Spring into Summer in Vermont’s Mad River Valley

So here we are, the epic winter of 2015 behind us, and now it’s time to revel in all that Vermont has to offer in the warmer months. It’s one of the many things that I love about Vermont – the distinct seasons. Taking me from the highs of our mountain tops deep with snow, to the lows of our valley floors flowing with clear water.

Spring into Summer in Vermont's Mad River Valley

River time in Vermont | Photo by echoroo 02/18/2011

Having youngish kids, we spend as much time around the rivers as we can – this time of year, it’s mostly skipping rocks, but I bet the water will be warm enough for swimming on a hot day not too long from now. There are miles of easy walking trails around the valley – many of them right along the Mad River. If you’re not familiar with the many trailheads that provide access to those walks, you can find them here: on the Mad River Path website.

If you’re looking for a more challenging hike – we’ve got plenty of those as well. Where to even begin with those options. Only have an hour or so? Then the hike to Sunset Rock in Warren, Vermont is the way to go. Looking for a hike that takes a half a day or so – then Burnt Rock in Fayston Vermont is a nice hike that rewards with some spectacular views at the top. I’ll stop there, but the list goes on – you want an all day hike? Then head to Camels Hump, or do a gap to gap hike: Lincoln Gap to the Appalachian Gap taking you across the peaks of our Mad River Valley’s ski area’s: Sugarbush and Mad River Glen; or anywhere on Vermont’s Long Trail, or just walk out your door head out on a loop of one of our valley’s scenic roads.

Spring into Summer in Vermont's Mad River Valley

Vermont’s Long Trail with 272 miles of trails| Photo by DVS 09/07/2008 flickr

Before you go out on that hike – don’t forget to prepare yourself. And if you want to pack some food – the Waitsfield Farmer’s Market would be a great way to fill that backpack on Saturday morning. I highly recommend a delicious stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth jar of Vermont Peanut Butter’s Good Karma, slathered on a fresh bagel from KC’s Bagel Cafe;  rounded out with whatever fresh fruits or veg look yummy to you and you’ve got yourself a perfect hiking lunch. And the water, don’t forget the water – and not to get all preachy on you – but please – not the bottled stuff.

Whether or not you live here, or are visiting for the weekend, do not forget to stop in at the Baked Beads tent sale. I’m not going to pretend that I know what goes on at this sale. When someone says tent sale to me: my brain goes here:

Spring into Summer in Vermont's Mad River Valley

Tent sales of all kinds | Photo by Derek Hatfield 06/25/2011 flickr

I’m told that this is not what this sale is about, but what I do know is that my wife marks her calendar for this bi-annual event. It’s also the Vermont Open Studio Weekend, which is a great way to connect with the multitude of talented artisans in our state.

Sugarbush’s Robert Trent Jones golf course is open, and they have a deal on Thursdays throughout the summer that is worth looking into.

There is so much to do in our little slice of Vermont heaven that this list doesn’t even scratch the surface. I know that one of the things I can’t wait to do is find a spot along the Mad River by the covered bridge in Waitsfield, cocktail from The Sweet Spot in hand and do absolutely nothing for an hour or so except watch my son skip rocks and my daughter psych herself up to jump off the “high” rock.