Introducing Venture Vermont: A Vermont Travel Guide

It is no secret that many of our readers and guests may only visit Vermont in the winter time. However, have you ever visited us in the summer, to witness the beauty of the Green Mountains in all its green glory?

This summer, starting June 18, join us on the journey to Venture Vermont and explore Southern Vermont’s best summer
logoactivity spots, all within a short distance to Stratton Mountain. Our goal with this travel guide is to find the best unique activities, swimming holes, hikes, mountain biking trails and more and give you the information you need to know such as directions, gear guides and first hand activity highlights, so your family can enjoy the best that Southern Vermont has to offer. Choose from a variety of lodging options here at Stratton and you can stay comfortably before and after you start your outdoor adventure.

Follow our Blog,  website and social media channels for everything Venture Vermont. We also want to see how you do Vermont in the summer! Share your photos with us using the hashtag #VentureVermont, and your photo and activity can be featured on our channels and you could be picked for special give-aways.

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The best thing about Vermont isn’t the amazing winters; it’s that every season is incredible. The Venture Vermont journey kicks off on June 18, with Stratton’s Wanderlust Festival. Join us on this adventure as we share the wonders of Vermont in the summer – the beauty may surprise you.

For questions, more information or to suggest a place for us to visit, please email Cassie at crusso@intrawest.com.

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8 Ways to Make a Difference this Earth Day

By Cassie Russo

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Happy Earth Day! Ahh, spring time, we meet again.We taste fresh fruits & veggies, hear birds chirping, smell fresh flowers, touch green grass and see trees budding once again. We use all five senses every day to absorb nature’s beauty, and it is especially important to celebrate Earth Day this spring so we can keep enjoying the earth’s natural beauty.

Want a longer ski season? I’m no scientist, but I do know that every person’s actions, even small ones, make an impact on the environment. So, join us & do your part to reduce global warming, go green and most importantly have fun with our Earth Day to-do list below!

1. Pick up litter. You’d be surprised how much trash comes around after the snow melts!

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2. Support local farmers. Sustainable, organic, delicious.

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3. Recycle, recycle, recycle!  Our goal at Stratton is to implement zero landfill resort-wide by 2017.

4. Be. energy conscious. Shut lights off when you’re not in the room & unplug chargers when not in use.

5. Bike to work! You will reduce air pollution and get a great exercise. A bit too far to bike? Carpool or take public transportation.

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5. Plant a Tree. We loved skiing through them this season, so give back and plant one in your neighborhood.

6. Use a re-usable water bottle to help reduce plastic waste. You can save as many as 300 plastic water bottle from going to a landfill by using a re-usable water bottle.

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7. Take a hike. Enjoy what’s in our backyard. Grab your friends and enjoy the natural things on Earth Day!

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8. Educate others. Pass on your going green tips!

 

What’s on your to-do list this Earth Day? Share with us on Facebook!

Who you calling Fat?

By Kirby Daly

When a friend asked me the other day if I wanted to go for a fat bike ride I thought he was trying to tell me that I needed to start working out because I was fat.  Being offended, I started laying in to him. It wasn’t until he began to laugh hysterically that I realized I was missing something.

“No” he said, “they are called fat bikes because of the size of their tires.” Fat Bikes

Have you ever seen these? They are super cool looking, like something out of a cartoon. But why fat tires, what’s the deal? Well how about the fact that you can ride them through sand and even in the snow. These bloated bikes first popped up in the late 80s after the first prototype was built and used to trek across the Sahara Fat Bikedessert. In 1990, an Alaskan man began fitting standard mountain bike frames with SnowCat rims, specifically for use in the snow. Since then, many big name bicycle companies have picked up the trend and it just seems to keep growing.

I tried one through some snow trails and let me tell you, it is so much fun. I never thought I would ever be mountain biking in winter; what a cool an experience. If you want to give my new hobby a try, you can right now! The Nordic Center here at Stratton has a fleet for you to demo. Go have an adventure.

Let’s Ride!

By Adam Wanamaker

What is a glade skiing, powder-stash steward to do when the snow melts in southern Vermont? The most obvious answer is to go hiking.

Hiking is relaxing. It affords 360o movement on the mountain, an opportunity to explore and discover hidden nooks and crannies typically buried in the winter, a chance to meet some of the diverse wildlife and discover the down-right mesmerizing plant life that makes you swear James Cameron spent time in the Green Mountains during his “research” phase for Avatar. Hiking is great exercise, but it’s not the only way to get out and enjoy summer in the mountains.

Cue my personally preferred form of transportation, entertainment, excitement, and dopamine in non-snow bearing months; my mountain bike. It’s not often that two people get back from an hour-long hike and can, without saying a word, connect with a smile, a head tilt, or raising a glass with a mutual respect knowing exactly what the person across the way—a complete stranger perhaps—is thinking. In winter this happens regularly on a powder day in the lift line or in your preferred—ahem—establishment at the end of the day, and it happens after a mountain biking session, too.

Thankfully there is an increasingly large and dedicated community of mountain bike enthusiasts and land owners cropping up around the Stratton area, with most of the trail systems having opened or reopened to public access, planned, and constructed only within the past three years. Momentum is building around the mountain bike movement and clubs like the Manchester & The Mountain’s Bike Club have been busily building trails, organizing group rides, and taking the proverbial torch forward in making a cohesive community with a vision and a mission that area businesses and the Chamber of Commerce have been supporting around mountain biking. That’s why I implore you to go to your local bike shop in Southern Vermont and ask about trails. Not only will you get some great , non-Googleable info, but this is one of the few things where the internet hasn’t kept up entirely with the full-throttle work that’s being done to make steep mountains covered in ankle-deep mud not just rideable, but fun places to get your dopamine fix flying through the trees until winter comes back around. If I can’t convince you to revisit mountain biking or give it a spin for the first time, maybe this kid can.

About the author:

Adam Wanamaker got lost in his neighborhood the day he learned to ride a bike; although just 10 houses down his block, he’d broken into never-before seen territory. After biking all around greater Binghamton, NY and driving to ski Stratton on weekends in winter, he started at Stratton after graduating SUNY Binghamton. Three years ago he was part of a group on resort that started The Activity Hub, where he eventually became the supervisor of The Hub and more recently the Nordic Center. He loves exploring Vermont’s trails but prefers “bush whacking” to find new hidden Green Mountain gems and writing biographies in third person.

Summer To-Do List

By Courtney DiFiore

I always seem to adopt a new attitude and find myself reaching for new goals during the changing of seasons. I’m not sure why, but it’s a pattern that continues year after year. I clean the house more, I get restless, I yearn for change and become impatient with the weather and its cruel tricks. As a result, I began to create my summer to-do list early this year.

I add things like go to Hamilton Falls, host a BBQ, golf and hike new mountains. As I was creating my list, I felt like it was lacking so I enlisted the help of my co-workers. We all share a love for Vermont and the outdoors, so I knew I’d get some great suggestions. Here’s what the co-workers and I will be doing this summer.

What are you doing this summer?

Team Stratton’s Summer To-Do List – 2014
1. Float down the Battenkill on a tube
2. Go horseback riding
3. Attend the Frendly Gathering
4. Hike 14 miles a week
5. Visit Vermont Breweries (2 down already – she’s the over achiever of the bunch)
6. Do a century ride
7. Visit all the local watering holes (and we don’t mean the bars, but it’s not a bad idea)
8. Play a round of golf, or two, maybe three
9. Train for the Maple Leaf Half Marathon
10. Grow a garden

I Could Not Decide………..

By Sky Foulkes

Saturday was a spectacular day to get some outdoor exercise in, sunny and temperatures in the 70’s – what more could I ask for. Now the big question, what to do?

Should I go for a swim in the snowmaking pond, take a ride on my bike, or go for a run?  Well instead of trying to decide, it just seemed easier to do all three!  A morning swim around the snowmaking (well a couple of times around actually).  If you haven’t used the snowmaking pond as your outdoor pool, you don’t know what you are missing.  It is awesome with clear water and a refreshing temperature; just follow the shoreline and it is about a 1/2 mile around.  Now it was on to the bike for a ride; choosing to go on one of my favorite (yet hilly) roads, Winhall Hollow, and then lap around Londonderry (to check out the Saturday Farmer’s Market of course) and then back across Winhall Hollow.  After some refueling I went for a nice run along Kendall Farm Rd, which is like the flattest 4 miles around here!!  And of course to top it all off a post workout dip in the snowmaking pond and off to Bondville for lunch.  What a morning, three different sports and all before lunch.  What will I do in the afternoon/evening?  Maybe up to the mountain for an evening of music on the Commons.  Get out and enjoy exercising in our big outdoor gym – it doesn’t get any better than this!!

Let’s Ride

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By Sky Foulkes

This past Saturday was a day for a bike ride and so that is just what I did; the 7th annual Tour de Bondville is in the books! On one of the best days so far this summer, about 130 riders took off from the Startingate Ski Shop on one of four rides (50, 50 alternate, 26, or 16 miles).

I rode the original 50 mile route which took me by Bromley, through Londonderry (and a wave to the Saturday farmers market), through Andover, down into Weston, back to Londonderry (this time I wanted to stop at the farmers market :-)) and then a finish through the “hills” on Winhall Hollow Rd. The route was designed to maximize the climbing, and that it does about 4000 ft worth, so let’s just say it is for the strong of heart (legs and lungs too!).

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The other rides also have a fair bit of climbing too, this wouldn’t be a ride in VT without that, but are a bit tamer. It was a beautiful day to be out on the roads. And not only did I get some great riding in, the event raised over $28,000 for breast cancer research. How cool is that!? If you missed this year’s Tour, be sure to put it on your calendar for next year. But, in case you can’t wait that long, you’re in luck as there is another great bike event just around the corner (so to speak) the Vermont Challenge is August 14-18, www.vtchallenge.com. So get out and ride, it is just awesome!

See you on the roads.

Riding High

By Courtney DiFiore

July has become cycling month here at Stratton and it makes a lot of sense with all the bike racing that happens this month, not only in Southern Vermont, but around the world. In honor of this theme, I’ve compiled a few benefits to cycling.

1. It’s easy on the body.

Cycling puts very little impact on joints making it an easy sport to jump into. “Even if you have pain walking, you can still ride a bike, because it isn’t weight bearing,” says bike fit specialist Andrew Pruitt, EdD, Director of Boulder Center for Sports Medicine, in Colorado (Prevention Magazine).

2. It’s a great lower body toner.

The largest muscles in your body are in your legs and butt, making it easy to burn some major calories as you tone those areas of the body. “Riding 12 to 14 MPH burns more than 500 calories in only 60 minutes, and many people (even novices) can easily bike for an hour or two,” writes Selene Yeager from Prevention Magazine (from Joy Ride).

3. It creates a sense of community

Cycling is great for someone at any age which is why (I think) it’s so popular. “6.9 Million: The number of boomers who own a bicycle,” according to Yeager. That’s a lot of people! And it seems as though all who ride share in the same passion for riding. It’s a great second family to have.

4. It brings out the kid in you.

Who didn’t ride a bike as a kid?! If you claim you didn’t, well, I’m sorry you missed out on one of the best parts of childhood, but luck for you biking can be picked up at any age! So get peddling.

Cycling can be challenging, especially if you’re aiming to become the next Tour De France winner or something like that, but it can also be calming and fun in a casual setting. Grab a bike and get going. There’s still a lot of summer left. If you’re like me and need something to work toward (I can’t seem to just ride, I have to be training for something), you should check out all the upcoming cycling events at Stratton.

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July 27 Tour de Bondville – The Seventh Annual Tour de Bondville combines a bike ride, golf outing and after party. Choose the 50, 25 or 18 mile bike ride or to spend the day on the links, all while raising funds for a good cause – breast cancer research.

Aug 14 – 18 The Vermont Challenge – Four day cycling tour through southern Vermont, beginning and ending at Stratton Mountain. The people of Vermont welcome you to tour Vermont’s beautiful landscape, replete with rolling farmlands, bucolic villages, and quiet country roads. The Vermont Challenge is a friendly experience drawing on the qualities of the people of Vermont.

Sept 1 Grizzly Triathlon – Mark your calendars for the inaugural Stratton Mountain Grizzly Triathlon! Compete solo or create a team of three. Swim 600 meters, bike 13 miles and finish with a 5k mountain run.