160705_VentureVermontBlog_dog2_1262x506

6 Dog-Approved Adventures to Check off your Summer Bucket List

Adventures in southern Vermont are more fun with your furry family member. Here’s our top picks, specially approved by Stratton dogs.

1. Lye Brook Falls // Hike, Scenic

After an approximate 2.2 mile hike through the scenic Lye Brook wilderness, you and your pup will be greeted by the breathtaking 125-foot tall Lye Brook waterfall. Difficulty level is moderate, with only a few fairly challenging inclines.  Be sure to wear proper hiking boots and bring plenty of water. Getting there: Follow Glen Road in Manchester and bear right at the fork to turn onto the Lye Brook Access Road, clearly marked.

2. West River Trail  // Walk, Bike, Scenic13838564_10154459601843689_541115032_o

The 16-mile West River trail welcomes walkers, runners and mountain bikers looking for a dog friendly adventure in southern Vermont. Be sure to stop by the Ball Mountain Dam (pictured above) for spectacular views of the surrounding Green Mountains. Trail access and parking directions found here.

3.Heels to Paws 5K // Event, Run/Walk, FundraiserDSC_0620

For this Stratton tradition, four legs are as welcome as two! On October 8, runners and walkers will explore Stratton’s 5K route to raise money for Second Chance Animal Shelter. This year’s race is accompanied by the Columbus Day Weekend Brewfest!

4. Stratton Firetower // HikeStratton fire tower

Venture to the crossroads of the Appalachian and Long Trail with your four-legged friend. Hike to Stratton’s summit (explore uphill trails here and reach the fire tower trailhead off of Mike’s Way.  From the summit, the moderate hike is 0.7 miles one way. The firetower offers 360-degree views of the green Mountains – pictured above.

We suggest fido stay leashed at the bottom of the firetower should you decide to climb it.

5. Stratton Pond // Hike, Camp11909733_10153638183928689_712092148_n

Up for a challenge? Once you and your pup reach the Stratton Firetower, venture north on the Appalachian and Long Trail to the scenic Stratton Pond. Grab supplies from First Run Ski Shop in the Village and make it an overnight camping trip or do it all in a day!

6. Batenkill River // Walk, Swim, Scenic13838569_10154445910228689_373180282_o

Pick any spot on the 59.4-mile-long river that flows through Vermont and New York and your pooch is sure to be satisfied to take a dip in the cool water on a hot summer day. Visit the Arlington Green swimming hole for a perfect Vermont day.

Continue reading “6 Dog-Approved Adventures to Check off your Summer Bucket List”

160705_VentureVermontBlog_food_1262x506

6 Easy Ways to Step Up your Culinary Game

We’ve all been there. You find that perfect fantasy-looking dish on Pinterest and think, “Hey, I can make that. Easy.” Two hours later, you have a kitchen counter laden with over-priced grocery store fruit or flour  –  a testament to your hard work gone awry as you realize you may need a bit of culinary guidance. (At least, I’m hoping this has happened to others besides myself…). … Continue reading 6 Easy Ways to Step Up your Culinary Game

160621_VentureVermontBlog_water_1262x506

6 SoVT Scenic Swimming Holes You Have to See This Summer

One thing’s for sure – there’s no shortage of scenic views here in southern Vermont. Luckily, when the weather’s too hot to earn the scenic views via hike, there’s swimming holes waiting for you to kick-back, relax and enjoy the view. Arlington Green // Cool off at this stunning quintessential Vermont swimming hole in Arlington. Bring a chair or towel to lounge on the small grassy area, … Continue reading 6 SoVT Scenic Swimming Holes You Have to See This Summer

582489_10151459523374280_1680732723_n

Venture Vermont: The Vermont Country Store

Featured image: The Vermont Country Store on Facebook.  In two quaint southern Vermont towns sits an oasis of gifts, knick-knacks, games, food, home items and all the things you never knew you needed to have. That’s right, we’re talking about the Vermont Country Store. With two locations in Weston and Rockingham Vermont, this Vermont staple is a must-stop during your visit to the Green Mountain State. … Continue reading Venture Vermont: The Vermont Country Store

HSP2015_-13-2250px

6 Must-Do Fall Activities in Manchester, Vermont

A mere 19 miles from the Stratton Mountain Village sits the historical, quintessential New England town of Manchester, Vermont. Nestled among the astonishing Green Mountains, the town is filled with diverse retail outlet stores, small town coffee shops and a multitude of dining options. We explored Manchester to bring you the most unique fall activities in the area. 1. Immerse yourself in Fall at the Equinox Valley Nursery Located … Continue reading 6 Must-Do Fall Activities in Manchester, Vermont

Apple orchard - a great place for a photo op!

Venture Vermont: Apple Picking at Mad Tom Orchard

In search for the best fall activities in southern Vermont, we found ourselves in East Dorset at Mad Tom Orchard. On our way to pick our own apples, excitement buzzed throughout the car in anticipation to embrace the cool, crisp fall air and gather fresh produce from the Vermont trees. Little did we know that we would be greeted by a friendly couple and immerse ourselves into the breathtaking surrounding mountains.

mad tom orchard stratton
Be sure to get a wagon to fit all your apples!

12071268_10153722852098689_1963371051_nLocated on Mad Tom Road just 20 minutes from Manchester Center and about 35 minutes from Stratton, Mad Tom Orchard dates back to 1962, first run by Tom as a commercial orchard and eventually developed into a pick-your-own. The Orchard was forced to close in 1997 due to loss of an airplane spray service, but was re-opened and restored by Tom’s son (also named Tom) and his wife, Sylvia in 1999. The couple pruned over 100 of the original trees and planted 1,2000 new apple trees resulting in 8 acres of prime apple picking. The first tree planted on the orchard dates back to 1940, making this season the orchard’s 75th birthday.

Ursa went for a wagon ride.
Ursa went for a wagon ride.

Choose from 14 different apple (depending on the time of season):

Early Season

Zestar, Sansa, Ginger Gold

Mid Season

McIntosh,  Gala, Cortland, Honeycrisp, Macoun, Fuji, Spartan

Late Season

Empire, Golden Delicious, Jonagold, Northern Spy

stratton venture vermont
The surrounding mountains are breathtaking.

Be sure to pick up a gallon of fresh apple cider, just $5.00. There’s also a variety of Vermont’s best items to take home like local maple syrup and cookie cutters made up the road in Rutland.

What to Wear & What to Pack

Be sure to wear warm clothing and boots or sneakers. This orchard is nestled in the mountains and there is often a cool breeze. Bring a camera – you’ll definitely want to take pictures of the surrounding mountains. The orchard accepts debit and credit cards, as well as cash.

stratton venture vermont
Be sure to wear a warm jacket, it gets chilly!

Hours of Operation

During apple harvest season, the Orchard is open Tuesday through Sunday 9AM-5:30PM. The orchard is closed on Mondays.  The apple picking season varies, so give the orchard a call to see when they are open until. Phone: (802) 366-8107.

12071701_10153722857763689_767602961_nImportant Links

Mad Tom Orchard Website

Mad Tom Facebook

More Info About Vermont Apples

Love this post or know someone who will? Share it on social media below! Share your ventures with us using #VentureVermont. Visit here to explore our other Ventures. 

Continue reading “Venture Vermont: Apple Picking at Mad Tom Orchard”