Hiking & biking in Upper Valley

Hard to believe it’s been 3.5 years since our last blog post!  Then again, the world wasn’t really upside down since 2015 like it is in 2020!  Also, as much as we love Quechee, we never spent more than 10 days here at a time – even if we came up multiple times during the year.  But these aren’t normal times, and they give us the opportunity to experience other places that we might not otherwise check out!  AND during mud season!  TL; DR – we LOVED our time during Coroniavirus / MudSeason 2020 in the Upper Valley.  We didn’t hit Woodstock once during our 2 months here – including Worthy Kitchen (not that we don’t support our local businesses – more on that later).  But after 8 weeks in the Upper Valley, we found a few places we never really appreciated that we LOVE and need to blog about…

Path of Life Garden – we have hit this place a few times before but didn’t really appreciate it for all its beauty.  Yes, it’s a little crunchy and esoteric – but also some really amazing nature art / sculpture.  It was also nice that we barely ever ran into people there during the pandemic – as most were sheltering in place.  But we did the whole cycle multiple times – and discovered something new every time – from the hammock and hidden area near the end of the tour – to the cool campsites that they rent out.

My older daughter wanted to celebrate her birthday in camping fashion – which we did with 2 other families.  We did this with 2 other families – they set you up with 6 person tents with 3 sets of bunks – they’re pretty spacious tents and the bunk beds are pretty comfortable – unless you’re a side sleeper (which I am – but I made do).  They give you almost everything you need – from sleeping bags to cooking utensils – just bring your pillows and food / drink.  We grilled up a wood plank salmon for the adults, plus burgers and  dogs for the kids… the drank by the fire while the kids explored all night.  They also set up a huge bonfire for everyone (even those with their own tents) – and give you old pallets to feed the fire – which gets HUGE.  Very cool to see the wooden band glow in the nightlight of the bonfire.

if weather is good, the Connecticut River is right there – with a decent area for swimming / floating / kayaking if you’re so inclined.

Is it hardcore camping?  No – but unless you have all the equipment – this is a great way to introduce your family to camping – in a pretty low risk way… all 3 families were “first time” campers (post kids anyway) – and everyone had a blast and agreed to extend to 2 nights the following year.  If you run out of alcohol – there’s Harpoon Brewery or Silo Distillery within 10 min walk (Harpoon also has decent pub grub).  Bathrooms are joint spot a pots – with big buckets of water for showers.

We also did a river float – which was relatively inexpensive – about $25/person – with Great River Outfitters (which are affiliated with Path of Life).

Mount Ascutney

Northern Rail Trail – our kids are almost 7 & 9, so we bring their bikes and we typically run along this former rail trail.

Rope Swings – OK 

Rock Jumping

Grafton

 

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