So last weekend I went to Vermont to snowboard at Killington. We had a great day on the mountain. The following day my friend Jill had to leave early, but Cheryl, Cindy and I decided we wanted to stick around and explore Vermont more before we left. We woke up Sunday morning to rain, but figured we would wing it and see how the day went.
Our first destination was Quechee State Park in Hartford, VT. Cindy had visited Quechee Gorge in past visits and knew we would like it so she wanted to show us. Quechee Gorge is known as “Vermont’s Little Grand Canyon” and it was so pretty!
We first saw it when we passed over the bridge that runs across it. We parked at the visitor center and then walked to the bridge to get a better view.
The rain has stopped which was nice and the Ottauquechee River that runs through the gorge was really churning. There was also a really amazing fog settling in on the gorge.
Next we decided we wanted to walk down to the bottom. We decided to use the smaller trail that leaves from the visitor center. The park was a little steep, but covered in ice so we had to be careful. It took us through a wooded area that was so pretty and serene.
The smaller trail eventually merges with the more popular trail that leads down to the water. There were actually a few families out when we got there and it was warming up, so my jacket was making me hot. The path was still covered in snow so you had to be careful, but it wasn’t as icy with all the foot traffic.
The trail is about a half mile down to the end. Along the way there are a bunch of lookouts and benches to enjoy the area. I bet it would be just as pretty in the spring.
At the bottom of the trail was a wide part of the river. It was really choppy. I thought it would be cool to white water raft on (when it’s warmer).
The hike down was nice. There were a lot of other smaller paths off the main trail and even a campground. Once at the bottom there were other smaller trails to continue along the river, but we decided to head back up. The uphill was a little rougher in the snow, but eventually we made it back to the bridge. We ended along the main path back to the car. It was such a nice day out!
After our hike in Quechee State Park we decided to head over to a local farm called Sugarbush Farm where they had cheese and maple syrup tastings. The farm has a lot of signs to get you there, but well off the main road. We were on a lot of small dirt roads and my SUV was having issues getting up some hills so it’s definitely a trip you need to plan ahead for.
Once we got there we parked and headed inside. It’s a small room when you first walk in, but we were greeted right away by a friendly woman who asked if we wanted to sample some stuff. We of course said yes. She told us about the company and their history and also gave us a cheese sheet with all the different kinds they have. They start with the least sharp and work their way up to more flavorful cheese.
We pretty much tried every single cheese they had. My favorite was the smoked cheese (smoked with hickory and maple) and the sage cheese. I even tried the jalapeño and cayenne pepper cheese which is adventurous for me!
After the cheese it was time to try the maple syrup. I learned a lot about how the syrup gets it’s different flavors and colors. I even found out that Vermont has specific guidelines for making maple syrup! I was a big fan of the darker syrups, but all of them tasted amazing.
After the tastings we went into the store. It was awesome. They had little crackers and tasting spoons in all their jams and spreads so you can try everything before you buy it. Cheryl and I stocked up on jams, syrups and cheese. The price was pretty reasonable too! Even though we sampled a lot we were still pretty hungry after so we headed into the nearby town of Woodstock.
The town was really cute and old timey. There were a lot of people out and about so it was hard to find parking, but we eventually snagged a spot. We decided to try a restaurant on the corner called Bentleys. I walked in an was mesmerized. The ceiling in the bar was covered in ornaments!
We sat down and ordered. I got a turkey sandwich that was kind of like Thanksgiving dinner on a bun. There was cranberry mayo on it and now I need to find a recipe to make it myself! It was delicious!
After lunch we decided to walk around the town a little before heading home. We wandered into the local general store called Gillingham’s. While walking around inside I wished I had come before Christmas! They had the cutest stuff. The whole store was decorated with vintage general store items. They even had their original cash register.
I wandered around and wanted to buy a few things, but decided not too. Cheryl got salted caramel hot chocolate to bring home and Cindy got a few country items. Checking out was interesting too…they have a store cat.
Just a cat that hangs out at the register like you used to see in old TV shows. How cute!
We went into a few other stores in town, but didn’t really get much. It was starting to get dark and we figured we should head home. Our last stop was the local ice cream parlor. They had maple walnut and I realized that it was probably delicious with Vermont having such great maple syrup…I was right! It was a nice little treat to end the trip.
If you ever find yourself in Vermont, make sure to stop into local towns. They have such a charm to them!