Situated almost on the border with Canada, Jay Peak (4850 Rte. 242, Jay, 802/988-2611, www.jaypeakresort.com , $65 adults, $21 seniors, $45 youth 6–18, $10 children 5 and under) is known for two things: lots of snow and no crowds. The mountain gets hands-down more natural snow than any other peak in the Northeast—yet it takes a determined skier to drive the five hours up from Boston  to take advantage of it (especially when there are so many other enticing mountains along the way).
Skiers who make the trek are rewarded with 60 runs of mixed difficulty spread out on two peaks. Unique among area mountains, Jay also offers wide swaths of backcountry glade skiing, leaving skiers the freedom to carve their own paths among the trees.
A favorite among cross-country skiers in New England, the Craftsbury Nordic Center (535 Lost Nation Rd., Craftsbury Common, 802/586-7767, www.craftsbury.com ) spans more than 300 acres of quiet farmland, lakes, and village centers with groomed cross-country trails. Centered on Craftsbury Common, the outdoor center offers rentals ($15 adults, $10 students and seniors) as well as day passes ($10 adults, $5 students and seniors, free children under 7) for use of the trails.