Jen’s guidebook to the NEK

Jen
Jen’s guidebook to the NEK

Sightseeing

The main entrance to the park is closed from Indigenous People’s Day through Memorial Day weekend, but there is a parking lot on Beach Road, right across from the public beach, during the winter months. From the lot, you can snowshoe, cross country ski, or hike on the Catamount trail, or up to the Fire Tower. Winter is my favorite time to hike Elmore.
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Elmore State Park
856 VT-12
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The main entrance to the park is closed from Indigenous People’s Day through Memorial Day weekend, but there is a parking lot on Beach Road, right across from the public beach, during the winter months. From the lot, you can snowshoe, cross country ski, or hike on the Catamount trail, or up to the Fire Tower. Winter is my favorite time to hike Elmore.
In the summer, Lake Elmore has a lovely beach, and great kayaking and paddle boarding. Fall foliage may be may favorate time to be out on the winter or up on the trails. In the winter, Lake Elmore is a favorite of local ice fishing enthusiasts.
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Lake Elmore
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In the summer, Lake Elmore has a lovely beach, and great kayaking and paddle boarding. Fall foliage may be may favorate time to be out on the winter or up on the trails. In the winter, Lake Elmore is a favorite of local ice fishing enthusiasts.
Head south down Route 12 towards Montpelier. About 7 miles down, you will see a sign with a hiker icon on the right and just past it on the left is the parking lot for the North Branch Cascades Trail. The trail is one mile long and runs along the north branch of the Winooski River. There are several waterfalls and swimming holes along the trail, with handmade stone paths leading down to them. They have also installed benches along the way. The Vermont River Conservancy developed this trail two years ago, and it is a treasure.
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North Branch Cascades Trail
1181 VT-12
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Head south down Route 12 towards Montpelier. About 7 miles down, you will see a sign with a hiker icon on the right and just past it on the left is the parking lot for the North Branch Cascades Trail. The trail is one mile long and runs along the north branch of the Winooski River. There are several waterfalls and swimming holes along the trail, with handmade stone paths leading down to them. They have also installed benches along the way. The Vermont River Conservancy developed this trail two years ago, and it is a treasure.
The COC has miles and miles of groomed trails and a rental center. The trails wind through beautiful scenic Vermont. The COC is the home of the Green Racing Project, an olympic training center. The trails suit all ski levels.
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Craftsbury Outdoor Center
535 Lost Nation Rd
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The COC has miles and miles of groomed trails and a rental center. The trails wind through beautiful scenic Vermont. The COC is the home of the Green Racing Project, an olympic training center. The trails suit all ski levels.
Willey's is one of Vermont's oldest country stores. They have a great selection of just about everything. My favorite items are Patchwork Farms Matzo crackers and Bayley Hazen Blue Cheese from Jasper Hill .
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Willey's True Value Hardware
7 Breezy Ave
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Willey's is one of Vermont's oldest country stores. They have a great selection of just about everything. My favorite items are Patchwork Farms Matzo crackers and Bayley Hazen Blue Cheese from Jasper Hill .

Food scene

The Elmore store is a great place to stop for some Elmore bread, wine and local beer. You will also find Fire Tower Pizza there. They make a great pie!
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Elmore Store
1208 Montpelier Morrisville State Hwy
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The Elmore store is a great place to stop for some Elmore bread, wine and local beer. You will also find Fire Tower Pizza there. They make a great pie!
Fire tower makes a delicious pizza using dough made by specialty bread makers in Elmore. Try the "North Country", a local favorite!
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Firetower Pizza
1208 VT-12
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Fire tower makes a delicious pizza using dough made by specialty bread makers in Elmore. Try the "North Country", a local favorite!
The town of Craftsbury is one of my favorites. If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of Stowe, and get a little more local, a trip to the Blackbird Bistro for dinner would be a lovely change of pace. The owner is an incredible mixologist, and their drink menu is amazing!
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Blackbird Bistro
1037 S Craftsbury Rd
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The town of Craftsbury is one of my favorites. If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of Stowe, and get a little more local, a trip to the Blackbird Bistro for dinner would be a lovely change of pace. The owner is an incredible mixologist, and their drink menu is amazing!
Whetstone Wellness was opened in the farmhouse that the owners, four sisters, grey up in. Blackbird Bistro operates from part of this farmhouse. If you want to combine a spa trip and lovely meal, this would be a wonderful place to go.
Whetstone Wellness
1037 S Craftsbury Rd
Whetstone Wellness was opened in the farmhouse that the owners, four sisters, grey up in. Blackbird Bistro operates from part of this farmhouse. If you want to combine a spa trip and lovely meal, this would be a wonderful place to go.
This award winning brewery is worth a trip, for the scenic views alone. If you head that way, make sure to stop at Willey's Store along the way.
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Hill Farmstead Brewery
403 Hill Rd
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This award winning brewery is worth a trip, for the scenic views alone. If you head that way, make sure to stop at Willey's Store along the way.
One of my favorite local hangouts is the Highland Lodge. In the summer, they have food trucks through out the week. One of my favorite summer activities is Margarita Monday at the Highland Lodge fro 5-9. This is the best of Vermont's local scene and I highly recommend participating! In the winter, they have a very cozy bar and serve up a limited, but lovely menu. The views of Caspian Lake from the front porch on a warm summers evening, are what many of my favorite summer memories have been made of.
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Highland Lodge
1608 Craftsbury Rd
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One of my favorite local hangouts is the Highland Lodge. In the summer, they have food trucks through out the week. One of my favorite summer activities is Margarita Monday at the Highland Lodge fro 5-9. This is the best of Vermont's local scene and I highly recommend participating! In the winter, they have a very cozy bar and serve up a limited, but lovely menu. The views of Caspian Lake from the front porch on a warm summers evening, are what many of my favorite summer memories have been made of.
Located in downtown Morrisville, or as locals call it, "Mo-Vegas", Tacos & Taps has a simple business model: tacos, good drinks and great entertainment. Find them on Facebook to see what is happening.
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Tacos and Taps Bar
82 Lower Main Street
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Located in downtown Morrisville, or as locals call it, "Mo-Vegas", Tacos & Taps has a simple business model: tacos, good drinks and great entertainment. Find them on Facebook to see what is happening.
Just off the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail, Lost Nation has get brews and very tasty food, in a warm inviting atmosphere.
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Lost Nation Brewing
87 Creamery Rd
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Just off the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail, Lost Nation has get brews and very tasty food, in a warm inviting atmosphere.
Black Diamond BBQ is a favorite of locals and visitors. For some of the best smoked meat and BBQ around, coupled with a warm and inviting atmosphere, I would highly recommend adding Black Diamond to your itinerary.
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Black Diamond BBQ
639 Morristown Corners Rd
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Black Diamond BBQ is a favorite of locals and visitors. For some of the best smoked meat and BBQ around, coupled with a warm and inviting atmosphere, I would highly recommend adding Black Diamond to your itinerary.
Moogs is known for great food and drink, and often has great entertainment as well.
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Moog's Restaurant
97 Portland St
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Moogs is known for great food and drink, and often has great entertainment as well.
Owned by some very hip women, the "Genny" has it all. Great food, a spectacular wine shop, groceries, local products, and more. It is worth the trip!
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Craftsbury General Store
118 S Craftsbury Rd
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Owned by some very hip women, the "Genny" has it all. Great food, a spectacular wine shop, groceries, local products, and more. It is worth the trip!