Pond Mountain Inn

A Vermont Bed and Breakfast Complete with Dramatic Mountain Views


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In Search of Lord of the Rings… “The Enduring Power of Donuts.”

What’s more American than Donuts? Maybe pizza or maybe neither. No one really knows the origins of donuts, the deep-fried antithesis of wellness; wellness that we spent hours discussing on our wellness page. There is one certainty, really good donuts are elusive, but not here in Vermont or at the King Bakery Donut Cart in Cambridge, New York. These donuts are worth getting up early for, and after a 45-minute drive you’ll understand why!

We also love the donuts at the Wells County Store, in the center of our tiny village, the Dorset Union Store on the Dorset Green makes exceptional donuts, and then there’s Mrs. Murphy’s Donuts in Manchester—donuts like we grew up with in the 1950s and 1960s.   

We’re always finding interesting things to do at Pond Mountain Inn!


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Our Guests Love Visiting Baird Farm!


Maple Tree tap that connects to a complex network of vacuum tubing…  

Our Vermont Organic Maple Syrup comes from Baird Farm… But, that’s just part of the story.

One morning this past summer, like every summer morning, we chat with our guests during breakfast and learn about their discoveries from the previous day. But this day was different, they discovered something new—Baird Farm, and met Jenna, the young owner and her husband. This winter, many of our guests visited Baird Farm, and enjoyed the spectacular drive, and the last few miles to the farm was just incredible, even with most of the leaves down.

Baird Farm sits on 560 acres and has been in the Baird family for four generations. They have over 14,000 trees tapped, with over 80 miles of tubing that connects all the trees in their sugarbush. When the weather is right, the sap flows directly from the trees into the tubing system straight to the sugarhouse where it’s boiled down into maple syrup. A maple tree will yield about 25 gallons of sap in an average season. On a good day, they collect about 2,000 gallons per hour—the volume into the sugarhouse is like rushing river! And, it takes about 50 gallons of sap to make one gallon of maple syrup. Standing on a platform overlooking two 9,000-gallon tanks watching sap from 14,000 trees stream into the tanks is unbelievable—nobody would believe sap could flow so rapidly!  

This was a fascinating visit—the best time to visit is during March and April. 

“You guys do the best stuff at Pond Mountain Inn”


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Stunning Beauty of Historic Crown Point


Soldiers’ Barracks, Officers’ Quarters and Lake Champlain

We hadn’t planned on visiting Crown Point on this beautiful spring-like day in Vermont; we were just out for a drive with our guests. Then, the Lake Champlain Bridge appeared in the distance—a modest, yet impressive bridge traversing Lake Champlain between Crown Point, New York and Chimney Point, Vermont that we had to cross. On the other side we discovered the Crown Point Historic Site located on stunning grounds that strategically overlook Lake Champlain—perfect for an afternoon picnic! The ruins of two standing barracks uniquely illustrate the differences between the officers and the soldiers they commanded. Equally as impressive are the remains of earthworks—earthworks are artificial changes in land level, typically made from piles of artificially placed or rocks and soil. The mounded walls encircle the fort reaching heights of fifty feet or more!

In season, visitors can explore the preserved ruins of the fort, tour the museum, the historic Crown Point Pier, the Champlain Memorial Lighthouse and the walking paths on either side of the Lake Champlain Bridge offer incredible views of Lake Champlain. The photograph was taken at the at the highest elevation of the fort.

Crown Point is just over an hour from Pond Mountain Inn. Within a very short drive from Crown Point is Fort Ticonderoga / Mount Defiance and Mount Independence on the Vermont side of the lake. This is an incredible day trip – for more, see our Fort Ticonderoga / Middlebury Day Trip Itinerary.


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A Look Inside Our Refrigerator… It’s Mostly Vermont

It’s only the best for our guests… three types of organic yogurt—sheep, goat and cow’s milk yogurt • award-winning Vermont cheeses • honey from four unique local producers, one infused with organic local lavender • half & half and whole milk from Strafford Organic Creamery • new to our cupboard – Baird Farm Hand-Foraged Mint Infused Maple Syrup & Spruce Tip Infused Maple Syrup • Quebec Apple Syrup, only found at Pond Mountain Inn, and Kay’s delicious organic granola.. there’s more, a lot more. And, we recently joined the Middlebury Natural Foods Co-op for more incredible Vermont products!

https://www.pondmountaininn.com/


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The Last Days for Vermont Ice Fishing

Last Days of Ice Fishing on Lake St. Catherine…

Whenever we go out fishing with our friends, we often find people asking us, “Don’t you get bored waiting for a fish to bite?” Our answer is always the same, “No.” The thing is, it isn’t about catching fish. Of course, it’s nice when we do because it is exhilarating, but the reason fishing is so great despite what we catch is that it’s about spending quality time with our friends, and new friends we’ve met on the hard water.

Ice fishing in Vermont is one of the great winter pastimes. Several large lakes nearby offer plenty of room for your ice shanty and tip-ups with multiple access points to get on the ice. With the ice fishing season coming to an end, it’s time to look forward to fishing in the warmer months…

Take a look at Pond Mountain Inn’s Adventure Wellness Spring / Summer / Fall Fishing Packages.

 

 

 


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A Must Visit – The Norman Williams Public Library Woodstock Vermont

Woodstock, Vermont is one of our favorite destinations. The Norman Williams Public Library on the Woodstock green was established 1883 is on our list of places to visit. It is a beautiful pink sandstone building with stunning architecture and rich history. They promote the love of reading, lifelong learning and serves as a gathering place for all ages. This is a must see especially after a $5M restoration!

Check out other fascinating places to visit in Woodstock! See our Woodstock / Quechee • Day Trip: Itinerary


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Goodrich Grist-Mill One of The Oldest Buildings in Wells, Vermont

The “Goodrich Grist-Mill” one of the oldest buildings in Wells dates back to the 1780s… I’d love to go inside!

Daniel Goodrich an early settler had a large family and one of his sons Roswell Goodrich built the grist-mill that was operated years later by his brother Halsey and he worked it until he passed away at 60 years of age in 1857. The mill was then run by Halsey’s son Orville Goodrich.

See Other Points Of Interest & Remarkable Experiences in our area!


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A Winter’s Hike at Silver Lake Trail Vermont

We joined our neighbors at Silver Lake Trail just outside Middlebury… our favorite trail. Also, Abbey Pond Trail, Middlebury / Ripton is a wonderful hike that steadily climbs 2.2 miles past Abbey Pond Cascades and ends at Abbey Pond. The cascades and the pond offer delightful winter scenery making this a great snowshoe option. We have a comprehensive list of over 50 great Vermont winter hikes.


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The Birdseye Diner Main Street Castleton Vermont

The Birdseye Diner is a 1940s Silk City Dining Car manufactured in Patterson, New Jersey. Just had to get in the New Jersey reference… Jersey is everywhere in Vermont – it’s hilarious! There are a few other interesting spots in Castleton… The Village Store has a very good wine selection, and the Blue Cat Bistro has a good menu. All of which are less than thirty minutes away.

Restaurants We Recommend


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Andreé Ciccarelli’s Sunday Sauce Recipe

Our neighbor makes the best “sauce” from home-grown San Marzano tomatoes on their property, but this time of year those tomatoes originate from a can, likely from New Jersey, but not always. Cicc’s Sunday sauce, his mother’s recipe, Andreé, is indescribably delicious and equally as delicious week after week, but with subtle nuances.  Last week, we bashfully asked for his recipe and Cicc spent almost an hour walking us through the process with Kay taking detailed notes… “This is the basic recipe.” Cicc said, and graciously went on to say, “If your guests want the complicated version, they’ll just have to come for dinner.” Those that had the great fortune to meet some or all the Ciccarellis on Pond Mountain know they’ve met an incredibly gracious family.

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Serves 8

Total cooking time: 8 Hours or 2 Days

Ingredients

  • 2-35 oz. Imported Pastene San Marzano Whole Peeled Tomatoes, crushed by hand and reserve juice
  • 12 oz. Bellucci Extra Virgin Organic Olive Oil
  • 1 Bulb of Hardneck Garlic, finely chopped (about 8 cloves) Rinaldi Garlic Farm • East Corinth, Vermont
  • ½ Medium Red Onion, diced
  • 1 Bottle Montepulciano d’Abruzzo (use 6 oz. for cooking, the rest for later)
  • Coarse Black Pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • Coarse Red Pepper Flakes
  • Fresh Parsley
  • Dry Oregano
  • Dry Basil
  • Grated Fresh Romano Cheese

Directions

  • In 12 inch heavy pot, add 10 mm or 1/2 inch olive oil (when in doubt add more olive oil so garlic and onion are floating)
  • Sauté garlic and onion until translucent
  • Add 6 oz. of red wine, reduced over medium heat for 2 minutes
  • Add tomatoes and reserve juice, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low for 1 hour with top off
  • After 1 hour; add bay leaves, salt and pepper to taste, then reduce heat to low for 1 hour with top off
  • After additional 1 hour; add salt, if needed, black olive, red pepper flakes, dry oregano, dry basil and chopped fresh parsley, simmer with the top on for 6 hours.
  • Serve over wide noodle and grated Romano cheese

Notes

Adjust your sauce by tasting every 2 hours.

To enjoy for Sunday dinner at 6:00PM, you should start at 6:00AM.

If you have time and would like to have richer and thicker sauce, begin the day before.

Another great recipe from Pond Mountain Inn.