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.

Facebook | Instagram |Twitter | Pinterest 

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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Fit & Fun Winter Dates

By Courtney DiFiore

Claim First Tracks
It’s time for you and the sweetheart to earn those turns. Grab batteries for the head lamp and take to the hill early morning. Skin or hike up, share a private sunrise, then enjoy first tracks. Talk about a unique, shared experience to remember forever.
HSP2015_2297-2250px-2Hit the Nordic Trails
Not everyone is willing to race down steeps on two planks and that’s okay. We have Nordic trails for those who prefer flatter ground. Don’t let the lack of elevation fool you, this is quite the work out. Cross Country Ski or Snowshoe through 12 miles of groomed trails. Located in the Sun Bowl, the Nordic Center is open 7 days a week from 9am-4pm with the warming hut open Weekends and Holidays from 9am-4pm. Start planning your date!
HSP2014_5960-2250pxGo Tubing
Trade the lake for a mountain and go snow tubing! This is more on the fun side than fit, but if you opt to walk up the hill instead of taking the lift-service you could get a really good work out. Located in Stratton’s Sun Bowl, the Coca-Cola Tube Park features four lanes of lift-serviced snow tubing, warming hut with light refreshments and fire pit. Play by day or under the lights at night!
HSP_6213Visit the Ice Castle
Picture yourself as Elsa in the movie Frozen. That’s what you’ll feel like when stepping into the Ice Castle located in the Sun Bowl Base Area. You and your date can explore winding mazes and archways all crafted by hand using only icicles and water. This one of a kind, spectacular icy forest is the perfect back drop for that couple selfie you’ve been dying to take.
150117_IceCastleNight_HS_3572Go Biking
Ever heard of Fat Bikes? Equip with fatter, more durable tires Fat Bikes allow you to ride on snow. Now you and your special someone can go cycling year round. Talk about an Instagram worthy shot of the two of you!
Fat Bike Village

Foliage Report

Pops of color have been showing up all around Stratton lately and we’ve been keeping track. Our “Peak-O-Meter” is yours to use this fall when planning your trip to Stratton Mountain. Check out some of the great pictures people have been snapping around the area! Use the hashtag #StrattonFoliage so we can find your Instagram pictures too.

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I love fall!!!!!

A photo posted by Debbie Bender (@deb_bie08) on

Slowly but surly fall is coming. #fall #winterisnext @strattonresort

A photo posted by Christian Jurkowski (@christianjurkowski) on

http://instagram.com/p/tN6Qk4gOMO/?modal=true/embed

View from the top of the #firetower at #stratton #mountain. Sunday adventures with @jessemallis

A photo posted by Tara Atkinson (@tara.catherine) on

@jimboslice214 first annual Stratton Oakmont Invitational. #stratton #golf

A photo posted by Joey McNamara (@joey_mac21) on

happy fall! #stratton #vermont #fall #autumn #stilltoomuchgreen

A photo posted by chris acernese (@chrisack_) on

 

 

Hiking at Stratton

September is hiking month at Stratton Mountain Resort. Cooler temperatures keep the bugs at bay and makes for more comfortable hiking weather as the trees put on a show of colors. It also means it’s time to start getting your ski, snowboard, and snowshoe legs and lungs in shape.

Try the 7 Summits Challenge – Beginning September 1 through October 13, 2014.

hiking_summitWhen hiking up Stratton, there’s a lot of routes to choose. Ranging from easy to more difficult, you can use our guide to help you.

If you’re looking to hike more off the beaten path, try the Appalachian and Long Trail. The Appalachian and Long trails share a southern 103.6 miles, crossing over Stratton Mountain which was the inspiration for both of these storied routes.

Have fun getting those legs ready for the 2014-15 winter season. Don’t forget to tag us @StrattonResort on Twitter and Instagram when posting your awesome hiking shots this fall.

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

7 Summits Leader Board

By: Courtney DiFiore

We’ve passed the halfway benchmark for September meaning there’s just 2 weeks left to complete Stratton’s 7 Summits Challenge.

Adam Wanamaker, Manager at The Activity Hub, sent out a nice email detailing the progress of my completion this morning. Without publicizing how pitiful my vertical is in comparison, I’ll just leave you with some final words from Wanamaker.

“Sue Foulkes, Sky Foulkes, Bill Nupp, Laura Mullen and Chad Milliken are all above the 10K mark, with Jenna Pugliese on the cusp. The first participant to summit Mt. Blanc & Mt. Vinson will be this week. With such a close contest and determined contestants, things are changing by the hour.”

Good luck and keep hiking!

Quiet Time in the Mountains

By Diane Whatley

Vermont is a special place, like nowhere else I’ve been. All at the same time it is peaceful, exciting, colorful, calming. It’s a place to feel grounded, in touch with nature and myself.  It awakens the senses. It is home.  For me, there is no more special time in this great place than being in the woods, on the trail during fall foliage.

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I think I’m one of the luckiest persons in the world – I can head out of my house and be on the Long Trail within five minutes.  I hike this section of the trail at least once a week with my most loyal dog and trail companion “Jack.  I’ve memorized this section of the trail by now and can anticipate each turn, each rock to step over and each small stream to ford.  Jack eagerly anticipates his favorite spot to sniff out whatever it is that he smells and the quick drink or romp in the many mountain streams. While I walk at a steady pace, Jack easily covers twice the distance I do as he darts ahead to investigate and doubles back to make sure I’m still there.  Someone once told me that a tired dog is a good dog – hiking is a great way to tire out your dog!

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While I’m very familiar with this section of the trail I’m never bored by it. There is always something new to see, hear and smell. I might notice a new blooming woodland flower, or colorful berries ripening on a bush. Was that fungi on that fallen tree the last time I was here? Birds chirping, bees humming, leaves rustling, water trickling are sounds that are noticed in the quiet of the woods. The smell of fresh balsam in the middle of the forest is like heaven to me. Fall brings a change to the senses – today it was the smell of newly decaying leaves. I can’t wait for the crunch, crunch sound of leaves underfoot in just a couple of weeks.

Enjoy your quiet time in the woods and awaken your senses!

Furry Fitness

By Pat Ryan.

I used to think I was taking my dog for a walk, but lately I am thinking he is taking me for a walk and it does wonders for my health and personality (or so I’m told).

The road we walk is one big hill and as fate would have it, the way home is all uphill. We walk or I should say I walk and he romps, herds me (he is a sheep dog of sorts) and plays games.  His most favorite game is to stop dead in the road until I look around for him.  Only when I come as close as 3 feet from him, saying “come Ernie” (that’s my four legged friend) the whole time, will he run like the devil and I swear he’s smiling or dog laughing at me the whole time.

I find such a simple thing as a walk with Ernie can make me feel happy for the day.  It’s a great way to talk out loud without anyone thinking I’m crazy, or sing (which is dreadful since I can’t carry a tune), or just think of nothing and notice the world around me.  Now I’m not a philosopher or deep thinker so this is just the right dose of wellness for me.

I’ve always heard how pets are good for your well-being and now I’m a believer.  It’s funny where you can find your fitness fix and how it took a dog, a great dog, to help me on my way.  My friend takes her furry friend for a hike up Stratton Mountain or around the snowmaking pond; I’ll have to try it.  I wonder if she’s sings out loud.

7 Summits Challenge

By Courtney DiFiore

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Am I the only one that refused to believe it’s already September? Where has the summer gone? Leaves are slowly beginning to change, promising a grand show of colors throughout the green mountains. Because of where I live, I can easily observe the changing of seasons from my front door, but nothing can compare to an aerial view. Standing atop a mountain on a brisk fall morning adds a value and appreciation to the view that just isn’t possible from my porch. So when I found out that September is hiking month at Stratton, it seemed more than fitting, not to mention right up my alley!

This September, Stratton’s giving me a little extra incentive to digging out my hiking shoes and hitting the trails with a 7 Summits Challenge. The goal is to pick one of the seven tallest summits across the world and hike the equivalent elevation. Lucky for me, Stratton’s made it easy to keep track of my progress by creating profiles on the MapMyHike app and All Trails app.

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Apparently Everest, you know that really big mountain in Asia that people need oxygen tanks to hike (yeah that one!), is as high as 15 Stratton Mountains. That’s a lot of climbing, but I enjoy a challenge, so I’ve picked Everest. I have to hike 29,029’ feet in the month of September. I better get started!

Visit Stratton.com for more details on the 7 Summit Challenge and how you can be a part of the fun.

The Summits & their altitude:

  1. Everest, Asia 29,029′ – 15 “Stratton Summits”
  2. Aconcagua, South America 22,902′ – 11.5 “Stratton Summits”
  3. Denali, North America 20,320′  – 10.2 “Stratton Summits”
  4. Kilimanjaro, Africa 19,340′ – 9.7 “Stratton Summits”
  5. Elbrus, Europe 18,513′ – 9.3 “Stratton Summits”
  6. Vinson, Antarctica 16,067′ – 8 “Stratton Summits”
  7. Mt. Blanc 15,780′ – 7.9 Stratton Summits

Almost Back to Fall Foliage

By Erin Morley.

For some of you this news may not be as great as I think it is. But as I stare out of my new office window which looks to the mountains surrounding Stratton, I am seeing punches of color. The foliage is in its infancy and we have a ways to go before the orange, yellow and reds dominate the trees, but I am loving what this represents.

Fall is my second favorite season behind winter, of course, as I uncontrollably jump up and down at the first sign of snow. Fall is my second favorite time to enjoy the outdoors. I can’t wait to step outside, zip up my hoody and head to my favorite trail head. At some point in the hike my hoody is unzipped and tied around my waist, but that work is all worth it when I reach the summit, feel the cool breeze on my face and take in the magnificent fall foliage. That peaceful moment when you feel completely surrounded by nature, and you have left the hustle and bustle of the real world down below. It’s a great time to check in with your priorities, let go of the things that really don’t matter, take a deep breath of fresh air and appreciate your life, loved ones, health and happiness.

I love sharing this experience with people that don’t have access, on a daily basis, to this type of activity. But there are people in my life that may not be able to make it up the 2000 vert. climb to the top of Stratton. So I love the fact that the Gondola is there to do the hard work and then everyone can enjoy the fun adventure-like trail to the Stratton Fire Tower. The climb to the top of the tower is an adventure all its own. When you start the ascent, you are below the tree line, but as you rise above the tree line the breeze starts to pick up and you feel like you are climbing into the sky. Then you end the adventure with spectacular views and that cool peaceful state of mind.