West Hill House B&B

Category Archives: Attractions & Events

Our annual thank you to Veterans – Remembrance Day

August 19, 2013 by Peter MacLaren

Once again as a special ‘Thank You” to US and Canadian retired and active military, West Hill House B&B is joining with many other B&Bs across Canada and the US to offer one complimentary night of accommodation for military personnel in two of our guest rooms on Sunday November 10, 2013, with the option to add Saturday or Monday nights at a 50% discount. (These two rooms are now both booked.)

All our other available rooms can be booked for a two night stay, including Sunday November 10th, at a 50% discount—except for the Logan Suite, which has a 3 night minimum booking and the discount will apply to two of those nights. Of course our wonderful breakfast is included each morning.

In prior years this offer has sold out, so we encourage you to book early.

Vermont’s Mad Marathon

June 23, 2013 by Katie Pate

The organizers call it “The World’s Most Beautiful Marathon” and you aren’t going to hear us disagree! Our bed and breakfast is in the Mad River Valley because this place is truly a year-round natural wonderland. We think the marathon is a wonderful and sustainable way for folks to see this corner of the nation we love so much, hence we are a sponsor again this year.

If you are a runner, no matter your skill level, we encourage you to come to central Vermont for the Third Annual Mad Marathon, taking place on July 7.

You will be running through our extraordinary community on back roads, some of which will be gravel. There will be breathtaking views of the Green Mountains, challenging rolling farmlands with tough climbs and descents.MMLogo Cruise through quaint villages, under covered bridges, past old barns and fields of famous Vermont cows!

The marathon course is certified and sanctioned by the US Track & Field.  The certification number is VT11012RF and is a Boston Marathon qualifier. Walkers are more than welcome for the Mad Half and there is also a category for Mad Half Walkers.

Marathon Course Description

The race starts at the Mad River Green in central Waitsfield Village, heading north on Rte. 100. You will pass under a covered bridge almost immediately and your first hill at around mile one. Once you finish your climb up Joslin Hill Road, you will head gently downhill for about 2.5 miles. Once you hit the third aid station, you will be on dirt roads through farmlands until about mile six.

You get to our neck of the woods, Warren, at just over 12 miles into the route. You will spend about 3 miles running on East Warren through rolling countryside.  When you reach Roxbury Mountain Road, you take a four mile loop amongst back country lanes before returning to East Warren Road around mile 19 and heading back to the Finish line. See the full route and map on the Mad Marathon website.

Lodging for the Mad Marathon

Our bed and breakfast is seven miles from the starting point of the race. You can see a video about our Inn on the Course Map page. We are delighted to be full for the weekend with Marathon runners— and we wish them all good luck!

Vermont Dog Sledding Experiences

February 28, 2013 by Katie Pate

In this era self-promotion via Facebook, Twitter and other social media, it is said that an amazing experience is worth just as much as an expensive watch. People are willing to pay more for memories they can treasure (and share), rather than a physical object which might lose its luster or become unfashionable.

If this reasoning resonates with you, we have a suggestion for the experience of a lifetime: Dog sledding. Envision yourself as an Inuit native guiding the dog team to hunting grounds. Or perhaps you’d prefer a Jack London-esque setting, where you are a gold seeker in the 1800’s. Taking a trip on a dog sled can help you understand those stories and histories better.

Be the leader of the pack with a Dog sledding excursion!

Be the leader of the pack with a Dog sledding excursion!

October Siberians is our preferred tour provider for dog sledding. They are one of Vermont’s best kept secrets! Offering tours in the Little River State Park in Waterbury Vermont, their Huskies are friendly, energetic, hard working dogs that literally transport you to an era when human and dog depended on each other for more than companionship. Little River State Park is about 30 minutes north of our B&B in Warren Vermont.

One reason we like October Siberians is because they make sure you are part of the group, not just a tag-along. You will have a hands-on experience working with a dog team. Share in the beauty, peace and history of the Green Mountains and the sport of Mushing.

We can book the adventure for you, however, it is important to let us know ahead of time as there is limited availability and outings are weather dependent.

Happy Chinese New Year!

February 1, 2013 by Susan


Welcome to Chinatown, Ottawa, Canada

The magnificent 11 meter tall Royal Arch,  a symbol of Bejing-Canada friendship, welcomes visitors and residents alike as they explore Chinatown in Ottawa, Canada. Built entirely of reinforced concrete and stone it is in the style of the wooden arches found in China. Artists from China undertook the detailed hand painting and finishing work.  The Royal Arch glistens in the sun and even on a snowy day like the day we took this photo, the colours are outstanding and the size quite amazing. After many years of planning and fund raising by the local Chinese business community, the Arch was officially dedicated in  2010.

Many Asian cultures including Thai, Vietnamese, Korean and Chinese are represented in this area of Ottawa which is replete with shops, markets, restaurants and residences. If you are in Ottawa it’s a “must see” –  you will find the Arch at Cambridge St N and Somerset St. W.

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Celebrate the 254th birthday of Robert Burns

November 27, 2012 by Peter MacLaren

Robert Burns

On January 26th 2013 we will be holding our 5th annual Burns Supper at West Hill House to celebrate the 254th anniversary of the birth, on January 25th 1759, of this great Scottish Poet, often referred to as “The Bard”. (Bard is a Scots word for a poet.)

A Burns Supper is a significant tradition in Scotland and among Scots around the world. The evening will consistent of traditional Scottish fair including Haggis (which really is worth trying!) and Scottish Trifle. Wine will be served with dinner and a wee dram of Scottish whisky will be served  to toast The Bard (for those 21 and older; soft drinks will also be available).

The Haggis will be piped in by a local piper and will be addressed in the traditional manner by Peter:

Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o’ the puddin-race!
Aboon them a’ ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy of a grace
As lang’s my arm. …

We will then encourage you to try some Scottish Dancing after dinner – we’ll show you how!

The Burns Supper will be held in our handsome Red Barn and we have room for only 30 guests. We expect a sell-out so don’t wait till the last minute to book. Tickets must be purchased by January 21st.

The Burns Supper is just $50 per person (including tax), and it is sure to be a memorable evening. Book two nights including the 26th and we will include the supper at the reduced rate of $80 per couple. Advance reservation is required for all tickets.

The Red Chair visits West Hill House B&B

November 2, 2012 by Susan

Red Chair warming up and being admired by Snowball at West Hill House B&B

Warming up with Snowball

The Red Chair getting shelter at West Hill House B&B

Dry again!

The Red Chair checks out the Lincoln Gap - the highest road crossing in the State of Vermont

I feel high!

Ski School for the Red Chair at Mad River Glen

Teach me if you can!

The famed Single Chair at Mad River Glen has a date with the Red Chair

I am sure I could ski it – need snow!

The Red Chair visits with the Sugarbush cow

Please don’t sit on me!

Red Chair socializing with skier at Sugarbush

This guy looks a bit stiff

Hay there! The Red Chair enjoys a high perch at Hartshorn's Farm in Waitsfield Vermont

David Hartshorn gave me this perch

Red Chair at the Hartshorn Farm Stand in Waitsfield VT

I can’t help feeling squashed!

The Red Chair visits the Alpacas at Hartshorn's Farm in Waitsfield Vermont

I think they are staring at me!

Red Chair at Warren Vermont covered bridge

The river is not too Mad today!

Hi everyone, I’m the Red Chair that has been traveling throughout New England for the past several months.

I arrived at West Hill House B&B in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and rain was the order of the day. Fortunately my hosts offered rain boots and an umbrella so I stayed pretty dry. Inside I was given a place by the fire to warm up a bit even had a pussy cat come curl up with me for a bit.

Once the weather cleared my first stop was at the top of the Lincoln Gap Road, the highest road pass in Vermont, where I set foot, or should that be feet, on the Long Trail. The air was so fresh I’m felt I could have walked the full 273 miles of the trail but I had places to go and things to see.

With winter just around the corner I wanted to be introduced to the Mad River Glen ski area. I checked out the ski school meeting place then of course had to have my photo taken with the single chair.

From there we went to Sugarbush where I had my photo taken with a local cow before going  to sit beside the year ’round skier. He didn’t say much, we just enjoyed the solitude of the moment.

I visited the Hartshorn Farm and hey, for fresh food, maple syrup from their own trees and hay, head to their farm stand. And speaking of stand – look at me standing atop a huge bale of hay!

With my feet firmly back on the ground I posed with some squash then climbed up on the wall to sit with the boxes of pumpkins for a while.

My legs were getting a bit cramped so I hopped down and headed over to visit with the alpacas, The Finkles,  who didn’t seem to mind my company.  I certainly did not expect to see alpacas in Vermont!

A stop to pose in front of the Warren Covered Bridge that spans the Mad River then back to my temporary home at the West Hill House B&B and ready for a warm cup of hot chocolate and a little cake.

Wow, have I had fun! I can’t wait for my next adventure! Tomorrow I am off across the Green Mountains to visit Middlebury, Vermont – I wonder what adventures await me there.


A Traveling Chair?

October 24, 2012 by Susan

The Red ChairYes, a Red Chair is traveling throughout New England and having a great time visiting B&Bs, historic sites, museums, gardens and beaches.  

Keep your eyes open, it may be coming to a B&B near you!

Soaring over the Mad River Valley

October 17, 2012 by Peter MacLaren

Guest Blog by David & Tracy Platt…

Sugarbush Airfield and Airport Building with Café at Sugarbush Soaring

Sugarbush Airfield and Airport Building with Café

Tow plane and Sailplane at Sugarbush Soaring

Tow plane and Sailplane

Sunset on the Field at Sugarbush Soaring

Sunset on the Field

If you happen to be looking for something to do in Sugarbush, try the Soaring!

Had a great time during my visit and a chance to get a few flights in over 2 days.  The folks at Sugarbush Soaring are fantastic and their instructors are excellent.  It’s a great way to see the countryside and especially see the sights during foliage season.  And who knows, you might find you like flying (the best part for me).

Getting to the airport takes you through some nice country and it’s not too far from the B&B.  The airport itself I think is the prettiest airport I’ve seen.  Panoramic views of the hills and a beautiful open grass meadow that can double for a runway.   If you’re looking for a place to have a picnic (seriously) this is a place to consider.  Even waiting between flights is just so peaceful over there.  At times they also have a small café open in the main building which makes good food and has a great view.

When I went they paired me up with an instructor who walked me through everything and was very good about answering any questions.  It was clear the folks there really know their stuff, want to help, and want you to have fun.  Sailplanes are amazing machines.  They’re very good at taking advantage of rising air and use it like an elevator.  They’re sometimes called gliders but they’re really sailplanes and with a skilled pilot taking advantage of the various air currents can stay aloft for hours.  I think its as close to flying like a bird as you’ll get.

Going up for my flights was an experience.  My experience for one of my flights went something like this:  You buckle in, close the canopy, and the tow-plane (after all you have to get in the air somehow) takes up the slack in a tow line.  You give the signal, and off you go getting towed into the sky by another airplane!  Climb for a few thousand feet and pull the cable release.  The tow plane flys away and the real fun begins.  We headed over to a hillside on our first flight that we thought would generate some lift (mostly thermals or rising columns of air).  After some searching we found some and gained a little more altitude.  Yes, we’re climbing with no engine!  A thousand feet or so later and we’re off to another part of the valley looking for more.  During this time we’re enjoying the amazing views from that height.  We could see Lake Champlain and rolling hills for miles with the trees starting to turn colors.  Amazing.  After having our fill of the experience we came back in to a smooth landing and rolled to a stop on the grass at the airport.

Sorry, I was too busy flying to take pictures from the air!

I can’t recommend going to the airport enough.  Personally, we came up from Weston mostly for this.  Do call and make reservations though if you plan to go just to be safe as they can get busy at times.

PS – we also enjoyed our stay at the inn.  Fantastic place!

(For more information about soaring check the Specials listing.)

Stetson Hollow Trail and Falls

August 5, 2012 by Susan

Stetson Hollow waterfallToday on our Sap-bucket list we highlight the Stetson Hollow Trail and Falls. A perfect activity for a hot summer day in the Mad River Valley, the tree shaded Stetson Hollow trail follows along the Stetson Brook and is an easy 1.2 mile hike.  Take your camera – there is some gorgeous scenery on this 45 minutes hike to the falls.

At the head of the trail you will be treated with the sight of a 40 foot ‘horsetail’ falls. A seasonal falls, spring and fall are when the water is most abundant however during other times of year this is still a lovely trail. While the water is cooling, swimming is not permitted.

Heading south from the town of Warren, Stetson Hollow Road is on the right 2.2 miles from the Lincoln Gap/Rte 100 intersection. It looks like you are  driving into someone’s yard and actually you are (please respect their privacy) but keep going, you’re on the right track to the start of the trail and a bit  farther along is space for parking.

Have fun and keep cool.

Vermont Cheese Tour

July 30, 2012 by Peter MacLaren

Vermont Cheese Trail

Guests Laurent and Julia created this list of some of the excellent Vermont Cheese makers–and they visited many of them as you will see from their comments!  If you like cheese you may want to follow in their footsteps.

See also the Vermont Cheese Trail which is the source of the map on the right – the numbers before each Cheese maker refers to their number on that map. The header image on this blog is also from that site.

The letters following Cheese maker names mean the following:

  • C = Cow’s milk
  • S = Sheep’s milk
  • G = Goat’s milk

Cheese makers are listed south to north:

16. Grafton Village Cheese C
400 Linden St/Rte 30,
open daily, 10-6
Comment: Large store, good amount of samples, must pay to see animals, can view cheese making through window.

40. Vermont Shepherd S                             
281 Patch Farm Road, Putney
Farm Store is open year round 9-5
Comment: No people around to greet or show you around. Small honor store. No samples.

34. Taylor Farm C                                    
825 Route 11, Londonderry
Open daily 10-6
Comment: Small store. Free range chickens running around. Some samples.

17. Hildene Farm Signature Cheese C & G
1005 Hildene Rd, Manchester
Open daily 9:30-4:30

Southwind Farm C (not on map)  
3783 Vermont Route 30, Pawlet
Open daily 9am-6pm

11. Consider Bardwell Farm C & G
1333 VT Route 153, West Pawlet
Self-serve farm store is open year
round ~ The farm is open to visitors on weekends
Comment: Small store. Can pet goats. Some samples.

27. Plymouth Artisan Cheese C
106 Messer Hill Rd,
Plymouth Notch
Open to the Public

24. Neighborly Farms of Vermont C                           
1362 Curtis Rd,
Randolph Center
Open Monday-Friday 8-4
Comment: Small store. Gave free tour of cheese making.  Can pet calves.  Some samples. Unpaved roads.

 Fat Toad Farm G   (not on map)                            
787 Kibbee Rd, Brookfield
Store Open daily
Comment:  Focus is on producing goat’s milk caramel sauce. Farm store, with samples of goat’s milk caramel sauce, is open 7 days a week from 10am-4pm. Farm tours by reservation only, but worth planning as best small farm experience. Unpaved roads. (Updated June 2015)

Turkey Hill Farm C   (not on map)                             
55 Turkey Hill Rd,
Randolph Center
Farm store is open daily 7am-5pm

38. Vermont Butter and Cheese Creamery C & G                       
40 Pitman Rd, Websterville
Open Monday-Friday 9-5
Comment: More industrial.  Small visitor center.  Samples only when asked for.  Save time and buy it at other stores.

8. Cabot Creamery Cooperative Visitors Center C
2878 Main St, Cabot
June-Oct 9-5;
AlsoWaterbury 802-244-6334 and
Quechee 802-295-1180, 9-6 daily

Dakin Farm  (not on map)   
5797 Route 7
Ferrisburg, VT 05456
Hours: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. – seven days a week
Comment: Not a farm.  Medium size store. Lot’s of samples of cheeses and jams.  Good Maple frozen yogurt.  Has a sugaring house.

31. Shelburne Farms C                           
1611 Harbor Road, Shelburne
Open during summer 9-5

43. Willow Hill Farm S & C                     
313 Hardscrabble Rd, Milton
Farm store and viewing
room open daily 9-5

Lakes End Cheeses C & G   (not on map)                                
212 West Shore Rd, Alburg
Open 10-7 daily mid-June
through Labor Day

Green Mountain Blue Cheese (not on map)   
2183 Gore Rd, Highgate Center
Open daily 7am-7pm

4. Boston Post Creamery G                                    
2061 Sampsonville Rd,
Enosburg Falls
Open to the public: Tuesday-Friday
9-5, Saturday 9-4, Sunday 10-3