The Mountains Offer a Lot to do When it Gets Warm

Swimming, golf and the bumper sticker challenge are all part of the fun.


As skiers and snowboarders, most of us just want to flash half a peace sign at what wasn't the 2011-12 season.

It was, well, less than stellar as a whole.

But that does not mean we have to forget about the mountains as we get deeper into the spring and then into summer. Because, as they say, "There is plenty to do in them thar hills!"

Just about every mountain has some sort of mountain biking route and the hiking can be outright adventurous and first-rate.

Take Stratton, for example. In about two hours from the Greater Hartford area, you can get to the Southern Vermont resort and, in an intermediate hike, get to the summit, where the Green Mountain State's Long Trail, America's first long-distance hiking trail, and the storied Appalachian Trail meet at the summit. A favorite pastime of day hikers and long-distance trekkers is to sit on the porch of the Ski Patrol hut and share food, beverages and stories.

There is also the theory of "Mad River Glen — Hike It If You Can," a play on the challenging mountain's famed "Ski It If You Can" bumper sticker.

The Glen turns into a hiker’s paradise in the summer. Several scenic trails meander up the flanks of Gen. Stark Mountain and connect with the Long Trail. After the descent, stories can be swapped at Gen. Stark’s Pub for a crisp and cool Single Chair Ale.

Of course summer vacations turn into the bumper sticker challenge. The Glen has a deal with its fans — get a picture taken at an interesting place with the sticker and get posted on the pub wall.

The sticker has been photographed on an Israeli tank, at Mt. Everest, at the pyramids in Egypt, underwater, on an NYPD rescue helicopter and one astronaut used a sticker as his one personal item to have it photographed in space.

One snow sports writer convinced a chef in Las Vegas to grab two 12-pound lobsters out of his restaurant's tank, put bumper stickers in their claws, and pose with them under the "welcome" sign at the beginning of The Strip.   

Many of the poses can be seen on the MRG Facebook page.

In the Berkshires, Jiminy Peak has a mountain coaster and both Jiminy and Catamount have adventure parks. Okemo in Vermont also has a coaster.

Want to hang with a friendly ghost? Then ask for Room 314 at the Mount Washington Hotel in New Hampshire. That is the Princess Room, the former residence of owner Caroline Stickney. It is said (and it has been experienced too) that she often pays a visit to guests during both day and night and her hauntings even have a touch of humor to them. 

The Mount Washington used to feature a pro tennis stop. Tennis is huge there still, but golf also has a presence, a movement several resorts undertook several years ago. 

Stowe and Jay have top-notch courses in Northern Vermont and the courses stretch down to Okemo and Woodstock centrally and Mount Snow, the first big mountain in Vermont, has a world famous golf school. 

And never short-change swimming. The town of Ludlow in Vermont has Buttermilk Falls, right across from Okemo's Jackson Gore access road, a warm-weather paradise that features waterfalls and swimming holes.

Back up north, Smugglers' Notch has one of the great kiddie pools of all-time, a motion-detected indoor aquatic playground that even makes the adults happy.

Of course just driving through the Notch itself to Stowe when the road is open is an adventure. If your brakes survive the trip, there is plenty more to do up north when the snow has melted.

HopeFish April 08, 2012 at 08:47 PM
Save the gas and enjoy your traprock ridges and well marked and maintained CFPA trails here in CT. Hike Rock climb Mt. Bike Horseback ride ,find those Tom Sawyer swimming holes for the dog days of summer ,follow the Leathermans historic route ,bird watch some local legends and some birds displaced by storms and developement.There are even trails you can scan a QR code to your smart phone and have the entire map of that trail are your fingertips..safe, informed , organized SAVE ON GAS PRICES support local businesses have Fun! Trails found@ Take a hike.org, CT WOODLANDS.ORG, NEMBA.ORG and countless others...with the gas savings you can buy new hiking boots..a bike..canoe..set personal goals, socialize or just escape with the dog...CT has some true gems for outdoor recreation!


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