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Vermont – “The Green Mountain State”

Vermont in New England is bordered on the south by Massachusetts, on the east by New Hampshire and on the west by New York State, with Quebec, Canada on its northern Border.

Montpelier, the Capital of Vermont on the Winooski River is just 45 miles from the Canadian border, and 94 miles from the Canadian city of Montreal.

People come to Vermont in the winter to ski, in the Fall to see the autumn colors, and in the Spring and summer to enjoy hiking and other outdoor activities or just drive to see the countryside and small towns along the way. Vermont is inland from the coast, but it does have a large lake, Lake Champlain, which stretches 125 miles from Quebec, Canada southwards, and is up to 24 miles wide at its widest point.

Vermont is also famous for its maple syrup and there are more than 100 different Maple Syrup producers who in early Spring at the start of March collect the Sap from Maple trees to make the Syrup. It takes around 40 gallons of sap to make just one gallon of Maple Syrup – and products produced include the Syrup, but also Maple Cream, Maple Jelly and Maple Candies. A special hammer is used to ‘tap’ each tree and tubes connected to each tree enable the sap to flow or be pumped to a main holding tank in the ‘Sugar House’. As you travel along some of the smaller roads you will see ‘Sugar Houses’ that are open and they both sell and offer tours of their ‘Sugar House’.

With New York State on the western side of the Lake and Vermont on its eastern side, this fresh water lake and forests are very much a focal point, with Vermont’s biggest cities, Burlington and South Burlington located here. In summer, the lake is used for fishing and sailing, while in winter, depending on the temperature, the lake can freeze over in parts. People also enjoy ice fishing too, where a hole is cut into the ice and a line dropped down to catch fish. The US Coast Guard also is stationed here too, with rescues on the ice each winter.

There are a number of Ski Resorts in Vermont, located along the Green Mountain Range that runs around 250 miles from Quebec to Massachusetts with the ski and snow boarding season roughly starting in mid-November and ending in April and sometimes, depending on the season up to May.

Off season, there is also golf, hiking, biking and sightseeing to enjoy too – and many of the resorts have special accommodation packages that include lift passes and special events. See the Hotels section of this website to see what deals you can find.

Ski Resorts include

  • Okemo Mountain Resort – 19 ski lifts, 120 ski runs/trails, roughly the same number of runs for beginners, intermediate and advanced skiers, covers 655 accessible acres, longest run 4 miles. Highest vertical drop 2200 feet. Located at 77 Okemo Ridge Rd, Ludlow. Tel: (802) 228 4041 See okemo.com
  • Killington Resort – see killington.com a big resort with 6 peaks – Sunrise Mountain, Bear Mountain, Skye Peak, Killington Peak, Snowdon Mountain, and Ramshead Mountain all here. The highest peak is 4241 feet, and there is a 3000 feet vertical drop.
  • Jay Peak – see jaypeakresort.com a 4 season resort with 78 trails,9 lifts, 385 acres of snow to enjoy skiing, snowboarding. Also year round water park, ice rink, and golf in summer.
  • Smugglers’ Notch – see smuggs.com Located in Cambridge. A family resort with 3 mountains, 2610’ vertical drop, skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, snow mobile tours, indoor pool, hot tubs, self- contained resort facilities all here.
  • Stratton Mountain – see stratton.com 97 trails, 624 acres, 90 acres of glades, 13 lifts
  • Stowe Mountain Resort – see stowe.com 116 trails, and highest peak, Mt Mansfield at 4395 feet.
  • Mount Snow – see mountsnow.com 135 trails, 633 acres, 26 ski lifts
  • Magic Mountain – see magicmtn.com 1700 vertical drop, 195 acres, 43 trails, 4 lifts and 2 chairlifts.

These are not the only ski Resorts, there are also others in the Burke Mountain area, Sugarbush and Bolton Valley, with towns including Manchester, Stowe, Bennington and Wilmington all attracting lots or tourists during the year.

Heading South to North or North to South, you could follow the Interstate Highway 91 from Massachusetts to Canada which mostly follows the border with New Hampshire, or the Interstate Highway 89, which takes you through Montpelier or take Highway 7 which takes you through Bennington, through Manchester to Burlington. Between towns the distances are quite small so whichever way you travel you are no doubt enjoy the drive. Even better however is to travel on smaller roads that lead you through the countryside, past farms, small villages and places where you can stop and just enjoy the scenery, fresh air and smells of the forest.

Happy travelling!

Geoff Stuart

Happy Traveller

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