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6 Southern Vermont Bookstores for a Good Read

One of the best things to do in Vermont during the fall is to curl up in a comfy chair with a warm drink and a good book. Unfortunately it can be tough to get your hands on a good book nowadays — which is where these bookstores in southern Vermont come in. No matter what kind of literature you love, you’ll find it in one of these great southern Vermont bookstores.

Bartleby's Books, Wilmington, Vermont

Bartleby’s Books

There’s a lot of love for Bartleby’s Books in Wilmington. After the bookstore was nearly destroyed by Hurricane Irene in 2011, the owners rebuilt and reopened their southern Vermont bookstore - and today they’re more popular than ever. Stop in for a cup of delicious coffee and browse through the curated selections of books, games, and gifts. You’ll find a special section with books by Vermont authors, as well as work from local artists and artisans in the upstairs exhibition space.

Northshire Bookstore

The Northshire Bookstore has established itself as one of the most popular bookstores in Vermont for years running. Of course, there’s a good reason for this popularity: the Northshire Bookstore has a little bit of everything. Inside the winding shelves and corridors you’ll find a huge selection of books, souvenirs, and other items. The expansive children’s section on the second floor makes the Northshire a great family destination. Meanwhile, the knowledgeable and helpful staff will help you find the perfect book for every interest and mood.

The Bennington Bookshop

For more than 90 years, the Bennington Bookshop has been connecting readers and books in southern Vermont. Today this southern Vermont bookstore stands as Vermont’s oldest independent book seller, and it’s easy to see why it’s been so successful. A wide selection of contemporary and classic books, an expansive children’s area, and a number of indie authors make this book store one to visit again and again. If you’re in town for a while you might want to join one of the regular book clubs, or simply stop by a reading and signing with one of the many authors to come through.

Everyone's Books - Brattleboro, VTEveryone’s Books

Looking for a book that’s off the beaten path? You might want to stop by Everyone’s Books, a southern Vermont bookstore with a very unique selection and feel. This independent bookstore focuses on “books about social change, the environment, and multicultural children’s books.” Many of the books on their shelves would be difficult to find anywhere else, even online. Stop by and chat with the owners for a recommendation or just enjoy the one-of-a-kind assortment of books on your own.

Mystery On Main Street

If your favorite activity when reading is figuring out the twist before the main characters do, Mystery On Main Street is your kind of bookstore. Specializing in mystery, suspense, and crime fiction, this southern Vermont bookstore will keep you on the edge of your seat. Along with well-known thrillers you’ll find underappreciated gems and unique alternatives to your favorite authors. You can also stop by to hear famous mystery and suspense authors speak about their craft or take a mystery writing workshop to hone your own skills.

Brattleboro Books

Sometimes you want a book that isn’t just unique, it’s esoteric. For those cases, Brattleboro Books should be on your list of places to look. This quaint and quirky store specializes in out-of-print and hard-to-find titles. Whether you’re simply browsing for a special gift or searching for a long-lost classic, this southern Vermont bookstore has you covered.

Now that you have a good book to read, it’s time to relax and start turning pages. Snuggle up and feel right at home amidst the Green Mountains at your very own southern Vermont rental home.

Top 5 Fall Drinks for Vermont Foliage Season

Looking for a way to beat that fall chill? These five fall drinks are a great way to enjoy the taste and smell of fall in Vermont no matter where you are. From delicious hard ciders to sweet fruit wines to captivating cocktails, there's a fall drink here for every palate. Try them all (responsibly) this fall — here's to Vermont foliage season!

Fall Drinks - Vermont Hard Cider from Whetstone Ciderworks

Photo: Whetstone Ciderworks, Marlboro, Vermont

Vermont Hard Cider

Apple cider is one of those quintessential fall drinks, and hard cider the perfect "adult" alternative. Among the many local Vermont breweries producing hard cider, one of our favorites is Whetstone Ciderworks, whose artisanal hard ciders are made exclusively from locally sourced apples and produced on a traditional rack and cloth press for extreme purity and quality. Their several varieties each have their own appeal, from the dark and dry Kingston Black to the crisp Orchard King.

Apple Cider Cocktails

Nearly every orchard in southern Vermont sells their own apple cider during fall. But this ubiquitous fall drink isn't just delicious on its own — mix it up to create a wide range of delicious fall cocktails. Here are a few cider cocktails from Real Simple to get you started, but there are plenty more out there. We challenge you to invent your own. 

Vermont Maple Liqueurs

Spring might be sugaring season, but maple also makes a perfect addition to many fall drinks. Maple blends from Brattleboro's Saxton's River Distillery are perfect for mixing or sipping straight: their Sapling family, which inclues maple liqueur, maple bourbon and maple rye offers delicious and unique beverages you won't encounter anywhere else. Unlike maple liqueurs from major distilleries, these Vermont drinks are blended in small batches by hand.

Hermit Thrush Brattlebeer - Perfect Fall Drink for Vermont Foliage SeasonBrattlebeer from Hermit Thrush Brewery

Hermit Thrush Brewery is one of Vermont's most creative microbrewers, and Brattlebeer stands as testament to that fact. A combination of Belgian-style sour ale and apple cider, Brattlebeer is a distinctive and delicious drink that is perfect for fall in Vermont. Enjoy it alongside some local cheeses or fruits or simply drink it on its own.

Local Vermont Wines

Say "winery" and most people think of rolling Tuscan hills or sprawling California vineyards. However, Vermont's Putney Mountain Winery and Whaleback Vineyard might make you think twice about that preconception. These two wineries produce an amazing variety of wines and fruit wines that make perfect fall drinks. From Putney's Simply Pear and Rhubarb Blush to Whaleback's Frontenac Gris- Rosé and Vermont Apple Ice wine, there is a Vermont wine for every meal or occasion. Pair a few bottles along with some Vermont cheese and have a fall wine tasting at home.

Whether you're mixing a cocktail or sipping a cider, these Vermont fall drinks are a great way to enjoy the taste of fall at home. Mix them all up in your Chimney Hill rental's kitchen, sit back, and enjoy the scenery of the Green Mountains.



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    Vermont Farm Tours and Farm Stands Near Wilmington

    As foliage season falls across Vermont, you might find yourself looking for the perfect way to get out and enjoy the remaining nice days before the cold weather begins. A Vermont farm tour is a great fall activity for the whole family, and it's also a good chance to pick up some delicious fall fruits and veggies. These Vermont farm tours and farm stands near Wilmington make fresh food fun.

    Adams Family Farm - Wilmington Vermont

    Photo: Adams Family Farm, Wilmington, Vermont

    Adams Family Farm

    While the name might make you think of things spooky and scary, the Adams Family Farm is one of the most delightful destinations in southern Vermont. The Farm Experience Package includes catch-and-release fishing, a wagon tour, and a chance to meet and feed lots of different farm animals. If you're looking for something more, you can also take part in one of the Evening Wagon Rides which include barbeque, a bonfire, a walk in the woods and a longer wagon ride around the farm. You'll also have plenty of chances to pick up lots of delicious farm-raised meat and homemade sauces, as well as signature Adams Family Farm clothing you won't find anywhere else.

    Robb Family Farm

    For more than 100 years, the Robb Family Farm has been entertaining—and feeding—the people of southern Vermont. During the spring you can visit their famous sugar house and watch the maple syrup making process take place, and in the fall you can visit their Vermont farm stand and pick up hearty cuts of delicious Vermont beef. The farm stand also sells a variety of maple syrups, candies and gift baskets throughout the year, so be sure to stop by and take a look at everything they have to offer!

    Taylor Farm

    If you're looking for an all-inclusive Vermont farm tour, Taylor Farm in Londonberry is a great choice. Throughout the year Taylor Farm offers a huge variety of family-friendly farming fun, including farm tours and animal feedings, cheesemaking demonstrations, fall pumpkin picking, and winter sleigh rides behind a team of Belgian draft horses. You can also get some of the best local produce in the state at their Vermont farm stand, including delicious cheeses, local honey, homemade preserves and apple sauce, and 100% real Vermont maple syrup.

    Wheeler Farm

    One of the signature family farms in the Cabot Creamery farm coop, the Wheeler Farm is a great destination for all things dairy in Vermont. Their Vermont farm stand offers some of the finest in cheeses and dairy products anywhere, all fresh and ready-made. The Wheeler Farm also has a sugar house where they make their own maple syrup and other maple products, so be sure to pick up some syrup or candies while you're there.

    Boyd Family Farm

    Vermont BlueberriesPart farm and part flower garden, the Boyd Family Farm is a great destination when you want your trip to look as good as it tastes. From summer until winter you can find gorgeous flowers, fresh fruits and fun activities at the Boyd Family Farm. One of the best things to do at the Boyd Family Farm is to pick your own blueberries with your family and friends. You can also pick lots of fresh flowers, and even pick up wreaths and centerpieces to take home with you. The Boyd Family Farm also offers special packages for weddings, so keep them in mind if you're tying the knot this fall.

    Wellman Farm

    Searching for something sweet that isn't maple syrup? Wellman Farm in Wilmington might have what you're after. This family farm produces small batches of local honey with their own Vermont honeybees. Stop by their Vermont farm stand to pick up fresh, local honey you won't find anywhere else.

    Ready for more fun? Your Vermont farm tour doesn't have to stop when the sun goes down. Stay in a Vermont rental house from Chimney Hill in Wilmington and head back out the next day for more agricultural adventures!

    4 of the Best Guided Hiking Trips in Vermont

    Hiking in Vermont is one of the best ways to get out and experience the beauty of Vermont, but if you’re not an experienced hiker, it can also be a daunting challenge. Guided hiking trips are a great way to get over that initial hurdle. Instead of hours of research and planning and searching, you can simply work with an experienced guide who will take you on a hike that suits your interests and experience level.

    Vermont Hiking

    To help you find the perfect guided hiking trip in southern Vermont, we’ve put together a list of some of the best local hiking outfits offering guided treks. Read on and get out there!

    Vermont Adventure Tours

    If you’re looking for a flexible, full-service nature guide outfit for your hike, look no further than the fine folks at Vermont Adventure Tours. Along with their rock climbing and ice climbing tours, Vermont Adventure Tours can also help you plan a world-class Vermont hike and guide you along the trail. Vermont Adventure Tours’ guides focus on southern Vermont, and their knowledge and experience is second to none.

    Appalachian Trail Adventures

    Have you ever dreamed of hiking the Appalachian Trail? Well, now you can get a small taste of the journey through Appalachian Trail Adventures. This guided hiking service takes visitors along sections of the Appalachian Trail as well as its sister, Vermont's Long Trail. The hikes are pre-planned to include scenic vistas and suitable terrain, and the hiking packages also include a dinner and even a dip in their hot tub. They can also arrange kayaking and caving tours for the more adventurous nature explorers.

    Walk Along Vermont

    Guided Hiking in Vermont Sometimes you just want to take a simple walk in the woods, and for those times there’s Walk Along Vermont. This guided hiking trip service in Manchester, Vermont offers half-day and full-day hikes through the woods of southern Vermont. Scenic views, remote forests, and unforgettable memories are just part of the package. The trips are flexible and suited to your ability, making them great for seniors, families, pet owners and more. You can even go on a winter snowshoe tour during the colder months.

    Guided Treks at Mount Snow

    Mount Snow offers more than just world-class skiing and snowboarding. Throughout the year you can also go on guided hiking and snowshoeing treks around the mountain’s trails. These hikes last from one to several hours and vary in difficulty depending on your ability and goals. You can also get special hike and massage packages to unwind after a long day on the mountain.

    A guided hike is a great way to experience the natural side of Vermont for yourself and enjoy all the beauty of this amazing state. Plus, you can easily combine your hiking trips with a trek back to your own comfortable southern Vermont rental home at Chimney Hill.

    Vermont Day Trips: Things to Do in Manchester, VT

    There are lots of things to do in southern Vermont, and many towns that are perfect for a southern Vermont day trip or weekend excursion. Manchester, VT is a perfect example. This charming town might look small and sleepy at first glance, but in truth it’s one of the most popular destinations in the region for shopping, vacations, and general fun. Read on to find some of the best things to do in Manchester, VT.

    Things to do in Manchester VT - Hildene

    Photo: Jtesla16 via Wikimedia Commons

    Manchester Designer Outlets

    One of Manchester’s biggest attractions, the Manchester Designer Outlets (or the MDO as they’re known to locals) comprise a huge open-air mall with dozens of stores from all over the world. Whether you’re looking for the latest in upscale fashion at bargain prices or just need a place to walk around and enjoy the fresh Vermont air, MDO is the perfect destination. Along with the many outlet stores you’ll also encounter restaurants, cafes, and locally owned businesses that can make this area a full-day trip in itself.

    Hildene, The Lincoln Family Home

    A generation after Abraham Lincoln held the presidency, his son, Robert Todd Lincoln, built a stunning Georgian revival mansion in Manchester, VT. This gorgeous home, which he called Hildene, became the seat of the Lincoln family until 1978, when the Friends of Hildene charity purchased the home and restored it into a stunning public memorial. Today visitors can tour the home and view Lincoln family artifacts. You may also want to explore the amazing peony gardens and walking trails, which span more than 400 acres of Vermont countryside.

    Bromley Mountain and Stratton Mountain Resorts

    If you’re seeking outdoor fun, the area around Manchester has more than enough. Both Bromley Mountain and Stratton Mountain resorts feature year-round entertainment for the whole family. In the winter you’ll find tons of skiing and snowboarding, while the warmer months bring ropes courses, gondola rides, golfing, and summer festivals to the mountains. Take a look at both resorts to see what’s happening during your visit – you won’t regret it!

    Southern Vermont Painting

    The Southern Vermont Arts Center

    An ever-popular destination with tourists and locals alike, the Southern Vermont Arts Center is one of the best things to do in Manchester, VT. The SVAC features a wide variety of visual, musical, and performing arts all year round, making it a great place to visit again and again. If you’re in town for more than a day you can also take a workshop led by an accomplished Vermont artist on subjects such as watercolors, figure drawing and painting, photography and more.

    The Northshire Bookstore

    It might look like an old house on the outside, but inside the Northshire Bookstore you’ll find one of the largest and most well-maintained book collections anywhere in the Northeast. This old-school book store manages to feel at once cozy and enormous, with tall shelves and wide tables piled high with books around every turn. Stop by the Spiral Press café for a drink and a bite to eat while you explore, or simply lose yourself among the shelves for an hour or two.

    If you're staying at a Chimney Hill southern Vermont rental home, you can be back to your Vermont headquarters in less than an hour. Stash your purchases and get a little R & R, then start planning your next day trip.

    5 Historic Covered Bridges in Vermont You Can Visit

    Covered bridges in Vermont connect the Green Mountain State's history to its scenery, creating one of New England's most iconic images. Vermont is home to more authentic covered bridges than anywhere else in the United States, and many of them are designated historical monuments. Explore these fascinating structures by visiting them firsthand during your next trip to southern Vermont.

    Covered Bridges in Vermont

    High Mowing Farm Bridge, Wilmington

    The closest covered bridge to Wilmington is also one of the newest “authentic” covered bridges in southern Vermont. Even though it was only built in 1949 – more than 60 years after most of the rest on our list – the High Mowing Farm Bridge still uses traditional construction methods, most importantly the signature trusses that make a covered bridge authentic. This bridge crosses the small Stowe Creek and measures just 21 feet long. Note that the bridge lies on private land, meaning you can’t drive across it. That said, it is easily viewed from the road and there is plenty of parking on the shoulder, making this a great place to begin your Vermont covered bridge tour.

    Green River Bridge, Guilford

    This bridge outside of Guilford provides a 104-foot span across the Green River in southern Vermont. Open to the public and vehicular traffic, the Green River Bridge is an excellent example of historic town lattice truss construction. The bridge was originally built in 1870 by Marcus Worden, and today the bridge is owned and preserved by the town of Guilford. Interestingly, the bridge also houses a number of the town’s mailboxes, which you can see held between the trusses inside the bridge.

    Creamery Bridge, Brattleboro

    Though it isn’t open to vehicles, the Creamery Bridge in Brattleboro is one of the most beautiful examples of a covered bridge in Vermont. The Creamery Bridge is approximately 80 feet long and 16 feet wide, and it was built in 1879 by the town of Brattleboro. Today it is the town’s only remaining covered bridge, giving it a special significance to the town and to visitors alike. You may enjoy following the footpath across the Creamery Bridge and down to Living Memorial park, Brattleboro’s largest park and home to several bike trails and a public swimming pool.

    Dummerston Bridge, Dummerston

    Dummerston Covered Bridge in VermontIf you’re only going to see one covered bridge in Vermont, this isn’t a bad choice. The longest drivable covered bridge in the state at 280 feet in length, the Dummerson Bridge is a remarkable achievement in engineering and preservation. The bridge was originally built in 1872, and it has not been significantly altered in the 140 years since. This Vermont covered bridge is definitely a must-see for any enthusiast.

    Henry, Silk, and Paper Mill Bridges, Bennington

    Our final covered bridge is actually three – the Henry Bridge, Silk Bridge, and Paper Mill Bridge in Bennington, Vermont. All three of these Vermont covered bridges are sterling examples, in part because the town recently rebuilt all three. Each bridge, though, is interesting in its own right. The Henry Bridge, for instance, was widely known to be the strongest covered bridge in Vermont due to its double-truss construction, while the Silk Bridge is one of the oldest in the state with its original construction in 1840. If you want to see a variety of bridges in a short time, the three Bennington bridges are a perfect way to do just that.

    Another benefit of these covered bridges in southern Vermont is they are just a short drive away from the comfortable and spacious Vermont rental houses at Chimney Hill. Located just outside Wilmington, you’ll find it easy to get to all the bridges and have plenty of time for pictures and sightseeing too!

    Southern Vermont Day Trips: Things to Do in Bennington, VT

    History and scenery combine to make Bennington a quintessential American town. It's a great lunch stop on the way to Wilmington from New York, and if you haven't ventured down into the valley for a longer day trip there, we highly recommend it. There are plenty of things to do in Bennington, with attractions ranging from arts and history to shopping and drinks. Explore some of the best this southern Vermont town has to offer below.
    Bennington Monument Vermont

    The Bennington Museum

    This classic Bennington, VT, attraction is one of the best places to learn about the history and culture of southern Vermont. The Bennington Museum features regional artwork, historical artifacts, and diverse special exhibits which highlight the many facets of Vermont and New England. You'll experience the history and beauty of this region over time and from many viewpoints through the collections housed in this historic museum. 

    The Bennington Battle Monument

    Commemorating one of the pivotal battles of the Revolutionary War, the Bennington Battle Monument stands as Vermont's tallest mandmade structure. At 306 feet, it offers stunning views of historic Bennington and the surrounding countryside — on a clear day, you can see to both New Hampshire and New York with ease. You'll also find a number of statues and other historic monuments in the surrounding park, making this a prime educational and cultural opportunity.

    The Oldcastle Theatre Company

    Whether you want to experience a unique-to-Vermont performance or simply need a night out, the Oldcastle Theatre Company has what you're looking for. Featuring many special productions and premieres during its summer and winter seasons, the Oldcastle Theatre Company stands as one of Bennington's oldest and most popular playhouses, and also as one of the best places to see a play in southern Vermont.

    Bennington VT welcome sign The Shops at Camelot Village

    Shopping is an American pastime, and it's no different here in Bennington. You'll find some of the best shopping in southern Vermont at the Shops at Camelot Village, a diverse and exciting shopping area in the heart of Bennington. Of special note is the Artisan Gallery, which features artworks and artisanal products from Bennington's own; and the Antique Center, a sprawling 25,000-square-foot antique market hosting more than 200 dealers. The Shops at Camelot Village are a perfect place to find gifts, souvenirs, and furnishings for your own home. 

    Madison Brewing Company

    After a long day of touring the town, you might want nothing more than a cold beer and some good food. You can find both at the Madison Brewing Company, a microbrewery and pub-style restaurant featuring six unique and delicious brews. The Madison Brewing Company has been a local favorite for more than 20 years, and once you stop in you'll see why. 
    Your day trip to Bennington doesn't have to last just one day. Come back again tomorrow after staying in your own Vermont rental home at Chimney Hill. With comfortable amenities and a convenient location, your day trip might end up lasting a week. 


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      Vermont Theater: Where to See a Play in Vermont

      Along with tons of outdoor activities in southern Vermont, there are plenty of things to do that don't involve hiking boots and mountains. One ever-popular activity that's great for the whole family is seeing a play or production at one of our many local playhouses and theatres. From intimate small-stage productions to huge off-Broadway spectaculars, you're certain to find something to enjoy on one of southern Vermont's many stages. Here are a few to get you started.

      Vermont Theater in Bennington

      The Oldcastle Theatre Company — Bennington

      Over the last 44 years, the Oldcastle Theatre Company has produced more than 300 plays and productions, including a number of premieres by well-known playwrights. Today the company stands as one of the oldest and most well-known Vermont theatre companies, and their stage is set in an intimate and close space that allows the audience to feel connected to the show. You can even order dinner along with your tickets and get a meal at the nearby Pangaea Fine Dining for two included in the price of your show.

      Dorset Theatre Festival — Dorset

      While the Dorset Playhouse might look old-fashioned, it's actually home to one of the most vibrant and exciting theatrical productions in the region. The Dorset Theatre Festival presents a number plays each year during their four-month summer season, many of which are new premieres exclusive to the Dorset Playhouse. Shows range from child-friendly productions to intriguing adult fare, so be sure to check ahead and see what will be on the stage during your Vermont visit.

      Weston Playhouse — Weston

      Weston Vermont Playhouse Billed as Vermont's oldest professional theatre, the Weston Playhouse began producing plays in 1935 and hasn't stopped since. Today the Weston Playhouse uses three stages to produce a diverse summer season of plays, including Broadway-caliber musicals, period dramas and family-friendly fare. The Playhouse also offers a variety of educational opportunities, such as the three-week Broadway Boot Camp, an intensive musical theatre training program for teenagers. 

      New England Youth Theatre — Brattleboro

      Blending acting, education, and fun, the New England Youth Theatre is a combined acting school and playhouse which produces youth-acted and directed plays year round. Alongside the wide range of available acting classes and programs, you can also buy tickets to student-acted shows ranging from unique children's productions to Shakespeare. 

      If you can't bear the thought of leaving the Green Mountains behind after the final curtain call, you're in luck — spend a couple nights, a week, or the whole season at a comfortable southern Vermont rental home

      Southern Vermont Day Trips: Things to Do in North Adams, MA

      One of our favorite day trips in southern Vermont isn’t actually in Vermont at all. The city of North Adams, Massachusetts is a fun and friendly town with plenty to see and do just a few miles south of the Vermont-Massachusetts border. Whether you’re into outdoor adventures or educational enrichment, you’ll find something to enjoy in this wonderful town.

      North Adams MA

      Concerts at Windsor Lake

      If you’re looking for a great family activity that’s both fun and free, consider taking a trip to Windsor Lake on a Wednesday evening and seeing one of their free outdoor concerts. You’ll find bands of all types and genres playing at these shows, and you can also enjoy swimming, kayaking, and canoeing on the lake while the music plays. Bring a blanket and a picnic basket and have an amazing evening with some sweet summer tunes.

      Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art

      Many visitors to southern Vermont don’t realize that the largest contemporary arts museum in the United States is just a few miles from their door, waiting to be explored. The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (or MASS MoCA) is a huge gallery and exhibition space featuring a huge array of rotating installations and live performance arts shows. With more than 200,000 square feet of gallery space (including one gallery more than 300 feet long), you’re sure to find something to appreciate and enjoy.

      Houghton Mansion Ghost Tours

      Those seeking thrills and chills need look no further than the Houghton Mansion, one of the most well-known haunted houses in Massachusetts, if not the whole United States. Featured on the Travel Channel show Ghost Adventures, Houghton Mansion was originally built by the first mayor of North Adams, Albert Houghton. The mansion has a long history of hauntings and other strange occurrences, and it also stands as an interesting historic site.

      Mount Greylock MAMount Greylock

      Want to experience one of the most scenic views in the state of Massachusetts? Take a hike – or a drive – up Mount Greylock, the highest mountain in the state. At 3,491 feet, Mount Greylock offers views of more than 60 miles on clear days. At the crest of the mountain you’ll also find the Massachusetts Veterans War Memorial Tower, a stone monument 92 feet in height which offers even more stunning views.

      Food and Drink

      After so much exploring, you’ll also want to take a look at North Adams’ restaurant scene to refuel. One of the most popular low-key locations in town is Brewhaha, a classic café serving delicious coffee and light café-style food. For a bigger meal you can head down the road to The Hub, an old-school diner-style eatery serving American standards and bar drinks as well.

      At only 30 miles away, North Adams is a perfect destination for a day trip out of out of your Chimney Hill rental home in Wilmington, VT. Make sure you give yourself some time to look around the town and explore even more of the many things to do!

      5 Top Spots for Hiking with Kids in Southern Vermont

      Whether it's spring, summer, or fall, hiking with kids in southern Vermont is a great way to spend some family time outdoors. On top of fresh air and exercise, a good hike in Vermont gives kids the chance to connect with nature and learn about their surroundings. These five spots for hiking with kids have varying degrees of difficulty but are all on the medium-to-easy end of the spectrum. They're also easy to access. 

      Mountain View - Hiking with Kids

      Emerald Lake State Park

      Located between the towns of Manchester and Rutland, Emerald Lake State Park has a wide network of hiking trails and footpaths encircling the 20-acre lake and surrounding woods. Some of the more wooded trails offer a good challenge for older children and adults, while young kids might prefer the easy trails such as the Lake Trail or Lower Trail. When you’re done hiking you can also enjoy a swim in the lake or a cookout in one of the park’s campsites before heading out.

      Shaftsbury State Park

      Another wonderful lakeside trail system, Shaftsbury State Park offers an excellent look at some southern Vermont wetlands and the animals and plants that inhabit them. The “Healing Springs Nature Trail” as it’s called lets visitors explore the area around Lake Shaftsbury and view native wildlife and vegetation up close all year round, and its short length and easy access means it a perfect place to go with children.

      southern Vermont hiking trail Molly Stark State Park

      Right outside of Wilmington you’ll find the Molly Stark State Park trail system. This easy-to-moderate area of hiking trails offers some good family-friendly hiking for older kids and adults, and it also connects to several other trail systems including the trails for the town of Wilmington and those located within the Hogback Mountain Conservation Area. Make sure you take a trail map with you or follow the blazes, since the trails have several branches that can lead you over quite a wide area.

      Mount Snow Hiking Trails

      With more than 20 miles of trails to explore, Mount Snow is a great place to visit during the warmer months of the year for some old-fashioned hiking fun. While not every trail is great for children - expect some challenges on some of the slopes - there are plenty of family-friendly areas for you to explore both on the mountain and in the nearby Deerfield Valley trails. Plus you can easily access all of Mount Snow’s amenities including restaurants and bathrooms, and you can also take advantage of other activities such as mountain biking, golf, and special events. One important tip: for safety reasons, hikers need to stay off the designated downhill mountain bike trails. 

      Haystack Mountain Hiking Trail

      This one is just up the road from us on route 100, and it's something of a rite of passage here at Chimney Hill. The Haystack Mountain hiking trail gives an awesome view of the Deerfield Valley, and at just over 1,000 vertical feet, it's manageable for most families. 

      Hiking excursions big or small fare better with comfortable base camp nearby. If you're looking for a place to fill water bottles, mix granola, and unwind after your descent, a southern Vermont rental home is an excellent fit. 

      • P.O. BOX 415, 9 Haystack Road, Wilmington VT 05363