I have spent time in Vermont in the summer ever since I was around 5 years old, that is when my dad decided to build his first log cabin on Okemo Mountain. During my school age years I would spend the entire summer in Vermont with my family, walking, canoeing, swimming, fishing, and riding my dirt bike. There were no video games, iPods, cellphones or any other kind of electronics, not even a TV. The staples for fun were board games, cards, books, records, and an am/fm radio. Now that I have kids we visit my parents in Vermont every summer to explore the types of activities they just don't seem to do on Long Island. We always start our trip on the Port Jeff ferry, and once in Connecticut, it's only a 3 hour drive to Okemo. We usually take a break in Massachusetts at the Yankee Candle Factory which the kids love to visit, it's also a good place for our dog to get out and stretch. Once in Vermont the kids learn to spend their days in a different way than usual. When we wake up we walk through the woods down to the local bakery in the town of Ludlow which is located at the base of Okemo, where they "earn" their doughnut or jelly stick for breakfast. Then we walk back to the cabin and get ready for our next activity. My sister usually meets us up there with her kids, so it's more fun for everyone. On our recent trip we took a ride to Manchester, VT, a beautiful town with lots of shops and restaurants which is near Bromley Mountain. We visited the Orvis headquarters which is a tremendous log cabin the size of a few homes. The big draw at Orvis is the amazing man made trout pond that starts inside the store and branches outside where you can buy food to feed the trout. If you are a dog lover, Orvis is known for its real quality dog products and the store has a whole section devoted to dogs. You can also learn to fly fish at one of their outdoor trout ponds.
On the way back to Okemo, we stop at Taylor farm, a real working dairy farm that makes some great cheese. You can also go into the cow milking area to see how it's done up close. They also make their own maple syrup, which is a must for our pancakes back home in New York.
The next day we decide to hit the nearby lakes and streams which are only a short drive away. We visit the streams first as the kids love to walk in the stream beds, they can do this for hours. Afterwards we go to one of the lakes where the water is invitingly warm and the kids can swim with the dog and swing from a tree rope and jump off into the lake. After this the kids are officially wiped out and we go back to the mountain for a free Friday night concert. Vermont activities are a lot more tiring than any of their Wii games.
On the last day of our trip we took my dad's little aluminum lake boat and gave the kids a day of tubing on the lake which they all loved. When the tubing was done we boated over to a big rock formation on the back side of the lake where the water is deep and the kids had some fun jumping off of the rock into the water.
On many of our trips we have gone to the local "Buttermilk Falls," a natural waterfall area hidden in the nearby woods where the water is as cold as ice, but you jump in anyway. In late August you can go apple picking in the local orchards where there are so many perfect apples you just can't believe it. Of course there is always horseback riding close by which we have done many times over the years.
So if you're looking for a different kind of summer vacation, take a look at Vermont. You can leave the skis at home, not worry about the lift lines , and spend some time in the slow lane.
If you want to know more about Vermont in the summer, just send me an e-mail, I'm back on Long Island with all of my electronics.
Mark T. Freeley, Esq. - www.NorthShoreInjuryLawyer.com