Vermont Fall Scene

Is It Lake Champlain Bridge or Crown Point Bridge?

January 21st, 2017 by Susan

A covered bridge is what most folks picture when they think of a bridge in Vermont, however, Vermont is home to newer, unique bridges which employed advanced technology during the construction process.

The Original 1929 build Champlain Bridge.

The original Champlain Bridge, the major connection point between Vermont and NY. Photo from NYSDOT Region 1 Construction presentation.

The original Champlain Bridge, commonly referred to as The Crown Point Bridge, was the was a major route connecting Vermont and New York at Chimney Point, Vermont and Crown Point, New York. The bridge opened in August 1929 as a toll road and was closed in October 2009 due to concerns that it might collapse. About 3,400 drivers per day used this bridge in 2009.  The bridge was demolished by controlled, explosive demolition on Dec 29, 2009 and the demolition was watched by thousands of people via a location web cam. Only problem was, it was a snowy and foggy day so the viewing wasn’t terribly clear. Check out the video of the demolition. The cleanup of debris and plans for a new bridge were underway immediately. 

A 24 hour-a-day ferry service was put into place to keep traffic flowing as work began on the new bridge. As a result of the unprecedented collaboration between the partners involved in building the new bridge along with the leadership of the Govenors of New York and Vermont, the new bridge was open for traffic on November 7, 2011,  just two years after demolition rather than the initial eight year projection. This wonderful news was greeted with elation from all who counted on this critical link and were a little tired of taking the ferry.

The new Lake Champlain Bridge, still referred to as The Crown Point Bridge, is an amazingly graceful Network Tied Arch Bridge, a steel structure with an arch along the center span.

The new, graceful, Lake Champlain Bridge.

The Lake Champlain Bridge connects Chimney Point, VT with Crown Point, NY. Photo by PJ MacLaren.

 The arch is eight-stories high, 402-feet long, 1.8 million pounds and was constructed at Velez Marine in Port Henry. The center span was floated down the lake and lifted into place upon its completion on August 26, 2011.  Building the arch on land was much faster, easier and cost-efficient than trying to safely build the arch high in the air above Lake Champlain. You can see a timelapse of this operation here.

The bridge’s design makes it significantly safer than the previous structure and is said to ensure at least a 75-year service life. Key bridge components are designed to be easily replaceable to reduce maintenance costs. Travel lanes are 11 feet wide, with five-foot shoulders that will help accommodate larger trucks and farm vehicles, as well as provide ample room for bicyclists. Sidewalks are featured on both sides of the bridge.

If you are planning a trip to Fort Ticonderoga, NY, traversing, photographing, and admiring this bridge is a must.

A Vermont Valentine’s Day In The Mad River Valley

January 16th, 2017 by Corey A. Edwards

Valentine's Day Wedding in the Mad River ValleyWhat could be more perfect than planning a Vermont Valentine’s Day getaway for you and your significant other in the Mad River Valley and here at West Hill House B&B? The answer is nothing, of course!

February can be a cold month. Perhaps that’s why we like to spice it up with the romance of Valentine’s Day. We here at the B&B are romantics at heart. We get a vicarious thrill in helping couples express their affection for one another. Whether that takes the form of a Valentine’s Day romantic getaway, an engagement or perhaps even a wedding!

Of course, Valentine’s Day is coming up fast. We can book a sleigh ride for you, or for some real excitement how about a Dog Sledding adventure (available on Thursday the 16th until booked). Plus of course there’s skiing, snowshoeing and more, as you can read about in our Winter Activities. Don’t forget to ask us to add the Romance package to have roses and bubbly waiting for you or you might even want to book our all-inclusive Luxury Romance Indulgence  package.

Planning a Valentine’s Day wedding at this late of a date may be pushing things. Unless you’re considering an elopement, which we’re also happy to assist with. As a matter of fact, we specialize in a variety of elopements and intimate weddings.

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Ski it! Enjoy it! Participate in winter activities

January 9th, 2017 by Peter MacLaren

As we look out the windows at West Hill House B&B during the winter months, we are thankful for the beautiful snowfalls, the ski areas and the great outdoor activities the local mountains and surrounding area offer.

While one man may not be able to move a mountain he surely can shape what happens on a mountain. Perry Merrill (1894-1993) is often called the “the father of Vermont’s State Parks and Alpine Ski Areas…Merrill was the Vermont State officer who could lease State land…”. (The History of Vermont Skiing by Jeremy Davis). It was Merrill who seems to have put Vermont on skis. With his help, Vermont received workers and money as part of  government project know as the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC). In the 1940s, the CCC was responsible for building ski rails in Vermont which were the foundation for much of today’s ski industry.

Perry Merrill

Vermont currently boasts some 15 major ski resorts as well as a number of smaller ski areas. Suicide Six, near Woodstock, VT., was the earliest resort opened in 1934. Others, including Mad River Glen- Ski It If You Can – and Sugarbush Resort – Be Better Here – both here in the Mad River Valley, were not far behind. Once night  temperatures fall to freezing, mountain resorts start snowmaking to provide base coverage then Mother Nature takes over. It is not unusual for Sugarbush to record 300″ (7.62m) or more of snow in a good winter.

Local area cross-country groomed trails can be found at Blueberry Lake Cross Country Center offering about 21 miles (35km) of trails for skiing and snowshoeing while Ole’s Cross Country Center offers 30 miles (48km). Both of these areas are but a few minutes from West Hill House B&B  which offers Ski & Stay packages.

Ski areas not only offer great outdoor activities for residents and guests alike, they are also the home of ski academies such as the Green Mountain Valley School just minutes from both Mad River Glen and Sugarbush and West Hill House B&B. These schools have produced national, olympic and world champions including Warren, Vermont, native Drew Duffy who stunned the ski world with a win in March 2015 when the 21 year old beat World Cup, World Champion and Olympic medalists to win the U.S. Alpine Super-G title at Sugarloaf in Maine.

Skiing, sledding, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, telemark skiing, adaptive skiing, fat-bike riding and hiking are all available in the beautiful wintery Mad River Valley.

So, with good snow conditions and activities for every skill level, the Mad River Valley is the place to be. Come enjoy it – you can!

Ski at Sugarbush

Ski at Sugarbush

Blueberry Lake X-country in the woods

X-country in the woods

Ole's cross-country fun

X-country fun

Mad River Glen - you can ski it

You can ski it

Ski Sugarbush During The Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Weekend

December 30th, 2016 by Corey A. Edwards

Come ski Vermont's Sugarbush Resort!Hoping to hit the slopes early in the New Year? Sugarbush Resort offers an exciting weekend of activities during the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Weekend – January 14th, 2017!

Once the snow begins to fly here in Vermont’s Mad Rover Valley, skiing opportunities abound. One of the best resorts around just so happens to be our good neighbor, Sugarbush Resort!

Sugarbush remains the largest ski resort in New England, with six peaks, two mountain areas, and over 2,000 acres of backcountry. With 111 trails on 578 skiable acres, the resort is able to offer terrain for virtually any kind of skiing, boarding, snowshoeing, or sledding you can think of.

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Become A Ruff-Rider … With A Vermont Dog Sledding Adventure!

December 16th, 2016 by Corey A. Edwards

Enjoy a Vermont Dog Sledding Adventure at West Hill House B&B!Go beyond the ordinary during your winter vacation this year with an exciting Vermont dog sledding adventure!

Vermont’s Mad River Valley offers a wide variety of excellent winter sports opportunities. From alpine and cross-country skiing to snowshoeing, snowboarding to rocket sledding, there’s something for everyone here.

One of the less common winter activities that you simply have got to experience is dog sledding. And yes: you can do that here, too!

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Improve Your Skiing Skills During Valley Ski And Ride Week!

November 28th, 2016 by Corey A. Edwards

Improve Your Skills During Valley Ski And Ride Week!As this tumultuous year comes to a close, all anyone can really say is: it’s time to hit the slopes! Luckily, Sugarbush’s Valley Ski and Ride Week is scheduled for December 19th, 2016, so you can hone your skills for the new year! And we are offering discounted accommodation when you stay at the B&B—read on…

Valley Ski And Ride Week is a 50-year-old tradition in these parts and why not? Who among us could not benefit from five consecutive days of ski and ride lessons? I don’t care how accomplished you are, there’s always something old you could improve on – or something new to try!

Valley Ski and Ride Week is put on by Sugarbush, right here in Warren, VT. As a matter of fact, Sugarbush is just minutes away from West Hill House B&B’s front door.

So just what, exactly, does Valley Ski and Ride Week entail?

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Enjoy A Vermont Country Christmas at Country Holiday Fest 2016!

November 14th, 2016 by Corey A. Edwards

Vermont Country Holiday Fest 2016The 18th annual Vermont Country Christmas, renamed “Country Holiday Fest” because Hanukkah starts on Christmas day this year, is scheduled for December 2nd through the 4th, 2016.

The name change isn’t the only difference. This year the Country Holiday Fest is being sponsored by Valley Arts, and they’ve added some new attractions to the event, as well. Despite these updates, this popular annual celebration of the season promises similar attractions and the same festive air as prior years.

The three-day event includes the Great Winter Paint-In, a book signing, craft vendors, oxen rides, and so much more!

It all starts at 5pm on the evening of December 2nd with a First Friday reception at Three Mountain Cafe. There is also and a book signing at The Collection that same evening with John Churchman. The Great Winter Paint-In kicks off at this time, too, and runs all weekend.

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A Green Hotel In The Green Mountain State

October 28th, 2016 by Corey A. Edwards

West Hill House B&B: A Green Hotel In The Green Mountain StateWest Hill House B&B prides itself not only in providing top-tier hospitality but also for doing so in an environmentally friendly way. We’ve been a certified Green Hotel since 2009 and, in the last couple of years, have added EV charging stations and gone 100% solar-powered!

We’ve always worked hard to make sure your stay with us is the best it can possibly be. Some of our efforts may not be so obvious, however, despite their long-reaching implications.

Much of the work we put into remaining a certified “Green Hotel” goes on behind the scenes, rather than in the spotlight.

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Enjoy Thanksgiving Dinner At West Hill House B&B!

October 21st, 2016 by Corey A. Edwards

West Hill House B&B Thanksgiving dinner!Come to Vermont’s Mad River Valley this Thanksgiving and enjoy dinner at our house with the West Hill House B&B Thanksgiving dinner add-on!

Thanksgiving is a time when we gather together and give thanks for all that is good in our lives: our friends and family, health, happiness, and more. It is meant as a time of reflection and coming together as the days shorten. A way of celebrating the good, warm, and friendly aspects of our lives together in this world.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out that way.

All too often there is a tussle over who hosts the dinner. Feelings are in danger of being hurt and the negative emotions can color the holiday. Or maybe the job of creating the meal causes more stress than any one holiday can possibly mitigate. Getting all those dishes done well and on time is no easy task!

If you’re facing these or any other issues, why not take advantage of West Hill House B&B’s Thanksgiving Dinner offer?

Every year, West Hill House B&B hosts a Thanksgiving dinner – and you and your family are invited! Come on and join us as we gather ’round our big dining room table for a traditional dinner.

Our feast always features lots of Thanksgiving favorites created with lots of locally grown produce. You’ll enjoy soup, roast turkey, and farm fresh mashed potatoes with Cabot butter. There will also be sweet potatoes with maple syrup from just down the road, a variety of fresh green vegetables, stuffing made with Red Hen bread, gravy, and cranberries. Chardonnay, Merlot, and Cold Hollow Apple Cider will be on hand to wash down your meal. And no, we won’t forget the pumpkin pie!

And all for only $39! (plus 9% tax)

Menu details may change slightly, depending on what’s available. We’re pretty traditional when it comes to Thanksgiving, though, so you can count on all of the usual favorites.

Thanksgiving Dinner at West Hill House B&B

In order to take advantage of the West Hill House B&B Thanksgiving dinner, we ask that you stay with us for at least two nights. Come by Wednesday night and stay as long as you can. Make a four-day weekend of it, if possible! Just let us know your plans ahead of time.

You can call ahead at 1 (802) 496-7162 or simply click the “Dinner” tab when booking your stay online and order a Thanksgiving dinner for everyone in your party!

This year, let someone else (us!) worry about the meal while you sit back and enjoy yourself.

Novel idea, eh? We thought you’d like it!

Now Is The Time To Plan Your Mad River Valley Ski Vacation!

September 30th, 2016 by Corey A. Edwards

Mad River Valley Ski VacationHard as it may be to believe, we’re already taking reservations for the upcoming, 2016-17 Mad River Valley Ski season! Consequently, now is the time to plan your Vermont ski getaway.

What better way to do so than by taking advantage of West Hill House B&B’s Ski & Stay Passports!

Vermont’s Mad River Valley offers so many opportunities to ski, snowboard, snowshoe, sled, or otherwise get out into the great, snowy outdoors.

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