We've got an active readership, and here's where they go to play outside, fix their gear, stretch it out, or just take in the view.

Best ski / snowboard tune/repair

1. Pinnacle Ski & Sports

2. AJ’s Ski & Sports

3. Powerplay Sports

Nominees: Darkside, MountainOps, Stowe Mountain Resort, Today’s Edge, Triple Diamond Ski & Sport/No School Snowboard Shop, Waterbury Sports

See our writeup.

Best ski and board rentals

1. Pinnacle Ski & Sports

2. AJ’s Ski & Sports

3. Darkside

Nominees: MountainOps, Stowe Mountain Resort, Today’s Edge, Triple Diamond Ski & Sport/No School Snowboard Shop, Umiak Outdoor Outfitters, Waterbury Sports

See our writeup.

Best ski or snowboard instructor

1. Darsey Moon

2. Matt Lindemer

3. Connor O’Grady

Nominees: Alex Dall’Olmo, JT Vize

What! No Maggie Morrissey? Darsey Moon and Matt Lindemer pushed out the perennial-winning “best ski/snowboard instructor” who hasn’t taught skiing at Stowe for over 20 years. Moon and Lindemer, second and third in 2016, schussed into the top two spots this time around. (For 2018, how about a best Mags story category? Imagine the stories!)

Best bike shop

1. Chuck’s Bikes

2. AJ’s Ski & Sports

3. Pinnacle Ski and Sports

Nominees: iRide, MountainOps / Mansfield Cycles, Power Play Sports, Waterbury Sports

Turn off your cars and ride a bike. Hank Glowiak at Chuck’s pedals away with another win.

Best mountain bike trails

1. Cady Hill Forest

2. Trapp Family Lodge

3. Cadys Falls

Nominees: Adams Camp, Cotton Brook & Kirchner Woods, Perry Hill, Sterling Forest

Cady Hill Forest in Stowe … the hands-down darling of the MTB set. With nearly 11 miles of single and double track, and even factoring in voters from Waterbury (the Perry Hill trails are pretty rad) and Morrisville (Cadys Falls is a 6-mile singletrack) The Forest rode away with this one. Notable: The Trapp trail network climbed the ladder into second.

Best cross-country skiing

1. Trapp Family Lodge

2. Craftsbury Outdoor Center

3. Stowe Mountain Resort

Nominees: Wiessner Woods


Best place to paddle

1. Green River Reservoir

2. Waterbury Reservoir

3. Lake Elmore

Nominees: Little River

There are boatloads of paddlers out there. Almost a thousand folks voted in this category. Pretty impressive, huh? Wonder where they will all dip their paddles when the Green River Reservoir gets drained? Will they follow the loons? And we’re not talking about utility and state officials. (Go to stowetoday.com, search Green River Reservoir, to find out what’s going on at this threatened, pristine natural wonder.)

Best place to swim

1. Waterbury Reservoir

2. Green River Reservoir

3. Bingham Falls

Nominees: Cadys Falls, Foster’s, Lake Elmore, Stoweflake Resort & Spa, The Swimming Hole, Topnotch Resort & Spa

Not sure how much swimming is going on at Foster’s — Stowe’s famous skinny dipping spot of yore — maybe a bit of thrashing and toe-wading. Anyway, The Rez swam away with this one… perhaps because “I’m Not Telling” didn’t make the nominee list this year. Revote!

Best local race/sporting event

1. Stowe Derby

2. Craft Brew Races

3. Ski Bum Race Series

Nominees: Stowe 8-Miler, Race To The Top of Vermont, B3 Fest, Kids Adventure Games, Sugar Slalom, Gravel Grinder, Leaf Blower Fall Classic

Snow or no snow, loyal Derby fans can’t be deterred by a little cancelation. The storied cross-country race, held in town since 1945, took a few years off due to gnarly (not the good kind) conditions, but we’re doing our weather dances already in preparation for this season. The newly minted Craft Brew Races snuck into second. Impressive.

Best place to play golf (public course / club)

1. Stowe Country Club

2. Country Club of Vermont

3. Ryder Brook Golf Club

Nominees: Blush Hill Country Club, Copley Country Club

Best veterinary services

1. Stowe Veterinary Clinic

2. Sequist Animal Hospital

3. Waterbury Veterinary Hospital

Nominee: Lamoille Valley Veterinary Services

Fido and Tabby can’t go wrong with any of these pros.

Best yoga studio

1. Yoga Barn

2. Zenbarn Studio

3. Bikram Yoga Stowe

Nominees: Blackbird Wellness, Kula Center for Yoga and Meditation, Stoweflake Resort & Spa, Stowe Yoga Center, Topnotch Resort & Spa

Our top vote-getter quickly carved out a niche in the competitive Stowe yoga market. Way to go, Yoga Barn.

Best trainer/fitness instructor

1. Hector Ortiz, PHiT Performance

2. Joanna Graves, JoMotion

3. Mary Regele, Topnotch

Nominees: Nancy Borg; Charlotte Brynn, Swimming Hole; Robyn Fulton, CrossFit Waterbury; Ron McConnell, Swimming Hole; Ernie Roick, PHIT Performance; Julie Roick, PHIT Performance; Kyle Smith, The Forge

“Drop and give me 20!” Hector pulled off the win, but you just know every single one of these people just rocks.

Best fitness venue (indoors)

1. PHiT Performance

2. The Swimming Hole

3. Topnotch Resort & Spa

Nominees: The Barn, CrossFit Waterbury, Dave’s Community Fitness, The Forge Gym, Green Mountain CrossFit, Stoweflake Resort & Spa, Studio 108, Studio Zenith, Zenbarn Studio

See our writeup.

Best rainy day activity

1. Stowe Bowl

2. Stowe Cinema

3. Stowe Free Library

Nominees: The Adventure Center at Stowe Mountain Resort, Green Mountain Glaze, The Swimming Hole

Stowe Bowl’s gutters aren’t the only ones overflowing after the summer of rain we’ve experienced. Business must be booming.

Best view (Stowe)

1. Stowe Pinnacle

2. Mount Mansfield

3. Trapp Family Lodge

Nominees: Cliff House at Stowe Mountain Resort, Edson Hill, Smugglers Notch, Sunset Rock

If we have to describe why Stowe Pinnacle offers the best view, it’s time for someone to take a hike.

Best view (outside Stowe)

1. Camels Hump

2. Elmore Fire Tower

3. Hunger Mountain

Nominees: Loomis Hill, Mount Elmore

Besides Mount Mansfield, Vermont’s most iconic peak.

Best local tour

1. Ben & Jerry’s Factory Tour

2. Four Points VT Mountain Bike School & Guide Service

3. Umiak Outfitters

Nominees: Bert’s Boats, Cold Hollow Cider Mill, Eden Dog Sledding, Gentle Giants Sleigh & Carriage Tours, Mountain View Tours, Mud City Adventures, Peace Pups Dogsledding, Fly Rod Shop, Stowe At Night Lantern Tours, Stowe Snowmobile Tours, Stowe Soaring, Vermont Canoe and Kayak

People love their ice cream. The hands-down fave, the Ben & Jerry’s factory tour, creamed its competition, both literally and figuratively.

Best annual event

1. Stoweflake Hot Air Balloon Festival

2. Stowe Brewers Festival

3. Stowe Antique & Classic Car Show

Nominees: B3 Festival, Art on Park, British Invasion, Craft Brew Races, Hyde Cup, Morrisville Oxbow Music Festival, Stowe Fourth of July Parade, Stowe Oktoberfest, Stowe Weekend of Hope, Waterbury Arts Festival, Waterbury Not Quite Independence Day, Waterbury River of Light

Did you know that there’s a term for the guy who “sacrifices himself during a flap inflation to stand inside the envelope and hold it up so that no valuable rip-stop gets burnt?” The term is, wait for it… cremation Charlie! How do you compete with that, even if you’re showcasing sleek British autos, hundreds of antique cars, bands that go oompah, or spectacular fireworks?

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