Fall In VT

Halloween Events in the Okemo Valley!

The countdown to Halloween is on! There are several events happening around the Okemo Valley to celebrate Halloween. Whether you are a trick-or-treating ghoul or a spooky night owl, these events will definitely get you in the Halloween spirit! 

 

 

Fletcher Memorial Library Halloween Party | Friday, October 25th

Kick off Halloween at the 6th Annual Fletcher Memorial Library Halloween Party! Dress up in your favorite costume and enjoy creepy snacks, spooky games and more! This family-friendly event is from 3 to 4:30 p.m. making it a perfect party for the younger crowd. 

 

Mount Holly PTSA Trick or Treat | Friday, October 25th

Don’t miss this family fun event at the Mount Holly School! The night starts at 5 p.m. with trick or treating around the village, followed by hayrides by Plew Farm from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Wrap up the night with a costume contest starting at 6:30 p.m. Need some costume ideas? We’ve put together a list of Okemo Valley inspired costumes below!

 

Main + Mountain Halloween Party | Saturday, October 26th

Adults love Halloween too! Stop by the Main + Mountain bar between 9 and 12 p.m. for an epic Halloween Party featuring drink specials, music and a costume contest. Dress to impress!

 

Trunk or Treat | Thursday, October 31st

If you are looking for a family-friendly Halloween event, be sure to head to Benson’s Chevrolet for the first annual Trunk or Treat from 4 to 7 p.m. Local businesses sponsor this event and fill up their trunks with candy for the trick-or-treaters. Vermont Properties will be there with our own trunk set-up so be sure to stop by! Bonus: Bring a carved pumpkin for a chance to win a prize and some serious bragging rights. 

 

Ludlow Recreation Department’s Halloween Party | Thursday, October 31st

This is another great family-friendly event right in the heart of Ludlow. Kick off the night at 6:30 p.m. with a Halloween Parade starting at the Black River Academy Museum. After, head to the Community Center for candy, games, music, pizza and a haunted house! 

 

Cavendish Trunk or Treat | Thursday, October 31st

Join the Cavendish community to celebrate Halloween with another Trunk or Treat at the Cavendish Elementary School. Trick-or-treating starts at 5 p.m. and be sure to come in your best costume to collect your candy! Hey adults, do you want to participate? Bring your car, decorate your trunk and hand out treats!

 

Killarney Halloween Party | Thursday, October 31st

Looking for an event that is kid-free? Its parents night out at the Killarney Irish Pub in Ludlow starting at 9 p.m. Enjoy the live DJ, drink specials and a costume contest with prizes. 

 

The Local Scoop for Viewing Foliage! Part 1

The Local Scoop for Viewing Foliage! Part 1

Vermont is arguably the best state in the country to visit during foliage season thanks to the higher elevations, beautiful valleys, peaks and the 4.5 million acres of forest land that come together to create the brightly-colored landscapes we love! 

Experts believe that Vermont will have a great foliage season this year because the trees are currently vibrant, rich and green and have seen minor to normal amounts of defoliation from insects and disease throughout the past year. Did you know that the speed and timing of foliage season is dependent on factors including light, temperature and soil conditions? These factors can change every year, making foliage season a moving target. However, you can expect to see the foliage at its peak between the end of September to mid-October. While there is no one “perfect” time to plan your visit, the rule of thumb is to start your leaf-peeping party at higher elevations, since these trees will start to change color first, making Ludlow a great place to begin your Vermont fall vacation or excursion.

Leaf-peeping is the official hobby of the fall season throughout Vermont, which is why we have created a list of the best locations for foliage viewing in the Okemo Valley! If you end up visiting one of these locations, take a picture and tag us on Instagram with the hashtag #vtpropfoliage and we will happily share your memory on our page.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this blog for more epic foliage viewing spots!

 

1. Okemo Mountain

While this seems like an obvious one, we couldn’t leave it out. Okemo Mountain offers sweeping views of the Okemo Valley and there is more than one way to enjoy the views. The first option is to drive up Mountain Road, a ski trail that transforms into an actual road in the summer and park at the gate. Before you get to the parking area, you will pass the Mount Holly Overlook and the Ludlow Overlook. You can most definitely soak in the views here, or you can keep driving to the parking area and then walk to the summit! If you decide to reach the summit, enjoy a mild 15-minute walk to the top. The summit of Okemo is also home to the fire tower, which could offer thrill-seekers an even more jaw-dropping experience. If you are looking for a bit more exercise, hike up the Healdville Trail in Mount Holly, which leads you up the backside of Okemo and drops you off at the top. You could also pick your favorite ski trail and hike it…perhaps Chief or Sapphire? And finally, if you want to take a more relaxing route, buy a ticket for a Scenic Chairlift Ride on Okemo’s Sunburst Six Chairlift! No matter which option you choose, they all lead to some epic foliage views. 

 

2. Echo Lake Vista Trail

The Echo Lake Vista trail is a great option if you are looking for a beginner hike and you only have an hour to spare while on your leaf-peeping excursion. Pop the Plymouth State Park into your GPS and park in one of their free parking lots, which are located on the opposite side of the road from the park. Walk down the road past the park entrance and you will find an inconspicuous trailhead and you’re there, we promise! This hike is about a mile loop with a few steeper sections but nothing your young children can’t handle. The hike through the trees is gorgeous, but the view from the top is even better. You’ll know you reached the top when you can see Echo Lake surrounded by the popping foliage. This is a must-see!

 

3. Buttermilk Falls Trail

Although this trail doesn’t necessarily lead to anything, this beginner hiking area is so beautiful and serene. Buttermilk Falls is located on Buttermilk Falls Way across from the Jackson Gore Resort entrance. Follow the road down to the trailhead and park along the side of the road. There are several different pathways that adventurers have paved for you. As you enter the woods, you will be enveloped in the foliage with extreme tree coverage overhead. The trees pop against the roaring falls and offer a fantastic photo-op. Pack a picnic or hike with your dog through the glittering woods, you won’t be disappointed!

 

 

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this blog! We will have more locations for you to visit during your foliage tour in the Okemo Valley. 

 

It's All About Those Sticks

Did you know that Vermont has an extra season? That’s right! If you are a true Vermonter or trying to become one, you need to know all about stick season.

You might ask; what is stick season? It is the time of year when the leaves cover the ground, leaving the trees with nothing but bare branches. There isn’t any snow yet, the days get shorter and chillier, while the nights last forever and often leave us with a frost on the morning ground.

It is the time of year that skiers and snowboarders anxiously await snowfall and for the mountains to open. As soon as October ends, they are crawling into their basements, attics, or garages to dig out their winter gear. You may even see the hopeful ones walking around town in eskimo hats and down jackets, just praying for those flakes to fall. Some head out to the local ski shops like Totem Pole, Northern Ski Works, The Boot Pro, or Tygart Mountain Sports to pick up brand new gear.

However, if you are a summer lover, you probably are getting ready to go into hibernation. This most likely entails making all of your favorite comfort food like mac & cheese or beef stew because let’s be honest, most local restaurants shut down to prepare for the busy winter season. You are probably also drinking your favorite winter beers like Long Trail’s Harvest or Harpoon’s Winter Warmer. If you haven’t already, you are subscribing to Netflix and binge watching your favorite TV show, except on Sundays when you are watching the Patriots. If you don’t like TV, make sure you have a GIANT stack of books because after stick season comes winter, and Vermont winters last forever.

Just remember, stick season doesn't last forever and soon the trees will be filled with beautiful snow and glistening icicles! 

Fall in the Okemo Valley

    If you have never experienced fall in Vermont, then you are seriously missing out! It is such a magical time and truly is the essence of what Vermont is all about. The Okemo Valley is one of the best places to spend during this time and Columbus Day weekend is the peak! Here is a sneak peak of our favorite things Vermont things to do this weekend!

Take a Hike:

View from Fire tower    There are so many amazing hikes to experience within a 30 minute drive of Ludlow and all of them are the best during foliage season. Of course, one of the most popular hikes in the Okemo Valley is the Healdville Trail that leads you up the backside of Okemo. Pack a picnic lunch and take a break at the top with a climb up the firetower at 3,340 feet!
    Deer Leap in KillingtonAnother great hike is Deer Leap in Killington. This hike is 1.9 miles of a beautiful wooded trail that leads to a peak and opens up to grand views of Killington, Pico, and beyond! Better yet, you can bring your dogs! After your hike, head to Longtrail Brewery for some lunch.
    For a hike with different scenery, check out Cascade Falls in Weathersfield. The hike is about 2.9 miles from the trailhead to the summit. Along the way, you will find 84ft and 60ft waterfalls that are absolutely breathtaking. If you are looking for a day hike, continue on your way to the various peaks of Mount Ascutney!

The Sights:

   Buttermilk Falls One of the most well known sites in Ludlow is Buttermilk Falls in the Okemo State Forest. There are 3 waterfalls to check out on a short nature hike along the river. The river is surrounded by exquisite fall colors and provides a peaceful place to enjoy the great outdoors.

   The Pinnacle Another popular local spot is The Pinnacle of Ludlow off of Commonwealth Avenue. There is a short secondary road that you can drive up if the gate is open, or you can choose to park at the bottom for a nice walk to the top. The Pinnacle has giant rocks to climb that overlook the entirety of Okemo Mountain. While this view is amazing all year long, it is exceptionally magical during the fall foliage.

Shopping:

    You can’t come to Vermont for a weekend getaway without going to the Vermont Country Store, either in Weston or Rockingham. This store holds all of the best items this Green Mountain state has to offer. You can fill up on samples of Vermont cheeses, meats, and dips and leave with a brown bag full of old fashioned candy. The store also carries many Vermont products, such as soaps and clothing. We promise you won’t leave disappointed. 
    If you are in Ludlow, you must stop by the Green Mountain Sugar House, located on Lake Pauline. You can stock up on maple candy and maple syrup, but the best item is their Maple ice cream. If Vermont had a taste, it would taste like a Maple Creeme!

Activities and Events:

    A personal favorite fall activity of mine is apple picking and the best local place to go is Wellwood Orchards in Springfield. Take a walk into the orchard to pick your own apples or catch a ride on the hay wagon for the real Vermont experience. Wellwood also has a petting zoo that is great for all ages!

Okemo Valley Golf Course    Another great activity is to play a round of golf at the Okemo Valley Golf Club. The course has an 18-hole layout that has a par 70 and measures 6,400 years in length. It is playable for all abilities and provides a challenge for everyone! While this is a beautiful course all year long, nothing beats the views during the fall foliage.

    If you are looking for a true Vermont experience, head to Mount Holly for Cider Days on the Belmont Green! This event runs Saturday, October 6th from 10-4pm and Sunday, October 7th from 12-4pm. You can watch how apple cider is made and even try some for yourself! There are other sweet treats, along with many local craft vendors.

    We saved our favorite event for last; Fall into Winter at The Jackson Gore Inn and Resort! This is an awesome event to celebrate the transition of seasons from fall to winter. William Raveis Vermont Properties is sponsoring the live music and there will also be hayrides, games put on by Okemo Mountain School, pumpkin painting, craft vendors, food, and a beer/wine tasting tent! You can also check out Okemo’s Adventure Zone! Come see us from 11am-4pm!

 

Dining in Ludlow - Part 2!

    As promised, here is part two of our favorite dining experiences in Ludlow! September 22nd is officially the first day of fall, which means all of our local favorites will be working with the best ingredients a Vermont autumn has to offer!

In the midst of this small Vermont town, you can still find food to meet your every need, including Mojo Cafe, a modern Tex-Mex dining experience! Mojo always offers the freshest local ingredients and is a partner of the Vermont Fresh Network. A big hit at Mojo’s are their Po Boys, and let me tell you, the Shrimp Creole is to die for, and make sure you get a side of Poblano Rings! Not to mention, Mojo is all about good local craft beer on tap, which is always rotating, even with the seasons because who doesn’t love a good fall beer, right? The owners, John and Jodi, are fun and quirky and will make you feel right at home!

If you have been to Ludlow, you have probably been to DJ’s Restaurant in the center of town. DJ’s has been a local favorite for over 37 years and continues to be a constant staple in the community. Their menu offers a wide variety of steak, seafood, and pasta. However, they always have great specials, as well! Whether you are looking for just the bar menu with an amazing chicken sandwich, or a nice family dinner with a Filet Mignon, you can’t go wrong!

Another staple in Ludlow has been Sam’s Steakhouse, however, it was recently bought by Mr. Darcy’s owner, Mark Williams. Mark has ran and done an impeccable job with many local restaurants, so you can bet, that Sam’s will continue to be a local favorite! The menu has changed, but still boasts a great variety of steak and seafood, along with some local selections, such as Homestyle Meatloaf. They also still have their amazing salad bar, which can be a meal all in itself! If you are looking for a great mid-week option, head to Sam’s for “Early Bear” specials on Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays!

If you are staying on Okemo, a wonderful option after a long day of skiing is always the Coleman Brook Tavern at The Jackson Gore Inn. The tavern has a wonderful menu that changes with the seasons to ensure the freshest ingredients. A personal favorite of mine is the Maple Pepper Roast Chicken. However, nothing says Vermont like eating s’mores for dessert, which you literally cook over a tabletop campfire. The icing on the cake is always the hospitable and knowledgeable waitstaff that makes you feel right at home.

    

We hope you have the chance to try some of our local restaurants and make sure you let us know your favorite!

 

Dining in Ludlow- Part One!

    Ludlow has some of the best dining in all of Vermont and now is the perfect time to try out the various restaurant options! Most of our restaurants feature local ingredients and as the season is changing from summer to fall, the menus will also be changing to offer some delicious seasonal items. Read on to learn about some of our favorite spots!

    One of the most sought after restaurants in Ludlow is The Downtown Grocery, or as locals refer to it, TDG. The restaurant is owned by Vermont native, Chef Rogan Lechthaler, and his Southern wife, Abby Lechthaler. Together they have created a casual fine dining experience where the servers wear plaid, but the menu depicts food that makes you feel like you are eating the best that any big city has to offer, while using local ingredients. The menu has great staples, but the best items come from a specials board that is constantly changing. Whether you are looking for a Pimento Cheese Burger, House Made Gnocchi, or a frequent special of Shrimp and Grits, you will not be disappointed. Tip- MAKE RESERVATIONS!

Right across the street from TDG, is Stemwinder, an apres ski favorite. Stemwinder began with a vision from two local women, Wendy Neal and Leslie Stuart, both of which are major supporters of our Ludlow community. The idea behind the restaurant is to have good wine and craft beer with a diverse selection of small plates. They always use local ingredients and you can bet that their menu is constantly changing with the seasons. If you are new to the area, you need to try the Cheese & Meat Board that has some of the BEST local offerings you can find in Ludlow.

    A Vermont Properties favorite that we frequent quite often is Homestyle Hostel. This cute and quaint hostel, located in the heart of Ludlow is now well-known all over Vermont thanks to the creative Chef, Alyssa Prouty. Just like Stemwinder, they have a wide variety of small plates that are perfect to share with your family and friends. We highly recommend ordering many options and trying as much as possible because it is all delicious! The menu is always new and always has the best ingredients that you can find in Vermont. If you are looking for a place to stay, Homestyle Hostel is also a great option, or head across the street to their sister property, Main + Mountain, for a more traditional stay and the best cocktails in all of Ludlow.

    Moving into its second year of being open is Mama’s, also owned by the Lechthaler’s. Mama’s features all hand made Italian food that makes you feel like you are sitting in a piazza in Italy. Mama’s is open for lunch and dinner, both of which we highly recommend. For an afternoon pick me up, try the Arancini or a classic Italian Sandwich. For dinner, start with the Caprese Not Really. I have had a lot of caprese, but nothing compared to this delicious dish. You can’t leave Mama’s without a glass (or two) of wine. Abby Lechthaler is passionate about serving only the best wine and is always willing to help you find your new favorite. So, as autumn moves in, try out Mama’s for some incredible comfort food.

    We could go on and on for days about all of the restaurant options in Ludlow, but we will stop here...for now! Stay tuned next week for PART TWO of our favorite dining experiences! Let us know your favorite local hot spot!

 

A View From the Top

Boston Magazine is featuring a one of a kind listing on Okemo Mountain and William Raveis Real Estate Vermont Properties is excited to be the listing agent for this "Luxe Log Cabin in Ludlow". 

"Ski Bums-meet ski mansion"...

To see more details, check out the link to Boston Magazine's article, or call the team at William Raveis Vermont Properties. 

Hiking the Okemo Valley

Vermont’s Green Mountains are most well known as a winter attraction, but they’re here to be enjoyed all year round! Take advantage of the sunny summer weather and spend some time hiking in the Ludlow area.

 

Enjoy the spectacular views from the top of Okemo and take on the challenge of picking out local area attractions from afar! Choosing your starting point may not be the most difficult part of your adventure, but it won’t be easy to pick from the available options. Start from the Okemo Mountain base or the Jackson Gore base and make the 4.5 mile journey to the summit. For those looking for shade, try the 6 mile round trip Healdville Trail. A quick 9 minute drive from the base of Okemo will bring you to the neighboring town of Mount Holly, where you can enjoy the woods and wildlife of Vermont on your way up the back of Okemo Mountain. Once the top, test your limits and try to climb to the top of the fire tower. Your efforts will surely be rewarded as you stand above the treetops and appreciate all of Vermont’s beauty.

 

The Vista Trail is a great option for those wishing to enjoy a hike and the beach. Located in Camp Plymouth State Park, visitors can tour the Plymouth cemetery and take in the view of Echo Lake and the state park from the Vista. Afterwards, go for a refreshing swim in the lake to cool off. Be aware that admission to the park is charged during the summer season.

 

After you’ve finished your hike head over to the Green Mountain Sugar House located on Route 100 North for a maple creemee! You don’t want to miss this favorite Vermont treat.

 

~ Alyssa Collins