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Mad River Glen Nordic Center

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Mad River Glen Nordic Center

Waitsfield, Washington County, Vermont

"Mad River Glen Nordic Center, Waitsfield.  Wide, well-groomed novice trails pass through open field & woodlands; advanced terrain on high ridges provide spectacular back country skiing.  20 km machine tracked; 35 km total.  Elev.  1100'-2000'.  Instruction, rental, retail, repair, cafe, restaurant, lodging, day care nearby, ski weeks, telemark, headlamp tours, guided tours, inn to inn tours, mountaineering, video.  Rob Center, RD 1, Box 146, Waitsfield 05673.  Tel. 496-5851." -Cross Country Ski Vermont, 1985

Location: Rte. 17, Waitsfield, Vt. 05673

Directory listings: 1971-1972; 984-1987

Known operators: Rob Center; Elizabeth Pratt

Today: Mad River Glen still operates as an alpine ski area; Mad River Glen Nordic Center out of operation



            Mad River Glen opened in 1948 as an alpine area founded by Roland Palmedo who led Ski Touring Council Reunions at Mad River Glen as early as 1971.  Today, Mad River Glen alpine area is famed as a skiers only mountain (one of only three in the country) and one of two ski areas to still operate a single chair. 

            Though Mad River Glen hosted Nordic events in the early 70s, the Mad River Glen Nordic Center didn't get its start until Rob Center, owner and operator of nearby Tucker Hill Ski Touring Center, leased the Mad River Barn and signed a license agreement with the resort to open a second ski touring center at Mad River Glen.  This new center, initially also called Tucker Hill Ski Touring Center but which changed its name to Mad River Glen Nordic Center in 1982, offered equipment rentals and nordic and telemark instruction in addition to hosting special nordic events and competitions.

            In 1984, Mad River Glen informed Center that they would not renew the lease and license agreement because, according to legal documents, "the corporation was 'not prepared to aggressively pursue a commercial type -country or touring center' at that time."  1984/1985 was the last season Center operated a Nordic Ski Center at Mad River Glen.

            A Mad River Glen cross country center appears in 1986 and 1987 directories operated by Elizabeth Pratt, though it is unclear whether this ski center was licensed by Mad River Glen or operated out of the Mad River Barn.  If it was the same Mad River Glen trail network its trail system appears to have been significant diminished with only 5 km of trail compared to Center's 35 km.

           Today, no cross country is offered at Mad River Glen though it still operates as an alpine area and calls it a "mecca" for telemark skiing. 


See full listing of directory entries for Mad River Glen Nordic Center here.