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The Von Trapp Family’s New Nordic Relevance

Vermont’s Trapp Family Lodge keeps the lederhosen but launches into the present with a Bierhall (that’s beer hall) and revamped backcountry adventures.


By Sarah Tuff Dunn | Photograph by Lauren Stagnetti

Can fat bikes and craft beer eclipse doilies and dirndls in old school New England?

Please God…and yes. The newly expanded Trapp Family Lodge, in Stowe, Vermont does just that. The 48-year-old Nordic ski center has revamped its 2,500-acre Tyrolean hillside motif to include more modern activities, like mountain biking and disc golf in the summer and backcountry skiing and fat biking in winter. The lodge is following a trend, across the U.S. and Canada, that’s seeing old, dank, dark, and musty Nordic centers reinvent themselves.

The von Trapp cabin that has long served as the Nordic center now boasts a gleaming new basecamp-brewery. Year-round, both Nordic and non-Nordic athletes—including Trapp Mountain marathon runners, NCAA skiing champions, and jester-hatted connoisseurs of Winter Carnivals—can now overestimate their abilities while entering said events under the influence of the house-brewed von Trapp Lager. Instead of only offering classic Nordic skiing, the lodge now allows you to tap the expertise of 31-year-old Ryan Kerrigan, a whiz athlete who has competed at the German and Italian junior national Nordic championships and who now organizes backcountry tours in the surrounding 2,500-acre forest.

“The old Trapp Family Lodge was about including our guests in my family’s lifestyle and culture,” says Johannes von Trapp, who oversees operations. “[The new lodge] has been updated to satisfy guest expectations,” says von Trapp, “but it still maintains the Austrian feel.”

That’s true, right down to the new 30,000-square-foot brewery and 6,000-square-foot Bierhall where Johannes pours the family lager, Weissbier, and Bohemian Pilsner. “Über athletes,” says Director and Executive Vice President Sam von Trapp, “love a healthy beer.” trappfamily.com

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