISU) weekend at Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee, where the setting is the Green and White Mountains on a 600-acre lake, and earn your “diploma” in extended outdoor fun.
“During the colder months, when people think of Vermont they think of downhill skiing, yet there are so many different outdoor winter activities that get the blood pumping,” said Mark Avery, general manager and “ISU president.” “ISU Weekend is a way for friends, families and couples to try winter sports they might not have otherwise tried or practice ones they already love.”
That means an icy playground complete with instructors who provide complimentary one-hour lessons on Saturday morning and afternoon in curling, pond hockey, Nordic skating, ice fishing, snowshoeing and Nordic skiing. Events culminate in a friendly competition for those who want to test their new skills with prizes and participation “diplomas” awarded during a graduation ceremony on Sunday morning.
Lake Morey Resort is more than 100 years old with third generation family ownership. The resort features 130 guest rooms with beautiful vistas. Rates start at $149 based on single or double occupancy. It’s 20 per person, per night for extra people sharing a room. The rate includes two nights of lodging and all workshops. All equipment (except helmets) will be provided onsite.
The dining room has panoramic lake views and a breakfast buffet, a gourmet dinner menu that includes appetizers like barbecued pull pork and main courses like tenderloin of beef and Caribbean jerk spiced snapper fillet, and a dessert table that makes it challenging to select just one. The Steamboat Lounge, also lakeside, offers sandwiches, soups and other pub-friendly fare. Meals are not included in the weekend package.
Throughout the weekend, the resort’s complimentary 120-seat indoor movie theater streams classic winter-sports-themed movies, and a variety of other indoor activities are available, from swimming and table tennis, to massages and other treatments in the resort’s Waters Spa. On Friday and Saturday evening, relax in the Steamboat Lounge where the Lake Morey beer master offers a variety of specialty brews on tap. There’s also a family-friendly nighttime bonfire complete with hot chocolate. In fact, there are always hot beverages available for the quick warm-up before heading back outdoors.
There are other special seasonal weekends, including pond spiel and ice hockey in January, a winter carnival and school vacation camp in February and ladies’ getaway weekends in March. But in case you’re already dreaming of summer activities like boating and paddle boarding, Lake Morey does melt in plenty of time for warmer outdoor sports and leisure time. There’s also an 18-hole championship golf course on-site.
Lake Morey Resort is located at 1 Clubhouse Rd., Fairlee, VT, above the Connecticut River. It’s about a four-hour drive from New York City or you can fly to nearby Lebanon, NH, and rent a car. For more information and to make reservations, visit www.lakemoreyresort.com or call 800-423-1211.