2021 – a New Normal!
The year of 2020 has certainly been a challenge for many of us. Most importantly I hope everyone has remained healthy in body and soul. Vermont’s governor has done a great job directing the best way to minimize the effect on the state, its inhabitants and future visitors. Leave No Trace Cabin has taken the safety of our guests and cleaning staff very seriously and during 2020 cancelled all reservations from mid-March to mid-June according to the governor’s directive. During this downtime extra cleaning has been performed – extras that we normally don’t have time to do during the normal busy bookings. When you visit you might wish to show your appreciation for the extra effort by leaving a tip for the cleaning lady!
Now in 2021 we had hoped the pandemic would be a distant unpleasant memory but unfortunately it still lingers so we are still taking precautions and following the VT Health Covid protocol. It has been recently updated to allow those who have completed both their vaccinations at least 2 weeks prior to arrival to visit Vermont without needing to quarantine. To review all their restrictions go to: https://accd.vermont.gov/covid-19/restart/cross-state-travel
Normally I post the activities for the coming weeks and months but since a lot of these events have not been finalized at this time or are not taking place this year, I have not included them but here are some ideas of places to visit when you are staying at Leave No Trace Cabin. Stay Safe Friends! Please check with each facility to see what is open as it changes on a weekly basis as more and more things open up.
Sculpturefest – This is a wonderful opportunity to take a walk around 2 adjacent farms that have lovely views and numerous unique sculptures positioned throughout the properties. There is no charge. Put on your walking shoes, take your pet – and enjoy the generosity of these landowners. www.sculpturefest.org for directions. It’s open year round – check the weather to decide your footwear however!
If you’ve visited VINS (Vermont Institute of Natural Science) in Quechee you might wish to go again as they have now installed Forest Canopy Walk!
Artisans Park on Rt. 5 in Windsor is the home for a lot of great businesses: Harpoon Brewery & restaurant, Silo Distillery, Farmstead Cheese, Path of Life Sculpture Garden and River & Trail Outfitters.
If you want to show your love of Vermont buy a local made Vermont “style” shirt. Check it out on www.vteclecticco.com
Biking and Hiking – recently new is the Ascutney Outdoors organization. They have worked to make Ascutney Mountain in Brownsville, VT a place for all to enjoy various activities.In addition to all the Winter activities held there the trails are great for biking and hiking. Check out their website for events planned and future improvements. www.ascutneyoutdoors.org/new-events/ They now have equipment to rent at the Outdoors Center.
Mountain Biking replaces skiing in the Summer and Fall at Suicide Six in Pomfret, VT Check out their schedule of hours at suicide6.com or 457-6661
Below are places of interest – dining – touristy – entertainment. You’ll see some changes at local restaurants as many now have take-out only or have opened up outside dining anew in this time of transition due to Covid-19.
Some fairly new restaurants in the area! Check them out but remember to call and see if they are open outside or inside and if reservations are required due to Covid-19 requirements.
New in downtown Woodstock are these restaurants:
Mangalitsa restaurant (for dinner) and Soulfully Good Cafe (for breakfast and lunch). Heart Rock (formerly Spooners) Open only Wed. Fixed Prix menu.
The Hartland Diner in Jessup’s Plaza at Hartland 3 Corners – follow them on Facebook to see their offerings and hours for operation. Another nearby spot for breakfast and lunch is the South Woodstock Country Store. Also nearby is the Brownsville Butcher and Pantry – follow them on Facebook also for up to date offerings especially their Friday night dinners!
The owners of the former Stella’s restaurant have opened a restaurant in Windsor at the railroad station (Windsor Station Restaurant and Barroom)serving dinner with lots of music events as well!
Opened in Quechee Jake’s Market with food items, deli, Vermont products and clothing. It has almost everything you could need …the list is endless!
Another popular restaurant in Woodstock – The Worthy Kitchen where the Eastender used to be (on the East end of Rt. 4)! Very casual atmosphere, limited menu but the specials change and the food is great (highly recommend the steak!). Draft Beer choices are endless and there is also a token wine selection. The bartenders/wait staff are great fun too!
New in Woodstock is the The Daily Catch on Central St. known for their seafood entrees and recognized by people who have visited the same restaurant in Boston. Another fairly new restaurant on the West end of Woodstock on Rt. 4 is the 506 Bistro in the fancy On the River Inn. Open now in Woodstock next to the Tourist Center (behind The Mountain Creamery) is Sweet & Salty – a “weigh it out yourself” soft-serve ice cream bar that also offers a few lunch choices. In Quechee, The Public House, near the putt-putt golf, offering food and craft beers and they have also just opened the Public House Diner in Quechee. Several new restaurants in White River Junction including Piecemeal Pies serving English savory pies ; nearby is the Tuckerbox with Turkish and Mediterranean cuisine; a block past the Coolidge Hotel is a fantastic taco restaurant (Trail Break) with a large beer selection – look carefully – it’s a bit hidden but worth the effort and also for lunch and dinner with a big VT beer selection is a new Cambodian restaurant –Phnom Penh Sandwich Station. I recently tried Elexir restaurant – outside looks like a warehouse but the inside is lovely and the food is great!
If you are returning to the area from previous visits please note there are lots of restaurants in the area you may wish to try: in Woodstock: Melaza Bistro, The Prince and the Pauper, Anchor Wat and Mon Vert Cafe. Of course, many of my “old” favorites are still there: Keeper’s (Reading), The Black Rock Restaurant (Springfield), The Weathersfield Inn (Weathersfield, VT), Long Trail Brewery (Bridgewater) for lunch, Simon Pearce restaurant and The Parker House Inn(Quechee) and many more!! The Kedron Valley Inn is only 3 mi. from the cabin and has recently gone thru major renovation – They have now opened their Ransom Tavern (457-1473 to make reservations and check on hours). Harpoon Brewery (at Artisan’s Place in Windsor) is open for lunch and some evenings for dinner – check first as their schedule changes.
Another food “establishment” which has garnered a big following is the “elevated food truck” called Chef Brad’s Crazy Side. The food truck has relocated from Hartland to Rt. 4 near the Fat Hat on the way to Quechee. They now have an actual building which is open after October when they close up the food truck. It will reopen inside in Nov. for lunch 11:30-2:30. Brad is a fantastic chef, thus the big following. You can follow the restaurant specials on his Facebook site. People rave over his fish in a basket. I personally like his hamburgers or lamb-burgers and sweet potato fries. When the temperatures are cool I always try one of his homemade soups.
A new restaurant in Windsor is Au Jus – large menu. No liquor license yet but the food is great.
Harpoon Brewery – Windsor – don’t forget live music on Thurs. evenings. And visit Farmstead Cheese (Sustainable Farmer) next door! They offer lots of local products. Also in the same complex there is the Silo making Vermont’s own Vodka/Gin/Whiskey/Moonshine. Often the Silo and Farmstead Cheese team up with some local musical talent and hold a special events at the Silo-usually on Sundays, serving cocktails and food bites. These places are located in Artisan’s Park in Windsor off Rt. 5 – home to many other interesting places such as Simon Pearce outlet store and Great River Outfitters who feature a lot of Water Activities – check out their calendar as well as an adjacent hiking area called Path of Life Garden http://greatriveroutfitters.com. Sometimes in the winter dog sledding is there – check with www.braeburnsiberians.com
Brown’s Tavern is also open for dinner at the Ascutney Resort in nearby Brownsville, along with their Maple Kitchen restaurant which features Prime Rib on Thursday nights. In the heart of Brownsville is the Brownsville Butcher and Pantry – perfect spot to drop in on your way to or from skiing on Ascutney. They have a small dining area and a grocery and meat deli area for stocking up.
If you stop at Mike’s Mobil just off Rt. 91 on Rt. 12/5 you’ll find food to go – some hot foods to choose from as well as deli sandwiches made to order, to keep you from needing to cook that first meal at the cabin! Large selection of beer,wine, and coffee. It’s also the closest place to get diesel and wi-fi.
Montshire Museum in Norwich, VT gets top marks for it’s displays for young and old including the outside grounds www.montshire.org
I recommend a visit to Sugarbush Farm (www.sugarbushfarm.com) where they have a wonderful educational display and video on sugaring, an animal petting area and a wonderful cheese and maple syrup tasting room with of course a gift shop full of goodies to take home or buy for gifts.
(I’m not sure that all these places have music as usual during this period of Covid-19 but each have a Facebook page and usually advertise what’s currently happening there.) The Windsor Station Restaurant(Windsor, VT) has live music every Tuesday and Friday. Harpoon Brewery (Rt. 5 Windsor) has live music every Thursday and first Saturday. Browns Tavern (Ascutney Resort, VT) has Live music every Sunday. Skunk Hollow Tavern (Hartland 4 Corners) has live music every Wednesday and Friday. For details of who is playing check the links below.
For Windsor area entertainment information:
Windsor Station: http://windsorstationvt.com/live-music
Brown’s Tavern: http://brownstavern.webs.com/apps/calendar
Skunk Hollow: http://www.skunkhollowtavern.com/Entertainment.aspx
For info on what’s happening at the Woodstock Town Theatre then check out: www.PentangleArts.org
For more cultural activities in the nearby area check out these sites:
The nearby Billings Farm Museum has an activity going on most of the weekends.
www.hop.dartmouth.edu Hanover, NH
www.TupeloHall.com White River Junction, VT
www.ClaremontOperaHouse.com Claremont, NH
www.OperaNorth.org Lebanon, NH
www.NorthernStage.org White River Junction, VT
www.ArtistreeVT.org Woodstock, VT