Fall Foliage Views from Mt. Ephraim

Mt. Ephraim is a relatively short and easy hike, located in Springfield, VT.  The hike is a 20-25 minute drive from Golden Stage Inn.  Due to its gentle grade, it is a fun hike no matter the season.  Even snowshoes or cross-country skis can make it up for some winter views of the snowy ski trails on Okemo, Magic, Bromley, and Mt. Snow.  I recently took a hike with my dogs to take in the stunning fall foliage of 2014.  We’ve been lucky to have vivid, stunning color from the leaves as well as an especially long New England foliage season.

 

Fall foliage views in vermont

You can view a Trail Guide and Map to Mount Ephraim and other hikes in Springfield, VT here.  Mt. Ephraim’s guide is on page 12.  There are several different trails you can take, but no sign posts or blazes, so be sure to take a map and compass with you if this is your first time up Mt. Ephraim!

Vermont Autumn foliage

 

These photos were taken on October 13th.  The foliage is sticking around a while longer, so if you’re interested in getting to Vermont before the leaves disappear, check out our Last-Minute Leaf Peeper Special.  (Expires October 24th, 2014.  Applicable to new reservations only.)

 

View from the top of Mt. Ephraim

The views from the top of Mt. Ephraim make for a hike worthwhile!  You can see to New Hampshire and to several ski areas, including Killington.

Happy hiking!

Vermont Fall Foliage 2014

It’s about that time when autumn leaves are at their peak…

…and it turns out 2014 is an exceptionally excellent year for Vermont fall foliage!  It’s Friday, October 10th at Golden Stage Inn, and the Okemo Valley region is in full color just in time for Columbus Day travel.  But beyond the reds, oranges and yellows of autumn, some green lingers.  This is a great sign for late season foliage seekers!  While some trees are already bare, we’re hopeful that a second wave of color may be in our (and your!) future.  If we haven’t convinced you, here are some interactive maps and articles on Vermont’s foliage for 2014.

1. CNN Travel named Ludlow one of ten “Best Towns for Fall Color”!

And do you know where Ludlow, VT is?  Right next to Golden Stage Inn!  That means you can enjoy your favorite New England bed and breakfast AND see some of the best fall foliage in the United States.  We can put an expiration date on our specials (like the Last Minute Leaf Peeper Getaway), but with the leaves we can never be certain just when they’ll all disappear.  Luckily, the autumn foliage is still going strong and there’s still time to make a reservation.  Click on the picture below to read more about Ludlow, VT and the foliage views atop Okemo Mountain.

Ludlow VT fall foliage

2. Get the academia take on 2014 fall foliage success.

Dr. Marc Abrahams, (Professor of Forest Ecology at Penn State University) and Dr. Michael Day, (Physiological Ecology research professor at University of Maine) weigh in on what makes 2014 such a good year for foliage.  Looks like the Northeast is the place to be!  (Click on the picture below from Accuweather.com to read the article.)

Vermont Fall Foliage

 

3. Use maps to find the peak peeping!

So much fun!  Yankee Magazine has one that shows you predictions based on the calendar days.  Pause at the date you want to vacation to Vermont to get a prediction of what the leaves will be like.  Click here for Yankee Magazine’s Peak Foliage Forecast Map.  Click on the picture below, taken by Anthony Quintano, to see another advanced foliage-finding map that allows you to see others’ autumnal pictures of exact locations and upload your own.

Autumn foliage Vermont

4. Day Trips through Southern Vermont

CT Now has put together great ideas for foliage trips that are do-able in a weekend or less.  Scroll down through the article to see what they have to say about Southern Vermont and Southwestern New Hampshire.  “Even a good look at Vermont foliage is possible in a single day…The annual Newfane Heritage Festival, which draws thousands of visitors, will be held Columbus Day weekend, Oct. 11 and 12.”  Click on the image below, taken by Bettina Hansen of the Hartford Courant, to see CT Now’s article.

CT Now fall foliage report

 

 

2014 Vermont Golden Honey Festival…A Hit!

What’s all the buzz around Golden Stage Inn?  Well, every September our bed and breakfast hosts the only honey festival in the state of Vermont!  We’d like to thank all 20 vendors, 300+ attendees, and tens of thousands of honeybees that participated in making the Vermont Golden Honey Festival of 2014 a smashing success.  We’re already looking forward to the VT Golden Honey Festival of 2015…but we’ll let those hard-working honeybees take a well-deserved rest over the winter.  Let’s check out some of the great photos from the event (Photo credits: our very own Sadie Wood!)

Honeybee Arts & Crafts in Proctorsville VT Honeybee kids activities at the festival

Make your own honeybees!  Arts & crafts, games, face-painting and activities were a hit for families with little ones.

Goodman's American Pie honey pizza

 Goodman’s American Pie (above and below) fired up a storm of honey-cinnamon-apple pizzas with their traveling beehive oven.  Irresistible!

Goodman's American Pie wood-fired oven

 

We had twenty wonderful vendors attend the Vermont Golden Honey Festival this year.  They showed off products like beeswax candles, handmade art, preserves, fresh food, woodcarvings, music, mead, and of course…honey!  See some of their photos below.

Penni's Pantry and Hawk's Meadow Farm

Penni’s Pantry and Hawks Meadow Farm make delicious preserves, pickles and honey syrups.

Chainsaw carvings Southern Vermont

Unique VT chainsaw carvings from Alex out of Southeastern VT

 

 

CabinFish of Cavendish at VT Honey Festival

CabinFish of Cavendish displays their myriad homemade arts and crafts.

Angelina's Market at VT Golden Honey festival

Angelina’s Market is a new business in downtown Ludlow, and served delicious hot cider to warm up festival-goers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tenpenny Bit bee quilt and music

Tenpenny Bit made musical magic happen.  We absolutely loved the honeybee costume and the honeybee quilt backdrop.

And finally, thanks to all the Vermont Golden Honey Festival mascots!

Vermont Golden Honey Festival Mascots

See you all in 2015, the weekend after Labor Day…we hope you’ll bee there!

 

Golden Honey Festival, Saturday Sept 13

We are SO looking forward to the second Vermont Golden Honey Festival, this coming Saturday, September 13, from 10am to 4pm, at the inn.  (Rain or Shine, but we’re hoping for SHINE!)

We have about twenty vendors this year, and four of them are food vendors, so you’ll have plenty of choices for lunch!  This year, we’ve scheduled several educational presentations.  Check out the schedule below so you can plan your shopping and your eating around the presentations!

SCHEDULE OF PRESENTATIONS

10:30     Introduction to Beekeeping

11:00     Top Ten Home Garden Perennials for Bees and other Pollinators

11:30     Bee Psychology and Nutrition

12:00     What’s a River Bug Hunt?

12:30     Mead Making

1:00        Life Inside a Beehive

2:00        Beeswax, Melting, Cleaning, and Candle Making

3:00        Unveiling of Super Easy Mead

 

busy beehive vermont inn 2014 sept
busy beehive vermont inn 2014 sept
Beekeeping at our Vermont Bed and Breakfast is SWEET!

I think beekeeping has got to be one of the coolest hobbies I could have ever discovered. (Did you know? We have three backyard beehives at our Vermont Bed and Breakfast.) Spending time outside, watching the truly awesome activity of the hive, and then there’s the whole honey harvest – it’s just incredible! Add to this great mix the concept that I’m actually doing something to help our environment?! Just doesn’t get much better!

Today’s high is inspired because today was the day that we removed the surplus honey from the hives. All three of our hives had died late this past winter (probably due to a sudden cold snap after the bees had dissembled from the cluster that had been keeping them warm). And then the replacement bees we ordered came late. Very late – mid-June. So while any beehives that had survived the winter had been working since April, and even other newly purchased bees (that were delivered on time) had been working since mid-May, our bees were nearly two months behind. I was grumpy and not so optimistic about the season they’d have. Fast forward to today.

Of our three backyard beehives, one has not prospered. Without knowing exactly why they were struggling, I just did my best to nurture them along, providing pollen and honey to give them energy and strength. Today, this hive proved strong. It is not populated enough to give me any honey, but with a little continued assistance from me, I think it will be strong enough to make it through the upcoming winter.

 

This post was written Sept 5, 2014, by Julie-Lynn Wood, innkeeper and beekeeper.

By contrast, the other two hives, despite their slow start, have been rocking it! If you’re not familiar with beekeeping, surely you at least know that bees make honey.   Bees make honey because they eat honey. And lots of it. A beehive needs about 80 pounds of honey to survive a Vermont winter. (Eighty pounds is 66 of those familiar little teddy bear squeeze jars of honey!) But bees are like hoarders, they just keep making more and more honey, even with they have enough for themselves. Enter the beekeeper. As summer winds down and Autumn rolls in, beekeepers check on their bees and remove any surplus honey. Sometimes, sadly, there isn’t any. But most years, the bees have made more than they need. This year, our bees made lots more. We’ve only done the first step of the honey harvest by removing the honey from the hive, and it isn’t until the next step of removing the honey from the honeycomb itself that we’ll know precisely how much honey we have. However, it seems that each hive, in addition to its own 80 pounds of honey, has made us 60 pounds of surplus honey. That means 120 pounds of honey for us! And that means … we’ll have SWEET Christmas presents this year!

Anyone who knows me learns quickly that I love beekeeping. Honey or honey. But that said, the honey sure does make it even better!

In just one week, on Saturday September 13, 2014, we’re co-hosting (with Goodman’s American Pie of Ludlow) our annual Vermont Golden Honey Festival here at the inn in Proctorsville. You should come by and check out the local, raw honey that’s for sale, as well as the SO MANY bee-themed products – honey apple pizza, beeswax lip balm, honeyed jellies and baked goods, beeswax furniture polish, headbands with bee fabric, honey wings and honey mustard, scarves with honey inspired colors and so much more. For more information, give us a call (802=226-7744) or check out our facebook page by clicking or by searching VT Golden Honey Festival. It’s going to be a ton of fun!

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