Everyone repeat after me: It will snow. It WILL snow. IT WILL SNOW!
Ahem. Now, in case our snow chants are unsuccessful in the short term, and given the relative lack of frozen precipitation in the past month (CURSE YOU, JANUARY THAW!), we thought it would be helpful to put together a list of off-slope activities in the Mad River Valley and vicinity– things that are not necessarily dependent on fluffy white manna from the sky. So in case you find yourself all bundled up with nowhere to go (or if you just need a break from the mountain), check out something from our list below:
1. Learn to cook something new! The Store in Waitsfield offers themed group cooking classes a few days a week. Classes have included Country French, Thai, Sushi, Fondue, and more! Information and calendar HERE.
2. Ride Icelandic horses! The Mad River Valley is home to the Vermont Icelandic Horse Farm, which offers full and half-day trail rides by advance reservation (as well as two- to six-day treks!). And without a reservation, you may still drop by the farm to visit with the beautiful friendly horses. Information and reservations HERE.
3. Check out a cool collection! The Madsonian Museum of Industrial Design in Waitsfield is open weekends or by appointment. It’s a cool, quirky collection of vintage and modern design pieces owned by local architect David Sellers, and definitely worth a visit! Hours and information HERE.
4. Go ice skating! The Skatium in Waitsfield is open weekdays 3 til 7, with nighttime hockey games on Wednesdays. Skates available for rental.
5. Experience dog sledding! Granted, this one requires a bit of powder, but it’s too good not to mention. October Siberians offers sled rides in nearby Little River State Park in Waterbury, as well as shorter nighttime rides in Stowe. Information HERE.
6. Go snowshoeing and sledding! Again, some amount of snow necessary… Clearwater Sports offers guided snowshoe tours (including evening tours with candlelit dinner) and rocket sledding on Warren’s own Mad River Rocket sleds– a speedy experience not for the faint of heart! Information on tours HERE. Umiak Outdoor Outfitters also offers snowshoe, sledding, dog sledding, and snowmobile tours HERE.
7. Try some Vermont products! Waterbury is just a short drive away and offers opportunities to taste and tour the Cabot Cheese Annex, Lake Champlain Chocolates, Cold Hollow Cider Mill, and Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory!
8. Last, but certainly not least… DRINK SOME BEER! Vermont is home to many excellent craft breweries. We’re partial to local breweries Lawson’s Finest and the Alchemist (neither of which offers tours) but there are many others within a short drive from the hostel. Grab your designated driver, download a Vermont Brewer’s Association beer passport HERE and explore our state’s finest! Don’t miss Lost Nation in nearby Morrisville (grab a bite while you’re there!) or Hill Farmstead a scenic 90 minute drive away in Greensboro!
Whatever the weather, it’s a great time here in the Mad River Valley! See you soon!