Online editor’s note: This summer, we’ll be bringing you occasional suggestions for free (or almost free) outings in and around Addison County on our new staff blog. Our first installment of the series comes from Addison Independent intern Andrea Suozzo. Check back periodically for more tips and tricks for enjoying the county on a shoestring budget.
Don’t forget: this Sunday is Father’s Day. Coincidentally this year, Sunday also happens to be the first day of summer. So what better way to mark the occasion than to spend it outdoors, enjoying the season? You — and Dad — don’t have to be dedicated hikers to enjoy one of the many trails in the area.
Snake Mountain is a relatively short hike, but it offers beautiful views of Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks. Or try hiking a section of the Long Trail — find the trail just above Bread Loaf and hike a mile in for a swim and a picnic on the shore of tiny Pleiad Lake, nestled just below the Snow Bowl. For a challenge, meet up with the Long Trail at the top of Appalachian Gap and hike south to the summit of General Stark Mountain. The trail passes by the Mad River Glen ski area — complete with off-season chairlifts and a warming station — and provides brilliant panoramic views of both the Green Mountains and the Whites.
Lake Champlain from Snake Mountain summit
Image courtesy David Meschke p>
After a day of hiking, head to Brandon’s Central Park at 6:30, where Gene Childers and the Jubilee Jazz Band will be playing the first concert in the town’s summer concert series. Bring a blanket and enjoy the first summer evening of the year!
And in case of rain, don’t worry. The Middlebury College Museum’s special exhibits: “Pastoral Vermont: The Paintings and Etchings of Luigi Lucioni” and “Making Sense of Thomas Kinkade,” are both on display until Aug. 9, so you can still enjoy the outdoors—from inside! The museum will be open on Father’s Day from noon until 5 p.m. (You can also check out an article we ran recently on the Lucioni exhibit before heading to the museum.)
Other ideas for Father’s Day outings in Addison County? Leave a comment below to share your tips with other readers.
Father’s Day Hikes
Snake Mountain: 3.6 miles round trip
From the intersection of Rt. 125 and Rt. 22A, follow 22A north for 4.5 miles to Wilmarth Road. Make a right, then make a left onto Mountain Road. Just past the trailhead (to the right) you will see a parking area on the left.
Lake Pleiad on the Long Trail: 1.8 miles round trip
From the Middlebury College Snow Bowl, continue on 125 east about .7 miles to the small Long Trail parking area on your right. Follow the trail half a mile until you reach a sign pointing to Lake Pleiad; follow this trail down to the lake.
Long Trail to General Stark summit: 6.2 miles round trip
Take Rt. 17 east from Rt. 100, driving to the top of Appalachian Gap. Park here and follow the Long Trail south to the summit.
Brandon Summer Concert Series
Visit www.brandon.org for concert information and rain locations. Gene Childers and the Jubilee Jazz Band kick off the series on Father’s Day, and other bands slated to play this summer include Run Mountain in July, the Starline Rhythm Boys in August and Fox and Company in early September.