Biking -- The rolling, hilly terrain around Woodstock is ideal for exploring by road bike for those in reasonably good shape. Few roads don't lead to great bike rides; just grab a map and go.
Hiking -- Mount Tom is the prominent hill overlooking Woodstock, and its low summit has great views over the village and to the Green Mountains to the west. (It's part of the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park.) You can ascend the mountain right from the village: Start at Faulkner Park, named after Mrs. Edward Faulkner, who created the park and had the mountain's zigzagging trail built to encourage locals to exercise. To reach the trail head from the green, cross the Middle Covered Bridge (visible from the green) and continue straight ahead on Mountain Avenue. The road bends left and soon arrives at the grassy park; from here, it's less than an hour to the summit of Mount Tom.
The trail winds uphill gradually, employing one of the most slowly climbing sets of switchbacks you're ever likely to experience. Designed after once-popular "cardiac walks" in Europe, this trail makes hikers feel as if they are walking miles, only to gain a few feet in elevation. But at least you'll keep your heart rate down. The gentle trail eventually arrives at a clearing overlooking town, good for a rest and some photos. From here, a steeper, rockier, more demanding trail continues about 300 more feet up to the summit. From the top, you can follow a carriage path down to Billings Farm or retrace your steps back to the park and village.
Horseback Riding -- Experienced and aspiring equestrians head to the Kedron Valley Stables (tel. 800/225-6301 or 802/457-1480; www.kedron.com), about 4 1/2 miles south of Woodstock on Route 106. A full menu of riding options is available, from 1-hour beginners' lessons (usually $35-$45 per person) to a 5-night inn-to-inn excursion (in the past, about $1,600 per person, including all meals and lodging, double occupancy; higher in foliage season). Ask about weekend riding programs. The stables also rent horses to experienced riders for local trail rides, offer sleigh and carriage rides, and have an indoor riding ring for inclement weather. In spring, there's a maple syrup operation. Kedron Valley is open daily except Thanksgiving and Christmas (and note that credit cards aren't accepted here).
Skiing -- The area's best cross-country skiing is at the Woodstock Inn & Resort's Nordic Center (tel. 800/448-7900 or 802/457-6674), at the Woodstock Country Club, just south of town on Route 106. The center maintains about 38 miles of trails in two trail networks. It's not all flat, either; the high and low points along the trail system vary by some 750 feet in elevation. The ski center has a lounge and restaurant, as well as a large health and fitness center accessible via the ski trail. Lessons and tours are available. Skiing here is free if you're a Woodstock Inn guest; it costs $14 per day for nonguests (discounts for youth and half-day tickets). Skis and snowshoes can be rented on site, and there's a small discount for inn guests on the rental fees.
The ski area Suicide Six (tel. 802/457-6661) has an intimidating name, but at just 650 vertical feet, it doesn't pose much of a threat to either life or limb. Also owned and operated by the Woodstock Inn, this venerable family-oriented ski resort (which first opened in 1934 using a first-in-the-nation, gas-powered rope tow) has a couple of double chairs, a J-bar for beginners, two dozen lifts, and a modern base lodge. Beginners, intermediates, and families with young children alike will be content here; expert skiers won't. Again, inn guests always ski free -- a big boon if you're staying there. For all others, lift tickets cost $32 to $52 for adults, with discounts for seniors and youth. It's located about 2 miles north of Woodstock, on Pomfret Road.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.