As the ski season winds down, so does the rest of the town of Ludlow as the off-season approaches. While many choose to head back to their primary homes or vacation elsewhere during the off-season, there's more to do than meets the eye here in the Green Mountains. This quiet time between mid-April and Memorial Day at the end of May is some of the most enjoyable weeks for locals and visitors alike. The tourist crowds are at an all-time low during this time of year, so it's a great opportunity to explore places that you normally wouldn't during the busy season. Here are some of our recommendations to keep your adventurous side ignited as we cross into summertime here in Vermont.
Covered Bridges Tour:
Vermont's covered bridges are beautiful, historic, unique, and picture-perfect, and our tiny state is home to more than 100 of them! This means Vermont has more covered bridges per square mile than any other state, which makes a covered bridge tour a priority on your off-season to-do list. Our bridges date back to 1820, with most of them constructed in the mid-to-late 19th Century. The closest bridge to Ludlow is located in Weathersfield at the Upper Falls with several others in Windsor, Springfield, Rockingham, and Woodstock. Not only is this a great afternoon drive activity but it's the perfect spot for a photo-op of yourself, you and your partner, friends, or family. Plus, the Bennington Center for the Arts has a covered bridge museum! To plan your covered bridge tour, visit www.vermontvacation.com.
The melting snow causes a lot of water run-off from the tall mountains, creating the most beautiful flowing waterfalls! Most wait for the weather to warm up, but chasing the glistening waterfalls in the Green Mountains while the roads are empty and the trails are quiet is a must-do. One of our favorites is the Quechee Gorge, located less than an hour away from Ludlow. Known as "Vermon'ts Little Grand Canyon" this massive gorge is truly a sight to see. The Thundering Brook Falls in Killington is another stunning landscape located off of a boardwalk trail. Ludlow is home to Buttermilk Falls, where you can walk the trails and enjoy the sights of the crashing water. The Jackson Gore Falls at Okemo is also a great short hike through the trees between the ski trails. For more Vermont waterfalls, visit onlyinyourstate.com/vermont.
Go For A Hike:
While the ground may be a bit too wet at the end of the ski season, it will dry up quickly as May rounds the corner. There are plenty of great hiking trails around the Okemo Valley and all over Vermont. The southern part of the state will be reading for hiking before the northern areas due to more snow coverage. If it's too muddy, wait a few days or weeks and try again. If it's ready for traffic, you should check out the Healdville Trail in Ludlow, the Athens Dome Trail in Grafton, Little Ascutney, the Bicentennial Trail in Brownsville, and White Rocks in Wallingford. You're sure to find some beautiful spring views of the mountains as they begin to turn green!
Shop Local & Grill Out:
Many of the local restaurants throughout the tourist towns such as Ludlow and Stowe tend to close during the off-season as a much-needed break from the busy ski season. While our favorite eateries are closed for a few weeks, we make an effort to shop local and grill outside while enjoying the late afternoon sun. After a long winter of inside eating and cooking, it's a nice change to get out on the deck and grill up local Vermont meats, vegetables, and locally made desserts. Singleton's in Cavendish is a great one-stop shop for locally cured meats, charcuterie, and Vermont-grown veggies.