Tag Archives: Prohibition Pig

Places: Central Vermont

For the second year in a row (see last year here) we spent our Labour Day weekend at Little River State Park just outside of Waterbury, VT. Once again, we had perfect weather for the weekend and it was such an awesome way to end off a summer of adventure before heading back to work and school.

After a summer of camping in the tent, we stepped up our level of luxury and rented one of the small, basic cabins that are available at the park. The kids enjoyed having their bikes at the park, hauling chopped wood back to the site from the woodlot and of course, relaxing in the hammock. Although we were in a different cabin this time, it was still adjacent to a huge cliff and for the third year in a row we managed not to lose any kids (or adults) off the edge.

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The Moose Cabin
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Hard at work.

We explored a bit further afield this time, taking in the farmer’s market in Montpelier, and travelling down the Mad River Valley for the first time. While trying out some new places, we revisited some of our favourites such as the Prohibition Pig and Green Mountain Coffee in Waterbury.

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Dinner at the ProPig and a selection of craft beers; true Vermont.

We also spent a morning at the Waterbury Flea Market which was plenty of fun and netted the kids a whole bunch of hockey and basketball cards from a friendly gentleman who just couldn’t help himself from giving them each more and more for the $1 they had to spend.

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The house that Howard Dean built; Montpelier, VT

Our last full day of summer was definitely one of the most fun days I had all year. We awoke to a perfectly sunny day at our campground and after making breakfast at our site, we took off to explore the Mad River Valley, the area that runs south of Waterbury to the Sugarbush Ski Resort.

Vermont is famous for their ‘swimming holes’ that can be found all over the state – some of which are more legally accessible than others – and as we headed out, we scoped out a couple that might be fun. After that, we headed further south to the Warren Country Store, a general store that has been in business since 1839. I love these cool institutions that are scattered throughout the United States and the sheer amount of them that are located in the East is always amazing to me since in the west there are just not that many things that are more than 100 years old.img_2742

From Warren, we went north to the Lareau swimming hole, one of the most popular, and accessible swimming holes in the Valley. We spent hours here, jumping off the rocks once we had adjusted to the mountain water which while refreshing was still pretty crisp even at the beginning of September.

After an afternoon of sun and swimming we went across the highway to the American Flatbread Lareau Farm for a quintessential Vermont meal – all the ingredients from a small radius around the farm and a totally relaxed environment with a delicious meal included. Wandering around outside the restaurant with a craft beer, there were games to play, campfires going, a farm to explore and the beautiful backdrop of the mountains. Noah spent the entire meal in front of the wood-fired pizza oven watching the chef do his thing with the pizza peel. A giant ‘vermont creemee’ on the way back to the campsite was a perfect way to end the weekend.

The weekend was a wonderful end to a fantastic summer with the family – with lots of good food, time in the great outdoors and new adventures.

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Places: Waterbury, Vermont

At the end of July, we ended up with a weird overlap between the end of H’s leave and the beginning of mine of 5 days – not enough time to do too much, but definitely too much time for us just to sit around home. The result was a quick trip to the coast to check in on the ocean but on the way we wanted to get in a couple of nights of camping. Waterbury was a perfect halfway stop – about 4.5 hours from Ottawa with a great state park for camping and a townsite that we had stopped in before and were eager to explore further.

We stayed at Little River State Park, in site 38. This was a beautiful state park, located up in the mountains on the edges of the Waterbury Resevoir. The dam was built in 1938 (by hand!) as a means of flood control and is now also used as a source to generate electricity.

Our site was excellent – huge, in fact. One thing that did surprise us though was that on the map, it appears to back onto the lake. I guess it is sort of true, although the map fails to convey that there is a 200-foot drop between the back of the site and the start of the lake! After a series of ropes were constructed to keep the kids away from the edge – we were good to go. The park had very nice facilities and an abundant source of cheap, kiln-dried firewood. I am now starting to think that Ontario Parks’ expensive, punk wood is the exception rather than the rule….

On our first night, we had brought groceries from City Market in Burlington and ate at our site. The second morning we headed in to the home of Green Mountain Coffee for our morning jolt and breakfast. I also managed to track down a four-pack of the elusive ‘Heady Topper‘ and then we headed back to the lake to swim. Although fed by mountain streams, the reservoir was surprisingly swimmable and everyone got in the water.

We headed back into town for dinner, and on the way heard a grinding, squealing noise coming from our engine. It wasn’t until the next day that we figured out that was the sound of our A/C compressor exploding.

Despite that, we had a delicious dinner at the Prohibition Pig, it definitely lived up to expectations – excellent food, brew and service. After dinner, we stopped in at the Craft Beer Cellar across the street. This place seems like the dream of every beer aficionado and I am sure it has been the plan of many a failed business plan but the selection was fantastic and it was fun to check out the beers of all the small Vermont brewers.  We capped off the evening by heading to the Ben & Jerry’s factory for the obligatory ice cream.

Two nights of beautiful weather in an excellent park – we will certainly be back to Little River, hopefully for a longer stay next time.  The fact that it is right beside such an interesting town like Waterbury makes it even better.

Site 38
Waterbury Reservoir
Pig Pale
Small? Seriously?