Travelrific® Travel Journal

Picture postcards in prose.™ Check out the blogroll on the front page for official merchandise and other resources!

Archive for vermont

Conservationist History in Vermont

By Linda Tancs

The Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller Mansion in Woodstock, Vermont, was built in 1805 for pioneering conservationist George Perkins Marsh. Originally rendered in the Federal style, it would undergo renovations under its subsequent owner Frederick Billings (a conservationist and pioneer in reforestation) to a Stick style mansion before taking its current shape in the Queen Anne style. Laurance Spelman Rockefeller and Mary French Rockefeller inherited the house in 1954, and it became a National Historic Landmark in 1967. Now part of Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, it’s the only park in the nation that tells the story of conservation history and the evolving nature of land stewardship in America. Guided ranger tours (May through October) include stories revealed by the objects inside the mansion as well as a tour exploring the conservation legacy of the three families who called this place home. You’ll also want to explore the stunning gardens of the mansion grounds and take a walk through the woodland carriage roads and trails along the forested slopes of Mount Tom, one of the oldest, professionally managed woodlands in America. Enjoy a bird’s-eye view of Woodstock from Mount Tom’s South Peak.

From Rail to Trail

By Linda Tancs

When the Rutland-Canadian Railroad laid tracks in Vermont in 1899 to connect the New England coast with the Great Lakes region it could hardly be imagined that out of the rail’s eventual demise would arise a bike and pedestrian path that’s among the most popular in the area. Officially beginning at the Oakledge Park trailhead in Burlington and ending in South Hero, the Island Line Rail Trail is a 14-mile path offering superb scenery. Perhaps its greatest asset is the causeway that runs across the open waters of Lake Champlain, giving cyclists the sensation of biking over water.

Early Vermont Heritage

By Linda Tancs

Native American, French colonial and early Vermont heritage converge at Chimney Point on Lake Champlain in Vermont. One of the earliest, most intensely settled and most strategic sites in the Champlain Valley, human habitation dates back to Indian encampments over 9,000 years ago. In 1731, a French fort was built there, followed 10 years later by a French settlement to support the soldiers across the lake at Fort St. Frederic. When the British encroached, the story goes that everything was burned to the ground, leaving only chimneys (hence, the name). The original two-story tavern was built after the Revolutionary War. Now a museum open during the summer season, it offers archaeological discoveries, the earliest surviving tavern tap room on the lake and a 1905 post office. Visitors can cross the nearby Lake Champlain Bridge on foot and enjoy the interpretive trail on both sides.

Rail City

By Linda Tancs

Named after St. Albans in Hertfordshire, England, Vermont’s tony city of St. Albans is known for its heritage and interesting past. Once hailed as Rail City, the locale welcomed over 200 trains per day along a profitable route to the Canadian and western markets via the Grand Trunk Railroad. And visitors to Taylor Park, one of the state’s largest downtown greens, might be surprised to learn that the location marks the northernmost skirmish of the Civil War. Local soldiers were known as the Vermont Boys; their sacrifice and that of others throughout the decades are commemorated throughout the greens. The historical museum is devoted to over 200 years of local history and offers research and lecture opportunities.

A Pass Through the Green Mountains

By Linda Tancs

On scenic Route 108 between Stowe and Jeffersonville in Vermont is Smugglers Notch State Park, a narrow pass through the Green Mountains.  True to its name, the passage was used by smugglers.  In the 19th century, for instance, smugglers ran contraband through the passage to Canadian markets.  In more modern times, alcohol was smuggled through during Prohibition.  Today it’s the hiking that draws people in.  Several trails lead up to the top of Mt. Mansfield, where you’ll be rewarded with vistas as diverse as Lake Champlain, the Adirondacks and the Green Mountains.  Look closely and you may even see the White Mountains of New Hampshire and Canada to the north.  Steal a view before the park’s seasonal closing after Columbus Day.


Ferry Cross the Cut

By Linda Tancs

In Vermont, the scenic Colchester Causeway is a four-mile long, 10-foot-wide gravel path popular with cyclists.  It extends across Lake Champlain and connects to the original Rutland Railroad bed, courtesy of a 200-foot ferry ride to “the Cut,” site of the railroad swing bridge removed in the 1960s.  That’s not much of a ferry ride (five minutes from start to finish), but it is, after all, the state’s only bike ferry service and arguably one of the world’s most scenic. What better way to take in those incredible waterfront views from Colchester to Burlington than by bike.  After the dramatic 2011 flooding of the lake, the trail re-opened last spring.  Daily ferry service runs until 1 September.

How Now Brown Cow

By Linda Tancs

Cheese aficionados, take note.  If the process of cheesemaking is as interesting to you as the taste, then take a lesson or two at Shelburne Farms, a 123-acre estate in Vermont.  Home of the Brown Swiss, a breed known for its high milk fat content, guests can pull an udder or two beside an accomplished milkmaid and immerse themselves in farm life, not to mention history.  After all, cheddar’s origins in Cheddar, England date back to the 12th century.  West of Bennington and part of the Vermont Cheese Trail, the inn on the farm offers 24 rooms with luxe accommodations (and a price to match).  Are these green acres the place for you?  Get moo-ving and find out.


The Big Cheese

By Linda Tancs

Cheddar aficionados, take note: Vermont cheesemongers are waiting for you at the annual Vermont Cheesemakers Festival this Sunday at Shelburne Farms in Shelburne. Here’s your chance to meet the artisanal producers, learn about cheese, watch a demo, and sample and buy your favorite cheeses. And what better place to do that than in the nation’s largest artisanal cheese-producing area per capita. Come early and make the weekend out of it; there’s always room at the Inn.

If you enjoyed this post, please share it on sites such as StumbleUpon, vote for it, bookmark it or Tweet it. Thanks for your support! Travelrific® was featured as Blog of the Day on!

Vermont–Green Mountains and More

By Linda Tancs

Vermont, the Green Mountain State, is small in population but big on culture. Check out some fun facts about this northeastern state at Travelrific® Radio.

Garlic is Good for You

By Linda Tancs

That’s what the folks at Two Rivers in Montpelier, Vermont will tell you this weekend at their annual Garlic Festival on Saturday. You’ll even get a free flatbread pizza and salad with your admission. Organized by Food Works, the event includes garlic harvesting workshops, a silent auction, musical entertainment and gardening information, topped off by the Golden Garlic Award, raffle and recognition. Breath mints are optional.

If you enjoyed this post, please share it on sites such as StumbleUpon, vote for it, or bookmark it. Thanks for your support! Travelrific® was featured as Blog of the Day on!

%d bloggers like this: