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Killington, Vermont is one of the busiest places in New England during the winter ski season. The “Beast of the East” is the largest ski resort in the state of Vermont. But what is there to do at the ski resort in the summer? There always seems to be a cool breeze up in the mountains so the Green Mountains are a great place to beat the summer heat in New England. Luckily, there are plenty of things to do in Killington, VT, from the Killington Bike Park to great hiking.
1. Learn to Mountain Bike at the Killington Bike Park
Have you always wanted to try out mountain biking but don’t know where to begin? The Killington Bike Park has a “Learn to Mountain Bike” program that is a great way to get started with your kids. First, riders are outfitted with safety gear and a bike with full suspension. Adults might find that there is a bit of a learning curve to using a mountain bike, but adventurous kids will be thrilled with their new equipment for the day.
The Snowshed Express Quad Lift is the gateway to the beginner trails at Killington Bike Park. After a lesson on braking and positioning, families participating in the Learn to Mountain Bike Program will begin by taking the lift to the access the easiest green trails. With our enthusiastic and encouraging instructor, we made a few rides down the mountain during our two-hour lesson. After the lesson families can use their bikes and safety gear for the remainder of the day. There are add-ons available for extending your time on the mountain for additional days.
Access Killington Bike Park’s Green and Blue Trails from the Snowshed Express Quad Lift
The Killington Bike Park continues to upgrade each summer season and regularly receives awards for being one of the best bike parks on the East Coast. The Snowshed Lift for accessing the easiest green and blue trails is conveniently located adjacent to the Adventure Center at Killington Ski Resort and just a short walk from the Killington Grand Resort Hotel.
Children not old enough to learn to ride a mountain bike can happily play all day at the Adventure Center or even hang out at the pool of the Killington Grand Hotel. No one in the family will be left out of the family vacation fun. The bike park is hands-down one of the best things to do in Killington, VT.
Looking for more fun places to bike and hike Vermont? Check out Trekaroo’s Top 10 Things to Do in Vermont with Kids.
2. Play at the Adventure Center
For all those who like to jump high, zoom downhill, and challenge themselves athletically, the Killington Adventure Center is fun place to spend the day. While the Woodward Wrecktange, Skye Ropes Course, and Trampoline Jump are great for those kids with boundless energy, those less athletically inclined will be happy to experience The Beast Mountain Coaster and Soaring Eagle again and again.
In Switzerland, our family learned to enjoy a good mountain coaster. Now, we seek them out wherever we travel. The Beast Mountain Coaster is one of the best. It winds down the hill at Killington among the trails of the Killington Bike Park. What fun!
One of the newest additions at the Killington Adventure Center is the Woodward Wrecktangle, one of the ninja warrior courses that seem to be popping up everywhere. The great thing about this ninja course is that the kids can run it again and again as their parents sit nearby in the shade.
I stood by and watched as my son enjoyed flipping on the Trampoline Jump and moved with great agility through the Skye Ropes Course way above my head. While these activities aren’t unique to Killington, having them all in one place promises a full day of fun for the energetic kiddo, and a bit of a rest for family vacation weary parents.
Finally, the entire family will want to take a turn on the Soaring Eagle which rises high above the Killington Adventure Center for a beautiful view over Vermont’s Green Mountains.
3. Ride to the Top of Killington Peak in the K-1 Gondola
Need a break from all the adventure in Killington, VT? Wait for a clear day and ride the K-1 gondola to the top of Killington Peak, the second highest peak in the state of Vermont. At the top, you’ll find a restaurant with a spectacular view, a short .2-mile long trail to the very top of the mountain, and paths leading back down the mountain.
While there is a bit of rock scrambling involved, most of the family should be able to make the short climb up to the top of Killington Peak. It can be quite windy at the top. The day that we visited, the clouds blew by quickly. One moment we were surrounded by clouds with zero visibility, then suddenly the clouds blew past and the view stretched for miles in every direction.
In general, we found the food at Killington food courts to be remarkably fresh. Down at Showshed, the salad bar was impressive. It offered fresh strawberries and cubes of cheese in addition to greens that looked fresh enough to have come from a local farmer’s market. The food at the Peak Lodge appeared just as yummy, as you’d expect in Vermont.
4. Walk to Thundering Brook Falls on the Appalachian Trail
The walk to Thundering Brook Falls on the Appalachian Trail can hardly be called a hike. From the parking area just outside of Killington, Vermont, families can take an evening stroll on a flat boardwalk most of the way to the falls. It’s a nice stroll to take after dinner in town. It’s amazing how quickly all the cars and people will disappear and you’ll be left to enjoy the Green Mountains and the waterfall.
5. Swim in Quechee Gorge State Park
Quechee Gorge State Park is a popular Vermont State Park about an hour outside of Killington, VT. The area around Quechee makes the perfect day trip from Killington. On a hot day, families can hike down into the gorge from the visitor center to cool off in the river. On a Friday evening, we found New Englanders of all ages jumping into the Ottauquechee to cool off. Hiking the opposite direction, families will find views of the bridge, a waterfall, and Dewey’s Mill Pond.
6. Have a Maple Creemee at Mad Hatter’s Scoops
Looking for a sweet treat in Killington, Vermont? The place to go in the summer months is Mad Hatter’s Scoops. They serve up both soft serve ice cream and ice cream by the scoop. Since you’re in Vermont, be sure to indulge in something maple flavored. So, what’s your pick, a maple creemee or maple walnut ice cream?
7. Visit VINS Nature Center
Looking for another day trip to take on your family vacation to Killington, VT? VINS, Vermont Institute of Natural Science, is a nature center that features live bird programs and reptile encounters. It is actually located adjacent to Quechee Gorge State Park, about an hour’s drive from Killington. Want to know more about Vermont’s forests? VINS is the place to go. Children can go inside a tree to hold real moose antlers and learn about the ecology of Vermont. There’s also an outdoor adventure playground featuring tunnels, logs, a spider web, and a climbing wall.
8. Stay at Killington Grand Resort and Swim in the Heated Outdoor Pool
When visiting in the summer, the place to stay is the Killington Grand Resort Hotel. It is within walking distance of the golf course, Killington Adventure Center, and Showshed Lift, which gives access to the beginner and intermediate Killington Bike Park trails. The Killington Grand Resort complex also has a restaurant and a store serving snacks from coffee to chips. The heated outdoor pool with views of the mountains including Killington Peak is a highlight at the Killington Grand. After a day full adventure, it is so nice to be able to walk across the bridge back to the hotel for a soak in one of the hot tubs at this indoor/outdoor pool.
Disclosure: My family received complimentary activities during our stay at Killington Ski Resort. All opinions are my own.