It would be easy for anyone who watched the news during Hurricane Irene to think the state of Vermont was floating away. Yes, there was significant damage for many, and a few roads are still closed. But according to Greg Gerdel of Vermont’s Dept of Travel and Tourism, the storm directly impacted only 15% of the state.
I was there for the storm and luckily it wasn’t bad in Stowe. But – Gerdel says there were a rash of leaf peeping reservations that were cancelled as a result. I want to tell you that it’s not too late to book a room for a fall trip. There are availabilities, and you can go plenty of beautiful places that aren’t feeling Irene after affects. www.vermontvacation.com has detailed maps with updates of road closures… and links to lodging.
Vermont is one of the most quaint and gorgeous place to witness the splendor of the season. What I have always loved about Vermont is that there are no billboards on the highways and most are lined with trees.
In the northern part of the state, the leaves are already changing color. The colors will move south and will last almost until the end of October. But in the Burlington area near Lake Champlain, the “late effect” keeps that area warmer, so leaves will change later than nearby areas.
If you do get to the Burlington area, there is so much to do – but don’t miss Shelburne Farms, a National Historic Landmark. When the farm was established in the late 1800s, it was ahead of it’s time, aspiring to become a model agricultural estate; a working farm that emphasized sustainability.
Today, it is still a 1400 acre working farm teaching others about the connections to the land – an awesome lesson to reinforce to my city slicker kids. For instance, we walked around the barn …
and got to milk goats and cows. Every morning the raw milk goes to the farm’s cheese plant, where award winning cheddar is produced.
We then toured the cheesemaking area, and watched the process – from cow’s udder to the curdling vats.. direct connection. Shelburne makes about 130,000 lbs of cheese – all from their cows’ milk.
The farm raises all their animals with no anti-biotics and are grass fed… and man, can you see the healthy difference in the chickens there.
Seriously, they look healthier than my adorable dog.
Kids love being able to “pet” the chickens, and collect the eggs, which goes to feed the guests at the inn on the farm. Same with all the vegetables and other foods grown on the land.
For more: www.shelburnefarms.org
Whether watching leaves change… or at home on the range… Vermont offers so much for visitors, and fall is a fabulous time to visit.