Pond Mountain Inn

A Vermont Bed and Breakfast Complete with Neighboring Mountain Views


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Step Back in Time with Vermont’s Enchanted Covered Bridges

Sunday drives are magical especially in Vermont whether you’re destination-oriented or just like to tour the rolling hills alongside a meandering river. Sunday was magnificent, the only thing missing was a wicker picnic basket filled with essential luxuries and a crisp-cold bottle of Sancerre. Kay and I along with our “adopted parents, Hoa & Orland, of Manchester” were determined to see a few of the southern Vermont Covered Bridges we had yet to visit. Following the Battenkill for about ten minutes a distant view of the day’s first covered bridge became clearer! No matter how many times you’ve seen a covered bridge each is met with a new sense of exhilaration. The feeling is indescribable – set back in time one can almost feel the presence of those that traveled before us likely by horse across this timbered structured.

West Arlington Bridge, Built in 1852 is arguably the most beloved and most photographed in the state.

This is the quintessential Vermont photograph that everyone should personally experience… What makes this photograph even more treasured is that it was taken in front of Norman Rockwell’s home!

Norman Rockwell (1894-1978) lived in this house in Arlington, Vermont from 1943-1953.

Sunderland is where we found the Chiselville Covered Bridge, named for the fine quality chisels and edge tools manufactured nearby. The bridge spans the Roaring Branch Brook and was built in 1870.

Orland and I traversed the steep riverside bank to gain a unique perspective from below.

A brief history… Vermont is rightfully famous for its covered bridges – more than one hundred span the state (Pond Mountain Inn has a complete listing). A covered bridge was built for necessity to protect their wooden structures, extend their lifespan, and protect Vermonters and perhaps their animals from the elements. Vermont Covered Bridges are architecturally very pleasing, fun to experience and remain an important part of Vermont’s legacy.

We will soon publish the first of our Self-Guided Tours, which will include more covered bridges.


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Incredible Mountain Views While Snowshoeing in Vermont

The serenity and peacefulness of snowshoeing is second to the natural beauty always on display in every small town in Vermont. As we walked through the woods we occasionally stopped to examine each animal footprint – we saw deer tracks, fox and where a bird of prey may have found a late afternoon snack. As we approached the top of the ridge a large open field came into view with a distant tree line and the magnificent Taconic Mountain Range further off in the distance. A spectacular day spent with nature only thirty minutes from Pond Mountain Inn.

 

 


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Our Hike at the Lewis Deane Nature Preserve

lewis-deane-nature-trail-2Many of us are already talking about an early spring after the recent snowfall and warmer temperatures forecasted this week. Sacrilegious yes, given there’s likely two winter months left; however it gave pause and a thought of a hike I took last summer not far from the inn. The Lewis Deane Nature Preserve, an 85-acre forest located on St. Catherine Mountain is just over one mile north of Pond Mountain Inn. Last summer, together with two guests, we enjoyed this moderate twenty-five minute one-way hike to the top — however, there’s a slightly longer more leisurely option to the mountain’s summit. I elected the more aggressive route up the mountain, which I had no difficulty ascending; however after my third knee surgery two years ago maybe I’ll think about taking the easier path back to base next time – the descent was tough on the knees. Once we reached the top we were completely awestruck with the picture postcard mountain views. My photograph certainly suggests that this is a “must do” again this spring / summer.


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Great Cross Country Skiing in Peru, Vermont!

dan-x-country-skiingWe asked a native Vermonter where’s the best place to cross country ski in the greater Manchester, Vermont area? Without hesitation he said, “Wild Wings.” Wild Wings Ski Touring Center is located in Peru, Vermont situated on 50 acres, but with access to over 1000 acres – 9 trails totaling over 25 kilometers is where we sent our weekend guests yesterday.

Patty and Dan had the perfect day – spectacular blues skies, not too cold and magnificently groomed trails made for an impeccable cross country ski day! They rented everything and the staff there couldn’t have been more helpful and hospitable. This was Dan’s maiden voyage on cross country skis – and at 67, he performed marvelously. That’s Dan in the photograph – beautiful technique!

After hearing about this perfect day at breakfast this morning; Kay and I will visit Wild Wings in the coming weeks and give cross country skiing at try! We’ll let you know… stay tuned! Pond Mountain Inn is only 45 minutes away from the Wild Wings Ski Touring Center.


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Antiquing in Vermont

nantucket-basket_1Antiques are ubiquitous in New England – Chester & Bennington, Vermont are among two of the top ten antiques towns in New England, says New England Today Travel. Both are about an hour from Pond Mountain Inn! Additionally, The Vermont Antique Mall in Quechee Gorge and the Drury House in Weston, Vermont are perennial favorites. Details of each are on our website – Things to Do.

One of our favorite pastimes is antiquing, which is how the inn is filled with so many interesting things; a less sophisticated way of saying Objets d’art. One of our recent finds was this Nantucket Lightship Basket Purse – vintage yes, antique no. I fell in love with Nantucket Baskets on the island in the mid-1980s and vowed one day to own one, but not necessarily a purse! These baskets are steeped in New England history, which is, perhaps, why I found them so fascinating. These baskets date back to the early 1800s – it is widely thought the finest examples were made between 1870–1890.

Driving the back roads of Vermont is the best way of stumbling upon interesting things – we always find ourselves heading somewhere only to stop a few times along the way. This happened recently where I had to have a Vintage Maple Sap Bucket that dated back to the 1950s. Of course, it had to be accompanied by a 1930s cast iron tap… silly, perhaps, but just great fun!

 

 


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The Elf Express – A Classic Vermont Christmas Train Ride

vermont-train

Manchester, Vermont: last weekend in the midst of a Vermont snow squall we enjoyed the fourth annual Elf Express on a vintage train taking passengers on a delightful one-hour excursion through the Green Mountains complete with hot coco, cookies with song and dance by the “Elves” of Burr and Burton Academy. The train ride took us from Manchester to Arlington – an approximate twenty mile roundtrip journey we spent in a 1940s era train car. We just love Vermont!    


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Maple Open House Weekend April 2-3 and Tinmouth Mountain Farm

Maple Syrup House

Vermont Maple Festivals are held in many towns across the state on April 2-3. This family and town tradition has been going on for decades! Maple Open House Weekend offers visitors an opportunity to visit a variety of sugarhouses throughout Vermont in operation during sugaring season. It’s an exciting time for everyone – Kay and I visited Tinmouth Mountain Farm this week and learned about how maple syrup is made. The amount of wood required to produce the syrup is staggering! Poultney Maplefest 2016 Celebration begins on April 2nd is only a few miles away from Pond Mountain Inn and never disappoints! There is an abundance of things to do beginning with a pancake breakfast. Shortly thereafter the Maplefest 5k run begins followed by Horse-Drawn Wagon Rides, Maple Sugar Flag Football Tournament, Tree Tapping Ceremony, Maple Cooking and Baking Contest, Cooking with Maple Syrup Workshop at Green Mountain College, Maple and Craft Beer Tasting, and the Poultney Historical Society opens its doors to tours and exhibits. For further information please view the link below.

http://www.poultneyvt.com/event/maple-fest-celebration-2016/

Maple Syrup Operations TwoTinmouth Mountain FarmKay and I were fortunate to watch and learn about First Boil at Tinmouth Mountain Farm. Owners Kat & Shane Yoder are an incredibly talented and interesting couple that we were privileged to meet a few years back.

The photo shows the complex setup to produce maple syrup. Fresh sap enters the evaporator where it is heated, water is released as steam, and the finished syrup is drained off. The fuel source is tons of wood!

With three thousand trees tapped, Kat and Shane made their first maple syrup of the season this week. What’s nice about early syrup is how its taste is unique – the silkiness and innocence to the taste of early syrup is quite special.  Once the syrup is bottled it starts to age, which creates a different, more complex flavor. Now that we’ve had both, I cannot say which I prefer – both are excellent! We only serve the Yoder’s maple syrup at Pond Mountain Inn.

Later in the season the Yoders produce darker syrup that also has a great flavor, but far more complex. Kat discussed how the flavor of the later syrup is influenced by the mineral content of the soil, the soil itself and climate, but the range of flavor diversity is a topic for another day. Ask Kat when you see her!

Join us at Pond Mountain Inn for a weekend your family will never forget!