A Brief History of the Mad River Valley

Vermont is a beautiful state that is known for impressive ski resorts, beautiful landscapes, and bright colors all year, but especially in the fall. Mad River Valley is one of the most stunning areas in Vermont, categorized by the beautiful Mad River that goes through the area that was full of prosperity.

Localities Along Mad River Valley

The Mad River flows north through the valley where it passes towns that are known as Moretown, Waitsfield, and Warren. Fayston is also found in Mad River Valley, as well as parts of the town known as Duxbury. There are two ski resorts and various swimming holes found throughout as well.

History of Mad River Valley

The towns of Waitsfield and Warren were founded over 200 years ago, making this area truly rich in history. The towns along the area were extremely prosperous due to the rich farmland and the dense manufacturing history. There was a flood in the area during the 1920s however, which destroyed this prosperity; though it soon arose again through the popularity of skiing in the area.

Things to Do in Mad River Valley

Skiing is continually mentioned throughout this article due to the beautiful resorts found there. These resorts include Sugarbush Resort that has over 110 trails and Mad River Glen that has natural trails and beautiful views. Other activities include cross country skiing, outdoor adventures on dog sleds, farm tours, and swimming along the Mad River for all to cool off in during the summer.

The Mad River Valley is a beautiful location that you have to see for yourself. Visit the area in the winter to really experience the skiing that is offered. In the summer, you can relax by the river itself and take in the sun around you.

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Things to Do Around Sugarbush: Visit Lawson’s Finest

Everyone knows that beer just tastes better when you know where it comes from. At Lawson’s Finest Liquids, all it takes is a glance out of the window to know.

The Brewery

At Lawson’s Finest, not only do you have the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful surroundings of Sugarbush Resort, but you also have the opportunity to take a tour of their on-site artisanal brewery. From there you can head to the taproom, where you can enjoy their rustic yet modern interior decorating and more often than not, hear live local music.

The Brews

Known for their Sip of Sunshine IPAs, maple brews, and other leading ales, the list of beers available at Lawson‘s Finest is truly one to be reckoned with. The list of year-round brews is comprised of nineteen varieties, accompanied by their many specialty drinks appearing only once a year, such as The Space Inbetween, known for its passionfruit zing.


While the main attraction of Lawson’s Finest is, of course, the scenery and their top-notch beers, you can also find yourself basking in the sunshine, taking to the slopes, and enjoying one of their many tasting events. As a true member of the community, they also partake in many fundraising events as well as virtual events that you can attend from the comfort of your own home.

The S.I.P.

Along with hosting and partaking in fundraisers, they also help support their community with their Social Impact Program, or The S.I.P. By building connections and creating memorable experiences, The S.I.P. institutes many initiatives that not only benefit the community but the world around them as well. One of the initiatives that they put in place is the Green is Good Initiative. Lawson‘s finest is currently working towards innovating their beer production process to minimize the environmental impact of their manufacturing, brewing, packaging, and development by instituting highly efficient facilities to save energy and reduce greenhouse emissions.

Lawson‘s Finest Liquids has paved the way for a higher quality local brew, as well as continuously made strides to make their community a better place. By making way towards a more sustainable environment, bringing the community together, and creating a satisfying experience, Lawson’s Finest is truly an experience for everyone. Everyone over 21, that is.

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How to Get a Deal on Your Sugarbush Lift Tickets

Sugarbush is one of those ski resorts where the one thing you want to try to avoid at all costs is paying the full-price window rate. Most skiers know that you can get a discounted price when you buy ahead of time. Some skiers, however, are under the mistaken impression that to get these discounts you need to buy your tickets days, if not weeks in advance. And to get the absolute price, this is often the case. But what some out-of-town skiers fail to recognize is that what this DOESN’T mean is that you can’t get a discount the day-of to the tune of 10%. And when a single-day lift ticket at the window can cost you $119 (or $129 during the holiday season), this is a discount worth taking advantage of. To its credit, the resort doesn’t attempt to hide that these discounts are available. From their main lift ticket page, you can find this type of basic advice and information.

If it’s your first-time, you’ll want to pick up your SugarXpress Card which makes it even faster and more convenient to hit the slopes. Once you’ve purchased your card, the rest of your trip this card acts as your lift pass, meaning you can buy your tickets online and head straight to the lift. This card is easily reloadable online, and purchases can be made through your phone, tablet, or computer. Now, keep in mind that when you do buy tickets weeks or even months in advance, you may be able to discounts as steep as 50%. Why do resorts do this? Mostly because these discounts are non-refundable. If you get sick, if your travel plans fail, if the weather and snowpack are awful, you’re still stuck with the bill. These types of disruptions are pretty uncommon, however. More likely the uncertainty comes down to whether over a period of a week, will you want to ski 5 days? 6 days? One popular strategy for planning and paying for a ski trip is to buy a certain number of lift tickets far in advance and then decide closer to the trip—or again even the day-of—whether you want to add one more day of skiing to the tip itinerary.

Use this link if you’re interested in how the rest of Vermont’s ski resorts compare to Sugarbush lift tickets in terms of price and overall value? You can also find deals and information about ski rentals in the state. Looking to round-out your trip planning with lodging. If you don’t already beeline toward the Airbnb option, we recommend this resource for finding the best options for Vermont ski hotels. Look, skiing isn’t cheap. Even when you do take advantage of these discounts, you can still end up with a fairly hefty price tag. But to simply put off buying lift tickets and then walk up to the box office is an unforced error for those who are looking for fair value out of their ski trip costs.

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Lodging Highlight: The Inn at the Round Barn Farm

This historic Vermont bed and breakfast is the perfect lodging spot for a romantic Sugarbush Resort getaway. The Inn at the Round Barn Farm was converted into an Inn by Jack and Doreen Simko in 1986. Housed in a historic barn, built in 1910, the Inn has undergone several restorations and renovations, now boasting luxurious modern amenities with an old-world charm. The barn itself is round, a concept created by the Shakers, and an iconic Vermont structure. There were a total of twenty-five round barns built in Vermont, four of which were in Mad River Valley. Today, there are only five such structures left in the state.

A stay at Round Barn Farm entails a night in one of their guestrooms, each of which is distinct. All offer unique architecture and décor, private baths, and carefully planned details. Some rooms offer whirlpool tubs, gas fireplaces, steam showers, or canopied beds. Each is special in its own way; frequent visitors can have truly unique experiences with each stay.

Visiting the Inn at the Round Barn Farm is perfect in every season. In warmer weather, guests are invited to have afternoon tea on their terrace; in the fall, walk through the nearby forest to experience foliage season in all its beauty. Winter brings a blanket and snow and crisp air, perfect for days spent at Sugarbush Resort. No matter the season, you’re sure to enjoy this slice of luxury.

The Inn also features a game room, which is located on the lower level. This area is complete with an antique pool table, a television and DVD player, a collection of films, board games, and a library. The refrigerator is stocked with complimentary soft drinks, coffee, tea, and popcorn. There is also an indoor heated pool, a workout area, and an outdoor flatbread oven.

If you would like to check date availability, please visit their website.

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Visiting Sugarbush in the Summer

While Sugarbush Resort may shine in the wintertime, the Mad River Valley is the perfect vacation spot in every season. People travel from across the United States to visit our charming valley in the autumn, which is the perfect time to spot stunning New England foliage. Spring brings lush green back to our forests, as well as a bit of warm-weather skiing. But Sugarbush is also a sough-after destination for summer getaways. Visitors of all ages can find something they enjoy; here are a few of our favorites.

Sugarbush Resort Golf Club—This is a par-71 Robert Trent Jones Sr. golf course, and it is designed with respect for its natural setting. Each hole boasts breathtaking views of Sugarbush and the Mad River Valley. This is the perfect way to spend a summer day—just don’t forget the sunscreen!

Hiking—Sugarbush and the greater Mad River Valley boast hundreds of diverse hiking trails. No matter your experience or fitness level, you are sure to find a trail that suits your needs and comfort. There are several trails in the area that are wheelchair accessible.

Mountain Biking—Lift-accessed mountain biking is available from the top of the Super Bravo Express Quad. Starting from this point, bikers can access over twenty miles of mountain biking terrain. Additionally, the quad lift eliminates the necessity of trudging up the mountain on or with a bike; simply board the lift, make your way to the top, and enjoy the pleasant and adventurous ride down.

Adventure Activities—Sugarbush resort also offers an 18-hole disc golf course, a 9-hole summit disc golf course, an 800-foot zipline, a bungee trampoline, a bounce house obstacle course, and scenic lift rides. IF you live in the area, summer camps are available for children ages 13 to 18 with varying themes—everything from adventure to climbing, farm-to-plate to outdoor survival.

Mad River Valley—The towns around Sugarbush offer world-class dining, unique pubs, and several landmark covered bridges. There are picturesque village, horse rides, and gliding cycling. Summer is an excellent time to explore all this part of the state has to offer.

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Getting Ready for your Vermont Vacation

Vermont is famous for its scenery, mountains, and widespread skiing availability. Sugarbush is itself legendary, with a colorful past and some of the best skiing in the area. However, preparing for your vacation is nearly as important as enjoying it. Before you pack up your skis and head to our beautiful neck of the woods, be sure to properly plan your trip.

Focus on your destination. If you’re reading this on our website, congratulations! You’ve already chosen your destination! Sugarbush Resort is one of the most welcoming destinations in the area—from kid adventures to experts-only ungroomed trails. While choosing us, you likely considered travel, cost, ability accessibility, and area recreation.

Book your lodging. This is where we can help you most. Our site spotlights several Sugarbush Resort lodging opportunities. When choosing the best accommodations for your needs, you should consider distance to the mountain, cost, amenities (do you need covered parking? Do you care about having an in-house restaurant?), and potential bundling options.

Book your lessons. When we travel to other ski mountains, we like to start the trip with a lesson. This is the best way to understand the mountain you’re about to ski; your instructor will have all the insider information you need to make the most of your time at the resort. Additionally, you should never pass up an opportunity to improve your skills!

Figure out your equipment. Travelling with skis and snowboards is rarely an ideal option. Luckily, the Mad River Valley has dozens of rental options available to resort guests. Don’t want to travel to another shop to rent? Sugarbush Resort has a rental shop of its own. Reserving equipment online and in advance is a great way to save money.

Once you’ve figured out these essential steps, the rest of your planning should come easily. Be sure to plan early and do your research; skiing is an expensive sport and looking in the right places could save hundreds of dollars.

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Lodging Highlight: Sugarbush Inn

Just under a mile away from the base of Lincoln Peak, the Sugarbush Inn will offer an unforgettable stay. Visitors can experience the charm and hospitality of a Vermont country inn without having to leave the resort. Offering comfortable guest rooms with king size beds (or two twin beds), private baths, and cable TV, this is a great place to spend an evening relaxing fireside. They even have a wood-paneled library.

In addition to being one of the coziest lodging opportunities at the resort, the Inn offers an impressive range of amenities. These include: adjoining rooms, daily housekeeping, on-site parking, direct dial telephone, wakeup service, continental breakfast, a restaurant, and a shuttle to lifts. They also offer complimentary access to the resort’s Health and Recreation Center, which includes an indoor pool, jacuzzi, sauna, weight room, and exercise equipment. The Sugarbush Inn is only available for the winter and early spring season, so get your reservations while you can.


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Lodging Highlight: Clay Brook

Offering slopeside accommodations, comfortable common spaces, fireplaces, in-suite Jacuzzi tubs, and the most comfortable beds you’ve ever used, Clay Brook is the perfect place to spend your Sugarbush Visit. Arguably the most luxurious of Sugarbush Resort’s lodging opportunities, Clay Brook is ready to be your home away from home. With concierge services, underground valet parking, a private fitness room, an outdoor heated pool and hot tubs, a restaurant, and dog-friendly residences (upon request), you’ll have everything you need for a cherished vacation.

Clay Brook offers 61 residences, and accommodations range from studios to five-bedroom suites—perfect for a romantic weekend or a multi-family February break. Each residence is meticulously furnished, boasting hardwood furniture, custom cabinetry, stainless steel appliances, and granite countertops. Furthermore, visitors can simply walk out their front door and onto the resort base—you’re so close to the mountain fun you won’t even have to catch a shuttle to the lifts.


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Nearby Attractions for Sugarbush Guests

Sugarbush offers more than standard skiing and riding. Spring, summer, and fall visitors can experience bountiful hiking, mountain biking, and golfing, and the abundance of tennis courts and Disc Golf courses is enough to keep your whole group happy. However, venturing outside of the resort can pay off in a very big way—The Mad River Valley is a popular tourist region. The picturesque scenery is, in part, preserved by the Friends of the Mad River, a non-profit organization formed to preserve and protect the recreational, ecological, and aesthetic resources of the Valley. Below are a few of our favorite things to do in this stunning area.


Visit Warren Falls—Visiting these beautiful waterfalls is easy for Sugarbush Resort visitors; the site itself is also located in Warren, Vermont. Follow a short and easy path into the forest to find a wonderfully relaxing spot. Perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and wildlife viewing, Warren Falls is a must-see spot for Valley visitors.

Make a Pilgrimage to the Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory—Just a short drive to Waterbury, this is a great spot to take the whole family. The tour is fun and concise; just thirty minutes will bring you through the factory and into a sampling room. Visit the flavor grave yard, take fun photos, and enjoy a few scoops of Vermont’s famous ice cream.

Pick-Your-Own at Wellwood Orchard—If you’re visiting in the summer or fall, be sure to stop by Wellwood Orchard on your way out of Mad River Valley. The farm offers pick-your-own apples, pumpkins, and berries, depending on the season.

Find Serenity at Ole’s Cross Country Center—Every now and then, we need a break from the rush of alpine skiing. Luckily, Warren is full of Nordic skiing opportunities. The trails offered at Ole’s are some of the most picturesque around.

Horseback Riding Tours for the Whole Family—Regardless of the season, horseback riding is a great activity. If you’re inexperienced or nervous, guided tours are the way to go. If you know your way around the stable, you’re on your way to an unforgettable day!


Where is Sugarbush Resort?


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