Pond Mountain Inn

A Vermont Bed and Breakfast Complete with Dramatic Mountain Views


Leave a comment

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!


Leave a comment

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”


Leave a comment

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.


Leave a comment

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/


Leave a comment

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.

 

 

 


Leave a comment

The Silver Fork Restaurant Continues to Wow Our Guests!

I was recently asked, what makes Silver Fork special? It’s undoubtedly, one of the most important restaurants in the area. The effortless and relaxed, but flawlessly charming style of service is a perfect fit for the setting. Their new Manchester location, inside the old Mark Skinner Library in the heart of Manchester Village is absolutely stunning—mid-century décor with comfortable space that’s aglow in natural light. Beyond expansive windows, the upstairs bar pictured above has a long dining bar that offers intimate dining possibilities.

Silver Fork is a fine-dining restaurant with extraordinary attention to detail. Through the sharply focused culinary lens of award-winning Chef Mark French lies his remarkable ability to coax out the intrinsic natural flavors of local and seasonal ingredients. Mark’s dishes draw on global influences that blend beautifully with this quintessential New England town of Manchester.

The menu enriches the senses, our favorite first-course dishes—beef tartare, duck eggroll, and lump crab salad are absolutely delicious! The wiener schnitzel is outstanding—our server told us that a couple from Austria said it was “just as good as home.” And, we agree! The rack of lamb, Maryland crab cakes and slow roasted brisket are among our favorites, and our guests too.

Owner, Melody French and Sommelier, Olivia Stoehr have crafted a well-balanced wine list with recent upscale wine selections that complement the always popular regular wine list. Melody and Olivia have adroitly focused on matching tastes and flavors on the menu that share the chef’s palate making wine selection far easier and less intimidating.

Kay joins me in thanking both Melody and Olivia for the special attention shown to all our Pond Mountain Inn guests.


Leave a comment

Ice Fishing on Lake St. Catherine Vermont

Pond Mountain Inn Offers Ice Fishing Trips 

Have you ever wanted to go ice fishing but don’t know where to start? Or, you have no interest in ice fishing whatsoever, but love the idea of experiencing something entirely new and exciting outdoors, then let our friends Carrie & Kevin be your guide to successful ice fishing. We went ice fishing twice last week and caught 25 fish—perch, largemouth bass, northern pike, and a big brown trout.

Carrie and Kevin, do it all…  They setup and prepare everything; all you have to do is show up, catch big fish and enjoy the incredible Vermont outdoors while eagles soar above waiting to steal an unattended fish laying on the ice! That’s something to see! What’s better than spending a picturesque day on the lake fishing for trophy fish or for dinner that evening back at Pond Mountain Inn. The best tasting fish we’ve ever had!

What if it’s too cold? No problem. They provide an insulated ice shanty equipped with a portable heater that keeps the interior nice and toasty. Hungry out on the ice? They’ve got that covered too… last week they prepared venison steaks and burgers, their homemade kielbasa and ham steak from one of the pigs they raised. And, there’s all kind and snacks and drinks too.

Carrie and Kevin supply all the gear for ice fishing. All you need is to be dressed for the weather—hats, gloves, thermal socks, under layers, winter boots, and sunglasses for the reflection off the ice and snow.

We purchased a Vermont fishing license for the entire year—you can get a one-day pass, but we had so much that we’re planning to be out on the ice for the rest of the season.

There’s more good news… Saturday, January 30, 2021 is Vermont’s next free ice fishing day; a day when anyone, resident or nonresident, may go fishing in Vermont without a fishing license.

Ice Fishing Day on Lake St. Catherine Cost: $100 / person.

Join us out on the ice for the best outdoor experience you’ll have this winter!

#pondmountaininn


Leave a comment

More Vermont Outdoor Winter Activities to Experience

Our goal is to visit every covered bridge in Vermont and the Vermont Covered Bridge Society is a wonderful resource with spectacular photographs! Click here to see one of our Enchanted Covered Bridge Day Tours.

Equally as interesting is The 251 Club of Vermont. If you’re seeking an authentic Vermont experience, you are invited to join over 6,000 members of the 251 Club in exploring the state while visiting its 251 towns and cities. Travel at your own pace, in a season or in a lifetime, by car, on foot, or whatever conveyance suits your style. There are no rules, no records to keep, no requirements. The expectation is that you will be inventive and adventurous in following the road less traveled to Vermont’s little-known corners, as well as its more popular destinations. And, where best to begin… at Pond Mountain Inn

Photo courtesy of The National Parks Experience

 


1 Comment

America’s First Christmas Tree


Vermont’s Calvin Coolidge was the first president to extend a White House Christmas celebration to the American people. During the Coolidge’s first Christmas in 1923, he began the tradition of the National Community Christmas Tree. And, of course, the first Christmas tree came from Vermont as a gift from Middlebury College—a 48-foot Balsam Fir from the heart of the Green Mountains.

At 5:05PM on Christmas Eve, President Coolidge illuminated 3,000 light bulbs on the first National Community Christmas Tree symbolizing the spirit of Christmas and that the celebration of Christmas had begun.

Today, the White House Sends More Than 1 Million Annual Holiday Cards.  President Calvin Coolidge sent out the first official White House Christmas greeting to the nation in 1927, penning a card on White House stationary that was reproduced in newspapers around the country.

“Silent Cal” received his nickname from his stoic and serious demeanor. However, in 1926, after receiving so many heartfelt gifts and Christmas cards from the American people, President Coolidge was so emotionally affected that he gave a gift of a gold coin to all the White House officials and staff members.

The Calvin Coolidge Homestead is less than one hour from Pond Mountain Inn. One of the most scenic drives through the Green Mountains of Vermont that takes you through historic villages, mountains, valleys and along white-water rivers—you’ll pass by farms and meadowlands. Take a look at our Day Trip Itineraries to discover your next adventure!

The abbreviated content above was taken from Mary Evans Seeley’s book, “Season’s Greetings from the White House” (one of our most treasured books, and a Christmas gift from my sister) and the Calvin Coolidge Homestead website.  

 

 

 


Leave a comment

The Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn


Today is the winter solstice, and the Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn, when the two largest worlds in our solar system appear closest together in the sky, the closest since 1623. Look toward the southwest just after sunset is the best time to see them—they set below the horizon shortly after.

The night sky at Pond Mountain Inn is magnificent for star gazing! The clarity and the absence of any artificial light we can see quite a bit—especially tonight!

Photo is NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day (December 8, 2020)