Recommendations for early Oct

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Re: Recommendations for early Oct

Postby deaner1971 » Fri Sep 23, 2016 2:30 pm

shychakr wrote:Hi,
This would be my first visit to VT. I would be in Londonderry during 5th -7th October. I have a 5 yr old kid. Please suggest the best scenic drives and light hikes.

I hope the quote helps to reduce any confusion. I actually have a few moments to respond and I didn't want to risk not being able to do so when the new post went up.

I love SVT and, after years of mostly solo trips, I am bringING my family with me for the first time next year. My son with be 5 for that trip so, I am casting my eye in a much similar way.

Here goes:


West River, Jamaica State Park - it can be as easy as a walk on an old small gauge rail line that is now a smooth walking path or a scramble through boulders deposited by the stream or a walk up a traditional trail to a waterfall - you choose. Even the walk along the path has nice views of the West River.

Ball Mountain Dam - a fun walk for a kid (even a 45 year-old one like me). You can walk out on the dam and have a nice view of the valley to take in the views from the parking area (where the gazebo is located). Not a hike, per se, but a fun and short walk for smaller legs.

Stratton Mountain - take the gondola up to the top of the mountain and either walk back down or hike about on the summit and ride back down on the gondola.

Emerald Lake State Park - a nice and easy walk around a gorgeous lake. Pretty much all there is to say about that...

Equinox Mountain - also a strong option for a scenic drive (see below) to the summit, the lower reaches of Equinox Mountain has a network of trails that can be done in pieces or together to create a hike as long, or as short, as little legs are willing to do. Trail map found here:

I will come up with some more hikes shortly. Some come to mind but, I don't want to recommend ones (like the Dorset Quarry or the Scott Bridge) that have additional risks.


Pikes Falls Road - named after town of Pikes Falls, I am uncertain as to whether there are waterfalls or it is named after a family named Pike who tripped a lot in the vicinity. You drive along the North Branch of Ball Mountain Brook. The road narrows often and has large stretches of gravel (really more like very well packed sand). I drive an Acura TLX (four door sedan) so none of these routes require four wheel drive or tires so large each represents one day of OPEC production.

Deer Valley Road

Kelly Stand Road

Colvin Hill Road - I swear I once glanced a bigfoot on this road. My wife pointed out that "bigfoot" was wearing a flannel shirt, denim overalls and slurred "*&^ing tourists" at me as I drove by. I stand by my sighting and believe that disguises like this are why sightings remain so rare, as few have my powers of observation to see through his cunning camouflage.

Skyline Drive - OK, first, is your car under warranty? Are brakes (rotors and pads) covered? Seriously, use low gear during the descent and pull over occasionally to take in the views and to allow your brakes to cool off. When I last went on this drive, they still had buckets of water that you can use to cool off your brakes, if they get out of hand. All of that aside, this is a great drive. Wonderful views, especially later in the day. Expect it to be more windy and cool than the valley below and layer accordingly.

Danby Hill Road - if you have time, take a drive down Easy Street. No seriously. Danby Hill Road merges with (or splits off from, depending on which way you are driving it) Brook Road. If, at the fork in the road, you take Brook Road, Easy Street will be at the next fork in the road, right after you cross Mill Brook.

Mount Tabor Forestry Road - OK, a few notes. This is a seasonal road. After a heavy rain I do not advise this one and, I believe, it closes after first snow fall. This drive runs between 7 and Londonderry. You can pick it up as Brooklyn Road in Mount Tabor where it intersects with 7 or, from Londonderry, take the following:

A. 11 west toward Peru. Right on Lover's Lane. Right on Hapgood Pond Road. Visit Hapgood Pond. Get back on Hapgood Pond Road and resume your driving by turning left. Continue to intersection with Landgrove Road where you will turn left. Turn left on Little Michigan Road and right on Danby Mountain Tabor Road Number 10 (gonna tell you now, I don't believe that 1 through 9 exist but, someone liked "Number 10" at the end of the name). This is the forestry road.

B. Take 11 or Old Stowell Road to Landgrove Road and turn right. Turn left on Little Michigan Road and right on Danby Mountain Tabor Road Number 10 (you know the route and joke from here).

Other Fun

Equinox Valley Nursery - they have a great fall festival thing going on from September through November. Pumpkins? Check. Cider? Check. Those donuts you guys all like? Check. Corn maze? Check.

Orvis Flagship Store - see how New Yorkers think Vermonters would live if they were New Yorkers who lived in Vermont. Oh and feed the fish, kids love to feed the fish. Seriously, the upscale fly fishing, wing (i.e. bird) shooting and clothier is a fun visit. After you walk around, check "next door" (across a field really and, if it is Columbus Day weekend, there will be big tents on that field) at the Outlet Store for sale items.

Covered Bridges - Arlington Covered Bridge, Chiselville Covered Bridge and Scott Covered Bridge are all nearby. For Arlington, drive through the bridge and park at the church. It will keep the little one farther from the road (speed limit 55, at that point, I believe). As mentioned previously, I am reluctant to recommend the Scott Bridge as it sits right off of 30 with parking being just feet off of the road. Scott Bridge also was closed to foot traffic when I was last there so, you can neither walk or drive across it. Forget I even mentioned that one.

Bromley - kids rides and an alpine slide. Need I say more?

Northshire Bookstore - great kids section and a wonderful place. The best independent bookstore in Ver..., the United..., THE WORLD!!! Seriously, a good time.

Killington - also a small amusement park (make sure there are things that your little one can do, based on height and weight: You can even go to the golf course and watch people hurt themselves on these:

Vermont Country Store - a good time for all ages.

I hope that gives you a few ideas. Have a great time!

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Re: Recommendations for early Oct

Postby From_the_NEK » Mon Sep 26, 2016 1:14 pm

smiling wrote:Hi!

Probably, on a hindsight it would be best to do the other way round as I saw today that there are interesting vineyards in Dunham so perhaps spending a couple of hours in the area before crossing over to VT and focusing around montgomery. In this way I can then leave Jay early on the 4th towards Newark area to stay overnight and back to Montreal on the 6th, aiming to be there for sunset, so no rush.

I found a B&B on Airbnb with nice reviews and the lady seems nice and easy so if you think it can work out seems like an option.
If you happen to have time to lay down a route it would be super!

We rented a Standard class car (Nissan Altima or similar), so hopefully it would be good enough for back roads. I see what you mean about finding higher areas to get a wider view of the colours.

Thanks a million!

It looks like your plan is a follows. I'm not quite sure if you are planning on spending both nights in Newark or one in Jay and one in Newark.:

For this route planning, I'm assuming one night in Jay and one night in Newark. I can readjust if that is not the case.

October 4th: Spend the morning in Dunham, and cross over to Montgomery, explore some other areas and overnight somewhere around Jay Peak.
This route takes you into Montgomery, Belvidere Pond, Eden (Lake Eden), a section of Route 100, Lowell, Hazen's Notch, Jay Peak. Wrap up the day with a tram ride to the summit of Jay Peak (if it is not in the clouds).

October 5th: Leave Jay and head toward Newark, exploring along the way.
This route takes you back to Lowell but you head east this time to Irasburg and Barton. You may want to take a few minutes to drive along Crystal Lake in Barton. Then return to the route and head to May Pond, Lake Willoughby (make sure to visit the south beach then return to the route), Hinton Hill to Island Pond, Jobs Pond, Newark/Bald Hill Ponds, Sugarhouse Rd, Burke Hollow, Darling Hill, Burrington Bridge, Ridge Rd, and end the day with a drive up Burke's Toll Rd ($5 per vehicle). Eat dinner somewhere in East Burke, and head to your overnight accommodation.

October 6th: Leave Newark and explore around Vermont arriving back in Montreal before sunset.
Leave Newark, West Burke, Sutton, Pudding Hill, Lyndonville/Lyndon Center (drive through the covered bridge), Hubbard Hill, Fall Brook, South Wheelock/Stannard Mtn Rd, Lake Caspian, Craftsbury Common, Eden, Johnson, Jeffersonville, Bakersfield, Enosburg, Franklin, Canada. The latter part of this route Jeffersonville-Canada is lower elevation and will likely have foliage that lags behind that of the first two day of exploration.

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Re: Recommendations for early Oct

Postby smiling » Thu Sep 29, 2016 10:01 pm

Thanks a million! Will follow the invaluable tips next week and hopefully the colours will further improve ;)

Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2016 11:02 am

Re: Recommendations for early Oct

Postby smiling » Sun Oct 02, 2016 9:33 pm

Quick question: I wanted to take pictures of areas with consistent yellows and consistent reds. From recent pics on the forum looks like it's more mixed. Do you guys know of any areas or roads where any one colour is dominant? Thanks

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