fitness

End of Summer Bucket List

Have you noticed the nights getting colder already? This is a sure sign that summer is coming to an end. While many of you may be excited for autumn leaves and snowy trees, don’t rush the summer by just yet! There is still a lot of fun to be had and Labor Day weekend is coming up, giving you an extra day to enjoy the great outdoors!

  1. Rent a kayak or paddle board from Tygart Mountain Sports or the Tyson Store and head to one of the great lakes in the Okemo Valley. If you are looking for calm water, check out Lake Pauline, a great spot for a leisurely paddle. However, if you are a bit more experienced and want to take a swim, as well, Lake Rescue or Echo Lake may be the way to go!

  2. Do you love brunch? Let’s be honest, who doesn’t! This Sunday, September 1st, is the last Rose on the Fairway at Willie Dunn’s where you can sip a crisp rose and try some delicious brunch specials.

  3. Head to Trout River Brewing Company in Springfield, VT on Saturday, August 31st for a Labor Day Party. There will be live music by the Blue Grasoles, along with pizza being served by Goodman’s American Pie!

  4. If you are looking to get out of the area this weekend, check out the Southern Vermont Garlic Festival in Bennington. This is one of my favorite festivals of the entire year with delicious food and booze options, along with awesome local craft vendors!

  5. Attend the last Jackson Gore Summer Music Series Concert this Friday, August 30th! The Blind Owl Band will be taking the stage from 6-9pm.

  6. Go to the Okemo Adventure Zone for a fun day of zip lining, mini golf, mountain coaster riding, the challenge course, disc golf, and so much more! 

  7. Check out a show at the Weston Playhouse! “Who’s afraid of Virginia Wolf” is currently playing through August 31st!

  8. Go for a hike up the backside of Okemo on the Healdville Trail to the summit and firetower! My favorite way to do this is to start around 9am, pack a picnic lunch, and head to the top for an awesome view.

  9. Spend a day at Plymouth State Park relaxing on the sandy beach, playing volleyball, and grilling up some hamburgers! 

  10. Spend a day at the Okemo Valley Golf Course for a round of golf!

Summer Adventure in the Okemo Valley

Summertime is the best time for adventure. There are so many different kinds of adventures just waiting to be had, especially in our backyards in the Okemo Valley! Did you know that Okemo offers several summer activities that are fun for the whole family?

One of Okemo’s newest attractions and probably the most extreme adventure is the Evolution Bike Park. The Bike Park is located at the main base area of Okemo, where mountain bikes can be rented, along with helmets and other gear. The trail systems are placed throughout the lower mountain trails around the A and B Quads and extend from the top of the Sunburst Six (bubble chair). The lower trails are great for all kinds of riders, from beginning mountain bikers to serving as just a warm-up run for more experienced riders. There is still a trail from the top of the mountain, Scrambler, that is accessible for moderate riders, however, it is longer and takes more endurance. If you are looking for a more extreme trail ride, check out Shake and Bake! Another option is to hike to the top of Mountain Road and take a nice, long, coasting ride to the bottom! While you are at the top, enjoy the views and breathe in the fresh Vermont air!

Much of the summer adventure happens at Jackson Gore in the Adventure Zone! Here you will find anything from zip lining to miniature golf. One of my favorite activities is the Timber Ripper Mountain Coaster. This is similar to an alpine slide but on rails. Ride alone or with a friend! Another fun activity is the Segway Tour. These tours are available for all levels. Start with an introductory lesson or take the off-road tour. How often do you have the chance to ride a segway, so take advantage when you are in the area!

The most popular activities in the Adventure Zone are the Sawyer’s Sweep Zipline and the Haulback Challenge Course. Glide through Photo by Okemothe trees at 40 to 50 feet above the ground on a zipline tour with 7 different ziplines to complete. When you have finished ziplining, head to the Haulback Challenge Course for a fun adventure in the trees where you get to challenge your mind and body to complete several different obstacles.

If you are looking for a less extreme adventure, check out the Lumberin’ Cal Miniature Golf course or The Maples Disc Golf course. If you are looking to fill up the majority of your day, play some disc golf, which will bring you through the beautiful woods of Jackson Gore, but if you just want a quick activity, play some miniature golf!

There are so many adventures to be had, so don’t wait! Head to Okemo Mountain Resort today to start your first adventure!

It's Time for Summer!

June is one of the best months of the year because it is FINALLY summer! This is the time when everyone starts getting outside, especially those that don’t get out during the winter months.  It is also the start of summer BBQ’s, swimming, and weekend events!

To start off the second weekend of June, join us at Jackson Gore at Okemo for the 2019 B2VT Finish Line Party. This is a party to celebrate the finishers of the B2VT bike ride from Bedford, Massachusetts to Ludlow, Vermont. This ride is also known as the Battlefield to Vermont and let me tell you, this 149 mile ride certainly feels like a battle, an uphill battle at that! The riders complete 9,000 feet of climbing, including 3 significant climbs. This long and strenuous ride calls for a party at the finish line where there will live music by Ruby Street, BBQ, and cold beer! What more could you want on a beautiful summer day?!

Also on Saturday, June 8th, is Vermont’s Free Fishing Day! This event happens annually and gives everyone, residents and non-residents of Vermont, the opportunity to fish without a license. If you have never fished before or don’t get to go very often, this is the perfect chance for you to head out to your favorite river, pond, or lake throughout Vermont to cast a line and hopefully catch some fish! The Okemo Valley has several great areas to fish including the Black River, Lake Rescue, and Echo Lake. Make sure you show us your fish if you have any luck!

Another fun outdoor activity to do in the summer is to play some golf! We are so lucky to have the Okemo Valley Golf Club right in our backyard, as it is a premier course and has something for every level. This summer, for the months of June and July, OVGC is offering a Ladies Golf Clinic every Sunday where you can touch up on your skills and learn about different topics each week. Additionally, starting June 23rd and continuing Sunday’s thorough July, OVGC is offering Summer Junior Golf Clinics. This is a great opportunity for young golfers to get into the game. Of course, the golf course is also open 7 days a week for regular play!

One of my favorite events of the summer is the Plymouth Strawberry Festival at Plymouth State Park on June 19th, from 5-7:30pm. This is a great community event sponsored by the Plymouth Volunteer Fire Department & First Response Services. All funds raised go to support various organizations within the community, including the emergency services. The festival offers a delicious BBQ and most importantly, strawberry shortcake for dessert! This is a family event with plenty of activities to keep your little ones entertained!

The last weekend of June offers a Yoga Weekend Intensive at Go With the Flow in Ludlow. This workshop is being instructed by Boston-Based Senior Teacher, Raquel Marra. There are classes offered Friday through Sunday, all of which are available by the class or you can register for the whole weekend. This is a great way to restore your body just in time for the craziness that summer brings!

We hope that you are able to soak up all the sunshine you can get and take advantage of the long summer days ahead!

Cheers to ALL the Mama's!

 

Mother’s Day is just around the corner on May 12th and it is time to spoil the special woman in your life, whether it is your Mom, wife, sister, grandmother, or just a friend. We all know that our mom’s really are just looking to spend time with their families, but if you need some ideas, check out our favorite Mother’s Day plans!

One of my personal favorite ways to spend Mother’s Day is by bringing my Mom out to brunch. A great local option to try is Coleman Brook Tavern at Jackson Gore. They do a beautiful buffet display using Vermont ingredients and the ambience of the restaurant is the perfect setting to make your Mom feel special. They have various seatings, but be sure to call for a reservation!

If you are looking for a more traditional dining experience, check out The Free Range in Chester! They have a brunch menu every Sunday, but this week they will be serving brunch all day, 9am-4pm! They always have the best cinnamon roll pancakes you can find, but they have specials this week including Maine crab cakes! They also have delicious, loaded bloody mary’s, along with mimosas with fresh squeezed orange juice; the perfect choices for celebrating Mother’s Day! Another local brunch is going on at Mama’s in Ludlow! Be sure to call for reservations for either option!

If you prefer to stay home and enjoy a lazy Sunday with the mom’s in your life because let’s face it, all moms deserve a day of relaxation! However, make sure you bring her a treat. Whether you are looking for a breakfast item like a muffin or quiche or a mouth-watering dessert (or two), look no further than Big Eyes Bakery in Ludlow! They have an awesome assortment of baked goods that you can bring home to share with your Mom. We promise she will love it!

Do you have a Mom that loves the outdoors? You may want to consider bringing her for a hike since tt is the perfect time of year to get outside! You can’t go wrong with a hike on the Healdville Trail on the backside of Okemo. If you really want to spoil your Mom, bring a picnic lunch to the top with sandwiches from Java Baba’s and pick out her favorite craft beer or a bottle of wine from Brewfest to go along with it!

No matter what you do, just be sure that the mom’s in your life know how special they are and that you appreciate everything they do. Being a mom is not an easy job and so many make it look like a walk in the park! We also want to give a special shoutout to our Vermont Properties Mom’s; Kathy Burns, Sarah Sheehan, Alyson Blodgett, Raye Lin Collins, Marlene DeArruda, and Heidi DeGraw! Also, dog mom, Abby Stone!

How to Survive Mud Season!

If you have been in Vermont over the last few weeks, you have likely seen cars that have turned brown, roads with closed signs, and everyone wearing rain boots. Even though it is spring, Vermonters know this time as mud season, one of Vermont’s extra seasons. It sounds awful, doesn’t it? Well, it doesn’t have to be!

   Photo taken by OkemoIf you are still in winter mode, you still have a few days to get some skiing in! Okemo plans to shut down this Sunday, April 14th. One of my favorite times of the year on the snow is in the spring. There aren’t any lift lines, the snow is usually great first thing in the morning, and you can get a killer goggle tan! If you are really brave, you can be one of the die hard skiers wearing shorts and a t-shirt on the hill on those beautiful 60 degree days! If you still aren’t ready to give up the snow, you can travel to Killington where they will be open typically into the end of May.

Another option is to jump on board with alpine touring, also known as skinning. This sport has become increasingly popular over the last couple of years. It is not only a great workout, but an awesome way to beat the crowds in the heart of winter, or this time of year, take advantage of the snow still left on the mountain after closing. If you don’t have your own gear, check out The Boot Pro at the bottom of the Okemo Access Road, where they have a rental package that includes, boots, skis, skins, and poles! The staff themselves are also avid “skinners” and would be great people to talk to if you are interested in getting involved in the sport!

If you are anything like me and love the restaurants that Ludlow has to offer, the next couple of weeks are a great time to eat out. Not only are they usually less busy, but many of them shut down in the spring, typically right after Easter and open back up around Memorial Day. Some top choices to definitely check out are Stemwinder, Homestyle Hostel, and The Downtown Grocery!

If you are still looking for things to do, spend an afternoon at the Spring House at Jackson Gore, where you can use the fitness facility, take a dip in the pool, take a Zumba class, or play a game of racquetball! If you love yoga, take a variety of classes at Go With The Flow in the center of town. You can even get a massage to rejuvenate your mind and body after a long winter.

No matter what you are doing, be sure to stay active and enjoy all the sunshine you can get! Summer will be here before we know it!

What do Do in the Okemo Valley if You Don't Ski or Snowboard

Even though we live in a mountain town, we know that not everyone enjoys skiing or snowboarding. Yes, we always push people to enjoy the gorgeous mountain of Okemo in our backyard, but do not worry, there is still plenty to do in Ludlow if you do not like winter sports!

Ludlow is the home of many well-known restaurants with something for everyone! If you are looking for a morning or afternoon out on the town, while your friends or family are skiing, there are plenty of places to choose from. For breakfast, head into Proctorsville to Vermont Apple Pie. This adorable country kitchen serves only homemade food, including a personal favorite, the Apple Crisp Waffle. Yes, it is exactly what it sounds like; apple crisp on a waffle, yum! For other breakfast choices, check out The Hatchery or Cafe at Delight. If you enjoy a morning at your home or hotel, curled up with coffee in front of the fireplace, then you could check out the several delicious lunch options that Ludlow has to offer. If you are looking for a sandwich, look no further than Java Baba’s, a popular cafe at the bottom of the Okemo Access Road. If you are craving Italian, head to Mama’s for a delicious calzone or homemade pasta, both of which will make you feel like you are in Italy. If you want a to-go option, you must try The Cookster. The Cookster offers a new menu everyday of homemade items that will make your mouth water as soon as you see them!

While you are out, you should check out some of the little shops around town. One of my favorites is The Blue Sky Trading Post, an adorable shop with a variety of items. You can find local souvenirs or beautiful handcrafted jewelry. I promise, you won’t be able to leave empty handed. Right down the road on Depot Street, you will find the Wine & Cheese Depot, The Depot Street Gallery, and Russ Hurlburt Photography Studio & Gallery. All of these shops are unique and truly show the essence of Vermont. You should also take a ride on Route 100 North to the Green Mountain Sugar House, where you can get the best maple creemee around and take a look in their gift shop filled with Vermont products.

If you are looking to do something active, but don’t enjoy skiing or snowboarding, there are a lot of options! You could take a yoga class at Go With the Flow, who offers classes for all levels and a variety of class types. If you want to stay on the mountain, The Jackson Gore Fitness Center also offers a variety of classes, a gym, and a pool. If you want to stick with the winter theme of being in a mountain town, the Okemo Valley Golf Course becomes a Nordic Center and offers trails for snowshoeing and cross country skiing. The trails give you some of the best views of Okemo and are always well groomed and maintained. Another option is to check out the Ice House at Jackson Gore and enjoy an afternoon or morning of ice skating.

So, if you do not ski or snowboard, that’s okay! There is plenty for everyone to do in Ludlow. If you are looking for other ideas, do not hesitate to reach out! We are always willing to help you experience the Okemo Valley in a way that matches your likes and need!

 

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

Summer Escape

After the snow has melted and the temperatures begin to rise, Winter gives way to Summer in Ludlow, VT. The best local-secret is that the summer months here are equally as beautiful and adventure filled as the previous. The area offers an abundance activities for the perfect summer escape, making Ludlow the premiere destination for your year-round travels. Our guide will take you through the lakes, hikes, and dining options that you can’t miss on your next visit north. 

Located a few miles north of Ludlow along Route 100, Echo Lake provides public beach access through their state park. There is a $4 entrance fee upon arrival, so make sure you bring cash with you before leaving town. The park offers a children’s playground, picnic tables, beach volleyball court,  canoes, kayaks, and paddle boards at a nominal charge. The area is relatively quiet and provides a serene backdrop of the Green Mountains for your Saturday afternoon. Closer to town and a short hike into the woods is Buttermilk Falls. There are three falls, each perfect for swimming and wading depending on the water levels that time of year. Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy an afternoon of the peaceful sounds of the falls. Full directions to Buttermilk can be found here. 

In addition to the lakes, Ludlow provides some of the best spring-summer hiking trails. Healdville trail takes hikers up the backside of Okemo, ending at the historic firetower, which puts visitors at the top of the 3,343 foot summit. Aside from the promise of summer in full bloom, a trip of the tower also offers a panorama of Vermont’s Green Mountains, a view west to New York’s Adirondacks, and east to New Hampshire’s White Mountains. The trail begins in Mt. Holly and is moderate hike, roughly 5.9 miles roundtrip with stunning views along the way. In addition to Healdville, all of Okemo is open to hikers during the summer month. Park at either the main base lodge, Solitude, or Jackson Gore and make your hike as moderate or difficult as you please. 

After a long day of swimming, hiking, or enjoying the Vermont sunshine, Ludlow provides excellent dining options to unwind. For sit-down eats, Harry’s, DJ’s, Stemwinder, and Coleman Brook Tavern are among our personal favorites. For a quick bite to go Java Baba’s and Cookster are the best in town. Be sure to check the hours for each restaurant before heading there, as many spots in Ludlow have different hours in the summer months. 

Happy Summer!

Take a Hike!

Ludlow Vermont has a well earned reputation as a popular winter destination, but when the snow melts and the temperatures begin to climb, summer takes hold of the Okemo Valley. We begin to look at other activities this area has to offer. People come to fish, boat, cycle and play golf, but a favorite past time for all is exploring the various hiking trails in the area. There is something for everyone.

We are called the Green Mountain State for a reason. Don't limit your time with us to the winter season alone.

Okemo Mountain Hiking

Okemo specifically has its own hiking trail network. With easy access from both the base of Okemo and Jackson Gore you will find a couple of ways to get to the top. For the more adventurous, take one of the trails. If a more relaxed pace is what you are looking for there is a 4.5 mile road directly to the summit. Many people find themselves taking the "ski" trails to the top; trading in skis for hiking shoes. Just make sure you are ready for some work!

Another popular hiking location is the Healdville Trail which winds to the top of Okemo's 3,340 foot summit. Almost 6 miles round trip, you will use the better part of your day.  Features along the trail include a fire tower and several lookouts, which offer a bird's eye view of the local ski area.

There are a couple of vista points along the way. The first will give you a sweeping view of Mount Holly and the Green Mountain chain. Just past the next clearing where the trail merges with a work road you will find the reconditioned fire tower which is open to hikers. This hike is considered to be one of the best and most rewarding. Your reward is finding yourself above Okemo Mountain's 3,340 foot summit for a panoramic view of Vermont's Green Mountains, west to New York's Adirondacks and east to New Hampshire's White Mountains.

Before we realize it, the idyllic skyline found at the top of Okemo will welcome skiers and snowboarders as they come to make their snowy descents. But for now, come explore our area on any of our beautiful trails.

After a long day on the trails, do what the locals do, find a swimming hole and take a dip. Pitch your tent and enjoy a night under the stars.

Who knows, after a good night's rest out in the fresh Vermont air, you may even decide to stay! If so, stop by William Raveis Vermont Properties located across from the Okemo Golf Club. We will show you the best homes in the Lake's RegionOkemo Valley and Okemo Mountain.