Lake Morey Skate Trail – Fairlee, Vermont - Atlas Obscura

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Lake Morey Skate Trail

Fairlee, Vermont

Tracing a path of more than four miles around a frozen lake, this is the longest skate trail in the United States. 


In the summer, the surface of Lake Morey is dotted with boats carrying fishing equipment or water sports gear. In the fall, the forested hills surrounding the lake turn to brilliant shades of yellow, orange, and red. In the winter, when the leaves have fallen off the trees and the surface of the lake has frozen, Lake Morey becomes the longest outdoor skate trail in the United States.

Located in the town of Fairlee in central Vermont, Lake Morey has been a recreational destination since the first summer cottages were built on its shores in the 1880s. A small hotel, the Lake Morey Resort, was built in 1905 and expanded over the following decades. Since 1972, the resort has been run by the Avery family, who have put their natural ice rink to good use.

Once the ice is solid enough (usually by mid-January), the 4.3-mile trail tracing the lake’s edge opens for skating. The resort uses a tractor to clear snow from the path, but you won’t see a Zamboni going around to smooth the surface. Nordic skates, which are designed to be used on wild, ungroomed ice, are popular on the skate trail.

The steep hills that rise up around the lake tend to block the harsh winter winds, so it’s pleasant to glide across the icy path. In addition to the skate trail, Lake Morey also hosts pond hockey tournaments and ice fishing. You might even spot a bird of prey on the lake, where they’ve been known to do a little fishing of their own.

Know Before You Go

The skating trail is free to use, and open from January through March, as the ice permits. A daily ice report can be found on the Lake Morey Resort’s Facebook page.

If you need to rent ice skates, the Lake Morey Resort offers rentals to guests and the general public. See their website for more information.

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