A tranquil effect washes over Vermont immediately after foliage. A few bouts of rain, a burst of wind, and one early frost cause piles of leaves to slowly return to the earth. Bright yellows and burnt oranges drop from their treetops. The trees left behind remain tall and barren, surrounded by sporadic conifers and pines. Leaf-laden trails wind through a forest of bare branches and sweeping views. In Vermont, we call this stick season.
The rush of peak foliage has now subsided and things have calmed down here in Woodstock. Sidewalks are a bit less crowded and restaurants, less packed. The town seems to be taking a well-deserved breath. On the cusp of holidays, Woodstockers take this time to cozy up and adjust to the change in seasons. We’ve started burning fires, cooking warm breakfasts, and stirring hearty soups. It is a truly wonderful time to be in Vermont. And while apple picking and foliage drives have come and gone, there is plenty more to look forward to in stick season. We’re listing off a few of our favorite things below.
(1) Enjoy the View. We once had a guest describe the landscape as a hue of lavender. We are reminded of this sentiment every year, and can’t help but agree. Stick season is incredibly beautiful in its own right. The white trunks of the birch trees stand out amongst a sea of dark brown and purple. This scene will soon be clothed in a sheet of snow, creating an idyllic Winter Wonderland. The bare branches now offer a deeper view into the forest. Suddenly, mountainscapes and pastures are visible in places they had once been obscured. We encourage you to step out into the crisp air and enjoy a stick season walk. Mount Tom’s carriage road is the perfect place to amble through the woods.
(2) Make a Reservation. Foliage crowds no longer make reservations impossible to obtain. Our best restaurants now offer more foreseeable room to enjoy a proper Vermont meal. In fact, The Backroom will soon open their doors for the season. It seems that stick season marks the ideal time to enjoy a food tour of the Green Mountain State and its best farm-to-table offerings.
(3) Find a Ski Swap. ’Tis the season to update those skis in preparation for (what we hope to be) a very snowy winter. Local families and shops offer gently used or last season’s equipment as winter quickly approaches. This is the perfect time to replace those skis, poles, or snowboard before your many epic runs to come. See a list of Vermont ski swaps here.
(4) Get a Head Start on Killington. That’s right, you heard us correctly. Killington’s slopes are OPEN. We couldn’t be more excited to see these snow covered trails on the distant mountainside. It’s no secret that last year’s winter was dismal. As such, our ski legs are itching to ride down the mountain this season. Get a head start and enjoy the big mountain we all know and love. And hey – regardless of your ski abilities, the Waffle Cabin is reason enough to go visit.