As the weather continues to warm, the foliage begins to green, and the Winooski and Mad rivers begin to swell, thoughts turn to canoeing and kayaking Mad River Valley.
Archive for the ‘Summer activities’ Category
April 28th, 2014 by Corey A. Edwards
March 19th, 2014 by Katie Pate
The Green Mountain Stage Race will take place August 29 – September 1, 2014, offering, as always, 4 days of exciting and challenging racing in the mountains of Vermont. We are honored to have had many accomplished cyclists stay at West Hill House B&B for the Green Mountain Race and look forward to the event again this year!
Lodging for the Green Mountain Stage Race
If you are coming into town for the race and need lodging in the Mad River Valley, here are a few perks to staying with us you might consider:
- We have a large barn (our Handsome Red Barn) where there is room for you to set up and make adjustments
- We have indoor storage for your bikes
- We provide breakfast at the time you need it for your race schedule
- If you stay with us for the race for three or more nights we offer a 15% discount
- If you book for four nights by May 31st the 4th night is complimentary
Registering for the Green Mountain Stage Race
You can register for the race online or by mail to: Green Mountain Stage Race, LLC P.O. Box 1172 Waitsfield VT 05673.
Recreational Cycling in the Mad River Valley
While future Olympians partake in races here, anyone can enjoy the beautiful vistas from our quiet back country roads, perfect for cycling. We can help you with everything you need to get your cycling trip underway. Bikes are available for rent at the Sugarbush Adventure Gear Shop, a few miles down the road, and we can provide you with maps and directions for miles of well-maintained blacktop routes.
If you would like to mountain bike, Sugarbush offers biking on some of their ski routes in the summer months.
September 17th, 2013 by Peter MacLaren
The Fourth Annual Mad Marathon and Mad Half are scheduled for July 6th, 2014 in the gorgeous Mad River Valley, located in Central Vermont. Registration is already open.
You will be running through this extraordinary rural community on 26.2 miles of country roads, with breathtaking views of the Green Mountains, rolling farm lands, quaint villages, historical barns, covered bridges and fields of our famous Vermont cows!
Check out the full details on the Mad Marathon website.
West Hill House B&B is delighted to be a Sponsor of the Marathon for the fourth consecutive year, and we already have our sponsorship certificate on the dining room wall. (We are running out of space!)
Regrettably we are ALREADY sold out for the weekend of the Marathon, however please check the Marathon Lodging page for other options. Plan ahead as accommodation is hard to find closer to the date.
July 11th, 2013 by Katie Pate
The West Hill House Bed and Breakfast is located adjacent to one of the loveliest golf courses in all of Vermont: The Sugarbush Resort Robert Trent Jones Senior Championship Golf Course. One of the fairways is directly across the street from the B&B, and the clubhouse is less than a mile down the road.
Mr. Jones is one of history’s great golf course architects and you will enjoy his talents on every one of the 18 holes of the Sugarbush Golf Club. Designed to enhance and feature the natural surroundings, this par-72 course is as beautiful as the game itself. The course will bring you through the hilltops of the Mad River Valley, where you can enjoy inspiring views at every tee!
These rates are good for unlimited golf until dusk and includes a cart rental and tax.
Friday, Saturday, Sunday & Holidays
7 a.m. – 2 p.m. tee time: $100
2 p.m. and later: $65
Every Day, 5 p.m. or later tee time is $40
Vermont Golf Packages at Sugarbush
The club holds a Short Game Clinic on Wednesdays and a Long Game Clinic on Thursdays, followed by a lunch entree and non-alcoholic beverage at Hogan’s Pub, then unlimited golf with cart for the remainder of the day for just $75!
Inn Lodging for your Vermont Golf Vacation
We can arrange your tee times for you in advance – one less thing for you to worry about – just let us know when you reserve your room.
June 23rd, 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. 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!
May 22nd, 2013 by Katie Pate
Canoeing is increasing in popularity, especially in ecologically-minded states like Vermont. It is both peaceful and physically challenging, a rewarding, aesthetic and ecologically sound recreational activity.
The Winooski River is one of Vermont’s many spectacular resources. The second longest river in the state, it flows through mountains and farmland, the state’s capital and the largest city before emptying into Lake Champlain.
The river corridor brings the towns, farms and people of the Green Mountain State within the direct view of the canoeist.
One of the paddling routes near our Bed and Breakfast is from Montpelier to the Middlesex Dam, about a six mile trip. You can get to Montpelier from our Inn along Route 100 & 100B North in 35 minutes.
When beginning a canoe trip from Montpelier, there are several good places to put in. One is at the northeast corner of Montpelier High School located on Bailey Avenue. Another is underneath the Interstate 89 overpass on the right side of the river on Rt. 2. Plenty of parking is available at both areas. If you would like to run a short section of easy rapids, put in another 1.25 miles upstream from the high school on the right bank. This access can be reached through local parking areas.
Canoeing the stretch between the Interstate 89 overpass and Middlesex Dam is very relaxing and pleasant.
The current is slow and the course meanders past farmhouses and pastureland. Many large dairy farms are visible along this stretch and much of the land is cultivated. Trees are of the wetland variety, such as willows and alders.
About 2.5 miles downstream where Interstate 89 and the train tracks closely parallel the river, there is a small section of rapids. Pull out on the left bank before the rapids to decide on the best route to proceed.
Another take-out and launching area is 1.25 miles further downriver, before the Route 100B bridge where Route 2 curves with the bend of the river. The bank is low here and from this access a store is within easy reach by foot. If you are unsure of your ability to reach the Middlesex Dam access area safely or do not want to negotiate its short, yet steep hill, you can disembark here.
Middlesex Gorge just above the dam is one of the most spectacular areas on the river with rock walls towering 75 feet above the water in some places. Remember that like all dams on the river, the Middlesex Dam is potentially dangerous and should be approached with caution. Boat barriers in the form of floating barrels span the river under the Route 100B bridge. DO NOT GO BEYOND THE BRIDGE!
The take out is on the left side of the river, just before the bridge. The bank here is quite steep and though it is a short distance you may require a rope to pull your canoe up to the road.
Paddling on the Winooski River is a great way to spend a spring day in Vermont! If you wish you can rent canoes and associated equipment from Clearwater Sports, and depending on your plans they may be able to assist with transportation.
November 2nd, 2012 by Susan
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.
October 17th, 2012 by Peter MacLaren
Guest Blog by David & Tracy Platt…
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.)
August 5th, 2012 by Susan
Today 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.
July 30th, 2012 by Peter MacLaren
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
14. 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.
39. 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.
33. Taylor Farm C
825 Route 11, Londonderry
Open daily 10-6
Comment: Small store. Free range chickens running around. Some samples.
31. Southwind Farm C
3783 Vermont Route 30, Pawlet
Open daily 9am-6pm
12. Fat Toad Farm G
787 Kibbee Rd, Brookfield
Comment: Best small farm experience. Small store. Lots of samples of cheese and caramel. Got tour of farm. Unpaved roads.
35. Turkey Hill Farm C
55 Turkey Hill Rd,
Farm store is open daily 7am-5pm
37. 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.
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.
30. Shelburne Farms C
1611 Harbor Road, Shelburne
Open during summer 9-5
42. Willow Hill Farm S & C
313 Hardscrabble Rd, Milton
Farm store and viewing
room open daily 9-5
19. Lakes End Cheeses C & G
212 West Shore Rd, Alburg
Open 10-7 daily mid-June
through Labor Day
4. Boston Post Creamery G
2061 Sampsonville Rd,
Open to the public: Tuesday-Friday
9-5, Saturday 9-4, Sunday 10-3