#4: Johnson State
Admittedly, including Johnson State on this short list might come as somewhat of a surprise. Fairly unknown, remote and not marketed to the masses, this voracious troupe of John Dewey worshippers, vegan extremists and incessant hippie mongering doesn’t really get out all that much…
What Johnson does offer is something that very few schools in the country can boast: a full-service, daily-maintained and fun-as-hell snowboard park, right on campus. Started in 1998 by the Johnson State Snowboard Club, the park has turned into something of a pillar for both keeping snowboarding homegrown and as a pursuit best shared with friends. Throughout the winter season, the facility will see numerous hand-cut jumps, jibs, rails and boxes lined up for the students, as well as several open chances for local Vermonters to come and enjoy a few park hikes of their own.
For a school primarily known for it’s Frisbee-Golf course, outdoor education programs and pristine hilltop setting, the surprisingly widespread and passionate snowboard community and scene is a welcome addition to the already free culture at Johnson State. For snowboarders looking for the small-school feel with cities like Burlington and Montréal a short drive away, it’s definitely worth checking out.
Plus, they’ve got Smuggs, Stowe, and Jay Peak all under an hour – tough to beat. Cheers, hippies.
Nearby Resorts: Smugglers’ Notch (20 mins), Stowe (30 mins fall/spring, 50+ mins winter), Jay Peak (40 mins), Bolton Valley (1 hour), Sugarbush (1+ hours)
Snowboard Club / Team: The JSC Snowboard Club
Shred Alums: Aging hippies, the dudes that chant “earn your turns!” 25 times a day, bearded outdoorsmen who cut their own split-boards, and chicks who probably shred the woods harder than you do.
Extra Credit: Those interested in more options for fire-building and granola-chomping should hula-hoop over to Lyndon State. For full-on snowboard industry major programs, check out Castleston. Finally, if you’re really just looking to smoke away 60 thousand of your parents’ dollars while majoring in “Explorative Human Moral Movement Studies”, park your bio-diesel shit-wagon at Green Mountain College and enjoy your drum circles, dirtbag.