Join Vermont State Parks for Free, Guided 2017 First Day Hikes

December 22, 2016  
Filed under Things to do

Montpelier—Start the New Year on the right foot and get outside for a “First Day Hike” in a Vermont State Park. Individuals and groups are invited to join one of several free, family-friendly hiking events taking place on January 1, 2017 throughout the state in beautiful parks and forests. Professional guides and outdoor educators will lead the way, sharing their knowledge and love of the Vermont outdoors.


The hikes having different starting times and anticipated durations. See below for a list of offered hikes and details. Pre-registration is not required; simply show up ready to enjoy the outdoors and the company of other participants. Dress for the weather and bring beverages and snacks. If there are several feet of snow on the ground, please consider bringing snowshoes. Dogs are welcome on leash unless otherwise noted.


Don’t need a guide? Take advantage of the breadth of opportunities to choose your own trek or ramble through Vermont State Parks and forests this winter. Find a park near you and discover a new place in its wintery state. Entry to State parks in the winter is free.


Ascutney State Park:

Guide: Scott Davison (The Woodstock Naturalist) Meet: 10:00 am at the ranger station

Hike: 1+ hour, easy terrain. NOTE: Not a summit hike.


Bomoseen State Park:

Guide: Caitlin Gates (Vermont State Park Interpreter) Meet: 1:00 pm at park entrance station.

Hike: 1+ hour, easy terrain


Button Bay State Park:

Guide: Ron Payne from Otter Creek Audubon Society Meet: 9:00 am at park entrance

Hike: 3 hours, easy terrain


Groton Nature Center, Big Deer State Park:

Guide: Dave Spencer (local expert) Meet: 1:00 pm at Groton State Forest Nature Center parking area on Boulder Beach Road, 1.6 miles from Route 232.

Hike: 1+ hour loop, easy terrain.

Hunger Mountain

Guide: Caitlin Miller from the Green Mountain Club Meet: 9:00 am at Hunger Mountain Trailhead (Waterbury)

Hike: 3.5 miles, 5 hours, moderate to difficult terrain. Hike to the summit if weather permits.


Jamaica State Park:

Guide: Lowell Lake Park Ranger Scott Renker Meet: 10:00 am by the park office at the entrance

Hike: 1+ hour, 1-mile, easy terrain. Participants will have the option of a longer hike along the same trail.


Niquette Bay State Park:

Guide: Jessica Savage from Vermont Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation Meet: Noon at trailhead in Niquette Bay State Park.

Hike: 1.5 miles, 2 hours, moderate terrain.


Taconic Mountain Ramble State Park:

Guide: Alyssa Bennett, Bat Biologist Meet: Noon at the Hubbardton Battlefield parking lot on Monument Hill Road

Hike: 2-3 hours, easy to moderate terrain, followed by fresh baked cookies!


Underhill State Park:

Guide: John Connell, Greenmont Farms Meet: 1:00 pm at gate just below Underhill State Park on Mountain Road in Underhill Center.

Hike: 3 hours, easy to moderate terrain. Bring a snack and warm beverage to share!


For hike updates on December 31st and January 1st, please call (802) 249-1230. For more information on First Day Hikes and to view additional hike offerings as they are added, visit or check out Vermont State Parks on Facebook and Twitter.


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Photo Caption: Hikers take to the woods outside the Groton Nature Center on the first day of 2016 as part of the annual “First Day Hike” tradition started by the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation.


Radio Brief: Vermonters are invited to jump start the new year by getting outside on the first day of 2017. Local experts will be offering free guided hikes on January 1 in beautiful State parks and forests across the state, offering an opportunity for families and individuals of all abilities to discover wintery woods and meadows. Hikes vary in length, and no registration is required. Participants should arrive dressed for the weather and bring beverages and snacks. For a list of First Day Hike locations and times, go to Vermont state parks dot com, or visit Facebook dot com slash V-T- state parks.


Age Well Seminar:  Eating on a Budget:  Healthy Meals that Won’t Break the Bank!

December 15, 2016  
Filed under Health & Wellness, Things to do




Seminar time is 9:30am in the Amphitheatre.


Cooking on a budget? Don’t skimp on nutrition!  Join Age Well’s Nutrition Director, Chris Moldovan, a Registered Dietician with over 25 years of experience and currently the President-elect of the Vermont Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.  Affordable meals do not have to be boring and they don’t have to lack taste or variety.  Learn tips on how to plan your meals without sacrificing taste, while maximizing nutritional value.  In addition, find out more about Age Well’s Community Meals and Restaurant Ticket Program.


Age Well is a non-profit organization serving Northwestern Vermont and is the largest provider of Meals on Wheels, delivering over 250,000 meals annually.  Our mission is to provide the support and guidance that inspires our community to embrace aging with confidence.  To learn more, visit: or call our Helpline.



Annual Bruce Moose Ride Sept. 24 to Help Injured Riders

September 22, 2016  
Filed under News, Things to do

The combination of moose, motorcycle and man can be a dangerous one. Read more

How to Get Vermont Fall Foliage Reports

September 15, 2016  
Filed under Things to do

tourist taking photo of maple leaf in autumn parkFrom mid-September through late October, we will become surrounded by a spectacular show of colors. provides updates on the foliage as it changes. Its “Current Conditions” map provides an approximate view of the current foliage color in Vermont.

Foliage color generally starts to change in the higher, cooler areas of the Green Mountains, spreading down into the Lake Champlain Valley and Connecticut River Valley, and moving from north to south across the state. The exact timing of the color change varies from year to year, based on the weather.

The site’s “Foliage Forecaster” map shows where and when the colors typically change in Vermont during a normal foliage season.

The Foliage Reports are provided by the Vermont Department of Tourism, and by volunteers from around the state. To submit a report for your area, send it, along with a photo of the location you are reporting from, and the date/time of when the photo was taken.

For more info on current conditions, call Vermont’s Seasonal Hotline at (802) 828-3239.

Fall Foliage Calendar

September 15, 2016  
Filed under Things to do

FallingSept. 24–25

12th Annual Vermont Fine Furniture, Woodworking & Forest Festival — From fine furniture to hardwood flooring to unique bowls. Admission fee. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Billings Farm & Museum, Route 12 and Old River Road, Woodstock747-7900 Read more


September 9, 2016  
Filed under Things to do

A host of activities and events to be paired with great lodging deals all season long

Read more

Fun for Young and Young at Heart at the Champlain Valley Fair 

August 18, 2016  
Filed under Things to do


Photo by Steve Mease

Photo by Christopher Ashby

Photo by Christopher Ashby

The annual Champlain Valley Fair will be held Aug. 26 through Sept. 4 at the Champlain Valley Exposition on Pearl Street in Essex Junction. The Fair opens on Aug. 26 at 3 p.m. with half price admission and ride bracelets all day. It is ten days of family fun for all ages and interests, an annual tradition that earned the Fair a spot among Vermont’s ten best events.

The “Ten Best Days of Summer” also describes the Fair’s Coca-Cola Grandstand entertainment, both the Bud Light Music series and the other shows coming to the grandstand. Concerts include gate admission the day of the show. All are held at 7 p.m. and include:  Read more

Summer Events 2016 

June 10, 2016  
Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Things to do, Travel

The Stoweflake Hot Air Balloon Festival is a feast for the eyes and the imagination. (Photo by Karen Cox)

The Stoweflake Hot Air Balloon Festival is a feast for the eyes and the imagination. (Photo by Karen Cox)

Sunday, July 10 – Saturday, July 16


Addison County’s premier summer arts event — the 38th annual festival will feature family-friendly programs and live performances from musicians both near and far. Free admission.

Friday, July 8 – Sunday, July 10


The 30th Annual Stoweflake Hot Air Balloon Festival returns with 25 hot air balloons set to take flight above the beautiful Green Mountains. The weekend will feature live music, local food and craft beer, gift shops and plenty of activities for children.

Saturday, July 9 – Sunday, July 10


The 10th annual celebration allow visitors to explore the vineyards, farms, gardens, art studios and galleries of Grand Isle County. Meet local artists and agricultural producers and purchase items directly from their makers.

Saturday, July 16


The Lyndon Area Chamber hosts the 36th annual festival and parade in downtown Lyndonville. The parade begins at 10 a.m. and the festival features more than 40 crafters and vendors and live music in the park.

Thursday, July 21 – Sunday, July 31


Adults and children alike will love this musical based on the Dr. Seuss stories. Tickets for “Seussical” are $15 for adults, $13 for seniors and students and $7 for children 12 and under.

Friday, July 15 – Sunday, July 17


The festival returns for its 15th year at Killington Peak Lodge. Guests can sample from more than 400 wines from over 40 vineyards from around the world and take a ride on the K1 gondola to the top of Killington Peak.

Sunday, July 17


Enjoy a day of fun at the Coach Barn at Shelburne Farms — sample more than 150 varieties of artisan cheeses from over 40 Vermont cheesemakers along the beautiful shores of Lake Champlain. This celebration of “food, community and the working landscape of Vermont” will also feature local food and beverage artisans.

Friday, July 29 – Sunday, July 31


Burlington City Arts hosts the 9th annual Festival of Fools in downtown Burlington featuring a variety of street theater, circus arts, music and comedy for family audiences. Free and open to the public.

Friday, July 29 – Saturday, July 30


The second annual Stowe Brewers Festival offers three 4-hour tasting sessions featuring 40+ brewers and cider-makers serving more than 130 beers and ciders, bonus taste tickets from premiere Vermont spirits distillers, more than a dozen food trucks, free workshops and demonstrations, a wide variety of specialty food and product vendors, live music and free on-site parking, unlimited cold, filtered water and secure bicycle valet. Standard admission is $45 and includes: entry to single 4-hour tasting session; 15 beer/cider tasting tickets for 3 oz. samples; five bonus spirits tasting tickets; and souvenir tasting glass. VIP admission for $75 also includes expedited festival entry; exclusive VIP lounge tent; 2016 festival swag bag; and the Coveted “Hop the Line” pass.

The live music lineup includes: Session 1: Gang of Thieves; Session 2: Michelle Sarah Band; Session 3: Josh Panda. Designated drivers are admitted free. Round-trip luxury motor coach transportation is available departing from University Mall in South Burlington for only $20.

Friday, July 29 – Sunday, Aug. 7


This mid-summer festival spans the towns of Wilmington, Whitingham and Dover and will feature a Big Blue Parade, a Blue Street Fair, jam making, live music, a blue car auto show, bake sales, blue beer, children’s activities, pick your own blueberries and more.

Thursday, July 28 – Sunday, July 31


The 10th annual festival returns to the shores of the Burlington Waterfront and offers a variety of classic boats, long boats, canoes, kayaks and dragonboats on display, as well as live music, local food and hands-on exhibits for children to enjoy.

Saturday, Aug. 6 – Sunday, Aug. 7


Head out to Main Street Park in Rutland for live music, food, craft demonstrations, kids activities and a day full of art hosted by Chaffee Art Center.

Friday, Aug. 12 – Sunday, Aug. 14


One of the largest and oldest shows in New England has become a treasured tradition for those in Stowe and beyond. The weekend will feature more than 800 antique and classic cars and new this year the show will feature race cars, food concessions, a flea market, car parade, street dance and more

Tuesday, Aug. 16 – Saturday, Aug. 20


The 171st Vermont State Fair will be held at the fairgrounds in Rutland featuring entertainment, rides, events, music concerts, demolition derby, agricultural exhibits, farm animals, culinary, vegetable and floral exhibits, maple sugar house and dairy barn, grandstand attractions and more.

Saturday, Aug. 20 – Sunday, Aug. 21


The Peacham Acoustic Music Festival returns to the Village Green featuring acoustic music from a variety of genres including folk, blues, bluegrass, Celtic and classica,l as well as music workshops, jam sessions and family events.

Friday, Aug. 19 – Sunday, Aug. 21


The Vermont Music Festival is a volunteer-run music festival produced by the Mad River Valley Rotary. Billed as ‘a Vermont musical celebration for the whole family’ it features a wide variety of musical styles. Bring your blanket or lawn chair. visit

Wednesday, Aug. 24 – Sunday, Aug. 28


Special events happening daily plus Children’s Barnyard, cattle and livestock, 4-H exhibits, Floral Hall displays, sugar house, giftsShop, antique tractor display, poultry, goats and swine and commercial exhibits.

Friday, Aug. 26 – Sunday, Sept. 4


The Champlain Valley Fair is 10 days of fun, rides, food, concerts and more. Essex Junction.

Thursday, Sept. 15 – Sunday, Sept. 18


A weekend honoring agricultural traditions and features music, food, refreshments and information on farming practices. 889-5555. 

Health and Happiness Benefits of the Great Outdoors 

May 21, 2016  
Filed under Health & Wellness, Things to do

yellow bootsBy Marilynn Preston

Raise your hand if you’re planning to do some hiking this spring. Then reach around and pat yourself on the back. Bravo! You’re tuned in to something mysterious and true, joining millions of hikers all over the world.

Stepping into the Great Outdoors 

Outdoors is why healthy lifestyles were invented. It’s a sublime way to focus on your fitness, both mental and physical. And the impact it has on your spirit knows no bounds.

Read more

Summer Fun With Grandkids

May 20, 2016  
Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Things to do

Grandparents having a picnic with grandchildrenVermont Teddy Bear Factory

6655 Shelburne Rd


(802) 985-3001

One of the most popular Vermont activities, plan on spending about an hour and 15 minutes on-site at The Vermont Teddy Bear Factory. Summer season (May 27 – Oct.16) Hours 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Tour admission: Adults $4; Seniors $3; Kids 12 and under free. Bears available for purchase.

Montshire Museum

1 Montshire Rd.


(802) 649-2200 Read more

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