Mad River Valley/Waterbury
(Published in 7 Nights 2008-09)
(Published in 7 Nights 2007-08)
Trying to convert lead into gold never worked out too well for anybody. But turning hops and barley into golden liquid brings hordes to The Alchemist Pub & Brewery in Waterbury, where the serious task of brewing is served with a side of fun. Just try the Holy Cow I.P.A, Type O Positive or Knuckle Dragger. Good thing the mosaic-tiled bar — made by local artist Heather Glenn — is long enough to accommodate lots of ale aficionados.
There are lots of great places to swim along the Mad River — you need only look for parked cars to find the sweet spots. Two well-marked areas couldn’t be more different: Dramatic Warren Falls is one of those rope-swing spots that attract shirtless adolescent boys. The family-friendly Lareau Swimming Hole is a peaceful bend in the river that is shallow enough for kids in some places and, in others, deep enough for a real dip. PHOTO: MATTHEW THORSEN
A river runs through it, and there are mountain ranges on either side. But that’s only part of what makes the Mad River Valley so scenic. The farms and settlements are charming, too. The best way to see it all is from two wheels. A 16.3 mile loop takes you off the main thoroughfare — Route 100 — onto the back roads of Waitsfield, Warren and Fayston, through covered bridges and along ski slopes, past art galleries and antique shops.
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