Maple syrup

The Ultimate Okemo Valley Fall Guide

The Ultimate Okemo Valley Fall Guide

The lush hills of Maple, Hemlock, and Birch trees in the Okemo Valley are beginning to change and peak foliage is right around the corner. Fall is in the air, which means our favorite Fall activities are calling your name! It’s no secret that Vermont is the ideal place to enjoy the crisp days ahead, so we compiled the team's most highly recommended Vermont activities together right here for you and your family and friends to enjoy this Fall. 

 

Fall without apple picking is like Winter without snow! While there are fresh-picked apples at our grocery stores and the Ludlow Farmers Market, there is nothing quite like finding that perfect apple to snack on as you walk through the orchard. Visit Wellwood Orchards this season to pick your own Macintosh, Honey Crisp, or Cortland apples and beyond. Located in Springfield, Vermont, this stunning orchard is just a quick drive from Ludlow, so don’t pass this one up!

 

Take a hike! While hiking is very popular through the Summer months here in Vermont, climbing our hills in the Fall is equally as fun but has the added benefit of soaking in the foliage views from the top! Some of our favorite hikes to view the painted landscapes include Echo Lake Vista Trail in Plymouth, the Healdville Trail to the summit of Okemo, and the Bicentennial Trail in Brownsville. Pro tip: Bring a pair of binoculars! Not feeling up for the exercise? No problem! Take the Sunburst Six Chairlift to the summit of Okemo. 

 

The Oktoberfest taps are already flowing! Grab a cold one at our favorite breweries, bars, and restaurants in the Okemo Valley. Visit Outer Limits Brewery in Cavendish or Long Trail Brewing in Bridgewater Corners to enjoy a seasonal beer in the fresh Vermont air. Head over to Main + Mountain, The Killarney, Mr. Darcy’s, Homestyle Hotel, DJ’s, and other local Ludlow spots to relax with an autumn-inspired brew. 

 

There truly are countless locations to view the bright foliage in the Okemo Valley, but here are a few of our favorite and convenient places to visit this season. First up is Okemo Mountain, whether you are at the base area, the summit, or at the top of the fire tower, you’ll definitely witness some tress showing off their saturated leaves. Next, stroll over to the Ludlow Cemetery and head to the upper level, which offers you a sweeping view of Okemo Mountain and all of its red, yellow, and orange glory. Go for a kayak or canoe trip on any of our lakes in the region to find awe-inspiring foliage views in the most serene of settings. 

 

Don’t forget to head to the Vermont Country Store for the quintessential Fall outing. Featuring hot apple cider, wooded paths to explore with leaves crunching beneath your feet, maple-flavored goodies to taste test, and the best photo-op spot next to their pumpkin-filled tractor. Visit the Weston or the Chester location, they will not disappoint you!

 

We hope this Fall guide will be your go-to for navigating the Okemo Valley this season. Please remember to refer to the State of Vermont Cross-State Travel Information due to COVID-19 as you begin to plan your trip to the Green Mountains. Have a safe and fun Fall season!

Happy Fall!

- The Vermont Properties Team

Vermont Maple Open-House Weekend!

If you are a Vermonter, you know that Vermont has more than 4 seasons. One of our additional seasons, the best one in my opinion, is maple sugaring season! Since we have had such a cold and snowy winter, the Vermont sugaring season has been delayed. However, many Vermonters around the state are finally getting their trees tapped and have been able to start boiling! You know what this means, right? Fresh maple syrup!

Every year, all of the sugar houses in Vermont open their doors for the Vermont Maple Open House Weekend. This year, it is March 23-24th. Spend your Saturday or Sunday taking a drive to some of our favorite local sugar houses for yummy treats and to learn more about the sugaring process!

If you frequent our blog, you know that we are a huge fan of Green Mountain Sugar House, especially their maple creemees. This weekend, they will be open and offering complimentary sugar-on-snow, maple cream donuts, maple coffee, and maple milk! However, you shouldn’t leave without purchasing a maple creemee or a gallon of delicious maple syrup! They have started boiling, so hopefully you will be able to catch a glimpse of the action!

Another local favorite of ours is Papa John’s Sugar Shack! This is a small, family-owned operation, but you can tell that they put a lot of hear into what they do. They will be open for the Vermont Maple Open House weekend with many maple products to test, as well as waffles and with any luck, fresh maple syrup! This wonderful family loves teaching about how maple syrup is made, so make sure you take a tour of the sugar house!

If you have time, travel a bit further to Shrewsbury to Smith Maple Crest Farm for their open house. On Saturday, they are holding a pancake breakfast in support of the Shrewsbury Community Sharing Project, of course with their maple syrup. They will also have samples of maple syrup, sugar-on-snow, maple cotton candy for sale, and other refreshments. Keep your fingers crossed for good boiling weather and check out their boiling demo to learn more about making maple syrup!

If you want to find other sugar houses in Vermont or even if you just want to know more about how maple syrup is made, visit Vermont Maple! If you are looking for ideas on how to eat or drink maple syrup, check out last week’s blog for ideas!

Vermont Gold: Maple Syrup- Part 1

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about Vermont? My answer is always MAPLE SYRUP! Because who doesn’t love syrup! Maple syrup is good on and in practically everything and for every meal.

    The obvious choice is to have maple syrup on pancakes or waffles. There is nothing quite like waking up in the morning and having someone cook you breakfast, especially when syrup is involved. Those fluffy pancakes and delicious waffles are the things that dreams are made of. Have you ever tried warming your maple syrup in the microwave before putting it on your breakfast? Let me tell you, there is nothing better! However, breakfast isn’t complete without a hot cup of coffee. Instead of sugar, try adding a little bit of maple syrup. I promise, you won’t be disappointed!

    Maple syrup is also a necessity with lunch. Did you know that a ham and cheese sandwich goes GREAT with maple syrup? I know, sounds strange, right? This isn’t an ordinary ham and cheese sandwich though, it’s a monte cristo. The bread is actually french toast, with warm ham and melted cheese. This sounds delicious already, but to top it off, you dip the sandwich in maple syrup. This makes the perfect brunch meal!

    You also can’t go wrong with incorporating maple syrup into your dinner either. A very “Vermont” thing to do is simply to have breakfast for dinner, so you can double up on those pancakes and waffles, or dive into some eggs with maple breakfast sausage. However, there are so many options for adding maple syrup into your dinner or even substituting it as a healthier option than granulated sugar! I like using maple syrup in stir fry or in my recipes for slow cooker meatballs.

    Last, but most definitely not least, is dessert! Obviously maple syrup and dessert go hand-in-hand. One of the easiest choices is vanilla ice cream with maple syrup. I know it sounds simple, but it is the best combination. If you want to get really fancy you could try maple creme brulee or maple cheesecake. You can even make it a healthy dessert by roasting bananas with maple syrup and cinnamon!

    Now, to be a true Vermonter, you must have sugar on snow, which is good any time of the day. Here’s how: Heat syrup and butter in a pot on the stove (about 1 quart of syrup per stick of butter). Make sure you watch it carefully and stir regularly. You will need a thermometer because when the syrup reaches 234 degrees fahrenheit, it is ready to be poured over the snow. Poor it slowly and carefully. If the syrup sits on top of the snow, it’s ready! Peel it off and enjoy!

Stay tuned for next week’s blog on how syrup is made and where to get it in the Okemo Valley! In the meantime, let us know your favorite way to have maple syrup!