Luxury Hiking Vermont

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On the drive north to Mount Mansfield, we took a little detour for an introductory Vermont walk on the Robert Frost Interpretive Trail. This one-mile loop near Ripton, in central Vermont, circles the site where the poet-laureate spent 23 summers. It's as flat as anything gets in Vermont, wanders under pines, over brooks, past wooden bridges, and through verdant meadows filled with pink and white wildflowers. Every so often a plaque appears with one of Frost's poems. I'm particularly struck by the line from "Something for Hope."

"It takes all sorts of in and outdoor schooling to get adapted to my kind of fooling . . . "

It's an auspicious start to a week of in and outdoor schooling, I thought, as I sampled the sweet wild raspberries and strawberries from vines along the path. The berries were sweet as the day was warm, and a whole week of "fooling" (aka "luxury hiking in Vermont") lay ahead.

Looking at a map of Vermont, you can't help but notice the vertical patch of kelly running through the state—representing state and national forests, state parks, and ski resorts. These areas are connected by the Long Trail, the nation's first long-distance hiking trail. Examining these details, a plan began to form in my mind. Why not go on a hiking vacation, taking advantage not only of the trails, but of the amenities offered by Vermont's ski resorts?

While my husband, Tony, and I are avid hikers, at night we prefer to forgo the woods and sleep in a comfortable hotel bed after dinner at a fine restaurant. The Long Trail, Appalachian Trail, and many supplementary foot paths make for almost limitless day-hiking possibilities. Much of Vermont's tourist infrastructure—ski resorts, country inns, and restaurants, as well as historical and other recreational attractions—is centered along the hills and valleys of the Green Mountain range. To attract off-season business, ski areas lower their accommodation rates in summer and offer activities like golf, alpine slides, and mountain biking.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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