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Seeing the sites from a sled - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Seeing the sites from a sled

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STOWE, Vt. -

Jennifer and Mike Ferry of Pennsylvania are visiting Vermont for a very special occasion.

"It's our honeymoon," Jennifer said.

And they aren't doing the typical honeymoon thing.

"It was wintertime so we wanted to do some snowmobiling and dogsledding and get outside," Jennifer said.

Also on their list-- a snowshoe and sledding tour through Smuggler's Notch.

"Excited! Ready for an experience we've never had before," Jennifer said.

The hardest part of the tour is getting the snowshoes on. But once that's done you're ready to start the climb into the notch. Climbing up, the scenery gets more and more impressive. And the snowshoeing takes a little getting used to.

"You just kind of have to walk a little wider," Jennifer said.

"Yeah, it's a little different," Mike said. "You try not to trip over your feet."

Before you know it, you're halfway into the notch and it's time to take a quick break. Bill Brownlee, a tour guide of 10 years, sets up an extra special snack filled with goodies made in Vermont ranging from Cold Hollow Cider and spreads to Cabot cheeses.

"Ahh! Cheese is good. I'll take that," Mike said.

Now it's time to trade in the snowshoes for some sleds, sleds that are just right for riding the notch road.

"The sleds here were designed for this kind of road. They were developed on Mount Philo," explained Brownlee of Umiak Outdoor Outfitters.

Sledding is inherently dangerous, but Brownlee tells us you can minimize the risk by familiarizing yourself with your sledding path and wearing a secure helmet. Also important-- knowing how to stop.

"You can steer the sled in like a series of slalom turns and that will slow you down. Then you can do a slided out turn and what we call a J-turn, which is a portion of a U-turn," Brownlee explained.

Soon it was time to use the sleds on a gentle slope. The first round of sledding got rave reviews and left a thirst for more.

"That was fun!" Jennifer said. "Ready for the big girl hill."

And that was our next and final stop-- a hike further up for more challenging terrain.

"It was good. More speeds, more turns," Jennifer said.

The tour was an experience the newlyweds won't soon forget

"This is pretty special," Jennifer said.

The tour costs $69. Click here for more on Umiak Outdoor Outfitters sledding tours.

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