West Hill House B&B

Category Archives: Attractions & Events

Visit Rock Of Ages Granite Quarry

April 25, 2016 by Corey A. Edwards

Rock of Ages Granite QuarryRock Of Ages Granite Quarry, in Graniteville, VT (where else?) has been harvesting granite from Vermont soil since the late 1800’s – and providing tours of their operations since the 1920’s!

Rock Of Ages Granite Quarry has been selling Medium and Dark Barre granite from Graniteville since time out of mind. Granite sourced from these quarries have been used in countless monuments, memorials, construction, and decorative architecture for almost 150 years and show no signs of slowing down any time soon.

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Enjoy A Scenic Vermont Waterfall Tour!

April 18, 2016 by Corey A. Edwards

See Moss Glen Falls on a Vermont Waterfall Tour!

Moss Glen Falls

Many folks come to the Mad River Valley just to soak up the scenery and who can blame them? One great way to do just that is to take yourself on a self-driving Vermont waterfall tour!

West Hill House B&B, located is near a number of picturesque and famous waterfalls and “gaps” – also known as “notches,” “gulfs,” “cols,” or, more mundanely, “passes” – all of which can be seen on a relaxing, Vermont waterfall loop tour around the Green Mountains and Mad River Valley region.

Along with all the scenic gaps and falls, you’ll also be discovering some of the most picturesque and quintessential Vermont towns, so let’s get going!

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Maple Syrup? Pancakes? Vermont’s Got It!

March 25, 2016 by Susan

Glenn at West Hill Maple Orchard

Glenn at the door of his West Hill Sugar Orchard

Maple syrup and Vermont go together like, well, maple syrup and pancakes! Forty years are required to grow a sugar maple tree large enough to tap. A tree ten inches (25 cm) in diameter is considered minimum trappable size for one tap. A grove of sugar maples is called a sugar bush or sometimes a maple orchard. It takes 4-5 taps to produce enough maple sap (40 gallons – 150 liters) to produce one gallon of syrup. And right now the sap is being boiled down to make the world famous Vermont Maple Syrup with Maple Festivals happening here in the Mad River Valley as well as across the state.

Maple Sap bucket

Maple Sap bucket

Vermont has strict Maple Laws governing the production of maple syrup to ensure that you get the highest quality maple syrup. For such a deliciously complex flavor, maple syrup is surprisingly simple to make. Seeping spring-time sap from a maple tree is collected and boiled down to a golden syrup. Nothing is added in the entire process and only water is removed, leaving one of nature’s remarkably culinary gifts.

For years, Vermont maple syrup has been divided into one of four grades based on color and flavor.  As consumer preference has changed over the past century, so too has the grading system evolved to provide a more accurate description based on consumer preference.  The names of each grade, however, did not necessarily provide a meaningful description of the syrup.  With the old system of grading, Grade B was often mistaken for being a lower quality than Grade A, when in fact the quality was just the same it just had a stronger taste.

Beginning in 2014, Vermont maple syrup producers started using a newly developed “Vermont” grading system that provides a better description of each grade, or class, of syrup.  Each grade will state a color and a flavor descriptor:

Maple syrup gets "A" grade.

Maple syrup gets “A” grade.

Some interesting facts about this most luscious sweetener:

*it contains an abundant amount of naturally ocurring minerals such as   calcium, manganese, potassium and magnesium

* it is a natural source of beneficial antioxidants

* it is more nutritious than all other common sweeteners

* it contains one of the lowest calorie levels

* it has been shown to have healthy glycemic qualities

* maple syrup and maple sugar can be used in all your cooking and baking

All 4 grades of maple syrup are of equal quality, density and sugar content so it’s just a matter of personal preference – what’s yours?

West Hill Maple SyrupThe Native Peoples of the Northeast were the first to discover that the sap of the maple tree could be boiled down to provide an addition to their diet. Vermont produces about 3.5 million gallons (about 13 million liters) of maple syrup annually, providing 40% of the US supply. Several other states produce maple syrup on a smaller scale. In comparison, Canada produces about 10 million gallons ( about 38 million liters) per year supplying the domestic market and providing about 75% of the world supply.

All that luscious maple syrup would look after a Paul Bunyan sized stack of pancakes with some maple syrup left over for your pancakes!

For more information check out vermontmaple.organd to experience Maple Sugaring first hand come to the Mad River Valley Maple Festival weekend on April 1st through 3rd 2016—we have a special package just for you!

The Covered Bridges Around The Mad River Valley

March 25, 2016 by Corey A. Edwards

Covered Bridges around the Mad River Valley - Northfield Falls Bridge

Northfield Falls Bridge – one of the 8 Covered Bridges around the Mad River Valley

Unique, quaint, and picturesque: Vermont’s covered bridges have an undeniable universal appeal. The covered bridges around the Mad River Valley are no exception and touring the countryside to see all 8 of them makes for a wonderful outing.

There’s just something about a covered bridge. It doesn’t matter if the bridge is long or short, painted or unfinished, with or without windows: people love the things. I personally think it’s because the covered bridge combines the bridge with the tunnel, two of the many things we humans seem to enjoy making and being around.

What a lot of folks don’t know is that the covered bridge is covered not to provide protection for people or their vehicles but, rather the bridge, itself! Replacing shingles or even wall planks is much easier than replacing bridge timbers, thus the cover is there to keep the bridge in better shape, longer.

Vermont’s Mad River Valley contains or is close to eight of these iconic covered bridges, each one unique and worth a visit.

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Attend the 17th Annual Country Christmas Open House!

November 13, 2015 by Corey A. Edwards

Country Christmas Open HouseThe 17th annual Country Christmas Open House, held in the Mad River Valley’s Waitsfield and Warren, Vermont, December 5th & 6th 2015, is a great opportunity to celebrate the season with several festive activities, get some shopping done, and maybe even be immortalized on canvas!

The Mad River Valley really knows how to put on an event and the 17th Annual Country Christmas Open House is no exception.

This year, businesses in both Warren and Waitsfield are working to make this popular, annual event more festive then ever before! Gaily decorated Christmas trees will dot the downtown sections of both towns, accompanied by the warmth of festive, glowing luminarias along the banks of the Mad River.

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Art In The Round Barn 2015

September 11, 2015 by Corey A. Edwards

Art In The Round Barn 2015Green Mountain Cultural Center’s 25th annual Art in the Round Barn will be opening soon to showcase fine art from around the region and beyond, September 21st to October 12th, 2015.

A popular, annual art show that caps off the Mad River Valley’s summer art season, Green Mountain Cultural Center’s Art in the Round Barn is a tasteful and worthy collection of local and regional artworks including oil, pastel, and watercolor paintings, various types of sculpture, and an assortment of mixed media pieces, including fiber, metal, wood, and found object.

A juried art show drawing hundreds of applicants, Art in the Round Barn kicks off Sunday, September 20th, from 4pm to 7pm, with the highly anticipated “Meet the Artists” wine and food reception. Have an opportunity to meet these talented artists, see their art before it sells, and enjoy some delicious food and drink.

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Get Crafty at the 2015 Mad River Valley Craft Fair!

August 21, 2015 by Corey A. Edwards

Mad River Valley Craft Fair 2015Attention fans of spectacle, entertainment, and hand-made, one-of-a-kind goods: the 45th annual Mad River Valley Craft Fair is just weeks away – Labor Day Weekend, September 5th and 6th, 2015!

Too often the term “craft fair” conjures up visions of yarn and noodles glued to construction paper, lumpy clay ashtrays, and uneven, hairy macrame plant hangers – well, you can let that image fade from your mind when you consider the Mad River Valley Craft Fair. This is no middle-school event but, rather an extension of the Vermont Festival of the Arts and all that implies.

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A Taste of Summer at the Sugarbush Food and Wine Sampler

August 3, 2015 by Corey A. Edwards

Sugarbush Food and Wine SamplerCelebrate summer with a professionally paired wine tasting in Vermont’s Mad River Valley at the Sugarbush Food and Wine Sampler, August 22nd, 2015!

One of the largest ski resorts in New England, the Mad River Valley’s Sugarbush Resort encompasses more than 4000 acres in Warren, Vermont. Wintertime at Sugarbush means skiing and snowshoeing. Summer at Sugarbush is mountain biking, ziplines, and golf – both traditional and disc. But Sugarbush offers more than just outdoor sport, as they prove throughout the year with events like the Sugarbush Food and Wine Sampler!

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Vermont Bed & Brew Fall Tour 2015

July 29, 2015 by Corey A. Edwards

Vermont Bed & Brew TourWhat better way to enjoy a Vermont vacation than from over the top of a pint glass filled to brimming with fresh-brewed craft beer? If you read this and immediately shouted out “none!” then a Vermont Bed & Brew Tour 2015 is for you!

The Vermont Bed & Brew Tour is back for Fall 2015 with more opportunities to sample the best central Vermont has to offer in vacationing, lodging, and locally brewed craft beer. The brain child of the Mad River Valley’s Chamber of Commerce, the Vermont Bed & Brew package consists of an opportunity to tour and sample the offerings of local, award-winning, craft breweries, plus two or more nights lodging Vermont’s lush Mad River Valley.

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Attend the 2015 Vermont Festival of the Arts!

July 17, 2015 by Corey A. Edwards

The Vermont Festival Arts 2015With over 100 different events in just over a month’s time, the Vermont Festival of the Arts – August 1st through Labor Day, 2015 – is the most diverse, must-see, something-for-everybody event in New England – perhaps anywhere!

Vermont’s Mad River Valley is good for a visit no matter the time of year but in August, look out! The towns of the Mad River Valley come together to host a multi-dimensional, multi-media, multi-age series of art events designed to celebrate, encourage, support, and engender creative exploration.

One glance at the Vermont Festival of the Arts event schedule and you’ll see seminars, tastings, talks, performances, exhibitions and more on subjects as far ranging as pottery, craft brewing, yoga, leathercraft, dance, rug hooking, rosemaling, sculpture, and so very much more!

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