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Blog :: 12-2013

Catch a Great Place for Ice Fishing in Vermont

There are plenty of great outdoor winter activities in Vermont, from skiing to dogsledding to skating. But only one activity lets you enjoy the outdoors, spend time socializing, and stay toasty warm inside your own personal hut. We're talking, of course, about ice fishing.

Ice Shanties on the Retreat MeadowsIce fishing is a very popular Vermont winter pastime in the colder months of the year, and it's easy to see why. On the ice, friends and family can stay warm and have fun together and, if you're any good, you can get dinner out of it, too.

There are plenty of places that allow ice fishing in southern Vermont. For example, here in Wilmington we have the Harriman Reservoir, which allows ice fishing for several different types of fish, including largemouth and smallmouth bass. The reservoir also plays host to an annual ice fishing derby, an extremely popular event with decades of history and attendance. Also, as part of the Molly Stark State Park, the Harriman Reservoir has plenty of hiking trails, campsites, and other outdoor facilities nearby.

Another popular local hotspot for ice fishing in Vermont lies just outside Brattleboro. Called the Retreat Meadows, this ice fishing area does not lie on a lake, but rather an extension of the West River that cuts across southern Vermont towards New Hampshire. That might sound scary, but the slow-flowing waters can freeze several feet thick, yet are deep enough to allow ice anglers to fish for largemouth bass, pike, pickerel, and perch. There's a good reason this is one of the most popular ice fishing destinations in southern Vermont.

If you're not feeling up to finding your own ice fishing spot, another strategy is to use a guide service that will take you out on the ice and help you catch plenty of icy dinner. A good choice in southern Vermont is the Picket Hill Guide Service, which can help you find the best places for ice fishing, hunting, tracking, and any other outdoor activity you can think of.

The one drawback to ice fishing is that your hut isn't big enough for you to stay in all night. That's why we recommend booking a southern Vermont rental home -- you'll have all the space you need to wake up early and energetic, and you can make your fishing trip as long as you want! Take a look at all the listings and find the perfect place to host your southern Vermont ice fishing vacation.

Dash Through the Snow on a Sleigh Ride in Vermont

Looking for a fun winter activity in southern Vermont for you and your family? Or perhaps a romantic Valentine's Day date idea with that special someone? Look no further, because we have the perfect cold-weather treat for any occasion -- a Vermont sleigh ride.

Sleigh Rides in Vermont, Freisians of Majesty horse-drawn sleighsSleigh rides in Vermont are the perfect throwback to yesteryear -- there's something almost magical about being towed through the snowy white Vermont forests and hills by a team of majestic horses. And whether you're snuggling with your romantic partner or taking the family for an adventure, we know you'll have a great time.

There are a number of different places to go if you want to take a sleigh ride in southern Vermont. First, you can visit the Adams Family Farm in Wilmington, which offers sleigh rides during the winter alongside a number of other farm- and animal-related activities. In fact, a visit to this farm is a great way to spend an entire day, and the sleigh ride becomes the icing on the cake.

Another great option for a Vermont sleigh ride is Green Mountain Orchards, just outside Putney. You'll need to make an appointment to schedule your sleigh ride, but it's as simple as calling ahead. You can also top off your ride with a visit to the orchard's bakery and cider press, where you can get fresh-made apple pies, cider, and other products straight from the farm to you.

Finally, a bit further north in the town of Townshend, you'll find Fresians of Majesty, a specialty horse farm that offers sleigh rides and tours in ornate two-person and four-person sleighs. With private trails groomed just for their sleighs and horses bred to tow, these sleigh rides are unmatched in authenticity (and romantic potential).

If you do go for a sleigh ride in Vermont, remember that winters here can be very cold. Don't forget to bundle up with lots of layers that you can add or remove as conditions change. You might also want to bring a treat for the horses, such as some fresh fruits or crunchy vegetables - just make sure you ask before you hand them out!

After your sleigh ride, you can retire back to your long-term Vermont rental home to warm yourself back up and relive the memories - or just to get "Jingle Bells" out of your head. You can stay as long as you like, and you'll be in the perfect place to do something else fun tomorrow!


  1. Patty Killion on

    […] a long day of skiing, snowboarding, sleigh rides, and ice fishing, you’ll probably be experiencing some powerful hunger. Lucky for you, […]
    • P.O. BOX 415, 9 Haystack Road, Wilmington VT 05363