The Seasons of Vermont

Vermont is a state ruled by seasonality; discover what each season brings near the Golden Stage Inn bed and breakfast in Southern VT. From dangerous hurricanes to the first gentle snowfall of winter, there’s often something to talk about!


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!

 

GSI’s Six Ways to Beat the Heat

Golden Stage Inn’s guide to staying cool on your summer vacation!

1. Get yourself to Vermont!

Hop on in the car and hit the road – because unless you’re in Maine or Canada, no place is cooler than Vermont in the summer.  South Central Vermont has it all – mountains, lakes, waterfalls, historic towns, gardens…

 

A drive on Vermont's scenic country roads.

What’s at the end of the rainbow? Vermont!

2. Lounge in Golden Stage Inn’s garden-flanked pool.

Sometimes guests don’t realize we have a pool until we tell them!  That’s because it’s tucked away in the backyard, surrounded by flowers and a fence.  You’ll have privacy to lounge about the poolside and splash in the water.  Once you’ve cooled off, take a stroll around the gardens and relax in one of the outdoor sitting areas or in the shade of the front porch.

Outdoor swimming pool Inn amenities

3. Sip on an icy glass of our signature ginger-honey lemonade.

Commonly known as switchel, ginger-honey lemonade is a classic Vermont summer drink.  Farmers make cold switchel in the summer to cool down while working in the fields.  Always made from local honey, switchel can even help with summer allergies.  After you’ve finished your drink, you can take a honeybee hive tour to see where the honey came from – the B&B’s own front lawn!

Switchel is made from lemons, local honey, and ginger.

4. Take a stroll in the shade.

Golden Stage Inn is adjacent to the Proctor-Piper State Forest.  In fact, we’re so close the woods are just a short stroll across the lawn!  You’ll walk into the shady forest, cross a babbling brook on a footbridge, and explore the peaceful calm of nature away from the glare and heat of the sun.  Perhaps you’ll see some woodland creatures – especially if you go for a walk closer to dawn or dusk.

5. Hang out in the B&B’s air-conditioned sitting rooms.

Golden Stage Inn is a fully air-conditioned bed and breakfast, so if you need to just get out of the sun, our sitting rooms are the place to be!  Read a book, play a game or solve a puzzle.

Sitting Room in VT Bed and Breakfast

6. Explore a swimming hole.

Our bed & breakfast is not far from several great places to swim in a natural setting.  There are several great swimming places within a short drive from Golden Stage Inn.  In Cavendish, visit the Cavendish Gorge and play in the rocks and falls (see the photo below!).  The Black River meanders through Ludlow.  Buttermilk Falls is also located in Ludlow, and boasts a small waterfall with a large swimming hole at the bottom.  Brockway Mills is a spectacular spot in Springfield, VT.  Jamaica State Park is so much fun: a short hike to a swimming hole dotted with huge rocks to play on.  Like to jump off of things?  Dorset Quarry, with massive cliffs, is the place for you.

For a complete list of Vermont swimming holes, visit Swimmingholes.org

Photos below courtesy of www.swimmingholes.org/vt.html

Photo 1: Cavendish Gorge (Cavendish, VT)    Photo 2: Dorset Quarry (Dorset, VT)    Photo 3: Brockway Mills (Springfield, VT)

Cavendish Gorge, VT

Dorset Quarry Swimming Hole VT

 

Brockway Mills VT

 

Mushroom Hunting in Vermont

Mushroom hunting in Vermont proves fruitful!

Chanterelles (left) and lobsters (right) are just two of the delicious mushrooms found in the woods of Vermont.

Are you a fan of fungi?  Then Vermont’s the place to be this summer.

With one of the wettest Julys on record, Vermont’s mushrooms are fruiting to the fullest this summer!  Before you read on, please note that this blog post is not a mushrooming guide!  Eat and identify wild mushrooms at your own risk.

Lobster mushrooms are easy to spot when foraging.  Not only are they a similar color to a cooked lobster - but they also have a seafood aroma when cooked.

Lobster mushrooms are easy to spot when foraging. Not only are they a similar color to a cooked lobster – but they also have a seafood aroma when cooked.

Happy mushroom hunters are finding edible mushrooms such as chanterelles, oysters, lobster mushrooms, chicken-of-the-woods, and even the prized black trumpet.  Medicinal mushrooms can be found in Vermont as well, and include chaga, turkey tail, and reishi.

Can you spot the prized black trumpet amongst the leaves? Black trumpets are easy to miss - luckily grow in large numbers.  My favorite wild mushroom in Vermont!

Can you spot the prized black trumpet mushrooms amongst the leaves? Black trumpets are easy to miss – luckily, they grow in large numbers. By far my favorite wild mushroom in Vermont!

Love to eat mushrooms, but not a mushroom hunter yourself?

You don’t have to brave the woods (and that first-time-mushrooming fear).  Two grocery stores near Golden Stage Inn sell local mushrooms when available: The Jersey Girls’ Cafe & Market and the Springfield Co-Op.  You can also get your mushroom fix at a farm-to-table restaurant in the area, such as The Downtown Grocery, SoLo, or the Inn at Weathersfield.

Want to learn to identify wild mushrooms?

The Grafton Nature Museum is hosting a Mushroom Walk on the weekend of August 22nd!  The Grafton Nature Museum is about a half hour drive from Golden Stage Inn, and also puts on a fairy house exhibit with local artists on the last weekend of September.  But back to the ‘shrooms…

You can register to be on the waiting list for The Wild World of Mushrooms at the Grafton Nature Museum here.  Unfortunately both walks are already full, but hey, you never know!  Here’s a quick description of the event from the Grafton Nature Museum’s website:

“Ari Rockland-Miller will introduce participants to the Northeast’s safest and most distinctive gourmet and medicinal fungi, emphasizing his “ForageCast” strategy. Workshop participants will also discover how to best cook these fruits of the forest and will get a taste when our wild finds are served up right on the spot following our foray. Once you put on your forager’s eyes, your hikes will never be the same again!”

If you’re up for a further drive, check out more mushrooming workshops in Vermont from the Mushroom Forager here.  In addition to foraging, you can learn about growing mushrooms yourself!

 

Oyster mushrooms are one of the edible fungi you can cultivate yourself.

Oyster mushrooms are one of the edible fungi you can learn to cultivate yourself.

And just for fun(gi)…

What room has no doors, no walls, no floors, and no ceilings?

A mushroom!

 

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