Posted in: Campground Review, Exploring Vermont, Museums & Tours, National Park, National Parks, Sightseeing, YouTube Video Link

Quechee/Pine Valley KOA: Campground Review

We had one goal in Vermont: maple syrup.

This campground wasn’t too far from a working maple syrup farm, a National Historic Park and Site, the Quechee Gorge, and New Hampshire.

The campground had an office camp store, laundry room, playground, a dog park, a fishing pond, and a pool. Trash was placed at the end of your site for pick-up. Recycling could be placed in a separate bag for pickup as well. The office sold ice, firewood, and bait. There were banana bikes for rent. They did a nice job communicating by text!

The KOA was 18 minutes from Sugarbush Farm, 7 minutes from New Hampshire, and from 4 minutes from Quechee Gorge. It took 18 minutes to get to the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park. There were two Walmarts at 8 and 18 minutes away, and a Hannaford’s 9 minutes (in New Hampshire).

VIDEO: Quechee/Pine Valley KOA Walk Through

SUMMARY OF CAMPGROUND:

Our rating: 3 out of 5 hitches

Cell Phone Reception: AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile

Laundry: Yes

Bathrooms/Showers: Yes

RV Sites: Pull Through, Back-in (grass/gravel)

Pop Up Tents/Gazebos/Outdoor Rugs On-Site:

Amenities: picnic table/fire pit/grill/cable/playground/dog park

Cabins: Yes

Tent Camping: No

Full Hook-ups: Yes

            Amps: 20/30, 20/50

Pool: Yes

Food On-Site: No (some grocery type items in store)

Camp Store: Yes

WiFi: Yes

Accepts Mail:

Fishing: Yes (catch and release)

Posted in: Exploring Vermont, Hiking, National Park, National Parks, Sightseeing

Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park

Vermont has one National Historic Park, the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller. The parking lot for the Park was across the street and is shared by the Billings Farm.

This Historic Park has 20 miles of trails and carriage roads (no bikes allowed, but does allow cross country skiing in the winter). The Mansion was closed while we were there and the Visitor Center only open for bathrooms. The Rangers did have a station outside of the Visitor Center for maps and Junior Ranger Programs.

Walking the grounds, Junior Ranger Loop

There were two Junior Ranger Programs: the traditional (received a wooden badge) and Change Maker (received a quarter made for the Park).

Mansion images, Junior Ranger program booklets/badge/quarter

It was a really hot day, so we only did the Junior Ranger loop and walked around the Mansion. The grounds are beautiful and I’m sure the trails would be amazing. It was so neat to learn from the Rangers about the quarter and that the Junior Ranger badge was made from wood located on the property.

DETAILS:*

  • TICKETS: Mansion tours were $8/adults, free for ages 15 and under (closed while we were there). Walking the grounds is free. COVID Restrictions: masks required, Mansion and Visitor Center closed.
  • HOURS: Trails dawn to dusk
  • PARKING: Across the street at Billings Farm.
  • BATHROOM: Yes
  • TIME RECOMMENDED: 1-3 hours
  • *Details correct at the time of posting, but please double check before you go.
Posted in: Exploring Vermont, Sightseeing

Calvin Coolidge Homestead

One of the historic sites we visited was the Calvin Coolidge Homestead. Calvin Coolidge was the 30th President.

According to Maps, it was listed as open. However, when we got there, the sign said it was closed on Mondays. We were able to walk around, but the museum and any real information was closed. Without the buildings open, there just wasn’t a lot to learn, so we didn’t stay long.

Posted in: Animal Sightings, Exploring Vermont, Hiking, Sightseeing

Quechee Gorge

This was a neat spot to find. The Gorge is part of the Quechee State Park. You can park at the Gorge Visitor Center and walk to see the Gorge for free. I believe there is a small fee to get into the rest of the state park.

The Quechee Gorge was amazing to walk over. The bridge had cut-outs in the fencing to allow for picture taking. There were a few trails near the Visitor Center, including the one we took to go down to the river.

Views from the bridge of the Gorge

There were a lot of people hanging out near the river. Some had chairs that they placed on the rocks, others had picnics. There were both dogs and people swimming. We saw a frog, lots of tadpoles, a couple of small fish and crabs. The boys had shorts on, so they went swimming in the river. It was a hot day, so I’m sure it felt good.

The River. We saw a lot of tadpoles and the boys swam in the shallows.
Posted in: Animal Sightings, Exploring Vermont, Food, School, Sightseeing, YouTube Video Link

Sugarbush Farm: Exploring Cheese and Maple Syrup

We only had a short stay in Vermont and the main goal was to see…MAPLE SYRUP! We found a nearby working farm called Sugarbush Farm. They make maple syrup and cheese and offer free tastings.

We got to try 3 of the 4 types of maple syrup. The farm did not have a lot of the Golden Maple Syrup. The color of the syrup depends on the weather, so the quicker the weather warms up, the less they may have of a certain color/grade of syrup. All of the syrups were tasty. Ben, Nick, and I really enjoyed the Amber. It had a little different taste than the other types. The Dark was the flavor we are used to having (we normally buy the Grade A Dark syrups at the store). Will really liked the Very Dark syrup.

There were also several cheese types we could try. Ben’s favorite was the Extra Sharp Cheddar (aged 4 years), while Nick and I enjoyed the Sage Cheese.

The farm has a walking trail, goats, cows, and horses to see. There are picnic tables in case you brought a picnic. There were also two photo stand opportunities and there were selfie stands set up for those as well.

The maple syrup production area was not running while we were there, but there was an informational video and lots of signs explaining the process.

There was a store located in the tasting building and we went a little crazy buying cheese and syrup. We got to talk to the owner, Betsy. Everyone was incredibly nice at the farm and we really enjoyed our experience there. If you are in the area near Woodstock, Vermont (or Quechee, where our campground was), I would make this a stop on your journey. It’s amazing how much work goes into getting enough sap to make a quart of maple syrup. (Hint: Look at the picture above. It takes 4 1/2 buckets to make 1 quart.) The farm also does mail orders!

VIDEO: Boys Walking Around Sugarbush Farm

Posted in: Animal Sightings, Exploring Vermont, Sightseeing

Quechee, Vermont Flea Market

We were driving to our first tourist destination and saw a flea market at the Quechee Gorge Village shops. We had to stop of course!

We bought a jar of zucchini relish, which ended up being a lot sweeter than we thought it would be. There were several neat pieces, including some old wooden chests, but nothing that would fit well in the RV.

There were a few permanent stores in the shopping area as well. We found a great gift/souvenir shop and Vermont Spirits. The gift shop had some really cute kid items. We bought a maple vodka to share with visitors.