An RV Autumn Vacation in Stowe Vermont

Visiting Stowe, Vermont this autumn will treat you to some incredible fall colors, from the brilliant gold and yellow colors of the poplars, birches and elms to the gorgeous red hues of the sugar maples, red oaks and sourwood trees. Driving an RV through the Vermont countryside enhances any fall trip as you will be traveling in comfort the entire way. Be sure to make this drive any time from the end of September to the middle of October to experience the best autumn foliage.

Church and Autumn Leaves - Stowe, VT

Church and Autumn Leaves – Stowe, VT

While in the area, a visit to Mt. Mansfield cannot be missed, as it is the highest point in the state and offers views of Chittenden County that won’t be believed. Hike the Long Trail to get to the upper reaches of this fabulous mountain. Of course, you can always drive to the summit. The Mt. Mansfield Auto Toll Road is the way to get there. The amazing views will take your breath away. See distant Lake Champlain and the lovely Adirondack Mountains. If the skies are clear and sunny, you will even catch a view into Quebec.

Hiking is always a plus to any trip to Vermont, particularly in the fall. Spectacular views, old-fashioned wood bridges, forest splendor with autumn colors – all this and more await you on the Stowe Recreation Path. You can walk, cycle, run or rollerblade this path for a little over five miles, beginning in Stowe Village.  There are numerous places to stop for a picnic and just let all your workaday woes fade away.

Fishermen love the upper section and the tributaries of the Lamoille River and find fishing on any of the nearby lakes offers a wide variety of catches. In Smuggler’s Notch State Park you can fish or hike to your heart’s content. The Green Mountains welcome you with open arms, the cliffs towering above you as you enjoy the blue skies and sunny autumn days.

Wine tastings are available at Boyden Valley Winery and Spirits, located in the beautiful Lamoille River Valley. Winery tours are a pleasant change from driving and you can sample a Cream Liqueur or a French Gourmet Cheese Plate.

Scenic driving is the best as you head out from Stowe Hollow on a 37.4-mile trip. Stop at Little River Dam for a snack and a short break from driving, and then carry on until you reach Cold Hollow Cider Mill, where you’ll have to get a cup of fresh cider. Want a treat? Make your way to Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory to savor some samples.

Before you head home, east of Stowe you will find the Pinnacle Trail where hiking is wonderful. It is only a little over a mile and a moderate hike to the summit of Pinnacle. And at 2,740 feet above sea level the views are breathtaking. You can even take your dog along with you if he is on a leash. Once done with this hike, you are ready to head home with a lot of wonderful autumn memories.

Picture credits: The picture of Stowe, VT is from the Wikimedia Commons. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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A Summer RV Trip along the Connecticut River Byway

Picture Along the Connecticut River Byway

Along the Connecticut River Byway near Mount Toby and Sunderland, MA

This summer take an RV trip along the Connecticut River Byway to experience the most powerful river trail through New England. You can get a full taste of the history, beauty and heritage of three states as you drive this most fascinating and inspiring route. Outdoor recreation is abundant, and the entire family will find activities and fun things to do along the way. Paddling, fishing, hiking and bird watching – whichever you prefer is available, and more.

Starting in Massachusetts and traveling up through Vermont and New Hampshire, this scenic drive will take approximately 14 hours, depending on how often and how long you stop. When you pass through this landscape of rich farms and historic villages, you get a different view of our heritage. Stop at the Mount Holyoke Range State Park and you can find what hikes are available by stopping in at Notch Visitor Center.

On Mount Holyoke, you should be sure to visit the Summit House which was once a luxurious hotel and is now part of J.A. Skinner State Park. The views from this spot will literally take your breath away. On a clear day you will be able to see all the way into New Hampshire and get a glimpse of Mount Greylock.

In Hadley, Massachusetts, stop in at the Hadley Farm Museum. Here you will discover an incredible collection of early farm vehicles and equipment, all housed in a barn built in 1782. Historic artifacts to see include butter churns, toys, cobbler benches and other furnishings. You will really be taking a step back in time.

If you are ready for some hiking, you can embark upon a portion of the Metacomet Monadnock Mattabesett Trail, a National Scenic Trail offering some outstanding scenery and plenty of other recreation as well. One part of the trail is great for those of all ages and is five miles long (the Route 77 to Route 17 section).

Coming upon quaint New England towns is all part of the adventure. Small communities show you a huge welcome, such as in Canaan, Vermont or other Vermont towns such as Littleton, Brattleboro or Vernon.

When traveling through Vermont, stop at one or more of the many state parks along the way. There is a long list of them. Recommended is Fort Dummer State Park in Brattleboro. This fort in the southern foothills of the beautiful Green Mountains was flooded in 1908 with the building of the dam on the river. It can be viewed from the vista from Sunrise Trail. Quechee State Park is also a place to stop and nearby you can visit the Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site and the glass blowing mill and pottery shop. Both parks have campgrounds for RV motorhomes.

When in New Hampshire, find many wonderful places to stop with the family to take in the sights and sounds of New England. Small towns such as Pittsburg, New Hampshire, Bath, Woodsville and Hinsdale invite you into their locale so you can enjoy the hospitality and ambience. The North Woods is an intriguing place and one that provides a multitude of recreation opportunities. Of course, in the winter there is skiing and snow sports, but in summer there are just as many things to do, such as hiking, trout and salmon fishing and much more.

Your route is sure to take you by the Chesterfield Gorge Natural Area, thirteen acres of natural beauty. There are numerous hiking paths along the gorge and you can take some photos of the views. As you hike along through the gorge, notice how the brook flows from a rushing cascade to a gentle stream. It will finally merge with the Connecticut River farther downstream.

In Lancaster, New Hampshire, the John Wingate Weeks Historic Site gives you the opportunity to see a lodge that makes interior decorators melt with envy. Gorgeous picture windows, massive fireplaces of fieldstone! Climb the tower and view the countryside from the observation deck.

Naturally, you will want to get out into the forest and the best way to do that is to take to the trails. Natural wonders are abundant on the Connecticut River Birding Trail (PDF) with numerous stops along the Connecticut River to witness the many species of birds. The Northern Forest Canoe Trail is also nearby, a place where Native Americans made their way across the land in their birch-bark canoes. History runs deep here and the sights you see will remind you of that time and time again.

Picture credits: The picture of the Connecticut River Byway is by Christopher Curtis and is from the America’s Byways Website. It is in the public domain.

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Summer College Baseball: A Great Way to See New England

By Robert Pirozzi, Travel New England

Picture of a baseball home plateEvery summer college baseball players all over the country head off to play summer ball in wooden bat summer college baseball leagues. For fans of the game, these games are a great way to see guys who will become the stars of tomorrow…

New England is no stranger to summer college baseball. There are no fewer than three leagues that field teams in across New England. The great thing about summer ball is that while taking in some of these games you can also visit some of the best vacation spots in the region!

Start on Cape Cod

Cape Cod, one of the country’s top vacation destinations, is also home to the famous Cape Cod Baseball League. Founded in 1885, the Cape Cod Baseball League has seen the likes of greats such as Nomar Garciaparra, Thurman Munson, Mark Texeira, and Jason Varitek. The league fields 10 teams across the Cape so you are never far from a game, and best of all – you’re on the Cape with great beaches and so much more summer fun…

Take a Side Trip to Martha’s Vineyard

If you have not had enough sun and fun on the Cape, you can always hop the ferry over to “the Vineyard” where you will find more sun and fun and another summer College Baseball team. This time it is the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks who use the Martha’s Vineyard High School field for their home games. The Sharks are members of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League. While on-island be sure to check out the Flying Horses Carousel in Oak Bluffs – it’s the oldest platform carousel in the United States.

Staying with a Coastal Theme

If you want to keep your vacation close to the coast you are in luck. Both the Futures Collegiate Baseball League and the New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) field teams in cities and towns along the coast. Where can you go? How about:

  • Old Orchard Beach, Maine to see the Raging Tide.
  • Newport, Rhode Island to see the Gulls. Be sure to check out Newport’s famous mansions while there.
  • South Kingston in Rhode Island’s beautiful South County to see the Ocean State Waves.
  • Groton, Connecticut to see the Mystic Schooners. While in the area, be sure to check out Mystic Seaport.

Time for Some Mountains

If you have tired of the seacoast how about heading to the Berkshires in western Massachusetts. This beautiful region is home to the North Adams Steeplecats and the Pittsfield Suns. While in the Berkshires you may want to take in some of the great theater for which the region is so famous, or visit one of the areas fabulous museums such as the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, or the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASSMoCA) in North Adams.

If that is not enough you can head to Montpelier in the foothills of the Green Mountains in Vermont to take in the Vermont Mountaineers. You are in the State Capital of Vermont and a stone throw from all this beautiful region has to offer.

There you have it. By simply following America’s pastime in its simplest and least expensive form – summer college ball – you can take in some of the best vacation spots that New England has to offer.

About the Author

Robert Pirozzi is the Publisher of the website Travel New England. He lives with his wife and son in a suburb west of Boston.

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Route To Riding – Vermont

If you love horses and horse shows and you enjoy touring forested New England landscapes, taking a summer excursion through Southwestern Vermont is sure to please.

Vermont summers are special because they offer the opportunity to see a long list of horse shows. From July through mid-August, there are at least six classic shows and festivals that attract competitors from around the country. Equestrians can’t pass up this unique chance for a summer spent doing what they love in the Green Mountains of Vermont.

As you drive north from Boston, you will first come to Shaftsbury, where you must stop to partake of some amazing jams, berries, apples and honey at Appleberry Farm. Stock up so you’ll have enough for your entire RV trip. When you reach Arlington, you can browse for antiques and gifts to take home to family and friends. Sunderland, Vermont should be next on your itinerary. Here is a major area for outdoor recreation, including canoeing on the Batten Kill, mountain biking and hiking.

The quaint New England town of Manchester is filled with charm and history. You’ll also discover some fabulous shopping. The main horse shows are here, with the Vermont Summer Festival being the main attraction. Marvel at the views of Battenkill Valley and take off for scenic hiking in the Green Mountain National Forest.

You will be spending time greatly appreciating all of the benefits of an RV vacation in Vermont, particularly when you reach Dorset and can visit one of the oldest quarries in the U.S..   Marble from this quarry has been used throughout the town, from the sidewalks to the marble church in the center of town.

Outdoor lovers will want to hike the Appalachian Trail, exploring the acres of wilderness surrounding. You can also fish, hunt or work to improve your game of golf. The picturesque beauty of this area is just a bonus to all this fun.

Continuing north, you will come to East Dorset and the Harold Beebe Farm. This is the site for some of the jumper and other horse show competitions. If you’ve brought along your own horse, you will get real riding pleasure on some of the extended trails. In East Dorset, you will find Emerald Lake State Park with a 20-acre lake for non-motorized watercraft. Fishing here is great too, especially if you want to catch some smallmouth bass or northern pike.

Take a side-trip in your RV to Bondville, and visit Stratton Mountain. Many hiking trails invite you out into the forests. After many days of exciting RV adventures in Vermont, you may believe it’s time to head home, but it will be hard to leave. But remember, you’ve made many good memories and hopefully have a lot of great photos to take home with you so you can relive your adventures anytime you wish.

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Scenic Train Rides for New England Fall Foliage

One of the joys of RV travel is that you get to see a lot of the great outdoors – well, at least everyone but the driver, who is hopefully keeping their eyes on the road. So if you would like to get out from behind the wheel and let someone else do the driving, how about a scenic train ride.

Scenic trains are a wonderful way to see fall foliage in New England. Following is a list of the scenic train rides in New England:

Any of these would provide a fun and relaxing way to take in fall foliage in a very diverse set of environments. So get out from behind the wheel and let someone else drive…

About the Author
This blog post was provided by Travel New England. Be sure to check out their new New England Fall Foliage and New England Fall Foliage Drives sections.

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RV Camping in Southern Vermont

Green hills, fly fishing and hundreds of miles of scenic hiking… these are just three of the attractions RV camping fans will find in Southern Vermont. Spend your days whitewater rafting or strolling quiet village streets, but definitely plan to spend time this year at one of Southern Vermont’s tree-filled RV campgrounds.

To make planning your RV camping vacation simpler, here are ten things you should know about Southern Vermont:

  1. Bennington, Brattleboro and Bellows Falls are just three of the picturesque towns vacationers love. Southern Vermont’s villages are famous for handcrafted art, working farms and historic spots like Robert Frost’s grave.
  2. Vermont’s wild rivers are the perfect setting for whitewater rafting and kayaking, The West River is a favorite for visitors who enjoy getting wet on vacation.
  3. Green Mountain National Forest is four hundred thousand acres of outdoor recreational opportunity! Two National Recreation Areas, eight primitive wilderness areas and access to three national trails (see #6 below) make it the perfect place to bike, hike, boat, fish and camp.
  4. Two man-made bodies of water, Harriman Reservoir and Somerset Reservoir, offer outdoor enthusiasts boating, fishing, hiking and wildlife viewing opportunities in Southern Vermont. (Paddlers will especially enjoy the quiet coves at Somerset.)
  5. Memorable Southern Vermont RV campgrounds include:
    • Pine Hollow Campground – park your RV on this campground’s pond for easy access to area attractions and a truly idyllic setting.
    • Dorset RV Park is within easy driving distance of outlet malls, hiking trails and Hildene, the summer home of Robert Todd Lincoln.
  6. Famous hiking trails dot the landscape throughout Southern Vermont.
    • Appalachian Trail: The famous “A.T.” winds one hundred fifty miles through Vermont, in a wide variety of terrain. Don’t miss the chance to hike a piece of history.
    • Long Trail runs the length of Vermont and also gives Southern Vermont visitors the chance to hike one of the oldest trails in America.
    • The Robert Frost National Recreation Trail  honors the work of this venerable American poet on short loops suitable for most campers.
  7. Covered Bridge Driving Tours allow visitors to experience in-depth the charm of the Vermont countryside. Here’s a helpful website with lots of information about these historic structures and how to find them.
  8. Southern Vermont’s Scenic Drives such as the Equinox Skyline Drive and Vermont Scenic Route 100 are guaranteed to provide awe-inspiring views year-round.
  9. Southern Vermont’s famous outlet malls provide great savings to make your vacation even more worthwhile. Here’s a link to information on malls near your RV campground.
  10. The arts are definitely being celebrated in Southern Vermont, with such attractions as the Norman Rockwell Museum in Rutland, exhibits and performances at world-famous Bennington Center for the Arts, and the annual Putney Crafts Tour.

The green hills of Vermont are waiting to welcome you and your RV. There’s something to enjoy for every kind of motorhome camper. Pick your favorite activities from the links above and make a trek to Vermont this year.

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Fisherman’s Paradise – Harvey’s Lake Cabins and Campground in VT

This is provided to us by our friends at Harvey’s Lake Cabins and Campground in West Barnet, Vermont.

Harvey’s Lake Cabins and Campground is Vermont’s oldest private campground. The campground is located on the shores of Harvey’s Lake and channel leading into the lake in the heart of what is known as Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom.

Harvey’s Lake, a deep glacially formed lake, is well known as a fisherman’s paradise. The lake is regularly stocked with lake and rainbow trout, and perch, pickerel, and smelts may also be caught. Some large fish are there for the taking for those anglers willing to work for them.

Other lake activities include kayaking, canoeing, boating (motor boats are allowed on the lake), and water skiing. Harvey’s Lake is known as one of the cleanest in Vermont making for excellent swimming. The campground has 2 swimming areas and there is a public beach across the channel.

Some other Northeast Kingdom attractions include:

Montpelier, the capital of the State of Vermont, and all that it has to offer is also only an hours drive to the west.

For those who need to rent an RV for a Vermont RV camping adventure, El Monte RV can provide the perfect motorhome from its Boston RV Rentals location, which is actually in Sutton, MA. From there it is a beautiful, scenic, 3 1/2 hour drive north to our friends at Harvey’s Lake Cabins and Campground.

Other RV Campgrounds should feel free to share with us the wonders that may be found in and around their campground. Please send your article submissions to monty@elmonterv.com.

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