The Vermont Icelandic Horse Farm in Waitsfield guides treks — for up to five days — on a breed renowned for its smooth ride and stamina. The Vikings reportedly brought the animals to Iceland, where they were isolated to preserve their purity, good temperament and unique bone density. They’re small, but can easily carry an adult employing one of five gaits. A two-hour ride is 70 bucks, and the five-day deal runs around $1500.
Find more than 10 miles of intermediate and advanced single track mountain bike trails, including the "Skywalker," "Yoda" and "Millenium Falcon" loops. You can also connect to the trails in the Hinesburg Town Forest, maintained by the "Fellowship of the Wheel."
On 500 acres in Williston, the nonprofit Catamount Outdoor Family Center maintains more than 20 miles of trails for running, biking and hiking. You can take part in organized races or do your own thing.
The towns surrounding Chittenden County are full of surprising finds — you just have to know where to go. A car comes in handy. At the area’s last-remaining drive-in, certainly, you’ve gotta have wheels. Colchester’s own al fresco movie theater shows double features on four screens every night at sunset. Bring bug spray.
Burlingtonians come here to swim and picnic, out-of-towners also use it as a campground.
Going bareboat? Winds of Ireland at the Burlington Boathouse rents out seven sailing sloops to experienced skippers. If you need someone else to take the tiller, they’ve got captains for hire.
Perkins Pier’s Waterfront Boat Rentals lets out rowboats, kayaks, canoes, double kayaks, aluminum skiffs and Boston Whalers by the hour — or eight. With more than 130 square miles of lake before you, the only limitation is how long you’ve got. And, of course, your vessel’s horsepower. An easy paddle north will take you to the Rock Point promontory via North Beach, where Burlingtonians go to swim and out-of-towners camp out. Go south to survey Red Rocks — a popular swimming and sunset spot — and Oakledge Park. Got a few hours?
Button Bay is one of the best beaches on Lake Champlain: The water’s clean, and you can rent canoes and kayaks right there. If neither swimming nor boating appeals, there’s always the area’s unique geology: flat round “button-like” rocks along the shoreline are great for skipping. Seventy-three campsites and 13 lean-tos beckon if you feel like staying over. Samuel de Champlain, Ethan Allen, Benedict Arnold and Ben Franklin all did. PHOTO: CAROL DINGLEY
It’s less than two miles to the top of this popular hiking destination. Perfect for kids — and you get a big-mountain view.
Midway through August, authors arrive at Middlebury College's Bread Loaf campus in Ripton for the annual, two-week Writers Conference. The “instructors” — published poets, novelists and memoirists — give nightly readings. It’s intimate, cultured and camp-like. And free, to listen.
All Rights Reserved © Da Capo Publishing Inc. 1995-2013 | PO Box 1164, Burlington, VT 05402-1164 | 802-864-5684