Leave No Trace cabin was purchased as my second home in 2000. A place to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life and to enjoy the quietness and slow pace of the Vermont countryside. Since it’s my second home it has all the conveniences of home without the encumbrances. You can take time to sit on the deck and listen to the brook or watch the grosbeaks and downy woodpeckers in the trees. A natural landscaping of ferns emphasizes the greenness of the Vermont Green Mountains once summer has arrived. A big patch of Monarda plants off from the porch provides a wonderful opportunity to watch the hummingbirds in action.
The inside of the log cabin is tastefully decorated with fox hunting and horse prints indicative of my favorite pastime. There is comfy furniture and the dining table is conveniently located by a bay window where you can look into the woods and watch birds. There is a large cathedral window in the living room casting a lot of light into the interior of the cabin. The cabin is pleasantly rustic but in no way primitive.
Leave No Trace is not just a summer vacation haven but is used all seasons. During the Winter you can visit several ski areas nearby: Suicide Six (Woodstock), Dartmouth Skiway (Hanover, NH) and Okemo (Ludlow) being the closest. Killington/Pico is about 45 min. away. In addition to alpine, there is also cross-country skiing at Okemo, Woodstock Ski Touring Center (including Mt. Tom), Wilderness Farm in Quechee and in Hartland on their free country trails. Sledding is also available at Wilderness Farm and there are sledding hills at Mt. Tom (farmer’s market area) and in Hartland across from the fire station. For those who belong to VAST (Vermont Snowmobilers Organization) there is a myriad of trails in the area. When the snow has arrived you’ll often find horse-drawn sleighs in S. Woodstock at the Green Mountain Horse Association (GMHA). You can procure a ride in a horse drawn wagon or sleigh or watch the frequent sleigh rallies they hold on the grounds with their decorative sleighs and vintage outfits. Even though the cabin is located on a dirt road the town is very good about plowing and sanding making it accessible. The driveway to the cabin is also plowed and sanded. I do recommend 4 wheel or all wheel vehicles for the Winter but if your vehicle has good traction you should be okay. The best place to park at the cabin during inclement weather is to the right as you entire the driveway next to the firewood pile where it is flat. This will also allow the snow plow truck to get in and plow/sand the driveway. Ice melt is also provided at the cabin to help with traction during the icy times.
The Fall Foliage season is the most popular time of the year to visit Vermont and bookings are often made a year in advance for this popular time. The back country roads lined with maple trees present a cornucopia of colors for all to enjoy and the many hills provide vistas unparalleled. Many people come to visit with their equines and to enjoy a horsebackriding vacation. The cabin provides a barn and small paddock for those who bring their horses and you can ride directly onto the miles and miles of trails from the cabin. Support of the local trail system so that it can be enjoyed into the future is advised by becoming a member of the Green Mountain Horse Association (GMHA).
Winter and Christmastime is a magical time in Woodstock. Near the beginning of December, the town transforms into a glittering wonderland and there are numerous activities on their well known Wassail weekend. The highlight of the weekend is the Wassail parade which is filled with horses, carriages each with their own costume and Christmas tradition. In recent years the numbers of horses have grown to well over 50 and the spectators line the streets of Woodstock to watch the spectacle. Other activities during the weekend are open houses and the burning of the yule log on the Town Green.
After the snow has begun to melt and the notorious mud season starts, I find many guests come because the tourists have left town and they can enjoy the quiet of the villages. March is also the time that maple sugaring starts and many farms such as Sugarbush Farm offer a demonstration on how sugaring is done and then tasting of their different grades of maple syrup (as well as cheeses they make).
Summertime in Vermont is a great time to experience the small village atmosphere. Around the middle of June, the town of Quechee (which is famous for it’s beautiful Quechee Gorge) has a hot air balloon festival which is a delight to behold. If the weather cooperates there is a night time balloon glow which is awesome. In addition during the festival there is a crafts fair. Many weekends in the summer various towns host craft fairs, quilting shows, etc. Fourth of July is widely celebrated usually on different days of the weekend in different towns so that you can enjoy parades and fireworks several times during the weekend. Typically there are local parades each with their own specialty. Reading is known for it’s Ox Pull, Brownsville for it’s parade of marching bands, Hartland with it’s parade of decorated horses and old vehicles and fire engines and of course, homemade ice cream. There is often an outside orchestra performance on Mt. Ascutney with fireworks at the conclusion. Numerous brooks along the back roads help to keep the temperatures down in the summertime. If you want to take a dip in the water I suggest the swimming pond with it’s sandy beach just 3 miles away at the Kedron Valley Inn – There is a small charge for using the pond.
Driving the back roads go slow to enjoy the scenery and to be on the lookout for carriages and horseback riders as well as bicycle riders as Vermont is a state for sports enthusiasts. Enjoy and Leave No Trace!