Lakes Region

It Snowed at the Summit; Get Your Season Passes NOW!

    The announcement everyone has been waiting for; it SNOWED for the first time at the Summit of Okemo on Saturday, October 13th! While you couldn’t see it from the village of Ludlow, the live cams on the mountain caught it on video!

    Now that it snowed, it finally feels like winter is just around the corner. If you haven’t gotten your 2018/19 season pass to Okemo yet, now is the time to do it! Okemo has SO many options, that you can be sure to find one that works for everyone.

    While Okemo has always been an EPIC mountain, with the sale of Okemo to Vail Resorts, we are now a part of the Epic pass! There are two Epic options; the Epic Local and the Epic Pass, but both of which give you unlimited and unrestricted access to Okemo! Other unlimited and unrestricted mountains are Crested Butte, Mount Sunapee, Breckenridge, Wilmot, Mt. Brighton, Keystone, Afton Alps, Arapahoe Basin, and Stevens Pass. That means 10 mountains full of adventures waiting to happen! Not to mention, there are 17 other mountains to access on a more limited basis, including Stowe right here in Vermont!

The other option is the Epic Pass, which gives you access to 65 resorts all around the world! With this pass, you get access to all of the unlimited mountains as the locals pass, but also has the additions of Vail, Whistler Blackcomb, Northstar, Stowe, Perisher, Beaver Creek, Park City, Heavenly, and Kirkwood!  That leaves 46 other mountains that also give you on-snow options throughout the season. Get your Epic Local or Epic Pass today before rates go up!

If the Epic pass isn’t for you, Okemo still has the Ultimate, Classic, and Midweek passes available. The Ultimate Pass truly is ultimate and gives you great benefits when skiing at Okemo such as retail, culinary, and preferred parking discounts! If you are looking for a basic pass, but still allows you to enjoy Okemo whenever you want, check out the Classic Pass! New this year, as well, all Ultimate and Classic Pass Holders will receive 50% off the then-current window lift ticket price at all Vail Resorts-owned resorts! Finally, if you don’t like the weekend crowds, Okemo still has the Midweek pass, which will give you access to the lifts Monday-Friday during non-holidays.

We hope you are just as excited as we are to hit the slopes this season! Let it snow!!

 

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!

 

Summer Bucket List- Don't Wait!

Top 10 Things to do Before Summer Ends

Some of you may be counting down the days until the slopes are filled with snow and others are never wanting summer to end. Either way, take advantage of these summer days and knock some things off of the summer bucket list before it ends!

  1. 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.

  2. After you go hiking, you must go to Buttermilk Falls for a swim. Within a 10 minute walk you can see three beautiful waterfalls, but don’t miss the big rock to jump off into the water at the middle falls!

  3. Hit up the Evolution Park at Okemo for an epic day of mountain biking!

  4. Go to the Green Mountain Sugar House for a maple creeme (or 3)! In my opinion, they are the best in the state and there is awesome water-side seating to enjoy them on.

  5. Take a drive to the local breweries with outdoor seating! Let’s be honest, the breweries are great all year, however, the outdoor seating makes them even better. You don’t want to miss out on Long Trail, Harpoon, and Trout River!

  6. Rent a kayak or paddleboard from Tygart Mountain Sports in Ludlow and head to Lake Rescue for a day on the water. Don’t forget to hop in for a swim at Red Bridge!

  7. 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!

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

  9. Attend a summer concert at the Jackson Gore Summer Concert Series! There are only two left; August 24th and 31st!

  10. Check out a Million Dollar Quartet playing at the Weston Playhouse through September 2nd!  

Vermont Beer is the BEST Beer!

Vermont has a delicious little secret; we LOVE beer! Did you know that Vermont is home of some of the best beer in the nation? Better yet, did you know that Ludlow is surrounded by several breweries within a 30 mile radius?

Long Trail Brewing Company is located in Bridgewater, VT, about 20 miles from Ludlow. Take the scenic drive on Route 100 North, where you can stop along the way to take in the beauty of many Vermont lakes. You also don’t want to miss a visit to the Green Mountain Sugar House for a Maple Creeme or even take a short detour to the Calvin Coolidge Homestead where our 30th president grew up. Once arriving to Long Trail Brewery you can choose to sit in the the German inspired pub inside or along the banks of the Ottauquechee River in their lovely outdoor seating area. Long Trail always offers a great variety of seasonal beers, including a personal favorite, Blackberry Wheat. Don’t forget to try the Loaded Nachos and the Jonas Wings; you won’t be disappointed!

Harpoon Brewery is located in Windsor, VT, about 30 miles from Ludlow. Once again, take a scenic drive along Route 131 that follows the Black River. In the river, you will find a variety of native Vermont trout, perfect for fly fishing. So, if you have the time, breath in the fresh air and catch some fish. After spending some time in the sun, you might be thirsty, so continue on your way to Harpoon. Harpoon has a wonderful outdoor Beer Garden, along with a lively Tap Room. Choose from several Harpoon beers on tap and purchase a growler to take home with you. The kitchen is always serving several great specials, however, The Vermonter sandwich is always a great go-to! Don’t forget to also visit Blake Hill Preserves, Vermont Farmstead Cheese Co. Market, SILO Distillery, and Great River Outfitters!

Trout River Brewing Company is located a short 15 miles from Ludlow in Springfield, VT. This hidden gem was purchased by three local boys who had been dreaming up this idea since being in high school together. From the outside, the brewery looks like a factory, but the inside is a Vermont haven, filled with fishing paraphernalia and homemade tables made from Vermont trees. On the tables you will find games to play with friends, along with music playing or a sporting event being projected for all to see. On the weekends you will often find a band playing outside and a food truck serving some delicious grub in the outdoor seating area. You can try several selections of beer by the pint or a sampler tray made out of old tap handles. If they are serving Trout of Solace, be sure to give it a try!

Last but not least, the Rutland Beer Works was a great new addition to Vermont in 2017. The owners of Hop ‘N Moose in downtown Rutland began this new venture to expand their love of beer and we couldn’t be more excited. Rutland Beer Works is currently a brewery and canning facility, but their beer can be tasted at Hop ‘N Moose, among other locations in the surrounding areas. There are also many places to buy cans, including Brewfest Beverage right here in Ludlow! However, if you are heading to Rutland, we highly recommend checking out Hop ‘N Moose, both for their food and beer. They are known for their pizzas, including a personal favorite of mine, the Hawaiian. Hop ‘N Moose is usually serving Rutland Beer Works’ Rutland Red on tap, but if you are feeling adventurous, try the Hide and Seek, an Extra Pale Ale.

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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

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.