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Vermont Up Close: Explore the Hiking Trails and Waterways of the Northeast Kingdom

Program Number: 19119RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/22/2013 - 9/27/2013; 9/20/2015 - 9/25/2015; 9/27/2015 - 10/2/2015;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Craftsbury Common, Vermont
Price starting at: $558.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Multi-Sport; Walking/Hiking; Water Sports Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 15; 5 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Fat; Vegetarian; Low Salt; Gluten Free    

The spectacular Northeast Kingdom of Vermont is the setting for a hiking and canoeing adventure against the famed backdrop of New England’s lustrous fall foliage. Hikes on trails and farm roads beneath the autumn leaves bring you face-to-face with the nature, culture, customs and history of this unspoiled region, while canoeing outings provide a unique vantage point on the ecology of Vermont’s pristine lakes and rivers. Learn firsthand why the National Geographic Society has named the Northeast Kingdom the “most desirable place to explore in the country.”




Highlights

• Meet local food producers on field trips to a few of the Northeast Kingdom’s diverse organic farming operations.
• Canoe to Hosmer Point on Big Hosmer Lake beneath a canopy of vibrant fall leaves and hike to the summit of Barr Hill to experience the foliage from another angle.
• Learn about the impressive recovery of Vermont’s loon population with the state’s foremost loon biologist.



Activity Particulars

Physical activity 3-5 hours a day. Varied terrain. Participants must be able to swim.




Date Specific Information

9-22-2013

Nature of Vermont in the Northeast Kingdom In addition to hiking and walking, this week will get you out on the water. Join Eric Hanson, the biologist for the Vermont Loon Recovery Project, and improve your canoe paddling as you explore Big Hosmer Pond and view a loon nest site. We`ll move beyond flat water and test our skills on a section of the Northern Canoe Trail on the Upper Clyde River with its unique ecology. The programming component for the week will be based on further naturalist study, with lots of talks and presentations led by Eric.



9-20-2015

Includes hike along the Highland Lodge Nature Trail on Caspian Lake, canoeing on Clyde River, field trip to Craftsbury Historical Society and Sterling College Farm.



9-27-2015

Includes field trips to Vermont Food Venture Center, Cabot Creamery Factory, Bonnieview Sheep Farm and Cheese House, Bear Swamp Farm.



Coordinated by Craftsbury Outdoor Center.




Craftsbury Common

The town of Craftsbury Common, tucked into green, rolling countryside in northern Vermont, is a year-round magnet for visitors seeking outdoor recreation or just the opportunity to enjoy the relaxed, small-town New England atmosphere.



Accommodations
Dorm-style lodges with shared baths.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Eric Hanson

Eric Hanson is the biologist for the Vermont Loon Recovery Project, a joint program of the Vermont Center for Ecostudies and the state’s Fish and Wildlife Department. The project brings together citizens and other lakeshore property owners, businesses and conservation groups to secure the future of endangered Vermont loons (the total number of breeding pairs in the state had at one time dipped to seven). Eric has previously studied loon biology in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Craftsbury Outdoor Center
  Craftsbury Common 5 nights
 Craftsbury Outdoor Center
Type: Lodge
  Contact info: 535 Lost Nation Road
Craftsbury Common, VT 05827 USA
phone: 802-586-7767
web: www.craftsbury.com/Road Scholar/index.php
  Facility amenities: Vermont-made products are available in the retail shop at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center. These include maple syrup, honey, pottery and microbrews. Clothing, books and wine are also sold in the shop. Cedar lodge has a fitness room, sauna and lounge with limited wireless. Coin-operated washers and dryers are available for guest use. Both Tamarack Lodge and Cedar Lodge offer satellite TV, DVD/VCRs and refrigerators.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Bathroom: Our lodging is dorm style with a shared bath down the hall. For an upgrade fee, bedrooms are available with private bath facilities. For information and availability please contact our office at 802-586-7767.
  Additional nights prior: $98.00- $165.00 Please call our office at 802-586-7767 to arrange reservations for additional nights.
  Check in time: 2:00 PM
  Additional nights after: $98.00- $165.00 Please call our office at 802-586-7767 to arrange reservations for additional nights.
  Check out time: 10:30 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
2:00 pm. September 23, 2012 You will be staying at Craftsbury Outdoor Center that night.
  End of Program:
12:00 p.m.September 26, 2012 You will be staying at Craftsbury Outdoor Center the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
The Craftsbury Outdoor Center has two spacious parking areas.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Craftsbury Common
  Nearest city or town:  Craftsbury Common, VT
  Nearest highway: Interstate 91 and Interstate 89
  Nearest airport:  Burlington, VT
  From End of Program
  Location: Craftsbury Common
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Burlingtion, VT

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
Peg's Taxi
phone: 180-037-0949 x0

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$137.00
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1 1/2 

 

Distance:

 

62 miles

   

The Craftsbury Outdoor Center provides a free shuttle service for Road Scholar participants. The pick up and drop off times are 1:00 p.m. on Fridays and Sundays ( available Mondays for Monday program starts). Road Scholar guests need to make arrangements for this service through the front office,

 
Driving Directions
  Interstate 91 From Interstate 91 take exit 21 for St. Johnsbury and head west on route 2 towards West Danville. Turn west on route 15 to Hardwick, and North on route 14 towards Craftsbury. From Rt. 14 take a right turn at the "6 miles to Craftsbury Outdoor Center" sign onto the South Craftsbury Rd (also called Town Highway 1). Pass through the village of Craftsbury, up a steep hill, and through Craftsbury Common where you will see signs for Sterling College and Craftsbury Academy. Approximately 0.75 mile past the Common look for a small sign that says Craftsbury Outdoor Center. Bear right and follow the signs from there to the Center. You will be traveling on Mill Village Rd, which turns sharply to the left on a downhill. On your left you will see a small dam overflow area by Little Hosmer Pond. Continue on Mill Village Rd and then turn Right onto Lost Nation Rd. From the intersection of Lost Nation Road, you will climb up a steep hill and after about 0.5 miles you will see a large Craftsbury Outdoor Center sign on your left in front of a white house. This is the Craftsbury Outdoor Center office.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Check-In and Registration, Orientation, Getting Aquainted
(Sunday, September 22)
   
 Arrive To: CHECK-In: You may check in between 2:00 - 5:00 pm at the front desk in the office, located in the white farmhouse. You will receive your room assignment, room key and arrival packet with the most up-to-date schedule that we'll review during orientation this evening. You are free to explore the grounds and facilities until dinner.
 Dinner: Join us in our rustic dining hall for a buffet of home cooked local food. Each evening you will be treated to a hot main course with an vegetarian option, salad bar, homemade breads, fresh fruit and desserts. Family-style meals help to create a relaxed and causal mealtime to get better acquainted with your group.
 Evening: ORIENTATION: We'll have our orientation session in the Tamarack classroom. following dinner. You'll meet the course instructor and review the content of the arrival packet that contains the updated schedule of activities for the program, a map of the Craftsbury Outdoor Center, information about the facility and a roster of participants In this program, you'll be surrounded by the beautiful Fall colors as you learn about the natural world as well as the culture, customs and history of this unspoiled area. We'll hike on the trails of the Barr Hill Nature preserve, Nature Conservancy lands, farm roads and trails of the Craftsbury Outdoor Center. We'll also canoe the Upper Clyde River and learn the wetland ecology of this unique section of the Northern Canoe trail. Other highlights include improving your canoeing-paddling techniques on Big Hosmer Lake and expanding your knowledge of Loons with the State Loon Biologist( yes, Vermont has one!), and learn to press fresh apple cider. Please be aware that weather conditions or other local circumstances could require adjusting the schedule. If any changes need to be made, we will notify you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.
   
Accommodations: Craftsbury Outdoor Center
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Tour of Pete's Greens Organic Vegetable farm; Craftsbury Village walk; Canoe instruction on Big Hosmer Lake; Introduction to Ecology; Wine and Cheese Social
(Monday, September 23)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast is a hearty offering of hot entrées, homemade bread and muffins, homemade granola, cereals, local yogurt and fresh fruits. Freshly-brewed coffee, herbal teas and juice are always available.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: We will hop aboard the Center's vans for a ride to Craftsbury Village. A guided tour of Pete's Greens, a large, organic mixed vegetable farm will begin our morning. Then on to Craftsbury Common and a visit to a working dairy farm and maple sugar making operation. We will walk back to the Center along the King Farm Road and wooded trails exploring old mill sites and dams from the early 1800's that started the town and kept it going. The rich character of the area will come to light as we learn about the relationship of people to the land. Enjoy the beautiful Fall foliage of the woodlands, see meandering rivers, open fields and investigate wildlife habitats and plant life with our resident naturalist.
 Lunch: Lunch buffet with hot entree, homemade breads, soups, salad, fresh fruit and dessert.
 Afternoon: PRESENTATION: Introduction to Northern Forest Ecology. Forests are in constant change - types of trees, growth, human and natural disturbances. We will investigate the many different types of forests in northern Vermont, the wildlife in these habitats and how people have influenced what we see today. All plants and animals have had to adapt to survive given environmental factors such as cold winters, soil types, population pressures, predators and herbivores, disease, pests and more. The interactions are fascinating and complex as we move from northern hardwoods and spruce/fir patches to cedar swamps and the Black River lowlands. CANOE PADDLING INSTRUCTION: Beginners will learn the basics from safety and paddle strokes to keeping a canoe in a straight line and balanced. Then we'll glide onto Big Hosmer Lake in canoes, surrounded by the breathtaking Fall colors, as you learn how and why the trees turn color and why some are red, others yellow or orange. Wine & Cheese Social: Relax with a glass of wine ( or cider) on the porch overlooking Big Hosmer Lake and sample some locally made cheeses.
 Dinner: Join us in our rustic dining hall for a buffet of home cooked local food. Each evening you will be treated to a hot main course with an vegetarian option, salad bar, homemade breads, fresh fruit and desserts.
 Evening: SOCIAL TIME: Games and/or time on your own.
   
Accommodations: Craftsbury Outdoor Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Caspian Lake, Highland Lodge Nature Trail, Barr Hill Nature Preserve, Loons. .
(Tuesday, September 24)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet in the dining hall.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Hop aboard the vans for a drive to the nearby village of Greensboro, VT. Hike the nature trails of Barr Hill Nature Preserve, a Nature Conservancy parcel. Learn how forests are in a state of constant change, including types of trees, growth, human and natural aspects. We will investigate the many different types of forest in northern Vermont as we hike from the maple/beech forest of Caspian Lake wetlands to the Upland Conifer/boreal forest of the Barr Hill Nature Preserve. As we did yesterday, learn about the different types of animals and plants in these habitats and how they have had to adapt to cold winters, soil types, population pressures, predators and herbivores, disease, pests and more.
 Lunch: Enjoy a hearty bag lunch in the high meadow on Barr Hill with a beautiful view of the Green Mountains.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Highland Lodge Resort and Nature Trail on Caspian Lake. Here we'll hike the Highland Lodge Nature Trail along the shores of Caspian Lake. Whether you are a botanist, angler, birder or just enjoy the outdoors, these northern lakes are jewels. Learn about the varied life forms in the fresh water and on the banks of this glacial lake, and how they survive the winter covered with ice and snow.
 Dinner: Dinner buffet in the dining hall.
 Evening: PRESENTATION: Join instructor , Eric Hanson, Vermont State Biologist for the Vermont Loon Recovery Project, for a fascinating slide show and talk on the status of the Common Loon in Northern Vermont. The haunting calls of the loon captivate all who hear them. Learn how scientists have unlocked the mysteries of a bird that has survived for 60 million years.
   
Accommodations: Craftsbury Outdoor Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Canoe the Upper Clyde River section of the Northern Canoe Trail; Explore Moose Bog; Silva Conte Nature Preserve
(Wednesday, September 25)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet in the dining hall.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: We will climb aboard the vans today and head to the NorthWood Stewardship Center in West Charleston, VT. Northwoods is a non-profit 501(c) 3 educational , research and conservation service organization serving the communities of northern Vermont and New Hampshire since 1989. Their unique combination of programs seeks to enhance understanding and appreciation of the role of the natural world, and to take direct and positive action in the restoration and conservation of our region's natural resources. We will explore by canoe a section of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail on the Upper Clyde River. This trail was established in 2000, based on traditional East-West water routes used by Native Americans and early settlers. Enjoy the simplicity and grace of canoe travel as you explore tranquil marshes and open waterways. Learn about the animal, plant, birds and geology of this unspoiled environment - all in the splendor of Autumn colors.
 Lunch: Enjoy a hearty bag lunch on the banks of the Upper Clyde River.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP CONTINUES: Explore Moose Bog: Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlfie Refuge. Travel back to the Craftsbury Outdoor Center with a stop at Lake Willoughby. This beautiful lake was created by glacial action and is over 300' deep in places, making it the deepest lake entirely contained in the state. It resembles a Norwegian fjord.
 Dinner: Dinner buffet in the dining hall.
 Evening: SOCIAL T IME: You've been getting a lot of exercise, mental as well as physical, so we'll take this evening to relax and enjoy one another's company.
   
Accommodations: Craftsbury Outdoor Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Black River wetland; Canoe to Hosmer Point. Hike to Beaver dam; Nahanni River slide show and talk.
(Thursday, September 26)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet in the dining hall.
 Morning: Hike the trails here at the Center and explore the Black River wetlands. Learn about this unique, dynamic natural community that is known as a Calcerous White Cedar Swamp. Learn how soil types influence the natural community of this undistributed river valley as you look for signs of mink, otter, fisher cat, bobcat, beaver and their habits.
 Lunch: Lunch buffet in the dining hall.
 Afternoon: Big Hosmer Lake: Exploring by canoe and on foot, we will experience the riparian and littoral zones on this lake here at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center. Learn about ecological impacts of new invasive species, such as Eurasian Milfoil, and steps being taken to mitigate this threat. Explore Hosmer Point and hike to a beaver dam.
 Dinner: Dinner buffet in the dining hall.
 Evening: PRESENTATION: Nahanni River and Cirque of the Unclimbables. Eric Hanson narrates a slide show and gives you a first-person account of his trip to this river in the Nahanni National Park Reserve (a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Northwest Territories, Canada) and the cluster of mammoth peaks and cliffs known as Cirque of the Unclimbables. The Nahanni is one of the most spectacular wild rivers in North America. This reserve contains deep canyons, huge waterfalls, and a unique limestone cave system. It is also home to animals of the northern boreal forest, such as mountain goat, Dall sheep, wolf, grizzly and caribou.
   
Accommodations: Craftsbury Outdoor Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Apple Cider Pressing; Free time to hike or canoe.
(Friday, September 27)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet in the dining hall.
 Morning: Apple Cider Pressing: Taste and discuss local varieties of wild apples. Participate in hand-grinding the appples and take your turn cranking the press to extract the apple cider. Sample and enjoy !
 Lunch: Have a last buffet lunch in the dining hall or take a bag lunch with you on your departure. The Craftsbury Outdoor Center would like to thank you for taking part in our new Road Scholar program. We hope you have enjoyed your time with us and will return for other rewarding programs in the future. Best wishes for all your adventures!
 Afternoon: Departure
   
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Wetland, Woodland, Wildland


Author: Elizabeth Thompson & Eric Sorenson




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