The 830-acre Waterbury Reservoir was dry for seven years while the dam was being repaired, but has since been restored to its former boating-fishing-swimming glory. The only “development” on its pristine shores is Little River State Park, central Vermont’s largest and most popular campground, with 101 sites. Look for cellar holes, an old sawmill and other evidence of an abandoned 300-year-old farming “campground” that preceded it.
Hiking, swimming and picnicking are popular at this South Burlington municipal park. Please, folks, no bikes on the trails.
This famed 270-mile footpath travels the entire length of Vermont, from Massachusetts to the Canadian border. The Green Mountain Club, which maintains the trail, lists 175 miles of side trails, and nearly 70 primitive shelters. Hike the whole thing, or just a few choice stretches.
Barre proudly calls itself “the Granite Capital of the World” — a slight exaggeration, perhaps, but not much. The city’s quarries produced the world-famous “Barre Gray” granite steps on the east side the U.S. Capitol. But gravestones are Barre’s niche. The personalized memorials the workers made for each other — and many other people — are all over the city’s most remarkable cemetery. Look for the life-sized armchair, big soccer ball, race car and airplane, all with accompanying sad stories. PHOTO: ALICE LEVITT
Got kale? They usually do at the Burlington Farmers Market. Area food producers take over Burlington City Hall Park every Saturday morning throughout the growing season in a democratic display of edible innovation. Just-picked fruit, veggies and flowers practically sell themselves, but there are local livestock farmers, too, selling fresh meat raised the old-fashioned way. Don’t cook? Homemade baked goods, ethnic treats are the Queen City’s fast food.
Artisan glassblower Glenn Ziemke does daily demos in his Waterbury studio.
Stowe is all about altitude and catching air — both essential ingredients of a glider ride. Stowe Soaring and its FAA-certified pilots run flights out of the Stowe-Morrisville Airport when the weather’s nice. The “intro ride” is $89 for 10 minutes; the “Mile High Mt. Mansfield Special,” which is $189 for 40 minutes, promises to be “life-changing.”
Vintage posters of pink-cheeked skiiers. Prehistoric bindings. Old accounts of ski adventures along Route 100. The Vermont Ski Museum chronicles the history of going downhill fast with a large collection of skiing artifacts and memorabilia. Vermont’s famous Cochran family figures prominently. Special exhibits this summer include, “From Schussing to Shredding: The Evolution of Ski Technique.” The museum is open every day but Tuesday.
In winter, the road to Stowe sees a lot of slope-seeking Saabs and Subarus. The summer crowd tends to be driven by ice cream: The Ben & Jerry's Factory in Waterbury is one of the top tourist destinations in Vermont. If your visitors have heard of one thing in the Green Mountain State, sadly, this is probably it. The guided tour doesn’t dwell on the company’s founding entrepreneurs — you have to search high and low for signs of Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield — but it maintains their “If it’s not fun, why do it?” philosophy.
The Saturday market is among the top 10 in the country, according to EatingWell magazine. The 2008 market season lasts from May 3 until October 25. Opens at 9 a.m. Closes at 1 p.m.
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