2003 WINTER/SPRING Season

Litchfield, CT -- Contact: Janet L. Serra For Immediate Release 860-567-4506 lhcvbnwct@aol.com Just hear those sleigh bells jingling-and the swoosh of skis and snowboards-and the laughter of children on sleds. Not to mention the happy shouts of snow tubers and snow bikers. A snowy winter means mountains of fun in Connecticut's Litchfield Hills, where opportunities for many kinds of outdoor recreation abound. An old-fashioned sleigh ride is one of the most romantic ways to make the most of winter. At Loon Meadow Farm in Norfolk (860-542-6085), lap robes keep you cozy as you glide through the fields and into the woods. The horse knows the way back to the farmhouse, where a cup of steamed hot mulled cider awaits. Forty-minute rides are $95 for two, $125 up to four. Ellis Coach and Carriage Service in Morris (860-567-1114), is another farm-based operation where you can jingle through the fields and trails. A 45-minute ride is $100 for up to four passengers. Wood Acres in Terryville, is offering a Romantic Rose & Champagne Carriage or Sleigh Ride (snow permitting) on February 14th and 15th from 12 noon to 9 pm; call 860-583-8670 for reservations. At other times, snow permitting, you can reserve a 45 minute sleigh ride for two for $95 with $10 for two additional people; $5 for children 3-12. A five to seven person passenger sleigh is $150 and the large sleigh that seats 14 people is $195 for a 45 minute ride through the countryside. Afterward, you are welcome to enjoy the ice skating pond. Those who want to get out and play in the snow will find many ways to do just that at Woodbury Ski and Racquet, Route 47, Woodbury (203-263-2203). This small family-oriented mountain offers a choice of skiing, snowboarding, skating, sledding, tubing and a unique kind of fun in the snow-snow biking. New this year is a mogul/bumps run for skiers, a snowboarding trail with two redesigned half-pipes and a quarter pipe and a new sledding and tubing park with its own dedicated lift. Cross-country skiers will find 7 kilometers of groomed, lit trails with snowmaking. Woodbury promises reliable conditions on the mountain, with 100 percent snowmaking and grooming. New snowmaking and lights have been installed on a new beginner downhill and cross-country ski area across the street, making this an ideal and economical choice for beginners. One hour of expert instruction, rentals and all day on the slopes is $55 for skiers, $60 for snowboarders, $39 for children. Skaters aren't forgotten in the winter in Woodbury. An indoor-outdoor skate park, freshly painted and reconditioned, offers 3 acres of terrain for skateboarders, in-line skaters and bikers, beginners to experts. Dedicated skiers will want to head for Mohawk Mountain Ski Area, on Great Hollow Rd, off Route 4 in Cornwall (800-895-5222.). This is Connecticut's oldest and largest area, providing plenty of challenge on 23 trails across 107 acres for skiers and boarders, served by five speedy chairlifts. Known as a friendly and scenic mountain, Mohawk promises an even pleasanter experience this season with new high visibility trail maps on the mountain, new grooming equipment for a smoother ride, and fast, efficient hi-tech ticketing facilities outside the main lodge. Beginners have their own new lift, the Wonder Carpet. The main base lodge with its warm stone fireplace surrounded by antique skis and sleigh is a nice place for a steaming cup of hot cocoa or lunch at the cafeteria. Mohawk's original base lodge, the Pine Lodge, has been remodeled for a more leisurely dining experience among the evergreens. Ski Sundown, Ratlum Rd., Route 219 in New Hartford (860-379-SNOW) is a favorite with those who just can't get enough skiing. Operating the largest night skiing area in the region, Sundown has 95% of its terrain under the lights until 10 p.m. nightly. With 15 trails served by four lifts, and 100% snowmaking coverage, this is another ideal family area, with excellent instruction, gentle trails for learners and variety for everyone. Sundown schedules many special events including the thrill-packed Mogul Competition March 8. For more information on special packages and a free copy of UNWIND, a 40-page color guide to lodging, dining and all the attractions in the area, write to the Litchfield Hills Visitors Bureau, P.O. Box 968, Litchfield, CT 06759, call (860) 567-4506 or visit their web site at www.litchfieldhills.com.